Being a good mom is kind of expected of a woman. Hence the term maternal instinct. You don’t ever hear anyone say anything about paternal instinct. But if most of our wives are in fact good mothers, and many of them great mothers, wouldn’t it stand to reason that it would be important to them that we are good dads, even great dads. I mean wouldn’t it follow that if a woman loves her kids, she would want her kids to be loved, adored, cared for, and provided for by their dad.
I’m talking to all dads. Biological dads, step-dads, adoptive dads, grandpas in the roll of dad. Yes this is for all of us. Ironically, I am all of those. I am the biological father of three great kids. I am the adoptive dad of my oldest daughter. I am the step-father of my youngest two kids. And I am “Papa” and stand-in father figure to my grandson whose father passed away before Chase was even born. With all of that, what could I do more loving for my wife, than to be a great dad.
If you have been blessed with kids, and their mother loves them, she would want you to be the best dad you can be. That, in and of itself, is a fantastic opportunity to show your wife how much you love her. How much you value what she needs from you. It’s a big commitment, I know that. It is a commitment to provide for them. To wake up everyday, face the world, go to work and bring home the resources that your family needs. For many of you, it is going to a job that you don’t enjoy, that you have no passion for. But because you are committed to taking care of your family, you go anyways. That is love.
It’s also a commitment of your time. This is probably the hardest commitment for many men to keep. Between working all day, long commutes, yard work, honey-do lists, time for church, time for your wife, there is hardly any time left for our kids, much less catch an afternoon ball game. But that is what we must do. We have to make them a priority. We cannot give the best of who we are to our work and everyone else, only to bring home whats left for our family. We have to play games with our kids, go to their sporting events and dance recitals, do homework with them, wrestle with them, hug them and kiss them. We have to give them our time and attention. I think the best way I have ever heard it said is, “Kids spell love T-I-M-E.” That’s how they know we love them. By how much of our time we dedicate to them.
And finally it is a commitment of our emotions. Kids need to know that you are emotionally connected to them. They need to know that they can come to you, tell you what they are feeling or dealing with, and be able to count on you. If not for having all the answers, at least for having a place they can be vulnerable. Someone they can talk to who will not minimize their problems because they seem insignificant to an adult who thinks he has “real problems.” Someone who will listen, actually listen and maybe nothing more.
They have to see you hurt. They have to see you happy. They have to see you care for others. They have to see you sad for a loss. They have to see you struggle. If they don’t see this as they are growing, when these emotions and struggles confront them as adults, they will think there is something wrong with themselves. They will remember their dad didn’t have these emotions. Be an example. Be real. Be authentic with your kids.
We have so many great way to show the women we love how much we really care. There are so many opportunities everyday to do it. The great thing about this one is that it is like a two-for-one special. You show your kids love, and your wife feels loved too. If you are struggling in this department, spending time with your kids, recommit to it today. If you are already on top of it, set the goal higher. Do better than your best.