Leighton gets up early for work every day. Like really early. Between 4:00-5:00 a.m. early. I used to make sure that he had something quick and easy to grab (like breakfast burritos, quick breads and muffins, breakfast sandwiches, pancakes, granola, etc.). I have slacked in this department, which translates to his skipping breakfast most days. On top of that, he often works through lunch too, which is not good for a man who works a very physical job.
Yesterday, I made 3 dozen egg cups for him. Chopping, sautéeing, cracking, mixing, filling. I made 2 variations of the cups. And a mess across the kitchen.
The kids were in and out of the kitchen as they always are when I'm working in there, especially when their noses are drawn to the smell of cooking sausage. As the first batch was coming out of the oven, Alyssa commented that they looked and smelled delicious. "Dad's going to love them!" Then she smiled and said, "You love him and he loves you."
That simple statement got me thinking. One of the best things I can do for my children is to make sure they know how much I love their daddy.
You see, love is so much more than a feeling. It is action.
I Cointhians 13 says,
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth.
When I tell my husband, "I love you," I'm really saying, "I'll suffer long for you. I'll be kind to you. I won't envy you. I won't build myself up and put you down . . . I won't give up on you, on us."
Love is forgiving her when she snaps at you due to exhaustion. Love is showing him grace when he doesn't finish a project around the house. Love is giving her much-needed time to herself after a hard day with the kids. Love is doing something for him when he doesn't have time to do it for himself.
It's important for these little ones of ours to see that. When they know that their parents' love "seeketh not her own" and "is not easily provoked" there is no tension in the home. They feel secure. There is confidence. There is no playing one parent against the other. There are no secrets. They know that Dad and Mom are one.
That love that we have for each other spreads to our children. Just like our love never fails, our love for them won't either (even when they try our patience and push the "beareth all things" and "not easily provoked" parts, ha). When they make mistakes, we love them. When they're cranky, we love them. When they misbehave, we love them. Always, we love them. It never fails.
I don't want my kids looking to the media or celebrities or books to learn what it means to love. I want them to know true love and all that it holds, because they have a dad and mom that taught by example.
"You love him and he loves you."
That we do, my child. A lot.