It wasn’t intentional, it wasn’t planned or premeditated. It’s something that just happened. I had to do it. Every good mother has done exactly what I did. Every mother-to-be will do it too, even if she doesn’t want to do it and vows she won’t do it…she will!!
I used to ignore the comments that exposed my actions, because I had good reasons for doing what I was doing. Lately the hints are getting louder, more direct, harder to ignore. Now What? Do I continue as I have for the past 10 years? Or, do I change without saying a word…hoping my new behavior will be noticed.
Yes, I’m guilty as charge! For the past ten years I’ve been putting the needs of my son before the needs and desires of my husband. I justified this behavior by telling myself our son is young and can’t do things for himself, and my husband can. Our son is now ten and I think my husband wants to be a priority again. I want to make him a priority again too, but old habits die hard.
19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.
Last week when I saw James putting clothes in the washing machine he jokingly said, “Daddy can’t even find clean t-shirts in his drawer, but the boy always has clean clothes to wear.” Yes, that was a true statement because I’m in and out of the boy’s drawers every day, and not daddy’s. So, if he doesn’t let me know he’s low on t-shirts, I may not wash a load of white clothes until the boy needs something. No matter how you look at it, daddy was right. The boy always has the right clothes clean. I make sure we don’t run out of his favorite cereal, fruit, juice, cookies, etc.
On the other hand, we often run out of daddy’s favorite tea, crackers, lunch meat and ice cream. This is because I make the boys lunch 5 days and week and I make sure he eats a good breakfast daily and he can’t go to the store by himself. On the other hand, daddy takes care of his own breakfast and lunch and can stop by the store to get whatever he wants or needs if we’re out of it.
My behavior wasn’t a conscious decision, it started because our son had needs he couldn’t meet on his own. Then it became an ingrained habit, because I had been doing it for so long. I did it naturally without even giving it a second thought.
Since the washing machine incident, I have been thinking more about what daddy may need or want. I’m intentionally making him a priority. When I went to the store last week, I got a few things I knew he needed or would like to have. He noticed right away and was so grateful. To my surprise, I feel like I’m back on his priority list too. He’s been more attentive and affectionate…who knew. Maybe that’s why our sons are so attentive towards us. We’re meeting their needs and making them a priority every day.
For the past few weeks, I’ve continued to treat my husband as good as I treat my son. I ask him what he’d like for dinner, rather than just give him what I’ve decided we’re having. I offer him a special treat after dinner, rather than just ask our son and let daddy get whatever he wants for himself. Surprisingly, daddy has continued to be more attentive and affectionate. He even has more words to say in the evening and we’re having conversations about topics other than our son. It’s odd, but he doesn’t usually have an opinion about what he wants for dinner and he usually doesn’t even want a treat later in the evening. However, I think he appreciates being considered and respected in his home…I get that.
Ephesians 5:33 (NIV)
33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Needless to say, daddy is still on my priority list as I continue to develop this new habit, that I pray will become ingrained. Hopefully, I’ll begin to consider daddy’s needs automatically, without giving it a second thought. As a result, I’m being blessed because of my obedience to the Lord, I haven’t asked James for more attention or affection. However, God knew I wanted it, God knew I needed it. That’s how He designed me and this is how He designed marriages to work and to last.
Lord, you are good and your mercies endure forever and I praise you because they are new every morning. Thank you for your grace and your unconditional love for me. Thank you for helping me finally see the error of my ways and for giving me a willing heart to change. Thank you for blessing my marriage and my family. Help me to continue to make James a priority and to make him feel respected in our home, Amen!