Show your wife how much you love her in front of your children. You will get a great return on your investment.
One of the fun things I get to do throughout the year is travel around the country, speaking and teaching about marriage and healthy relationships. This past weekend I was able to teach at a marriage retreat with my wife, speak at multiple church services and at a Christian university chapel – all in small-town America. My wife, Krista, was with me for the weekend retreat, but flew back home afterward to be with our boys.
When I speak without her, which is most of the time, I always try to make sure that the people I’m with – whether married couples, singles or college students – know that I genuinely love my wife. Not because I’m the director of marriage and family formation at Focus on the Family, nor because I’m teaching that day on marriage … I want them to know it because it’s true. We’re not perfect, nor is our marriage perfect, but I’m crazy about her.
I want folks to know that, too, because I often refer to our mistakes as well as our successes, and I want them all to know how wonderful my wife is. She’s the most gracious, generous, caring, compassionate, loving and sacrificial person I know. I could keep going, but I have a word limit! I never want my praise to come across as fake, but as genuine. Heck, I rarely get credit for it because she’s usually not even there!
So, why I am talking about this on a blog for dads? After a recent evening session with some college students, several stayed afterwards to chat. After answering some questions and as things were coming to a close, one of the young ladies told me it was very important for her and others to hear someone express how much they love their spouse. She even went so far to say that it was clear that I adored her. She said she needed to hear that, as it gives her hope and excitement for her future marriage.
I was floored. All because I told these students that I was crazy about my wife and about some of the incredible qualities she possesses.
Reflecting on that conversation, I thought of my sons and what they hear from me about their mom. I make a point to emphasize that, in addition to being their mom, she’s also my wife, and I've tried to (even at their young age) help them understand that we’re married and need to be intentional about keeping our marriage healthy, which is typically brought up when we’re going out for a date night.
I’m now even more convinced that my sons need to hear – often – how much I love Krista and how many precious things I value about her.
If hearing these simple things dramatically affected a young lady I don’t even know, imagine what they could do for my boys. First, they would see a model of how to honor and respect women, including their mom and their future spouse. Second, there’s added security for them in knowing that their parents aren't just together, but they actually, really love each other!
I’m flying home from a five-day trip away as I write this, and I can’t wait to see my family. I’m eager for the boys to know that I not only missed them, but that I missed mommy, my wife, and am so excited to see her, too.
Dads, what do your children hear you say about their mom, your wife? Is it praise, adoration, thankfulness and honor? If so, keep it up! Your kids probably don’t realize now just how important it is for them to hear these things.
If you don’t get around to that very often, why not begin today? Tell your wife – and show her! – how much you love and adore her. Make sure your kids hear and see this, and let them know just how special she is. I can guarantee that you’ll get a great return on this investment!
Written by Jackson Dunn