How do you seize Valentine’s Day as a great teaching moment for your children?

I learned several years ago that Valentine’s Day represented an opportunity in a strange way to teach about Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Let me describe what I typically do, then I will explain why. This year, I decided to do red roses and Godiva chocolate for my ladies. I also delivered it to them today, instead of tomorrow for the greater surprise factor. It worked. My wife received a dozen roses and a plentiful box of Godiva chocolates (her favorite). Each of my 3 daughters received one long-stemmed rose and a small heart-shaped box of chocolates. My son received no gift, but typically helps in gathering the gifts together and helps plan the surprise. Sounds like a pretty common Valentine’s Day, right? Here is what I am trying to accomplish with this approach and the discussions to follow and would urge each husband and father to engage for similar reasons: Acknowledge your daughters. Although this day is typically focused on your wife, I started to do something for my daughters to create this expectation

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to be cherished by their future husband. Until he comes, I am entrusted with their care, to treasure them and to do so in a similar way I do with their mom. I want them to make the connection that they are receiving a similar gift as their mom for similar reasons. Honor your wife more. Although I want to acknowledge my role I am to play with my daughters, I also need to do it in such a way that teaches them their mom comes first. She is to be my primary focus in our home and the one to whom I am to treasure the most on this day…and everyday for that matter. This message is understood and received as their mom gets a more significant gift than each of them, but all ultimately have pretty flowers to smell and look at. Involve your sons. Some parents would be tempted to include their sons with some “manly gift” so they do not feel left out, but I think that is a mistake and missing a wonderful opportunity to teach and train our sons. My son does not get a gift on this day, but he does get to serve. He gets to help me plan and pick out the gifts. Most of all, he learns at an early age there are moments when he needs to serve his mom and sisters where he does not get anything in return, except the joy of serving. He is learning one of the best ways to honor and cherish his future wife is to serve without receiving. Now that my only son is 13 years old, this day has clearly worked to enforce this idea in his mind through the years. There you go. If you are making last-minute plans for this day tomorrow, I hope this might not simply give you a few new ideas for gifts or the reminder at the end of a busy day you still have done nothing for tomorrow. Rather, it would foster a more deliberate approach to the way you train those little eyes to watch you cherish your wife tomorrow.

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