Brody wrote a Father's Day card to his Daddy this week. He scribbled the words, "You are my Hero," and my heart melted.
How my husband longs to be a Hero to his sons. But like many husbands and fathers around us, whom we know and love, ours is busy tending to the cares of this busy life for our family. He wakes up early, works hard without complaint, desires to balance incoming work calls with sanctified family time, and keeps his friendship with me a priority. It's not easy, and the pressures can weigh him down and steal his joy. I've found that in times when he has grown weary I can judge his servant heart and find fault with him. This, however, does not bless him, the children, or me.
I've been inspired this past year, to figure out ways to make him the Hero of our home when he is spread too thin to plan his own heroic deeds. IN our own love-relationship, when weeks (or months) fly by with no date, I take matters into my own hands and schedule a babysitter, find a movie and a restaurant, and then let HIM TAKE ME OUT! And then I THANK HIM, as though it were all his doing. And then, when we come home... I THANK HIM AGAIN (wink wink). And by the time we fall asleep in each other's arms, he's my Hero once again. And most importantly he feels like it.
Then the next morning he wakes up connected to me, rather than stretched in too many directions at once, even if he is being so pulled.
I've learned to apply this same Hero-making practice in my husband's relationships with our children as well. Initiating an overnight camping trip with just Dad and his eldest; a one-on-one afternoon at Legoland with his Rollercoaster-Loving-Middle-Child; or a trip to Home Depot in the Old Scout with his littlest-man. Laying out the family devotionals at the dinner table and telling the children that Daddy has a story to read is another way to build him up in their eyes. Picking up novels and movies of great courage for them to enjoy together also ties binds between the boys and their Dad. Yes, they think he hung the moon when they get this type of attention from their Hero-Father.
But the truth of the matter is that their Hero is often too busy to act like their Hero, even if he is busy providing for us all.
She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.
We have such power to do our husbands good and not evil, every day, as they go to work, come home, and try to balance life outside the family and within it. We can spin their long days away from us with fresh praise and affection, and set them up for success with us and our children, or do them harm with our angry, exasperated sighs and grumblings -- always waiting on them to get it right.
He is right!
My husband is right and so is yours. He's perfectly the right Hero for your family, and mine is the perfectly right Hero for us. But it's hard to be perfectly Heroic all time, to all people, in all ways. And so God's purposed wives to be their husband's Heroic-Helpmate. Setting him up to shine. Lifting up his eyes and his heart, so that he might lift up his children in ways he might not have seen nor done.
Let us cease from shaming them for what they are not doing, but instead arrange ways, times, and opportunities for them to be the Heros we all need them to be.