The easiest platform for training our kids is a healthy marriage. Let’s start there and get this vital step right. Here’s what I’ve learned from loving my wife more than my kids.
Question: Do you love your wife more than your kids? Does she know it? Do your kids know it?
“That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”
—Genesis 2:24 (NIV)
How to be unified with your spouse [Video 2:50]
The above strategy is just a snippet from The Connected Father digital course—full of videos, podcasts, eBooks, tip sheets and bonus resources to help you be the dad who leads with no regrets. Snag the full course at The Connected Father.
Being unified with your spouse.
Start your parenting with unity in your marriage! Now, I realize you might be divorced, or you’ve suffered the early loss of your spouse. You’re flying solo as a parent. That’s really hard work and I admire you.
But, odds are you’re married to your first wife, and both of you want to raise your kids well. In that light – the first key piece of the godly parenting puzzle is to be completely unified with your spouse in the area of parenting.
“You love mom more than us, don’t you?”
I remember the time one of my young sons said, “You love mom more than you love us, don’t you?” I said, “Yep. Any other questions?” Now, I was kidding (a little).
However, there is some truth to this – my boys know that as far as possible, I won’t let anything come between April and me – and they know that I mean it.
One of my greatest parenting weapons is unity with my wife. It’s kinda like we’re in a fight, standing back-to-back – each of you knows the other is there, standing firm, guarding my flank and slugging it out.
Always defend your wife, never sneak
Yet, I know some guys who think they’re doing their kids a favor by going behind their wife’s back and undermining her efforts.
They might not agree with the mom’s stance on some issue, so they privately let their kids off the hook, slip them some extra allowance, or “cover” for their kids in some fashion.
They may say, “Now, don’t tell your mom I said this…” and proceed to criticize, disagree with or otherwise disparage their mom.
If your family were a front yard, you having these kinds of “secrets from your wife” with your kids is like spraying Round Up all over the grass – it kills. Kids know a phony, and they will exploit any gaps in your relationship with your wife.
Present a unified front with your wife
You must demonstrate a unified front and defend your wife. I’ve told my boys, “I’m against you right now…because of how you’re treating your mom…” My boys know that one quick way to get on dad’s “bad side” is to disrespect their mom. Few things set me against them faster.
And, not only am I making my job easier as a dad, I’m showing them a model of unity in marriage that can help them one day when they get married.
Remember, your marriage isn’t just an instrument for procreation or child raising. It’s a picture of the gospel, and the relationship between Jesus Christ and God the Father. Let’s help our children see that image clearly.
If you want to be a Connected Father, show your kids what a unified marriage looks like by standing with your wife on important issues.