One of the greatest benefits of selflessness in a marriage is the example it gives to others. When those others are living in the house with you, share your last name, and look like the both of you (aka your children) the impression is far greater than we can imagine.
Here’s a fact. Children will grow up, and if they marry, they will choose someone exactly like their father (boys) or mother (girls). I have seen this trend almost without exception. Even in the case where the father was absent. I blame traits passed on from mother to daughter in that case. If mom picked badly, daughter will learn that from mom.
If we want our kids to have a great marriage, we’ve got to model it for them. Dads… want your daughter to choose a great guy? Be a great man! What your son to learn how to treat his wife? Model that behavior by treating his mother with respect (and demanding he do the same).
Seems like a lot of work. Not really. If we can focus on being selfless, sacrificial spouses, as the Bible says, “All these things will be added unto you.” Being a great natural example is a side-effect of a great marriage.
Men, when we love our wives properly, we’re teaching our sons how to do it and our daughters what to demand. Wives, when you love your husband properly you’re teaching your sons that inner goodness is rewarded, not an outward image and your daughters that a lasting love is the only thing worth giving herself to.
Comments? Feedback? Is anyone even reading this crizzle? Leave a comment for the love!
There was once a Farmer. A foolish man indeed.
He was angry at his crops for staying in their seeds.
He needed food so badly; himself, his wife, and daughter.
The plants refused to grow so he refused them any water.
— James Kennison
I wrote that up to illustrate how the Golden Rule applies to marriage. Firstly, what is the Golden Rule? Do to others what you would have them do to you. Or you could say, treat others how you want to be treated. In the context of marriage you’d say, love your spouse the way you want them to love you.
How many spouses who need to be loved by a husband or wife are like that Farmer? Like the Farmer wants food from a plant he won’t water, they hold back their love and will only give it on the condition that their spouse loves them first. Our goal may be to show a spouse it feels… to give them a taste of their own medicine… but in doing so we’re actually robbing them of the resources they need to even consider giving love in the first place.
If you’ve been holding back hoping to show a souse how it feels… consider changing your tactic and incorporating the Golden Rule into your relationship. Give before it’s given. Treat the other how they should be treating you. Love them how you want to be loved by them. It’ll take time to see the results, just like a seed takes time to grow and produce fruit. Just don’t expect fruit from a seed you won’t water.
A wise man once said, “At first a kid will do what you say… but then they’ll do what you do.” A scary thought huh. It means that properly raising your child is more than modifying bad habits and behaviors in your child… it’s also becoming the person you want you child to become yourself.
I think this is why so many parents aren’t properly disciplining their children these days. They feel hypocritical correcting behavior in their children that they aren’t controlling in themselves.
It’s also the reason so many teens become super rebellious. They see an inconsistency between what they’ve always been told and how their parents have lived their lives. They lose respect for their authority figures and use it as an excuse to do their own thing their way.
Another wise man once presented me with a concept that change my life. He asked me about the condition of my life. My habits, my thought life and the condition of my spirit. I told him I was fine with all three. Then he asked me if I would wish any of the three on another person that I cared about. In that exact moment I realized that no part of my life was worth duplicating. I committed to improving myself physically, mentally and spiritually and it’s a good thing… because within a few years I was having my own children. Little lives that I was responsible for. Little personalities that were being shaped by my attitudes, outlooks and habits.
Ask yourself that question: “Is my life worth duplicating in my children?” And respond accordingly.