I grew up with 2 brothers and we had a lot of fun as kids. One thing that was great about growing up was learning from my dad. He was silly. He liked to have fun with us. He helped us catch snakes. He loved taking us camping, hiking, and exploring. He taught us about budgeting and how to be financially responsible. He was solid in his knowledge of the Bible and taught us well about growing up to be godly men. I was very blessed to see a model of what being an AMAZING father looked like, and I feel that much of what is good about my role as a father now, I learned from his example.
Several years ago, something else happened that left an impression on me. After my younger brother went off to college, my parents were left with an empty nest. Rather than become “roommates” living in a house together without kids, my dad stepped up who he was as a husband to my mom. He was afraid they wouldn’t have things to talk about. They started doing an anniversary journal (like the one I wrote about earlier), and he wasn’t satisfied with the content he was able to fill it with. So because of this, he decided to be intentional about making a change in their marriage.
They set goals together for their marriage. He started to learn more about himself…understanding more about his feelings and how who he is now was shaped by his past experiences. He was able to open up and share more with my mom on a personal level. He initiated them reading together and studying the Bible together. He took dance lessons with her. He made sure to take dates with her on a regular basis. And he became very intentional about finding ways to serve her…like doing things around the house that he never did in the past.
I’ve seen such a change in him during this time. It has been so inspiring to me to see it, and I feel challenged to know that it is never too late to make changes in life. If my dad can make a huge difference in who he is as a husband after 30 years of marriage, then I’m sure anyone with a desire and will to do it can too.
My challenge to you:
If you don’t feel you are an ideal husband (or father, or worker, or friend, or follower of Christ, or whatever…), it doesn’t matter where you are in life, you can make a change starting NOW. Show your wife you love her. Don’t settle for what you’ve always done. If you’ve settled into a comfortable routine consisting of mediocre affection and selfishness, it’s time to step up your game. If you can make your wife say, “wow, who is this man and what have you done to my husband?!”, then you’re on the right track!