3 Simple Habits We Have Adopted in our House to Honor Mom All Year

When I was a little boy I said something hurtful to my grandmother. A few moments later I saw the angriest version of my grandfather I had ever seen. It was just a conversation but I listened, as through tears of righteous anger, he let me know that was his wife that I had just insulted and he wouldn’t stand for it. The message was clear, “grandma was precious to him and she would be treated as such by me!” Somehow when he stood up for grandma, he had raised the level of respect in my heart for both of them.

I learned that day that husbands have a big influence in the way that their wives are viewed by their children.

I have another set of grandparents where my grandfather was an alcoholic and often verbally abusive and pushy towards his wife. I regret that as a child I did not regard this grandmother with as much honor and respect. My grandfather took her for granted and I’m ashamed to think that I did too as a child.

There came a point where I decided that I wanted to be more like my grandfather who was jealous (in a good way) for his wife and less like the grandfather who quite frankly mistreated his wife. I wanted something better for my marriage and for my children. So over the years I’ve adopted 3 simple habits and hope to adopt more to honor my wife in our home and in front of our children. 

Simple Habit #1: The first thing I did was I got the door for her. I know it’s a small thing, but for me it’s a heart thing. It’s one small way that I can demonstrate my love for her. My wife is very capable of getting her own door, but this is a simple way to honor her. My kids see this and think it’s normal. When my son was about four he walked one of the students from our youth group to her car and “got the door for her.” I want them to always think this way about their mother and about me. Small habits can sometimes teach big lessons.

Habit #2: I gossip about the goodness of my wife to our kids. From the time they were little they have heard me say, “you have got the best mom in the whole world! You need to honor her! God gave you an incredible mom!” When they were younger I would remind them about how she fed them, and clothed them and looked after their needs. I made it a point for them to know that I am truly their mom’s biggest fan. I go as far as to let them know that while I love them and want to be the best for them, that I love their mother most and I illustrate this by talking positively about her to them even behind her back!

Habit #3: The “Every Day is Mother’s Day” Motto. My wife truly does a lot, she’s not the kind of person you have to motivate, but the kind you have to slow down. She is very independent and will do everything rather than ask for help. So with the baby on the way we made a new rule in our house: “every day is Mother’s Day.” I love what this simple motto has done and is doing for both our children and my wife. It reminds my kids that they don’t need to be invited to do something like help their mother, but they can jump in and serve her like it is Mother’s Day. I also love watching my wife have to take a step back sometimes and let us help.  The other day I asked my son to do something to help his mom and he started to complain (he wanted to hang out with me) and so I simply reminded him that “Every day is Mother’s Day” and he stopped complaining and went right over and started helping his mom! He’s catching the vision.

What about you? What sort of things do you do in your house to honor mom all year long? We are always looking for more ideas!

 

How to Raise a Daughter: 15 Small Steps for Dad’s that Make Difference in the Lives of Their Daughters

 Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.  (2)  It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.  (3)  Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.  (4)  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.  (5)  Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. – Psalm 127

 

Children are like arrows, they have to be aimed and let go. Below are a few practices that I have set out to keep up with my daughter that take very little time, but will shape her whole life and prepare her for the future.  I’m not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I am intentional.  I hope this list provokes your thoughts on the simple things we do as parents and how they can make a world of difference for your children.

1. Tell her you love her every day of your life (say it multiple times and in multiple ways each day)

2. Teach her that character, not make-up brings out her true beauty.

3. Tell her everything special that you like about her mom on a regular basis (especially in regards to her character)

4. Teach her to give her best effort on every project

5. Tell her you are proud of her (and highlight the things you are proud of, especially when you know she gave her best effort).

6. Give her a hug everyday (even in the teenage years when things get a little awkward and you realize that she’s closer to being a woman than a little girl).

7. Tell her that she is beautiful (just like her mom… give her a womanly role model worthy of emulation and affirm her mother in front of her often).

8. Teach her to be thankful for everything (Thank God for simple pleasures like apples and other fruit that God gave us for our pleasure).

9. Give her responsibility and hold her accountable (nothing says love like trust, expectation, and a little help along the way).

10. Hit Pause on the Disney shows and talk about real life issues (though “family friendly,” most kids shows are centered on someone telling a lie, a weak or non-existent father character, and kids running the show… you are your daughters filter, but you won’t always be… help her discern truth for error even in her entertainment options).

11. Pray for her everyday of your life.

12. Pray with her every day. (and let her hear you pray for her)

13. Teach her to pray.

14. Read the Bible together every day. (Starting with a reliable Story Bible and working into a good translation. Start reading to her and then work into her reading to you, especially if she is younger.)

15. Memorize scripture and Spiritual questions and answers together often (at lease weekly).

 

3 Things You Should Know About My Mom

I haven’t always been the best son.  I have a better mom than I deserve.  She has been and continues to be a great mom.  I’m all grown up now, but I will never miss a chance to get one of her hugs.  Next to my dad she has had more influence on my life than anyone else.  There are 3 things she does with her influence that radically shapes my life.

1. She Prays for Me

Growing up I remember that she prayed for me in family devotional time.  I also remember passing by my parents room and hearing my parents pray for all of us children.  I remember as a teenager coming home drunk one night and passing by her room and hearing her call out to God on my behalf.  One time she got with some ladies and asked God to birth a desire in me and provide a way for me to go back to school (and He did). I wasn’t there, but I’m sure my mom prayed for me before I was born (maybe even before I was conceived).  I believe God answers prayers, I’ve seen Him answer my mothers time and time again.  I am thankful for a mother who asked God for me and clung to promises when I was in the midst of rebellion.  I haven’t always been the best son.

2. She leads me to love the Bible

I remember a kids devotional book with a raccoon on the front (I don’t have a clue why a raccoon was on a kids devotional book).  My mom made sure that in addition to our family devotional time that I began to develop a daily time in Gods word through the aide of this little book.  Later it would be the purchase of an “encounter” teen bible complete with devotionals in the back.  It was in this Bible that I would first document that I thought God might be calling me into ministry.

Beyond equiping me, she was in God’s word every morning too.  Often getting up early to read the bible and do her woman’s devotionals.  I remember several mornings waking up to use the bathroom and find my mom in the living room spending time reading her bible.  I knew she wanted me to get in the habit of reading God’s Word because she was in the habit.  I have a better mom than I deserve.

3. She speaks truth

Several times my mother has spoken with a prophet’s voice in my life.  The time I remember the most was the 16 hour car ride down to college.  She knew I was going into student ministry and took a moment to challenge me.  She said, “Jon, there are a lot of student ministries that are built around games and just hanging out, don’t lead one of those student ministries.  You teach the word.  Love people enough to tell them about Jesus.”  I really took her advice and a study of God’s word is what ultimately brought me to my own true conversion and trust in Christ.

I can imagine that there were countless times as I was growing up that my mom was biting her lip wondering If I would get it.  If I would really listen.  If I would receive the blessings she was giving me.  I am sure there were times that she felt like she was defeated.  I was a very strong willed child.  But she has always had the last say.  Her words even now hang in the air and influence me long after she has said them.  She has been and continues to be a great mom.

She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: (Proverbs 31:26-28 ESV)