April 17, 2011

The Best Gift Dad Can Give His Child

There are many things we seek to give our children, food, clothing, an education, a home, love and protection from danger to name a few.  For dads however, we tend to get more intently focused on providing the money for all of the above needs figuring out how to get ahead in life and working-out the details of funding the family and all their pursuits.  But, THE most important thing we can support is the thing which most often gets sacrificed at the alter of the above list - your wife.

Our wives are the heartbeat of the homes, it seems as if the climate of the home has a direct link to their current emotional state.  If mom is happy and and enjoying the rhythms of life, then the home is nearly heaven on earth.  If mom is distressed about life, family, herself, etc. then everyone is impacted. 

Enjoying some rare boating time
 Considering this I've written down a few things I feel help my wife stay in rhythm more frequently.

Regular Devotional Time - first things first, lay the big rocks down then the small rocks can fit.  Enjoying a regular devotional time (usually in the mornings) is my wife's greatest mental and emotional health treatment.  My role in this is to help make this time quiet and peaceful (to the extent possible), making sure the children know they they are only allowed to read and not play while she's in her zone.

Exercise Time - my wife really enjoys having a fitness regime.  Clearly this is healthy for her body, but the endorphins released in her body lift her mind also.  I help in this by tag-teaming childcare and staying tuned-in if she's off her schedule, helping her get back on track.

Learn Her Love Language - If you want to go to Germany you would likely learn some German.  Relationships have a language also and while I'm still figuring this out after 21 years of marriage, I know practicing her language (which I think are "words of affirmation" & "quality time") is important.  So I'll simply recommend the book to you, the website is here - 5 Love Languages.

Be Strategic versus Reactive - Your marriage is the greatest investment of time, treasure and talent that you will make in your lifetime.  Some guys spend way more time researching the best mutual funds for their money than they will ever spend reading books on marriage or attending a marriage seminar, of course until it's too late. 

No doubt, the only way I picked up on most of this is by making big mistakes or learning from others mistakes.  No guy ever "arrives" at any of the above, it's a continual journey fraught with setbacks and detours but well it's worth the investment. 
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