Parents are a child’s first love.
Daddy, a daughter’s perfect prince. Mommy, the woman every little boy wants to marry.
Naturally that love changes. It morphs over time and typically transfers to another. Parents set the stage for how their children view marriage and family life.
As our kids grow, we want them to develop healthy and lasting relationships. Most of us hope to be in-laws and grandparents someday. We pray for our kids’ future mates. If I were to be asked if I wanted to positively impact my child’s future relationships, my answer would be YES! I’m guessing yours would be too. That’s easy.
But how am I really doing on a day-to-day basis?
What subtle messages am I delivering to my children about family life and marriage?
I’ll be the first to admit, my nonverbal or verbal communication can be negative, even nasty at times.
When my kids were younger, there were days I would compete with my husband for Who had the Worst Day. (Truth check: He really didn’t enter the contest, this was a solo game.)
Why would I do this? Did I feel a bad day meant my mom job had value? Would a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day be the reason for extra me attention? Did I want to make my husband feel guilty for working outside the home?
If I’m honest, some days, probably yes on all counts.
But…Do I want my kids to think being a mom and a wife is drudgery, hard work? (Okay there are those times, but mostly those two jobs are the BEST jobs in the world.)
As parents, if we want to make a lasting and positive impact on a child’s future relationships then we must be deliberate in romancing our spouse’s heart and a by-product will be a soften child’s heart; a heart that is open to offering and receiving love. A heart that is tender to God’s beckoning.
Here are a few subtle messages that pack a punch:
Be selfless. Focus on your husband or wife rather than yourself.
Be a servant. Do nice little things for your special person.
Be supportive. Encourage your mate.
Be sensitive. If it isn’t true or kind-don’t say it.
Be sincere. If you haven’t treated your loved one well, own it. Then change.
Be sold out for your spouse. Think of your partner as the All-Time best ever!
How a man treats his wife day after day, a son will copy. And… how a wife treats her husband, a daughter will emulate.
Our children are watching.
With faith, hope, and love,
mom of four, wife to Tom
co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting
author of three parenting books
Contact Lori for your next event.
Lori will be speaking at the HeartCORe Parenting Conference in Denver May 9th. Registration now open. Join us!