Priority of family and learning from role models

My husband will receive a gift from me on Christmas, our anniversary, Valentine’s Day, and on his birthday.  I don’t care how tight money and time get, he will always receive some type of present from me on these four occasions.

During Christmas and often times Valentine’s Day, I usually hear the statements, “We aren’t getting each other anything this year” or “we are just giving to the kids.”  We as a society need to take a long hard look at what is most important to us.  Sure, our children should be one of our top priorities, but if we put our children before our spouses, are we really considering how this affects them as far as future relationships go?

All I have to guide me in my relationships, personally, is what I have seen from my parents’ relationship.  My parents were young, in love, and not wealthy when they were beginning their lives as a married couple.

When I still lived with my mom and dad, I would usually help my mom prepare supper.  One afternoon my mother asked me to retrieve a salad bowl from the bottom of the cabinet.  As I reached in the cabinet, I noticed an old wooden bowl in the back.  I drew it out and asked mother where she had gotten this wooden bowl.  She explained that when her and my father was at the beginning of their marriage, they didn’t have any extra money that year for anniversary gifts.  My father carved the bowl for my mother as an anniversary gift.  She went on to explain that throughout their marriage, they may not have had much money, but they always managed to give something to each other on special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, Christmases, and Valentine’s.

My parents showed me through their relationship that they truly loved one another.  This made for a happy household.  Were there sad times?  Absolutely, but mother and father worked together.  They were second in each other’s lives (God was and still is first) and my sisters and I were third.  We were not slighted nor neglected as children by being placed third on the list of priorities.  We were blessed because we saw through them how spouses should treat one another.

Children watch how mommies and daddies interact. They are like sponges absorbing up everything they see and hear.  I am reminded of this because our two year old loves to repeat everything my husband says.  We were sitting at the kitchen table one morning when my sweet Eli referred to me, his mother, as “hott momma.”   Just when you think you have dotted all your I’s and crossed all your T’s the child opens his mouth and we are back to square one.

I want my child to find the love of his life and I want him to still be giddy about her until they leave this earth.  I encourage you to demonstrate that you truly love your spouse and put your spouse before your children.  Your children will thank you when they find mates of their own.

When I worked for the State of Mississippi, a little 5 year old girl asked me, “Mrs. Hanna, where do babies come from?”  I was pregnant at the time, and I guess she thought that I would know since I obviously had a little bundle of joy on the way.  At first I didn’t know what to say.  What an open ended question! I simply stated that babies come from love.  When two people love one another so much, God sends them a baby as a gift.  That answer satisfied her for the moment, but in a way this is how it is truly meant to be.

Children are a gift. Show them how to truly love someone.

Gifts will not solve marriage troubles, but getting your priorities straight in your marriage is a good start.  I am certainly no marriage counselor, but I have come to learn that if your spouse feels that they are not important to you, big problems lay ahead.

Gifts do not always come from a store.  They do not always require much money.  They can be handmade or handwritten.  What matters is that the gift comes from the heart.

Editor’s note: Hanna McCain is an advertising consultant with the Winston County Journal, Choctaw Plaindealer and Webster Progress Times.