“My son, observe the commandment of your father; and do not forsake the teaching of your mother. Bind them continually on your heart; Tie them around your neck.” (Proverbs 6:20-21)
God puts “couples” together for a reason. Often, two very different people become a couple – and for reasons unbeknownst to us, children benefit from the dual perspectives of their adult mentors. Let me explain. A father’s love is something completely contrary to how a mom loves her children but in most cases, equally amazing. Unlike mothers, dads don’t get a chance to bond for nine months before that child arrives, so in essence they are always playing catch up. This is not to suggest that fathers don’t fall in love with their infant child at first sight. It just means that for dads, their love in the beginning is invariably filled with emotions of terror and anxiety mixed in.
Here is a newborn child that these fathers helped create wondering about his or her new world. I remember the day I found out that I was pregnant with my own son. When I told his father I was pregnant, he went white. He never said a word as we walked through the hospital to the car. Since he already had a child from a previous relationship, it wasn’t as shocking to him as it was for me. Still, as a future father to our child, he was definitely ready to shout the news from the rooftops (or the telephone lines) long before I was.
As children get older, Dads tend to be the parent that gets away with being fun, particularly since Moms are usually perceived to be the maternal rule maker and enforcer in the home. This makes our motherly influence on our offspring somewhat different from fathers. In fact, Dads tend to get more sleep (especially in the first year) but they also are the ones who need to work extra hard to get their child to love them back (because mom gets most of the bonding time through feeding and cuddles).
Still, fathers might not change all the diapers but as the kids get older, fathers can be seen teaching these children to run, to play, and to love in a way that is often very different from their mothers.
So like the verse states above – bind your father’s commandments in your heart – and tie your mother’s teachings around your neck, I have come to believe that while fathers may show their love for children in odd ways, their love is ALWAYS there. When they say to their kids (or step children) the words ‘I love you’ it sticks. It is never just words. To kids, those words mean more than anything. They grow into adults inherently knowing moms love them but remembering more specifically those times when their father actually told them.
When I now look back on my own family, I can begin to see how the contributions and participation of two people “coupled together” was wholly beneficial in raising young children o adulthood. Once again, God had the right idea