I’m going to ask you to take a moment and think on the first time you see your husband when he arrives home from work, or when you arrive home from your job, or daily chores, or however you see one another after being away for any extended period of time. How do you greet each other? What is your relationship telling your little ones?
In my case, there used to be (and probably will be in the future, because I’m human) a disconnect between the reality of our greeting and the one I’d hope for in my mind. The reality was when my husband arrived home the kids would basically tackle him because they were so excited to see him. Then I’d hurry everyone along to get the the last little bit on the table so we can eat before kids blow their tops. Then we all sit down almost breathlessly to pray.
It wouldn’t be until after dinner, after clearing the table, and maybe even after baths that I could really say hello… and some nights I may not have said anything before I began my evening chores and trotted off to bed myself.
What Example are We Setting?
My husband is very good at asking how things went while he was away with work, but often as I’m telling him he becomes distracted by a tiny visitor with sticky hands or by an important email or phone call. Whatever the reason may be, we don’t do much for chit chat (If my husband is reading this, I guarantee he thinks we talk A LOT! Men are different than women in this retrospect I suppose.). What are we showing our children, by doing this? Can they see how much we value one another? Is our marriage going to be one they can look at later in life and long for as they search the world for their better halves? Are we showing them how important face to face contact, and relationships in general, really is?
How do we combat this laziness that comes from doing the same old same, or being tired from all the “have-to’s” and not enough “want-to’s”?
I’ve started creating a new habit to prevent the laziness we greet each other when he walks in the door. That usually means settling down what I’m cooking for dinner, cleaning my hands, and walking to him (unless he’s popped his head in the kitchen) just to give him a warm smile. A smile can say many things without using words. It is an affectionate way to say, “Hello, I’ve missed you.” or “I’m happy to see you, I’m glad you’re home.” The smile helps me as well. It slows down my racing heart and helps think clearly.
Have you noticed when you’re heart is racing while your tending to all the irons on the fire you tend to think of the hard parts of the day? Maybe that’s just me, but it has to be depressing for a spouse to come home after a good/bad day at work to hear things were terrible on the home front. That warm smile I give my husband helps remind me of the easy and joyful things which we encountered over the eight or so hours he was away.
His and Hers (not the bath towels)
The thing is, I want to share my everything with this man. In fact, we should all have this feeling of wanting to share all our joys and good news with the ones we chose to love, our husbands. We need to carefully listen to his joys as well, no matter if they seem insignificant to me. I’ve heard so much about hunting or eating grand food on a recent travel adventure and it means very little to me. It is fun to hear the excitement in his voice, though, and see his face light up as he tries to include me.
As a stay at home momma, I get joy from the kids behaving at the library for ten whole minutes, or no one arguing over where to sit at the table for breakfast. Not many other people are excited to hear about my kids and my mundane routine, and it can make me feel lonely. I don’t want to be an island, maybe a peninsula, but definitely not an island. So listen, and share.
Share your love along with your words. I’m working at making it a point to show affection to my husband, especially in front of our children. I’ll give him a good squeeze before he walks out the door, or maybe a kiss. Some days I have to stifle my emotions of being overworked, or feeling unloved at that moment. I just suck it up and show him I still care about him even if he’s acting like a twelve year old spoiled, momma’s boy (I can say that because I’ve acted far worse in many cases). Suck up your pride, and give a kiss! Your children can learn so much from that tiny moment.
Praise his attributes, even if you have to praise him for something small. Say it out loud and to your children. “Wasn’t that amazing when your Dad came in and gave me a hug? It made me feel his love?” (I’m talking to the four and under crowd here, don’t mind my simpleness).
Let’s not forget why we fell in love in the first place. If you need a reminder, write it down. Keep that treasured slip of paper in your car, in your purse, taped to your bathroom mirror, or somewhere you can find it. Maybe you should hide it in a pair of clothes to find it on a random Tuesday, or put it in the mail to get two days later. Better yet, make a list of wonderful things about your husband and hide it for them to find.
This post could go on for ages, really it could. There are so many imaginative ways to show your love for your spouse. The important thing to take away here is to show your family, your children, what it means to love a spouse. Model the relationship you want them to have as a married adult. If you have a son, be the woman you’d ask him to choose. If you’re a dad be the husband you plan on your daughter finding. How would you set the standard for them? Now do it for yourself.
We are teaching them everyday, and this world is full of broken relationships. This new and generation of children are looking up to what, exactly?
Ask yourself, What is our relationship telling my little love nuggets? Then take action from there.
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