EDITOR’S NOTE: Gloria’s husband Daniel wrote the column this week and it’s a rarity, no food recipe, but it just seemed appropriate. Gloria will return next week.
We all have been very blessed with warmer weather in Illinois. My mind has been spinning about all this virus pandemic so I wanted to share a few thoughts this week.
What do we do now? We have to shelter in place in Illinois, meaning we are called to stay in the house except for bare necessities.
So what does it feel like to stay in the house more? I can say we are very excited about this, but what in the world do we do with hours and hours of house time? Playing electronic games, videos, or browse the internet? How about, instead, taking this wonderful opportunity to take a look at relationships? First let me tell you, that I am far from perfect and also am human, just like we all are. Relationships are one of my favorite subjects, so bear with me.
Gloria and I just had our 10th anniversary, March 19th, and I can say we have had a great journey together. So it is like I tell my wife, my goal is to be the best father that has ever been on earth. Please take this right, I don’t feel like I am, I’m just a believer of having a mark and then try to hit it hard. When it comes to relationships, it is work for all of us to have quality relationships with our spouse or child. When the pressures of life hit, like a financial crisis or work overload, it tests out our goals.
Anyway, first of all, how important are relationships to us? We have to consider that question. If it is not important, then you can stop reading right here. Are relationships as important as eating three times a day? I have found a book, “The Five Love Languages,” by Gary Chapman to be very helpful.
Let me share a little example. We may say why in the world can we do so many nice things for our wife and they still can’t feel our love like we want them to? So in 2018, I told Gloria that for this whole year, I want to give her a card each week — yes, really! That’s 52 cards of appreciation, birthday, anniversary, etc. Wow, so she should really feel my love, right? In 2019, I gave her a bouquet of flowers each month, and for 2020, I told her that I would like to be available a half-hour a week completely just for her. “In this half hour, I will do anything for you,” I told her, from washing up floors to doing fix-it jobs, or if she wants to sit and chat about life or pray, we can do that. Wow, so I hit the nail on the head in 2020 — spending time alone with her! The other day she told me, “I so appreciated all the bouquets and cards that you gave to me, but this year I can just feel that love penetrating in my heart in a deeper or more meaningful way.” Wow, this is something that I feel so unworthy of. We can do all the nice things in the world, but if it does not penetrate the heart, then it tends to make us feel that it is not even worth trying.
I often think about the saying, “If you treat your wife like a rose, she will bloom like one.”
For the children, we have what we call a weekly date, meaning every Saturday at noon, Julia, 8, and Austin, 5, know that I will have some time with them individually. And so what do our dates look like? I normally will get a little drink and snack together, and we will just simply sit on the recliner and discuss life, help sort out their feelings, and also then give them direction. It is like this: if we don’t have a relationship with our children, then someone else will, and who will that someone be? I have also discovered if there is any guilt that a child is carrying with them, then that is another area we can give all the love we want, but it simply won’t penetrate.
So what feels like a crisis time, let us use it for getting our goals together, and hitting them hard, and yes everyone who reads this can do it!
For the recipe for this week, I will call it:
DANIEL’S RELATIONSHIP RECIPE
• Words of affirmation
• Quality time
• Acts of service
• Physical touch
Communicate with your family. Ask specific questions like, “What would you like best: if I give you a card or if I help you around the house? Or would you rather have a date or maybe even a bouquet of 12 red roses?” And you will discover a whole new world open up! Remember, hit hard!