Julie Musselman's special essay for Father's Day was originally published on her blog A Catholic Home Journal. Have a great Father's Day, everyone!
Five ways wives can help their husbands be great dads
Praying for him builds him up and gives grace to him as he leads the family. Praying for him also opens up your heart to be thankful for all his gifts and talents.
Praying with your husband builds the bond of marriage and helps the two of you get through good times and bad.
To get started, trying just praying an Our Father together at the end of the day. He says the first half, she says the second half. Then share any prayer intentions.
Bob's Grampsie gave us a great prayer for married couples 26 years ago on our wedding day. It is short and covers a lot:
Prayer for Husband and Wife:
Keep us, O Lord, from pettiness. Let us be thoughtful in word and deed. Help us to put away pretense, and face each other in deep trust without fear or self pity. Help us to guard against fault-finding, and be quick to discover the best in each other and in every situation. Guard us from ill temper and hasty judgment; Encourage us to take time for all things, to grow calm, serene, and gentle. Help us to be generous with kind words and compliments. Teach us never to ignore, never to hurt, never to take each other for granted. Engrave charity and compassion in our hearts.
2. Submit to his authority as head of household (Ephesian 5)
Don't be afraid of the word Submit-it means get under his mission, be to supportive.
Let him lead. There is a beautiful complementarity when the husband is the head and the wife is the heart. This doesn't mean women don't think. We certainly should give input, suggestions, and opinions all combined with his. But after all the discussion, stand behind his decision. Remember wives, the second half of Ephesians 5 instructions is for Husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the church. So he has a pretty tall order too.
3.Be united in front of the kids
Kids learn very quickly which parent is the "softy" and which one they can more easily get what they want. So as a wife, if your husband has already said no to something, don't undermine him by saying yes. When husband and wife disagree, try to forget about right and wrong, my way, his way and work toward a solution. Ignore the little things to avoid arguments.
4. Let your husband interact with the kids in a different way than you do.
5. Love your husband and give him time with you alone so he is fortified for the workplace and enabled to be a better dad. The marriage must always come first. As my husband Bob always says, "the best thing I do for my kids is love their mother." So be a wife that is open to that love and offering of it.
God Bless all Fathers on Father's Day and Every Day! We need you, We love you.