I wasn’t sure if I wanted to run this post with a “pirate’s voyage” theme or “storming the dragon’s keep.” I decided to save you the agony of both. You’re welcome!
This week, I wanted to have a heart-to-heart about one of the greatest treasures of our lives, the mother of our children (or at least she could be). I understand that there are those that are already considering tuning me out. I get it, relationships are messy. We don’t all have happy marriages with a loving, supportive partner who we consider to be a good friend. However, this should be our goal. Anything less would be, well, less. There are those of us that this post will not be applicable for. Some of us do not have the luxury of connecting with the mother of our children for various reasons. I recognize this barrier, but I do want to share this message with those of us that may have “fallen out of love” with our partner or to those who have become complacent with snacking on crackers when were are sitting at a buffet. That’s who I am talking with right now.
From time to time, I lose sight of the fact that my wife is a treasure. It is easy to do when there are so many other things that can steal away my attention and passion. However, I would be a fool to give up the great gift that I have in my wife to gain the small trinkets that the world has to offer. There is something beautiful in having a strong relationship with the mother of my children. This is someone that I can share my heart with, who understands the trials I face as a parent, and who can support me through the hard times. If this is something that you are missing in your life, then I encourage you to do all that you can to work toward strengthening your relationship with the mother of your child(ren).
In order to start (or go back to) viewing your partner as a treasure, then the first step is to examine the value that you have in her. Without properly giving her the value that she is due, it will be very difficult to treat her as one of great worth. One of the biggest pitfalls that we get caught in is the idea that our partner is only here to make us happy. She is not here for our gratification. When we weigh her value based on how much she pleases us at any given time, then we begin to treat her like she is a possession, here only for our amusement. Instead, our partner has value in three important ways: 1) she is inherently valuable as a human being and a woman; 2) she is valuable as an important member of our family; 3) she is valuable in a way that makes her unique among all other women on this planet.
Let me further elaborate on these three areas of value. First, our partner is inherently valuable. As said before, she is not an object, an animal, or a project- she is a person. She has hopes, dreams, passions, and potential all on her own. As our ally, we have the privilege of being a part of her world. If we don’t see this in her, then we are missing out. As a women, she has value in the perspective she holds, the nature that she brings to our lives, and the beauty that she shares with us. Secondly, she is a valuable member of the family. Ask any single dad and he will tell you that life without a mother in the picture is rough. Mothers offer something to the family that men can’t; they meet needs in us and our children like no other. Third, our partner is a unique being that cannot be replaced by any other woman. There is a saying by Oscar Wilde that goes like this, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” I am twisting the context a little here to say that there is no one else that is quite like our partner. There may be other women out there that have similar personalities to her, or may have some common traits, but they will never be able to fully offer us what she does. Proverbs 31:10 in the Bible says, “A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds.” Many of us have abandoned a loving partner, seeking pleasure somewhere else. These men are trading diamonds for dirt. We should not be one of these men. If this is you I am speaking to, go back to your treasure; you will not regret it.
We need to go further though if we are to truly understand the value of our partner. We need also to remove any distractions that might be pulling us away from our treasure. When we try to confide in other relationships or when we allow the world’s offerings to steal our hearts away, then it is nearly impossible for us to appreciate our treasure as we could be. If there are things in our life that are taking the place of our partner, then they will continue to stifle the relationship we have with her until they are cast aside. Consider what might be keeping you from appreciating your partner as you could be. Is it the anger that you hold toward her? Have you placed your passion somewhere else? Has your heart been drawn to someone else? If the answer is “yes” to any of these questions, then there is something keeping you from embracing your treasure. Whatever it is, it can’t keep steering you away from your partner. You are meant for her, and she for you.
I remember an unusual phrase that my undergrad psychology professor used to say often about his wife. He would call her, “the bride of of my youth.” He would talk about his wife like they were still dating. The guy was in his early sixties at the time. This guy understood what it meant to continue viewing his wife as a treasure. He did not forget the love of his life. He actively pursued her day after day. There is a movie that I watched once, called Fireproof, in which one fire fighter is talking about his relationship with his wife to another. He said that he has found passion in learning more and more about his wife. He said that he works toward degrees in studying her nature, as I had worked to attain my undergrad degree. He said that when he thought that he had “graduated” to the next step in learning his wife, he would explore deeper. He was not satisfied with staying at the shallow end, he dove as far down as he could go. That is how we are to pursue our partner. We must yearn to know her more and more. We must be passionate in pursuing the “bride of our youth.” This is how we behold our treasure.
I want to encourage you to do all what you can to strengthen the relationship that you have with the mother of your children. Treat her like a treasure. As the Bible says, “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Put your value in her, and you will find a love and a joy like no other. If you would like to share what you have learned to value the mother of your children better, please feel free to leave a comment and be an encouragement to us all.
Brian Faust is the Fatherhood Program Coordinator of Rock Solid Fatherhood in Warsaw, IN. He is the husband of the world’s best wife and father of three beautiful girls. He has nearly a decade of mentorship and mental health experience. Brian has a Bachelor’s in Psychology and a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Grace College. It is his desire to come alongside men of all walks of life as they embrace their role as partner and father with rock solid strength.