The following post is from Jennifer, a lifelong educator:
Did you ever hear your parents fight when you were growing up? Most of us did at some point. It didn’t happen often at my house, but an exchange of angry words sent me running to my room. I couldn’t define all of the emotions back then, but I was scared and worried.
I wanted home to be a peaceful place where I felt loved and nurtured.
When parents have a good relationship, children feel safe and protected.
Investing in your relationship with your husband not only gives you a better marriage, it helps you raise secure kids.
They are free to explore their worlds and discover their gifts and talents, free from the concern that their world could shatter or change. (Note: If you are a single mom, this article is not meant to make you feel guilt or condemnation in any way. It’s not a perfect world and kids are resilient. But most would agree that, when possible, we’d like our kids to grow up with the shelter of two parents in their lives.)
Even if your husband isn’t interested in focusing more time on your marriage, there are ways to demonstrate your love for him that can draw the two of you closer together. It will also give your kids the sense that dad and mom are in a good place with each other.
1. If you’re home before your husband, stop what you’re doing and give him a warm welcome when he arrives home. You may be exhausted from your own job and juggling dinner and babies, but let him know that he’s worth a hug. Your kids will note your priorities.
2. Discover your husband’s love language and “speak it” at least once a week in front of your children. For example, if your husband’s love language is words of encouragement, say “Let’s all write a note to Daddy, to thank him for all he does for our family.”
3. Try to have a Date Night at least a once a month. If finances don’t permit going out, arrange special times at home. If your kids are older, tell them that they are going to watch a movie while you and your husband have dinner alone. They may roll their eyes, but they’ll understand that you love your husband enough to put him first sometimes. (It’s also a great way to teach them how to love their spouses when they grow up.)
4. You’ve probably heard that women need to feel loved and men need to feel respected. Insist that your children demonstrate respect to your husband. They’ll do best if they can follow your lead. When you honor your husband, your kids rest in the knowledge that you care.
5. Make a decision not to criticize your husband in front of the kids. You may need to vent sometimes, but your kids don’t need to be the recipients of your frustration. Hearing “Mommy said that you…” not only hurts your husband and your marriage, it can cause your kids to worry about your relationship.
6. Let your children hear you brag about something your husband has done well. It may be something simple like getting up with the baby or putting a load of clothes into the dryer. Knowing that you appreciate the little things about him helps them realize that you’re thankful for the little things they do, too.
7. Talk to your husband before you make your to do list for his days off. Respecting your husband’s time will reduce the stress he feels. It will also allow the two of you to plan some activities that will promote family unity, which helps your kids feel secure.
No matter how you show it, loving your husband will enhance your marriage and give your kids a strong sense of security about their family.
How do your kids respond when they see you loving your husband? When does your husband feel the most loved?
|Jennifer is passionate about children and education. She homeschooled her two sons for five years, established and directed a Christian school in Maryland for 20 years, and currently teaches in a public school in a Chicago suburb. She loves investing in relationships and delights in every moment that she spends with her family.|