It’s Titus 2 Tuesday. Here’s today’s question.
“How can I teach my children to ‘honor thy father’?”
Consider our own relationship with our spouse. Do we role-model honor and respect?
Titus 2:3-5 “…teach the younger women to love their husbands…be self-controlled and pure,…to be kind,…”
Exodus 20:12 “Honor thy father and thy mother.”
One of our main roles as a Mom is to teach our children to love, respect, and honor their father. What we say and do when he is not in our presence and when he is in our presence plays a big role in learning to respect Dad. We make our home a place he looks forward to coming home–a castle in which he is the king. The Lord and I did some serious talking about this issue of respect years ago. I realized I was the number one key to my children showing respect to their Dad…or not (showing respect).
Proverbs 14:1 “The wise woman builds her house, but a foolish one plucketh it down with her hands.”
Proverbs 25:24 “Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.”
Proverbs 31:10 “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her.”
We have a choice in the words and tone in which we communicate to our spouse and about our spouse. Respectful words and nonverbal actions build up. Disrespectful ones tear down. Whichever means we choose is what we are teaching our children.
Here are some ways to teach and involve children in honoring their father:
- Ask him to call when he’s ten minutes away from home. With enthusiasm for his arrival say, “Kids, dad’s coming home. Let’s get everything picked up for him.”
- Have the kids or the whole fam greet him outside.
- Know his “Love Language” so that you can pour into his life in ways that are special to him.
- physical touch, acts of service, gift giving, words of affirmation, quality time
- Send a letter or card to Dad at work.
- Pick up the phone and all say “We Love You” when he answers or on answering machine.
- Make “We Love Daddy” signs and hold them up for his arrival home or post in his office.
- Leave love notes on his pillow.
- Rub his back, feet, or shoulders – just because.
- Have random discussion about Dad. “I love your dad. What do you really like about Dad?”
- Pray for him, thanking the Lord for specific attributes you admire and are grateful for.
- Ask for his specific prayer list and pray with the kids for him.
- Ask him, “What can we do to lighten your load today?” and see to it that it is a priority
- Compliment him in front of others, “John is an excellent cook.”
- Speak admirably about him in front of your children, “Let’s ask dad’s opinion on that.” “I’m so thankful your dad has a good reputation.”
- Look for opportunities to build up. “I’m so thankful you’re handy. I feel safe knowing you can fix the car.”
- Smooch on him in front of the kids. (ow ow)
- Answer his phone call with a pleasant voice.
- Teach your children to observe his interests and habits with the intention to honor, serve, show kindness. His favorite cup or beverage, an orderly home, his favorite meal, his favorite TV show, favorite sports team or musician, favorite snack.
- Look for opportunities to serve. “Dad, can I get you a Klondike bar?” “Dad, want a back rub?”
- Take an intentional interest in his world and be a part of it. (Have your son watch that football game on TV with him, even if your son doesn’t care for sports.)
- Respond respectfully to his opinion, input, or request or input.
- Ask him about his day and listen, not speaking for him or over him.
- Role play with your kids, if a turnaround is necessary, so they know respectful responses.
- Celebrate his accomplishments.
- Respect Dad’s decision and his final word. Back him up – even if you disagree, “Kids, Dad said no so that’s the answer.”
- Laugh together – on purpose – even if you have to arrange for the moments (like below). Shhh. Don’t tell him..