By Stan Lewis
Firemen are on duty twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. They are always ready to answer any call. Whether it is a minor call for assistance of someone who has locked themselves out of their home - to a major calamity where people no longer have a home to go to anymore. These heroes are always on standby - awaiting the call to serve. As both a husband and Christian Life Coach, I am convinced that husbands and wives need to be on stand by for each other, ever ready to serve each other with raising children and their careers.
Children are a blessing from God, but it takes a lot of work to raise them. It requires teamwork on the part of both the dad and the mom. Husband and wife need to sit down and lay out the ground rules for discipline. Chances are that you both are not going to agree on how you are going to carry out discipline with your children, because each one of you is unique. That uniqueness need not derail the potential teamwork that you two can use to raise up your child(ren). You need only to determine what is best for the child and then do what is best. You may not get to do what you want at several points along the way, through prayer each of you will know what to do. Once you have your ground rules, each of you need to support one another. Kids, even at a very young age, will try to play mom against dad to get what they want. I know my kids have asked their mom for something and did not get it, so they come to me. One of the first questions I ask is if they have asked their mother and they know I am going to check with her. They will tell me she said no and then I will tell them that my answer is no. Now it might have been something that was not a big deal to me and I would have said yes. But it is important to be on "stand by" for my wife and support her. So after I tell the kids no, I find her and tell her what happened. It is important that husband and wife be one when raising their kids. If one of my kids talks back to my wife and I hear it, I stop what I am doing to go to her side. My wife does the same thing for me. She tells them that they will not disrespect her husband. When I come to her side, I similarly tell them that they will not disrespect my wife. This is very effective in teaching our children respect for their parents and each other. We are also modeling positive parenting to them and what the Lord means when he says the two shall be as one. As you can see, unity in child rearing is a must.
Couples need to be on stand by when it comes to their spouse's career. Now I am a man and when it comes to problems or troubling situations, I want to fix it. But I've learned a few things from my lovely lady. When my wife get's home from a stressful day at work and wants to talk about it - I'll ask her if she wants help to fix it or if she just wants me to listen. See men, many times a lady will want you to just listen and not fix anything. Now my wife knows it is a man's nature to fix things, but when I resist my natural instincts and just listen to her - It means the world to her.
Ladies, men need respect more than love. It is how God built us. If you want us to jump at the opportunity to do honey do's, just praise us and acknowledge us for what we do. One day my wife told me that she really appreciated being married to me. She told me that I keep the yard looking good and that it is such a big help to her that I empty and fill the dishwasher. Things like this will make even the most obstinate man soften over time and he will do almost anything for his wife, because he knows he is respected. He knows that his wife is on standby for him.
Also, if your spouse comes home with a win at work, make a big deal about it. Take the time to find out how the win came about and what it means to them. If your spouse is having a difficult time at work, leave little notes of encouragement for them in a place they are sure to find it. You can also use what you know about your spouse to perform small acts of kindness that you know would be meaningful to your spouse.
In the ups and downs of life, it pays to be on standby for your spouse. Knowing that you have a spouse who is there for you makes your home a safe refuge in a turbulent world. It takes work on the behalf of each spouse, but the price of hard work is well worth it. The result is not only consistent parenting and effective role modeling for your kids, but effective support of your spouse.
Copyright 2005 Stan Lewis
About The Author
Stan Lewis is a Christian Leadership & Life Coach.