Wednesday, September 21, 2011

They Are Watching...

I attend MOPS locally. I have attended faithfully for the past three years and have decided to join the steering committee this year, which starts my fourth year of MOPS. My friend, Lauren, and I have the role of hospitality. What does that mean? We are in charge of making sure there is food at every meeting. We welcome new moms, (moms that are attending MOPS for the first time) with a small gift. We also hand out gifts to newly expecting moms. Lauren and I also get to plan an occasional night out for MOPS.

Before our first meeting, Kristi, our MOPS coordinator, asked me if I would give a marriage/love tip occasionally. I am not an expert on this subject, but I have really enjoyed reading Shannon Ethridge's Blog. I have heard her speak a few times and have really enjoyed it. If you ever get the chance to hear her speak, TAKE IT! Because I have shared some of Shannon's tips and advice, Kristi thought I might like to give a marriage/love tip to MOPS. I accepted the "challenge" and here is what I told MOPS at the first meeting...

Believe it or not, your kids watch you even when you think they aren't...

One night a couple of years ago, my mother-in-law (Joyce) was watching my kids for me. She told me the following story when I came to pick them up. She said she heard Piper (who was around 5 years old at the time) say to Finn (who was around 4 years old at the time), "No, Finn! The Mom is supposed to be on top!" As my mother-in-law told me this, my mind started racing, thinking, "What in the world? What have my children seen my husband and I doing?" I don't know if I had a shocked expression on my face or not, but I was relieved when Joyce told me what she saw Piper and Finn reenacting. My husband has a bad back and he lays on the floor and has me walk on his back in hopes that I can relieve some of the pain. Hence, the "mommy on top" statement. 

Now my daughter is 7 years old. She is starting to ask questions about all kinds of things in life. She is pretty random about it at times, too. One day, she said to me, "I know that you and Daddy play games in your bed at night. I saw you." I tried to remain calm and not look surprised at her statement. I calmly replied, "What kind of games?" She said, "On your iPhone." I said, "Yep." 

As you can tell, my children are very observant. I had no idea that Piper had seen me playing games on my iPhone at night in my bed. If you have children, I am sure your children are just as observant. My 4 year old son, Seven, is seriously a sponge! And he has a memory like an elephant! They are watching...

As a parent, you should be intentional about what you let your kids see, not what you keep from them, but what you show them. The following story, written by Terrica Smith, is an excellent example: 

          Secrets to a Happy Marriage
             February 23rd, 2010
             by Terrica Smith

             A few years ago Josh and I were strolling thru the mall hand-in-hand when a little elderly man shuffled towards us, cane in hand. I was concerned for a moment that he didn't see us and began to ease out of his way, until he reached out a hand and warm smile to stop us, "Excuse me there, young man!"
           We slowed. "Yes, sir?" my good mannered, southern boy responded.
           "You two married?" The bluntness of his question shocked us both momentarily. I got the distinct impression we had a "talkin' to" coming our way. I glanced around nervously, racking my brain. What in the world did we DO?
           "Um...yes, sir?" Josh offered, more a question than an answer.
           The old man stared silently for a moment at our still intertwined hands, then smiled up at us, eyes twinkling. "My wife, she was my best friend in the whole world. I loved her all my life. Gracious, I still love her." He chuckled quietly to himself.
           He had our attention, but neither of us knew where he was going or whether to respond. 
           "She was beautiful, really, my best friend. I miss her every day." He paused, staring at the floor.
           I resisted reaching for him, this complete stranger, wrapping him in my arms like a beloved grandfather I'd known all my life.
          He looked up suddenly serious, shuffling closer, pointing emphatically as he spoke, "Now you listen to me, you hear. Do you know, I held my wife's hand every day. That's what you do, you hold hands. You have to touch. That's how you love. If you want to be in love all your life, don't ever stop holdin' hands." He slouched back slightly, eyes twinkling, beaming as if he'd just entrusted us with the secret to life.
          I grinned slowly ear to ear. I had just fallen in love with the old man. I was tempted  to drag him to the nearest bench begging to hear his life story.
         "Thank you," I whispered with absolute sincerity, awestruck by his simple, violent wisdom.
         With a knowing smile, he patted Josh firmly on the shoulder and shuffled away.
         We turned to watch him. "Wow," Josh breathed, breaking his silence.
         "Yeah," I responded, shaking my head in disbelief, "what a treasure."
         "What?" he asked. "The old man or what he said?"
          I turned to him, squeezing his hand, "Both. Absolutely both."
         Holding hands may seem an insignificant 'secret', but don't underestimate the power of such a simple, profoundly intimate act. When you take your spouses' hand you're communicating, "I'm with you. We're in this together. I want to be here."
         It's a simple practice in safeguarding your marriage as well, as you're communicating to the rest of the world, "I'm with him." (Don't even try, suckers!)

The above article by Terrica was originally posted at If you would like to read more from Terrica, please visit, where she writes about love, art, travel, and food. 

Sometimes as a parent with young children it is hard to hold your husband's hand because you have to hold your children's hand so they don't run off. I completely understand this! I have FOUR children! Try to make the effort to intentionally hold your husband's hand every chance you get. Perhaps, you get the chance to go out on a date with your husband, hold his hand. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this, Amy! I loved reading your thoughts. I outright laughed out loud at your kiddos comments... priceless ;-)