Friday, January 15, 2010

Father Knows Best

I was lying in bed this morning, around 5:30 (I know, its weird) and just thinking. I don't know why, but my mind went to a memory of several years ago and this is where that thought path led...

When I was still in school, in one of our child development classes, we discussed signs of abuse and how to prevent abuse. The "red flag" warning sign that really stuck in my mind (because I'd never thought of it before) was this: if the father of a family comes to every function, every school event, parent/teacher meeting, etc....its most likely a sign that there is abuse in the family somewhere. It is most likely either an emotional abuse or a physical abuse of the mother. The reasoning behind this is that the father makes sure he is always around so the mother doesn't have a chance to tell anyone anything in confidence and give away his dirty secret.

At the time I was taking that class, I was not married. Tony and I were dating, but not yet married. I had to stop and think about this "red flag" and I guess it made sense, though sad.

So now, we've been married almost 7 years (this month!) and it occurs to me, that by that particular line of reasoning, our family would be a "red flag" family! Tony goes everywhere with us! During the short time our kids were in public school, he went to every meeting and function. Every time we go to the doctor, we both go. We go everywhere together - grocery shopping, clothes shopping, park, zoo, everywhere. He always comes. And that is supposed to be a red flag.

Well, not in this family, folks. Its just a sign that we snagged a great guy who actually cares about his children and enjoys being with them!

I was reading the other day, not sure which book it was in (I have so many right now!) and there was a section about "submission" to your husband. As wives should submit to their husbands, so children should submit to their parents, and we all should submit to God. I know so many people (women) have a problem with that concept, but they just don't understand the actual meaning of that command. This book put it in a way that I really liked, it said that "submission" means to place yourself under the protection and provision of someone else. Now I don't know about you, but I'm perfectly happy to be protected and provided for. The Bible also, in that same chapter, says that husbands are to "love your wives as Christ loved the church". Like we love our children! It is wise for them to submit to us, and for us to submit to our husbands, because there is an unconditional love at work there. My husband will only do what he thinks is best for me and our family because he truly loves us. We will only do what is best for our kids because we truly love them. I actually asked to have to have the phrase "honor and obey" put back INTO my marriage vows because I felt so strongly about this.

Over the years, you would be amazed at how many people, random strangers in public places, have approached our family to comment on happy we seem, how wonderful/smart/sweet/polite our kids are, even sometimes when Tony and I are out alone, on how happy and truly in love we seem. The most memorable of these times, to me, was one day, oh, about a year ago maybe. We had gone to WalMart to buy groceries. Just as we got inside, Jake decided he was going to have a tantrum over something. He kept trying to run away from me. Tony stepped in and got down on Jake's level and gave him a "talking-to" and told him he would get a spanking if he didn't stop acting ugly. Jake pouted a little but obeyed. Tony then took the kids over to the toy section to look around while I got started on the groceries.

As they walked away, a lady who had been standing nearby approached me. "Was that your husband?" she asked me. Caught off guard, I gave a cautious, "Yes." She said she'd been watching how he dealt with our little boy. Oh boy, I thought, she's going to go off on us for saying we'd spank our kids. But no...she said, "I didn't want to say it in front of your kids, but you tell your husband...Bravo!" I was shocked. "It's so rare to see men being fathers these days," she said, "Stepping and dealing with things the right way. He did great. He must be a wonderful man."

I just nodded my head, still sort of in blank amazement, and agreed with her that, yes, we thought he was wonderful too. "You tell him I said it," she repeated, "Tell him I said Bravo..." I agreed that yes, I would certainly tell him, and we left our conversation with a mutual "God bless you!"

I walked around Walmart with a stupid smile on my face, on top of the world, because, yep, I do have a great guy for a husband. He's the most wonderful husband AND father. You know, the word "husband" comes from the old Saxon "house-band", the person who holds the home and family together. And I'm perfectly happy to let him fill that role of husband, protector, and provider, to all its Biblical fullness.

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