Dads, there is a secret to starting off your dad career right. Be a good husband. This is before kids prep and after kids transition. The way you treat your wife will be the most important example for your boys on how to treat women. It also teaches girls the way they should be treated by other boys/men.
The love you have for your children and wife is obviously different. However, both forms of love are able to simultaneously exist, loving both and all with your 100%. This is confusing to young people. However, I’m sure that the moms and dads reading this can relate. For the younger readers, let me assure you that you will get it in time. In the meantime, thanks for being here and having a desire to learn.
When I was teaching in the classroom, I spent a lot of time on relationships, especially the topic of marriage. The school was a private college prep academy. Many of the teachers including myself knew that there were real-life applications that these young people needed to be successful. It was obvious that so many kids in the public school system in our area were failing students. They were not graduating prepared.
Before you, public educators take out some stones to throw, let me acknowledge the overwhelming task that many of you face. I also wanted to re-iterate that my colleagues and I were stressing on the public school in our area that had been ranked as unsatisfactory by the ISD. I mean, it was really bad.
I had a bit of knowledge that I wanted these teens to know. I wasn’t really an expert but had learned a lot from failure in my first relationship, my parents being marriage enrichment counselors (oops), and some redemption that I had experienced in round 2. First of all. My wife (#2) and I were probably the worst suited for each other. We both had failed marriages, children with our X’s, and not a lot of maturities. To be perfectly honest it was a recipe for disaster and almost was. Then we found out the secret that made things click. Therefore, I wanted my students to have the knowledge prior to their diving into a committed relationship.
The first secret or step to success was that I needed to deal with myself first, not try to fix a relationship or another person. I needed to work on my own character, strength, wisdom, etc, and I wanted to make myself what my wife needed. I turned to a passage of scripture to remind me of how I was supposed to be, how I was supposed to love, and how I was to focus on being the best husband possible, so I could strive to be the best Dad possible.
The scripture was 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. I wanted to follow this as closely as possible. In my class, I read this to the students. Then, I put it on the board. I said, “ladies if your husband had these qualities, could imagine ever leaving a man that treated you this way?” “What about as a dad to your children?” ALL of them were on board. “That guy would be perfect, but he doesn’t exist”, one girl said. “Okay”, I said. “What if your man was committed to doing his best to meet all these descriptives every day? He won’t be perfect, but this is his goal and drive”. They were all on board.
Dads, your relationship with your wife is crucial. However, two imperfect people don’t make a match made in heaven. It must start with each of you getting your own act together and putting the other ahead of your own needs. This will plant a seed that will grow into a rich and healthy environment for your kids. This will make them feel safe, loved, and encouraged before you try to teach them anything.
My wife (#2) and I got off to a rough start. We had a lot of baggage. It took a lot of work to get to where we are today. It was not an issue of working for each other. It was an issue of both of us working on ourselves. This proved to be successful and served our children well. Start with yourself. Make yourself the man you should be. This will make you the husband you should be. When you are the husband you should be, it will have a huge effect on the lives of your kids. Be the best dad possible.