We hear statements all the time that make us scratch our head and think, “Is that really true?” For example, we’ve heard that if you lay with dogs you’ll get flees, that the music we listen to can affect us and maybe even that the movies we watch have the potential of influencing our thoughts and actions. These statements make us step back and think, “Are they really true?” Parents, educators, and psychologists have wrestled with these and other similar questions for decades.
A question that I often ask myself is this, “Does the way I treat my wife matter to more than just me?” Are there others who are affected? I believe the answer to this is an emphatic, yes! If you have children, there are little eyes watching what you do and what you say. The way my two children see me treat their momma will give them an impression about how they are to treat and be treated by their spouse one day. If they see me treat her with contempt, impatience, and unforgiveness they will learn to think that is normal and suffer the instability that comes along. However, if they see me treat her with love, patience, and forgiveness, they will likewise learn to see that is the norm within a stable home.
On a larger scale, the way we treat our spouses matter because it speaks directly into the heart of your children. It communicates the love that Christ has shown to His children. The apostle Paul tells us that husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves the church and gave His life for her. And wives are to respect their husbands as the church shows respect and submission to Christ. (Ephesians 5:24-25). When a child sees their daddy sacrificially loving their momma in words and action they can get a real tangible glimpse at the love Jesus has for His children. Similarly, when a child sees how momma is honoring and respecting their daddy, they can get a real picture at how they will one day learn to have a wonderful respect and love for their Savior Jesus.
Someone is watching! How a husband and a wife interact within their marriage is deeply important for their children. They are watching and will grow to love their future spouse the way they see you loving yours.
So if we ever hear a statement wondering about if it matters how we treat our spouse, we know that we don’t have to stop and scratch our heads to think about it. We know that it does because there is someone watching.