This weekend my husband and I went to the Tim McGraw and Faith Hill concert. One of my favorite songs they sing is “It's your love”.
It's your love, it just does something to me, it sends a shock right through me, I can’t get enough. If you wonder about the spell, I am under. It's your love.
My entire family is under this spell from this man I call my husband and my children call dad. He loves us all fiercely. There is not a day that goes by that I am not overwhelmed with gratitude for him. He is determined and fights for good. As a therapist, I often see that being a good dad or husband is not modeled but one can always learn. My husband is a great one to learn from if you don’t know him then find someone you respect and model your life after them. Here are observations from watching my husband that will make anyone a good dad if they follow these tips.
1.Make sure your child knows your love in unconditional. My husband told me before my children were born that he would go out of his way to make sure they knew there was nothing they could do to cause him to love them more or less. He has drilled this in their heads! His love is unwavering and will not change, regardless of what they do.
- Work hard. When my husband and I met we barely had two nickels to rub together but no matter what, my husband fought hard to provide a good life for our children. He has always modeled “Hard work pays off”. He has waited tables, sold life insurance, answered calls in a call center, coached, taught, pastored and even worked in a nursing home because not providing for our children has never been an option.
- Be Patient. Children can try our patients right? They start exploring their world and asking questions from the moment they start talking. Enjoy these moments. My husband has more patience than anyone I know. He often reminds himself that they are just little, they’re learning, and mostly he never forgets that words and actions matter, so he shows grace more than anything else.
- Be gentle. My husband has never used his hands to hurt my children. His hands are gentle, loving, soft and nurturing. He realizes that soft words and actions lead to safety, He is a safe haven of protection.
- Pursue their hearts. What are your children passionate about? What do they love? What is their biggest fears, strengths, and weaknesses? My husband knows my girls inside and out. He encourages their strengths, teaches them to be the best they can be and would move mountains to make their dreams comes true.
- Invite conversation. I personally grew up in an environment of “What I say goes.”, “You do it because I am the parent”. Joe, from the beginning, wanted our children to be able to argue with us, defend what they believe, and engage wisdom, knowledge, and research. He has pulled this off well. I will never forget when our daughter Kendra came to us wanting a bedtime extension in 4th grade. Joe listened to her argument, told her to go research bedtimes for children her age and come back with reasons why and he should extend the bedtime. She did and he changed her bedtime. He always invites our children to think and pursue wisdom.
- Date your children. From the time my girls have been two, Joe has taken them on dates. He wants them to know he is the most important man in their life. He has set the bar high. I know one day they will date and find love but hopefully, the standard of excellence is high because their dad has been a model to them on how they should be treated.
- Model how they should be treated. This is one I see all the time. Parents, the chances your children will model the relationship you have with your spouse is very high so do it well while you have the chance. It is never too late to change. My husband kisses me, pursues me, puts me first, laughs with me, dreams with me, fights with me, and intentionally grosses our children out so he can model to them what a healthy relationship looks like.
- Laugh with them. My family loves to laugh. My husband wrestles with them, teases them and invites them to a good time and they accept the invitation. We never, ever want to lose our sense of wonder. Life is too short.
- Engage in the fun. We work hard and play hard. Another one of my husband’s ideas through the years has been family fun night. Essentially one day a week we engage in family fun together. It can be a walk on the beach, video games, dinner out, the zoo, a road-trip or simply a fun night in that the park. The point is, no matter what we do, we choose to be engaged, laugh together and talk about life.
My husband is a wise man and I am so thankful he is the father of my children. He is very selfless, loving, patient and giving and we are lucky to have his love because it just does something to usJ.