Tag Archives: wife

Courage Redefined

Four fathers and nine kids made Project Fathers Unite.  That was what my husband and three other fathers called their day out with their children. The four men were on leave from work and decided to come together to spend a whole day of quality time with their kids. Scored points with the wives? You bet. The program for the day was outdoor play and rollerblading at Pasir Ris Park, dinner at the airport, followed by more running and bouncing around the airport.

We all met up a few days later at another function and talked about it. The mothers agreed that this was definitely something the fathers should do more often. One of the mums asked, “Did they wash their hands before dinner?” A silent pause from the dads ensued, followed by an assurance that the kids washed their hands after play at the park. Not a direct or expected answer, but the task was done nonetheless. And that’s the difference between father-love from mother-love. Fathers play and parent differently from mothers; and kids can tell the difference; as observed by my son, “Papa plays with us, Mummy takes care of us.”

A lot of research has gone into why and how fathers matter in parenting. A father is more than just a second adult in the house (although sometimes they don’t act like adults, especially when they’ve got their latest electronic gadgets). Fathers challenge “go faster!” Mothers advise “be careful!” Mothers cuddle, fathers roughhouse. Fathers bring a set of unique parenting skills to the family, something that mothers can’t replace.

Some may feel that a father’s main role is to provide for the family, maybe spend some time with the kids on their homework and that’s good enough. After all, our fathers and their fathers didn’t really spend that much time with us, and we turned out fine.

Adam: “I’ve been doing about half of what I should be doing as a dad.”

Shane: “You’re being too hard on yourself. You’ve been a good enough father.”

Adam: “I don’t want to be a good enough father…”

Good enough? These words of Adam and Shane are taken from the movie Courageous. I had the privilege of watching the preview of this powerful movie. It is action-packed, inspirational, thought-provoking, humorous and touching all rolled into 130 minutes. It is a movie by fathers, for fathers, to reconcile with their past, engage with their present and move forward with a bold resolution for the future.

Why the title “Courageous” though? I thought words like “Honor” or “Strength” may seem more related to fathers. What’s courage got to do with fatherhood? I like this quote that I came across  that encapsulates what the movie is about and why it is called Courageous – “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”

There is a resolution in the movie that calls fathers to declare and commit to. When I read the words of The Resolution, I then understood that it truly takes a courageous man to make such a bold commitment. Words like “I will bless my children and teach them to love God with all of their hearts, all of their minds, and all of their strength. I will train them to honor authority and live responsibly. I will confront evil, pursue justice, and love mercy… I will learn from my mistakes, repent of my sins, and walk with integrity as a man answerable to God…” This is a call to fathers to a standard above mediocrity, a standard of excellence, and more than just “good enough”.

Courageous is now screening at Cathay cinemas.

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SCAPEGOAT and TRUTH TELLING

 A few weeks ago at a children’s picnic, I was offered a chocolate muffin. Although I really didn’t want to have the muffin, I conveniently blurted out to my friends within my husband’s earshot: “Oh I can’t eat that and my husband won’t allow me to.” I went on to add, “He is putting me on a diet because he doesn’t want a fat wife.”

Judging from the side glance of disbelief my husband gave me, I had the feeling that I have just eaten my own enormous foot. Our friends started teasing him about it, and I thought it was funny. But I could not help noticing that my husband was not amused.

The truth is I was the one who declared to my family that week for the umpteenth time that I was cutting sugar and going on a diet. Apart from bemused faces around the dinner table, news on my journey towards fat domination plundered on without any cheers or ripples because they knew I was repeatedly on this meaningful pursuit.

I seem to find it hard to admit to those outside my family that I am trying to be on a diet, especially since I have failed in the past three diets to reduce even an ounce. Shifting the blame to my husband seems convenient, logical and most importantly if I failed, it’s OK because I have declared to everyone that I never wanted to lose weight in the first place, it was my husband’s idea.

This ‘modification of the truth’ may have seemed harmless at first but I realized that I was no longer ‘just joking’. I was actually criticizing my husband and I portrayed him as mean and controlling in front of my friends when in fact he is not like that at all.

Criticizing your spouse openly cuts and diminishes.  Our words as wives have tremendous power over our husbands.  What we say verbally to them and about them have the power to heal, support and comfort our husbands.  Or in my case, I portrayed him as a different person and dishonor him.

You should never dismiss careless words and disguise it as a joke.  I want to be more truthful with myself and careful with my words so that this marriage will continue to flourish even if my weight continues to flourish too. But let’s hope I will succeed in losing some weight this time!

Our guest blogger this week is Joyce Too Senior Manager in Communications with Focus on the Family Singapore. She is an accredited facilitator in Parenting with Confidence and The Heart of Success. Happily married with 3 teenagers, Joyce and her husband are active advocates of healthy families by reaching out to married couples, young and single parents.