Tag Archives: help

What can you do with your kids that will help your wife love you?

IMG_3179Raising kids is A LOT of work.  Raising kids WELL is even more work.  It takes a lot of time, endless energy, good ideas, tons of patience, lots of prayer, and the grace of God to do so.

I am very blessed in this subject though.  Julia is an amazing mom!  Seriously…she is.  And it really makes my job easy!  She thinks of cool ways to teach things all the time that I would never think about.

So, one area that I struggle in is being passive as a parent.  I see the awesome things that Julia does and, to be honest, it’s easy to get lazy.  If Eli does that needs correcting, I know Julia is going to have a great way to address it and teach him something from it.  If he is upset about something from school, Julia is going to be there with some great comforting and will draw him out to get to the root of the issue.  So sometimes I get caught in this trap feeling like I don’t NEED to do anything.

I realize this is frustrating for her though.  No one wants to have to parent on their own.  It’s exhausting!  But, when I sit back and leave it to Julia to address all these things that come up, I’m forcing her to do all the work.  So, I have to make a conscious effort to be active at this.

When Eli speaks back to Julia, I try to step in and address it before she has a chance to.  When he interrupts someone when they’re talking, I try to talk to him about it.  When he is wandering around when he’s supposed to be getting ready for bed, I try to get him focused back on task.  Julia does all these things (and MUCH more).  But, I want him to hear from ME that it’s not ok.  I want BOTH of us to be teaching him these things.  I feel when parents are unified in the message they are teaching, it makes the message so much clearer and will be more effective.

So guys, if we want to show our wives that we love them, get on board with parenting.  This is very much a work in progress on my part.  Don’t let her shoulder the burden alone.  Talk with her about strategies of how to address things.  Talk about whatever phase your kids seem to be going through.  And make sure you’re engaging your child when the need arises.  I guarantee you she will appreciate it.

The googaly-eyed guy…I didn’t realize what I was teaching my son

FullSizeRender 2At Christmas time, we have a tradition of hiding a small ornament in the tree.  This started when I was young when my brothers and I would hide small elves.  Now, for our family we have a green googaly-eyed guy.  After it is hidden, other people try to find it.  If they find it, then THEY hide it…and so on.  One day, I hid the ornament and Eli was trying to find it, but he was having trouble.  After a minute of looking, he asked me to give him a clue.  I wanted him to have the satisfaction of finding it on his own, so I told him, “no clues, you need to find it on your own”.  He kept asking me (to no avail) and started getting frustrated that I wouldn’t help.  Eventually he was pouting standing in a corner facing the wall.  At this point, of course I can’t give in, which would reward bad behavior.  Soon after, he got out of his funk and promptly found the googaly man on his own.  He was excited that he found it and immediately forgot about his pouting from a minute earlier.

FullSizeRenderMy instinct as a parent in situations like this is to teach Eli how to do things on his own.  I tend to want to teach him to be self reliant and to not give up when things get difficult.  I feel there is a definite purpose and benefit in these concepts.   It is important for a man to be able to work hard and not throw in the towel just because of a failed attempt out of the gate or if something takes a little longer than expected.

However, after the tree hiding incident was over, Julia had an interesting thought…which really got me thinking.  By refusing to help Eli when he asked, I am actually reinforcing the concept that he SHOULDN’T ask for help.  In addition to the arguably “good” things I mentioned above, I am also teaching him that he doesn’t NEED help.  I am subtly teaching him that all he needs in life is to rely on his own brains and his own strength to be able to accomplish something.  

Wow, I didn’t think about that!  But that is NOT what I want him to learn.  Sure, it’s nice to be smart and strong and determined.  But, even more than those things, I want Eli to grow up to be a man who knows how to work with others.  I want him to be someone who knows his strengths and weaknesses.  I want him to actively pursue asking for help as a way for both HIM to be more effective and as a way to encourage and promote the strengths and abilities of other people.

This also has huge spiritual implications.  As a follower of Christ, the LAST thing I want Eli to learn is how to rely on himself to get things done.  One of the biggest deterrents to following Jesus is when you think you don’t need help.  If you feel you can do it all on your own, and you’ve been raised to never ask for help, then it will be very difficult for your faith in Christ to be real, active, and powerful.  

What Eli was doing was actually quite commendable.  His goal was to find the ornament.  So, after a minute of looking on his own, he went straight to the source of knowledge (the person who hid it) to ask for help.  What if I took a page from Eli’s book?  When I’m struggling in life, how often do I wallow trying to push through and figure things out on my own?!  What if I went straight to the source of knowledge (God) after a “minute of looking” and asked him to help?!

But now what do I do!  As a parent, I don’t want to coddle to his every need and request.  There still is something to be said for teaching him how to work hard and persevere.  But, I want to find a way to do that without squelching his desire to ask for help.  This is a tough balance.  I don’t have the answers, but nevertheless, it is a good thing to keep in mind.  I will continue to pray that God will help me to raise him as best as I can, and to show me what to teach him.

My challenge to you:

Think about what you’re teaching your kids.  Figure out what traits you ultimately want your kids to have as men or women, and make sure the things you teach them point them in that direction.  And most importantly, make sure to rely on God to HELP YOU in this task.

Don’t steal your wife’s chance to show her awesomeness…yeah, Julia brought it!

EXHAUSTED after the finish.  What a day! - Version 2Last weekend, I participated in a Crossfit competition at the gym we go to.  I love Crossfit, but to be honest, my skill level doesn’t match my excitement…at least compared to a lot of guys.  So, my plan was to just have fun and do my best.  Well, I ended up doing much better than I expected and placed in the top 8 after the 3 workouts to make it to the finals.  I (not so secretly) hoped I wouldn’t make it because I was EXHAUSTED, and the last workout was going to be tough.  Julia and Eli were there.  They had come to cheer for me.  Even though I was tired, I went through the final workout doing my best.  About 2/3rds of the way through it I realized there were only 2 guys in front of me.  By this time, my wife was going CRAZY! (in a good way)  She (along with a lot of other people) was yelling as loud as she could, cheering for me.  Another guy passed me near the end, but I passed him back at the finish to take 3rd place by just a few seconds.  There were a lot of people cheering, but the only person I could hear was Julia.  I was filled with so much joy from how happy and proud she was of me.  It was a really awesome moment.

1979590_10152367616064328_7368996499057244573_nLater that day, I was pretty worthless.  I spent most of the afternoon and evening with my legs propped up on the couch, drinking water, taking advil, or soaking in an epsom salt bath.  And during this time Julia was AMAZING!  She made sure I was ok and brought me whatever I needed.  She was always on top of preventing me from doing anything that wasn’t necessary and letting me take it easy as much as I could.  Let me tell you…it was AWESOME.  I felt so loved by her.  The way she was so proud of me all day, and the way she took care of my needs made me feel so great.

There were a couple moments during that day where I had to make decisions.  And had I made them differently, my day wouldn’t have been nearly as great.  In the morning, Julia asked me if I wanted her to come cheer for me.  The obvious answer is YES, of course I do, but for some reason I have a tough time saying that.  I know she just wants to know what my desires are, but I don’t like feeling like I’m telling her what to do.  I feel if I say “yes, I want you there”, then she may just come out of obligation.  If she has other things she wants to do, I want her to feel free to do them.  I told her that it would be fun if she came, but she didn’t HAVE to.  Well, of course she did come and I was SO glad she did.  The competition wouldn’t have been NEARLY as rewarding if she hadn’t been there to cheer for me and us to experience the excitement together.

The other time was when we were at home.  I generally try my best to one-up Julia in doing things at home, so it’s tough for me to let her do things FOR me.  And its also tough for me to ask for help…or even realize when I need it.  Once I realized that I could use the help, and I didn’t have to tough it out, all I had to do was let her know.  And, I have to say…the way she was so happy to give me a chance to relax and cater to my every need was…the best…ever.  I really needed it and she loved to help.

Last Saturday was one of the most enjoyable days I’ve had in a very long time.  I was proud of how I did in the competition, but even more so, I was so happy for Julia and I to have been able to share the experience.  And then to be able to experience the love she had for me the rest of the day was truly a blessing.

So…what does this have to do with being a loving husband?  Sometimes the best way to love your wife, is to give her the chance to love you, support you, be proud of you, and take care of you.  It is ok to tell her what you want.  It is ok to let her take care of you.  A relationship is a two way street.  Don’t steal your wife’s opportunity to bless you.