Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I love my wife {a guest post by my hubby}


My hubby (of 19 years!) wrote the below post. He is as "into" living intentionally as I am.  Below, Rob shares one area that we are intentional about when it comes to parenting.  Here are Rob's words:

My son, Jonathan’s preschool recently held a Donuts For Dads event. The kids served breakfast, sang songs, and celebrated dads. The kids also presented their dads with a picture they drew of their father and a filled out question and answer sheet. 


One of the questions was “What is something your dad always says about you?” 

Jonathan answered, “I’m a good boy.” 

Another asked, “How does your dad make you laugh?” 

My favorite question was "What makes your dad happy?” 

Jonathan’s answer. . .“Mommy!” 

Not pizza, not skateboarding, not work, not tools, but Mommy! When I read this, tears came to my eyes. I was filled with joy for two reasons. First, I loved my wife, and second, my child recognized it. 


I have always felt that the greatest gift I could give my kids was to love their mother and model a strong marriage. I want them to look at me and say, “My daddy loves my mommy.”  I want them to look at me and think, “I don’t ever have to worry about Daddy leaving Mommy.”  When Su and I fight (yes we fight too), I don’t want my kids to wonder and doubt. 
The irony of this is you have to put your kids aside some (well a lot). I don’t mean you ignore the kids completely, but you do have to say no to them. You do have to say with your actions and your words, “I am sorry but you cannot have all my attention. I am going to give some to your mommy.” 

I drew this heart on a tree in our backyard
so Su (and my kids) would see it when we were out on the deck
One way I put my marriage first is by giving Su the first 30 to 45 minutes of my evening.  When I come home from work, I say hi to the kids and then I immediately focus on Su. Most of this time is spent talking. We sometimes go out on the deck, or sit on the couch. Other times we prepare for dinner. Wherever we are, she is my focus. We talk about the day and connect. Then, after dinner, I will be with the kids. The kids and I play or do homework or read books. This evening pattern is not something that just happened; it was an intentional decision. I want my kids to know, “I care about you, but your mother comes first."
Well, Jonathan obviously got that message, at least in part.  He knows that Mommy makes Daddy happy. She is the object of his desire. What comfort it brings me to know that not only do I love my wife well, but my kids see and feel it.
Note from Su: Rob has always given me the first part of his evening, even when the kids were little. When Anna (our 14 year old) was a baby, we trained her to play on the floor with her toys (you could have special toys that come out just for this time) while Rob and I sat on the couch and connected. We taught our little ones to not climb into my and Rob's lap or up onto the couch. We taught them not to interupt. We called it "Mommy and Daddy's time."
We felt like this was a tangible way to show our kids that Daddy and Mommy love each other. Oh, how that makes kids feel secure! Therefore, we made sure we had this time together when the kids were awake.

When we were first training our kids about this special Mommy and Daddy time, we sat on the couch for 3 minutes and then when the 3 mintues were up, Rob played with the kids and we praised them for not interrupting. And then we gradually increased our time to 5 min, 10 min, and then 15 min. This was when they were babies thru about age 4. Now that our kids are 5 years old and older, Rob's and my time is 30-45 minutes.

I'd love to hear your ideas of how you teach your kids that your marraige is a priority.

I shared this post over at my favorite linky parties: Women Living Well, We Are That FamilyThe Better Mom and Serenity Now.

9 comments:

  1. Love this and just sent it to my hubby for our immediate implementation. :) Thanks for sharing!!

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  2. I love the carved heart! and of course I could eat up Jonathan with kisses.
    Yo

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  3. Su: I love this. I do so wish I had your "Intentional Home" way of living when my children were small in the 60s and 70s!! You truly are a very blessed family!!

    Happy hugs,
    Pat

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  4. What a sweet hubby to guest post for you. :) We too feel the best thing we can give our daughter is to model a strong marriage. We want to pass down a "love legacy."

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  5. What a great post! Every year we try to get away at least once or twice a year. We call a vision retreat, an idea we grabbed from a marriage ministry early on. We go away to the mountains in the beginning of the year to seek the Lord as a couple to know what God wants for our family that particular year. We usually go equipped with a workbook, whether one we bought or one we felt led to create. If we get to squeeze in a 2nd trip then it's just a fun short getaway. We have learned that our son will survive with out us. We return happier and more connected. On a more day-to-day level, my husband is affectionate, like always reaching for my hand even for a simple supermarket run. Now that our son is 17 and has his 1st serious girlfriend, I see how much he has learned after all these years. I am very proud of my husband and my son.

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  6. Hi Su,

    I just wanted to share how we make our marriage a priority. We have always had date night. Once my two boys got older, I started a date night with each of them once a month. Each son gets to choose what we do on his night. Dad's date night has to be first each month. Once we've had ours, I can go out with the boys. If schedules don't permit this, they have to ask their father for permission to have their night before his. "Date night" with my sons also gives me quality one on one time with each child. Loved the post from your husband, and the mommy and daddy time idea. Just thought I'd share.
    Sarah K.

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  7. What a great quest post by your husband. Thank you for sharing, I am stopping by from the Weekend bloggy reading link party

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  8. Great post and great picture of you two. John and I will soon celebrate 17 years together! So many shared experiences and memories that we cherish, along with 5 wonderful sons to enjoy. Thanks for your posts and ideas on your blog!
    Much love,
    Lia and family

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