This quick article should be valuable for anyone who is married to, or dating, a woman who has children – whether or not those children are also yours.
I don’t know if you are similar in your thinking to me, but in my mind,
home is where my wife is.
I have great kids and I love them in ways I could never explain in words – they are amazing!… but when I think of home, I don’t think of them first… I think first of my wife.
However, I think that isn’t the same way that my wife thinks. I know that I represent a lot to her, and that she loves me too, but I think in reference to the word “home”, she would think first of where our kids are.
I think some men begrudge this, but I think it is probably they way God designed it, and since these are my kids, I am sure glad that someone has them on her mind all of the time.
She has to sacrifice for them first, allow for them first, take care of them first… They almost literally cannot love without her, and she knows it at a deep level… she has a constantly running count-down play clock in her head about them.
Have you noticed this about your wife too?
She will suddenly, sometimes in the middle of a conversation, say “(one of the children) is hungry.”
How does she know that? They haven’t said so… heck, I forgot to feed them once for most of a day, since none of them commented on being hungry. “(the child who is potty training) needs to go to the bathroom.”… “we need to change (the one in diapers)’s diaper.”
How does she know? I didn’t know to change a diaper unless I could smell that it needed changing! She has a timer that starts back at some time that only she knows, and begins to count down the minute a child has a clean diaper. When that timer reaches zero, it is time to act.
Essentially, though a big part of my identity is wrapped up in my relationship with my children, it isn’t as much as that part that is wrapped up with my wife. I think for many wives, they are the same, or maybe even more directed toward kids, especially when the kids are younger and need her attention almost constantly. Herein in the secret I want to reveal today…
If I am rude to your wife, or harsh with her, or just don’t like her, how does that affect our friendship? Can you feel that I am devoted to you if I am a jerk to your wife? Big no, I hope (if not, then your marriage has some problems and we need to talk more).
The way I treat your wife is even more important than how I treat you, for our relationship, isn’t it?
Ok, see the application coming? Here is the rule – if you treat a woman’s children a certain way, it is as though you are treating her that way… well, actually, it is even more important than how you treat her.
Think about this as you interact with her kids – as a counselor, I have seen little that inspired affectionate feelings in a woman more quickly or strongly than a man who loves and dotes on her children… even if they are his children too… and especially if they are not.
I imagine, by the way, that God feels much the same way about how we treat His children
Stepdads, your wife’s children are a golden opportunity from God to serve Him by disciple-ing them to follow His Son. When you invest in the eternity of a child, you align yourself with Jesus’ attitude about little children. When you invest in their hearts, you are investing in His… and probably hers too.