Thursday, May 3, 2012

about fathering on mother's day

mothers and future mothers in our family

i (gunther) admit it.  mother’s day and i do not have the best history.  for a long time i was in the “mother’s-day-was-just-created-to-fill-the-card-company’s-wallet” club.  i suppose my other disclaimer is that gift giving is not one of my love languages.  it is however, one of my wife’s love languages.  which, i have learned, is the point.

to say that vickey’s first mother’s day was a catastrophe is not far from accurate.  she was pregnant with our first child, and although our daughter was yet unborn, vickey glowed with anticipation, and the awareness that she was this baby’s mother.  as mother’s day approached, she quietly anticipated all of the wonderful things in store for her, and all of the ways she imagined i would express my appreciation to her for bearing our child.  as that sunday progressed, without even a nod or affirmation from me, she told herself that what was coming must be really special if i was playing it so cool.  finally, as we were preparing for bed, the realization hit her, that i was actually not going to acknowledge her mother’s day .  .  . at all.  when she asked me if i remembered what day it was, and i recognized that somehow she had expected me to celebrate her motherhood, out it came, the utterance that has lived in infamy in the kriwinski family all-time hall of stupid: “but you’re not my mother”.  that night, my wife cried herself to sleep.

we stayed married.  and over the years, through both of our blunders and sometimes thoughtlessnesses, we have learned the value of loving each other in the way that our mate appreciates.  whether or not i believe that mother’s day was created to fill the card company’s pocket is of no importance.  mother’s day is one more opportunity for me to show my wife how much i value her constant and continual sacrifices as the mother of our children. 

the truth however, is that loving your wife goes much deeper than giving her gifts on mother’s day, spending focused time with her, or whatever speaks her love language.  one of the greatest gifts a husband can give the mother of his children, is to teach those children how to love and respect her.  it’s the gift that keeps on giving. 

husbands, try this quick inventory:

1.               do you teach your children good manners?  do your children see you using good manners when relating to your spouse?

2.       do you instruct your kids to be respectful to their mother? are you respectful when you speak to her?  or do you speak harshly to her, or in a manner that is demanding, brusque or demeaning?

3.       when there is conflict between the mrs. and the children, do you back her up?  or do you override and undermine her authority? 

remember, when training our offspring, more is “caught” than “taught”.

spend any length of time with any father’s kids, and it will be obvious how things are between mom and dad.  do the children treat mom poorly?  it’s a pretty accurate barometer of how dad treats her. 

men, teach your children by example to honor their mother, to respect her, to use good manners always (not just in public, but in private as well).  let your sons see you open doors for her. . . and for their sisters.  

it is as counter cultural today as it was 2,000 years ago – elevate your children’s mother to the rightful place she has been given by God, serving and loving her through the power of the One who did that for us.  your children will learn how to regard their mother with dignity, love, and respect to the degree that you lead by your example. 

Special thanks Cameron Ingalls for the use of your photographs!  And check out Lisa Leonard Designs for some great gift ideas!!

No comments: