Saturday, April 25, 2009

Leading By Example

Recently my 6th grade daughter and I were having a conversation about one of her friends from school. It was kind of a sad story, how her friend was trying to wake her dad up, so he could take her to school. It was something like 7:30 and school starts at 7:45 am. His response was to wake him up in 5 minutes but she kept trying to tell him that school starts in 15 minutes. He finally snapped at her, “Then take the city bus!” It was a good opportunity to share with my daughter that not every family is a healthy one. I also used it as an opportunity to help her appreciate her own father. She is just entering into those sometimes volatile years as a young teen and recently things have been tense between her and dad. Their relationship is changing and I think they are both just trying to figure it all out and find their footing in it.

As I spent some time trying to point out all of his good qualities—because unfortunately at times she only sees the things she doesn’t like, I began to feel a little convicted. Here I was preaching to her about the way she should appreciate her father but I had this nagging question in my heart, “Am I doing the same?” “Am I appreciating my husband and showing that example to my daughter?”

You know, it’s behind closed doors, when the world isn’t watching, that we allow our true selves to be seen. Unfortunately, at times I can be quick to point out a fault in my husband, or even roll my eyes when he says something I think is stupid. No, it’s not nice but I’m just being truthful. I think we all have our moments where we would like to keep it all behind closed doors. We wouldn’t want the world to see some of behavior, hear some of our responses or even worse, know our thoughts. But much of this is right out there for our children to see. How we treat our husbands speaks greatly to our children. It could even possibly affect the way they treat their father.

Perhaps you have seen a sitcom or some type of show where the wife “wears the pants,” so to speak. Or she may treat her husband like dirt. Most of the time the children of that family treat him the same way. They have no respect for him because it has not been modeled. If I say to my child, “Don’t speak that way to your father,” I need to consider if I have led them by example.

I think we all need to show more appreciation for our husbands. The more we value them, the more our children will do the same. If you are tearing your boss down at work, pretty soon your co-workers will join in. The same is true in a family. We must be encouraging, supporting and lifting one another up. We need to remember that we are serving as an example before our children. I think it’s time I call my husband up and tell him how much I love and appreciate him…

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