So it’s Father’s Day and I had this idea that I would ask a couple of Dads at church: “”What was the most important thing that they could do for their kids in their lives?” Turns out I don’t actually have what it takes to go up to a bunch of Dad’s and ask this! So instead I asked a couple of moms what they wanted from their kids father’s…
And this is what I heard, without any prompting and it was unanimous! They wanted a Godly example and they wanted a prayerful partner, someone who prayed for their kids future. Nobody said they wished their husbands worked fewer hours or spent more time with their kids. Nobody said they wished their husbands would do more work around the house or work on more projects with the kids.
Isn’t that funny, often when women gather together there is a huge bemoaning and wailing regarding their husbands but when it comes down to absolutely anything they want from a husband: They are after a Godly example and a prayerful partner. This must be quite reassuring for the Dad’s of this world – that “To-Do List” isn’t all that important… then again it is quite daunting because mom’s are after a higher calling!
So I thought I would gather up a list of se7en things mom’s can do to help our husbands to be Godly examples and prayerful partners.
- Turn away from gossip: What really struck me is the one mom, who is a great friend and I would consider her to be a wise woman indeed, told me that she was perfectly happy with the father of her children: He totally loves and adores his children and will go more than the extra million miles for them. The only time she has twinges of despair is when she hears how wonderful other father’s are… You know: “My husband comes home, vacuums the house, makes dinner and gets the kids into bed, while I put the my feet up.” Hmmmm, isn’t that the downfall of most of us. Listening to gossip!
- Raise him up in your kids eyes: Our father person is very involved in meetings after work hours: Missions meetings, Bible Studies and so on. I could grumble about it with the kids but it is a whole lot easier if, on the nights he isn’t home at bedtime, to pray for him and his meeting. The nice thing is that now that the kids are older at least the older ones can join him for some of his meetings and see what its all about. They love his involvement in missions and they have learnt so much about how to support friends who work overseas.
- When he is tired let him rest: I know that is so tempting to go at him the moment he gets in the door form work. Give him the list of all the things that need repair! Or when he asks “How was your day – you tell him without holding anything back. Turns out if I leave him to take a break for half an hour when he gets in then his work-home transition goes a lot more smoothly.
- Let him parent his way: This one was really hard for me as a new mom. I have got a lot better at it! There are so many things a dad can do: they can put their babies to sleep on their chests, they can get their little guys though the bath. Maybe not in the same way we do – but that is the beauty of two parents doing the job.
- Encourage him without nagging: It is all very well to say my husband never helps with the kids or never does family devotions. Encourage him for what he does do. My kids know they can ask their dad anything at all in the world and they have plenty of time to talk to him as they travel to and fro with him in their weekly routine. He isn’t there for every bedtime, he isn’t there for every moment of their lives, but he is there to ask them what they are reading in their Bibles and what they have learnt about God that day or that week. Our father person makes sure that his family go to any number of different events held at church and he makes sure that we don’t fall into a malaise about inviting visiting missionaries round and displaying hospitality to all sorts of people. Luckily he doesn’t leave that side of things to me!
- Keep him up to date: He is their prayer champion but it is hard to be their prayer champion if he doesn’t know the ins and outs of their days. I am there alongside the kids day in and day out. I know what is on their hearts and I can tell him what they are happy about, what they are worried about. It is my job to keep him up-to-date on their triumphs and tragedies so that he can pray for them intelligently.
- Pray for him: Nobody is perfect, I know I need all the help and prayers I can get! My kids are not perfect, they need all the help and prayers they can get. And the same goes for the father person in our house. We prayer for his walk with God and that he may raise his family in a Godly manner. Honestly, a Godly example and a prayerful partner, someone who prays for our kids future, is not the easiest task we have set for these father’s and there is no harm in encouraging them.
I know that as some of you read this you are thinking – that’s all very well for her, her husband is lovely but look what I have got! Frankly, you are right! Imperfect as he is I chose to marry him and to support him, just keep in mind how imperfect I am! I chose him and so the least I can do is be nice to him and to be honest I like to try and be a whole lot more than just nice, because I chose him and he’s so worth it.