What's the best thing that a parent can do for their kids? This is the question that I got to thinking about after reading Jamsco's post
on The Responsible Puppet
. His post was mostly a critique of a book review in the Star Tribune of the book "Bad Mother" by Ayelet Waldman. I had heard an interview
on NPR's Fresh Air (Don't stop reading, Gregg.) It was a very interesting interview. On the Fresh Air page, they link to an article
that Waldman wrote for the NY Times about how she felt guilty, she felt she was a bad mom, because she loved her husband more than she love her kids.
What do you think? Is it bad to love your spouse more than your kids? I would say, "certainly not." Furthermore, I would say that the best thing that you can do for your kids is to love your spouse more than anyone. Isn't this a common opinion and even conventioal wisdom among Christians? One of my goals in relating to my kids is to let them know that God is my Lord, Jesus my Savior and their mother is my best friend in the world. If I could accomplish this, I don't think it would make me a bad parent. It would help my kids to feel secure that their home is a stable place, that they are not the center of my universe or the universe in general and it would set a presedent that they could follow in their marriage. It seems that many marriages that fail, fail for just that reason. One of the people loves the something more than he/she loves his/her spouse. If you want to talk about being a bad parent, then setting up a situation where there is not a stable marriage at the center of the family would certainly be one way to do it.
I hope my kids when they are able to articulate something like this would say that dad's priorities look something like this.
These are high hopes and ones that daily fall flat. My list most often looks like this.
This is something that I pray for God's grace to my wife, children and me. I am in need of his cross for forgiveness and for the strength to get my list right.