I recently learned something very powerful from an old friend. I had lost touch with my old high school friends, Capri and Darrin Mulder. They were freshmen when I was a junior, and then I went off and got pregnant. The two of them got married after high school, and we completely lost touch for about 25 years. We reconnected on Facebook, and a year later, my daughter, Arika, and their son, Zac, got married.
While Arika and Zac were courting, something very interesting came up in a conversation. We knew their relationship was getting serious, so Hans and I got together with Darrin and Capri to talk about it. As we were having this conversation about how everyone is feeling about this, Darrin said, with a big smile on his face, "Well, you know, we have taught our 3 sons that if they have found a good wife, they have found a good thing."
I’m telling you, something hit my gut when I heard that. I thought to myself, "Wow, what an awesome thing to teach your sons. To find a good wife is to find a good thing."
Hans and I have 3 sons and 2 daughters. Our boys are now 18, 15, and 14, and we have not taught that to them. I’ve realized that we have done our sons a major disservice in this.
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See, I talk a lot about the whole ‘lottery mentality’. You know, "to get rich, you have to win the lottery," or "to have a good marriage, you have to meet the right person." And I think Disney has had a lot to do with this mindset. You kiss a frog and he turns out to be your Prince Charming. You fall into a deep sleep, and a prince comes along and kisses you, and you ride off on a horse and live happily ever after. NEWSFLASH! That’s not how it works! Marriage takes work!
So I found that I have done my sons a great disservice by not teaching them what a wife should be. I’ve never taught them what a wife is. We have taught them to set themselves apart and to be honorable and respectful. We have taught them that if they honor God, then He will honor you with a wonderful wife. "Hold out for the one who is chosen for you." That is still part of a lottery.
But let me tell you what is not part of a lottery. What is the definition of a wife? I asked my son that recently. "What is the role of a girlfriend? What is the role of a wife?" I found that my revelation that I had never taught them what a wife is, was true. Because his answer to that question was, "I don’t know."
We somehow expect our children to just know these things. But it’s really important for us to identify for our sons and daughters what the role of a husband and a wife is.
Hans and I did not know our roles back in the beginning of our marriage, and we had a horrible, rocky marriage. We hated each other! I didn’t know the role of a wife, so I was trying to fulfill the role of a husband. Hans certainly didn’t know the role of a husband, so he was allowing me to be pushy and domineering. We had such a terrible marriage in the beginning just because we didn’t understand each other’s roles.
Someone told me once that anything with two heads is a monster. That is exactly what our marriage was! Hans naturally had this desire to be the head of the household, and that’s what husbands are designed to be. They are designed to lead spiritually, provisionally, and relationally. They were designed to protect their families. And yet, I was attempting to do those things.
We live in a time when girls are not being trained to be wives, and boys are not being trained to be husbands. Then there’s the parents who somehow expect their kids to figure it out naturally.
So we sat down with our son and said, "As you embark on the journey of finding a wife, these are some things you may want to look for. Does she know how to do dishes? Does she know how to cook? Does she keep herself clean? Does she keep her home clean? Does she keep her car clean? Is she responsible? Is she respectful to your family and to her family?"
I know you’re thinking, "Dani, are you saying that a woman’s job is to keep the home?" No, but I am saying that is this woman’s job. I keep the home. My husband has never had to come home to a disastrous house. That’s something I feel is right for my husband, so that’s what I choose to do. There were times when I hated doing that, but today I delight in making a nice, peaceful home for us to live in.
So Moms and Dads, take the time to teach your sons and daughters how to be husbands and wives. Teach them what to look for and how to step into the role that is designed for them. Do not expect them to automatically know their role. It’s up to you to train them to be good husbands or wives someday.
Like I said before, we live in a time when men and women do not know their roles. So let’s spread this message today so we can bring harmony and peace and order back into our relationships. You could save a marriage today by simply sharing this message. You could prevent a divorce from happening by just posting this link on Facebook or Twitter. And make sure you discuss this with your family. Read it at the dinner table, and begin to equip your children for success in their relationships.
I hope to see you Sunday night for our nationally syndicated radio show at 9 pm ET/8 pm CT. You will not want to miss this show – it is going to be so powerful! Check the sidebar for details, and spread the word!
In great faith,
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