The Best Gift to Your Children

I’m now feeling the repercussion of staying up late to finish watching a Korean drama series. And as usual, I was crying when watching it. “It’s just a show. You know it’s not real right?” the Hubs will always say to me. But I can’t help it.  Strangely, I love romantic comedies/shows. But in real life, I’m terribly practical. In fact, the Hubs is much more romantic and adventurous than me. Anyway, completing the series was a nice end to the National Day holiday for me.

We had just come back from one of our regular family gatherings with all my aunts and uncles, where we had 15 people camped around the dining table watching the National Day parade telecast live on a small TV. It was just nice catching up with family; and of course there’s always great food! The Hubs sent some of my aunts home, while me and the kids took a lift home in my brother’s car.  When Hubs came back, he told me that he got into a small car accident. He was bringing the car to a stop at the traffic light, but suddenly just either blacked out or fell asleep (he’s not sure) for a split second, and bumped the car in front of him.  My reflex response was to identify root cause and solve the problem – which involved a barrage of questions. That got him kind of mad because I forgot to ask the most important question – “Are you ok?”

While getting the kids to sleep and having a bit of time to reflect on my response, I realized that he was right. Both cars were not damaged, the other driver was really nice about the whole incident and nobody was hurt. That’s many things to be thankful for. I caught myself again. See, I’ve been reading this book called The Love Dare which consists of daily devotions to challenge readers to develop strong and committed marriages. In it, there are reflective questions that make me ponder how am I being a blessing to my husband, what am I doing to build him up. In my previous job, I was responsible for leadership development – building the capabilities, competencies and the heart of leaders. I’m conscious of the need and my responsibility to develop my kids. But I never really did think about this aspect toward my husband. We invest time and money on our kids to enrich and develop them in so many aspects (eg Chinese, music, art, math, dance), on ourselves (eg professional devt, certification). But do we also spend time and effort to enrich and build our marriage and spouse?  Three different people gave me this advise after I got married (in different words and time but the gist is the same) – The best gift you can give to your children, is a strong and loving relationship between husband and wife. This has been edged in my mind, but I realize I need to also work at it in action.  Marriage and love are so unlike the Korean dramas that I watch. To quote M. Scott Peck in his book The Road Less Travelled, “Love is not effortless. Love is effortful… Love is an act of will. Namely both an intention and an action. Will implies choice. We do not have to love, we choose to love.”

I’ve learnt that marriage needs to be worked at. EVERYDAY. Intentionally with our words and action. So I immediately apologized to him when the kids finally fell asleep and thanked God that he was safe.

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