Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Turning their hearts..

Talking with an old friend last week, I was reminded of some of the wisdom given to us during our emerging years.

That advice, simply put-- was to help turn the hearts of the fathers toward their children.

The last verse of the Old testament is where that verse is.  Do you remember it?

And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers...  (Mal 4:5)

So, why am I-- a wife and mother, concerned about this verse?  After all, it has nothing to do with me.  It's all about the fathers and children.

And then it occurred to me.  Mothers are the link between fathers and children!!

Mothers aren't even mentioned in this verse, and yet so much is assumed.  It is assumed that mothers and children are connected.  And it is assumed that wives and husbands are connected.  The hard connection to make is the father and child connection.

And we all know it is a rare dad who can "automatically connect" with his children, especially when they are young.  I don't know about you, but my kids cried when they had to leave me for any reason.  Moms are the food source, the comfort source, the oil, if you will, of a very delicate balance of family happiness.

And yet, the Scripture more than suggests that this would be pleasing to God if the fathers and children were somehow connected-- a heartfelt connection..even.

And I am speaking to you out of the frustration of my own heart when I say that I have failed on so many venues to do this well.  And despite my failures and the difficult circumstances which have, at times, made it impossible to help my husband and children to truly connect, here are some rough ideas of what we are trying to do (ever so imperfectly) to make this happen.

And even before I write a list, I feel that an entire book could be written on this subject.  Simply put, there are so many circumstances, so many various ways to connect the dads and children that rather than look at this list as a "to do" list, look at the list as a creative "can do" idea list.  There is no right way, but there are many good ways.

1) Love your husband.  I've been told that in a man's world, love means respect.  Respect means love. If we are to help make two people make connections, we must first be connected to each one of them individually.  If you have married someone with whom you've lost respect for, respect him in any way you can.  And get help for the marriage.  Figure out the love language thing.  And when you figure it out, please help me too.  LOL.    I've been told that the best thing you can do for your children is improve your marriage.

I do have a funny story related to this.  (Yes.  I have to break into all of this gushy seriousness with my antics..)

So, when our oldest son left for college a few years ago, he was exposed to a lot of things for the first time.  And you try to prepare your kids for just about anything, but there are always a few things that throw you and the kid off guard.  For example, why are there two meetings in the church that are one after the other that are exactly the same? (like a first service and a second service)  Well, that was resolved rather quickly.  But another issue that came up was that he was exposed to the difficulties of some of his classmates were having over a broken marriage.  So, we get this call one day.

"Mom, Dad, thank you for not getting a divorce"

"uh.. your.. welcome?"... ???

And he proceeded to tell me about the problems that divorce causes and how it affects the children. etc.

Oh.  I get it.  So, I replied (over the phone)

"Yes, honey.  Not only are we not getting a divorce, but we are planning a big anniversary cruise... all for your benefit..  It's all so that YOU can feel secure.  Isn't that nice of us?"

So, the next time you feel guilt about spending the time and money to get away together, just remember-- you are investing in your children's happiness.  It's all about them.

Couples NEED to spend time alone together without the children.

And I am not sure how this works out in your particular life.  A trusted friend, a babysitter, a relative can watch the children  or in some extreme circumstances, getting up at 4:00 a.m. to spend time together.  (No, I do not do this.  But a friend of mine, who is a mother of 8 children does this every day)

If my husband tried to wake me up at 4:00 a.m., he'd better have plane tickets to Australia in his hand cuz that's the only reason to get up that early in my book.  just 'sayin.

Well, so much for a book.  I've barely gotten through the first idea.  Would you like more on this?


Bernadette Veenstra said...

Absolutely would like more!!!

Mrs. Santos said...

Yes. More please.

Jenny P. said...

I would love more :) And, you should write a for real book. You know, in all that free time you have ;)

Herding Grasshoppers said...

yes! good stuff :D


Jena Webber said...

AWesome, Ladies. I'll get right ON that book. Thanks for the encouragement.

The dB family said...

Yes, please!