I carefully close the door to my daughters’ bedroom and turn around to find my husband inches from me in the hallway. He snakes his arms around my waist and pulls me in for a kiss in the semi-darkness.

Just then, a voice from the other end of the hall singsongs, “Hey, I see that!”

Our lips smile against each other and we break apart to meet the dancing eyes of our 8-year-old son. 

“Good!” I tease, as he grins.

Because I want my son to see what it looks like for his father to love his mother—so that when he’s grown, he’s a husband who knows how to love his wife.

I want him to tell her he loves her every single day—and to understand that sometimes it’s best done without words. 

I want him to know romance isn’t always grand gestures or a dozen roses—it’s filling an almost-empty gas tank without being asked or doing a sinkful of dishes at 10 p.m.

I want him to know that scooping up the baby who’s been fussy since the moment he left for work may just be the most important thing he does all day. 

I want him to know that standing by her side when her heart is hurting and her strength is failing is a holy act of servanthood. 

I want him to remind her how beautiful she is, even now, after all this time and all that life between them.

I want him to know how a dad joke, though corny and predictable, will sometimes give her life on days her spirit is cloudy.

I want him to know the act of doling out fruit snacks during the sermon and keeping a toddler busy in a pew is faith and discipleship in action.

I want him to know stolen kisses in the hallway can be the lifeblood of a marriage in the throes of raising young children.

As he grows, my son will be bombarded with mixed messages on the kind of man he should be:

Be strong, but not bossy.

Be sensitive, but not a pushover.

Be dependable, but not boring.

But amidst all the noise, I hope he’ll remember the truth he learned inside the sanctuary of our home.

That tenderness isn’t weakness—it’s strength.

That love isn’t self—it’s service.

That marriage isn’t feelings—it’s faithfulness.

And I pray that one day, the eyes dancing at a stolen kiss will belong to his own son, learning for himself the lasting language of true love.

Marriage takes work. Thankfully, there’s an app that can help! Lasting— the nation’s #1 relationship counseling app — provides accessible sessions designed to help you build a healthy marriage. Download and take Lasting’s free Relationship Health Assessment.

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Carolyn Moore

Carolyn traded a career in local TV news for a gig as a stay-at-home mom, where the days are just as busy and the pay is only slightly worse. She lives in flyover country with her husband and four young kids, and occasionally writes about raising them at Assignment Mom