Encouraging Your Husband as a Father.
It brings an abundance of joy to watch my husband with our son. There is such an innocence in the way that they interact. They say that, for most women, the minute that they give birth they are instantly filled with those natural motherly instincts, both inside and out. For fathers, this process is begun differently. I distinctly remember Justin telling me that Elijah was “just too small”. Of course, he didn’t mean that Elijah was a preemie. He meant that he didn’t know how to hold him, and he didn’t want to hurt him. He was cautious and nervous. Although he was an incredible father from the get-go, he always remarked that he was looking forward to when he could play with Elijah. Those days are now upon us, and I can see how Justin has flourished as a father. He was completely smitten with our little one back in the newborn days, but the bonding process took longer for him.
Parenthood is challenging, and in completely different ways for everyone. In most cases, these areas are tougher for men to conquer, and that is only natural since God created women with an inherent desire to love and nurture. Men, on the other hand, were built with an innate desire to be respected and affirmed. Part of being a wife is finding ways to support and encourage your husband in all areas. It is our role, as “the nurturer”, to find the right words to feed our husband’s soul, draw him closer, and esteem him in a special way that only his wife can!
Some men instantly become a Super-dad extraordinaire but others struggle with exactly what it means to be a dad.
So how can you, as a wife, encourage the father in your husband?
Build Him Up
When your husband is not around, talk about how great he is. Remind the children of all the things that he does for you and them. Encourage the children to appreciate him, especially if he is not around during the day. In doing this, you’re helping nurture and encourage a relationship that will be pivotal in your child’s development. By showing them that you respect and love him, the children with take on these feelings too. What good is his role as leader of the family if you are not teaching the children to respect him? The same applies when you are talking directly to your husband. Compliment him when you notice him being a great dad, and be cautious with your words when he’s struggling. There is a time and place for everything, and pointing out your husbands faults in front of the children is both damaging to his soul, and your relationship.
If your husband struggles with knowing exactly what to do with the kids, try to give him specific ways that he can bond or spend time with them. Dads don’t always come with an innate sense of what to do with their children, especially when they’re tiny babies and don’t do much more than sleep and eat. If your husband seems a little unsure of what to do, give him some ideas. Giving your husband ideas for spending time with your child can help initiate quality father-child time. Your husband needs to know that his calling as a parent is just as important – and needed – as yours.
When your husband makes a decision surrounding of the discipline your kids, support him. This one can be a difficult, especially if you one of you is stricter than the other. Back him up anyway, and if you disagree with the way that he has done something, then wait for the right time to discuss it with him about it later, when you’re alone as a couple. The quickest way for a child to lose respect for a parent is when the other parent’s actions or words indicate that parent’s authority doesn’t count as much.
Give him Time to Wind Down
I remember when Elijah was a wee little one, and Justin would come home from work just before, what we liked to call, the “witching hour”. The poor guy had just worked a full day, but I had been at home with a screaming gassy/ teething/ sick baby, and all I needed was a break. The moment he walked in the door, I wanted to hand everything over to him and run to my room, curl up in the fetal position, and enjoy a moment of peace. The truth is that no matter how rough your day has been, giving your husband a few minutes to unwind and settled in peacefully at home, will lead to him being much more willing to jump in and help. I think of it this way… How would I want to be approached when I arrive home after a long day of work?
Pray for him
Tips like these can be a huge help, but ultimately the true motivation for your husband to be a great father will come from his Father in Heaven. Pray for encouragement, wisdom and confidence for Dad. Even though, as parents, you share the responsibility of raising the children, the truth is that a wife looks to her husband, so essentially, it all rests on Dad. This can be a daunting thought for him, so help him along. He needs to be lifted up in prayer. Pray that the Lord equips him to lead your family in a Godly manner.