I’m not sure if he knows it but every night while I am gathering the last things my family needs at the dinner table, I catch my husband lean over and whisper to our oldest son, Tell your mother, thank you for dinner.
I then see my husband take a bite of his dinner, no matter what I put in front of him and say, Wow, this is so good.
I know I am not a great cook. I actually don’t even like cooking at all. I follow recipes exactly adding no creativity and I barely know the difference between paprika and cayenne.
But every night. Without fail. Even when the chicken is dry or the vegetables are too soggy. My husband compliments my food and encourages my sons to do so as well by intentionally modeling kindness.
Just last night we had to start dinner without my husband because he was running a little behind and as my children began to eat I noticed my oldest son lean over and say to my second-born, blonde-headed boy, Tell mom, thank you for dinner.
And then as my second son was reluctant to take a bite, my oldest son said, Wow mommy, this is so good. Everyone should really try this, this is the best dinner ever.
I was both shocked and thankful to hear my seven year old doing this, passing the intentional words his father taught him on to his brothers.
It made me proud of the man I am married to and the little soon-to-be men around my dinner table.
Being a father matters. The words which cross a father’s lips are powerful. They can be used to build up or used tear down.
As I see my husband’s words of kindness and gratitude being passed on to my sons, I am witnessing the magnitude in which children respond to the gentle and kind leadership of a father. A father’s words and actions are meaningful and powerful. They can be life-giving and life-changing.
I hear my husband’s heartfelt prayers he has prayed over the beds of our children for almost seven years now being echoed with the same amount of compassion by my three sons. I hear my sons cheering and talking about University of Kentucky basketball with the same level of excitement as their dad and I hear my sons esteeming me, as their mother because their daddy is intentional about modeling it for them.
I am not at all the best cook, this I know, but when I see my husband teaching my sons to say thank you for dinner, I feel loved and I see my husband intentionally raising boys to be good men and good husbands.
This is an incredible undeserved gift my husband gives to me daily, the gift of intentional and loving words in front of our children. This gift makes me want to follow in his footsteps the same way my kids do and spread more intentional kindness with my own words.
The kind, intentional words of a father or mother can change a person.
I am forever thankful that God has given these men to me. Every day with them is a gift.