Drop Everything for Her
When Benedict is in the family room playing, anytime he hears the locks on the front door turning, he'll stop and say, "Mama." This cute response to an all too familiar sound is based on his experience of daily life. In the evening, when Alison comes home from work, soon after hearing that sound, his mother appears in view and he gets very excited. No matter what he's doing or how engaged he is with his current activity, he'll stop, say "Mama" and then crawl to the baby gate, waiting to catch a glimpse of her.
Benedict's response shows a real eagerness to see Alison. He clearly misses her during the day, especially on days when he mills around saying "mama." I'm most impressed by his response of dropping everything because it really illustrates the place that Alison has in his heart; nothing is more important to him than she is.
The same should be true for us. How many times have you been working on a project, reading a book, or watching TV when your wife asks for your attention, only for you to keep her at bay until you finish that step, sentence, or scene? What does that say about how you view your wife? Certainly you don't value her less than what you're doing, so it's important for your actions to show it.
You most likely spend most of your days separated from your wife by work. Thankfully we have communications technologies that make it a much easier separation to bear. We're able to text, call, and tweet to find out how our days are going, what's on our minds, when we're leaving to come home, and what we're having for dinner.
When practicable, answer her texts promptly. A text, though not a premium form of communication, is a rough equivalent of your wife standing next to you. When she texts you, take a minute and respond. Even better, send her kind words randomly throughout the day. These random texts serve as little reminders of why you love her and how great she is.
The real struggle that you'll face when implementing this "drop everything for her" program is going to be when you do so at home. You can wait a minute to read a text message, your wife won't wait a full minute to speak with you. When she speaks, listen. Pause the game, mute the TV, put down the book, turn away from the computer, look away from the phone. Whatever you're doing in that moment, it's not nearly as important as whatever your wife has to say. Further, when she asks you to do something, do it. It's ok to put it off for a few minutes, but not much longer than that. Even more than just taking a time out, if you're asked a question, give a thoughtful answer. It's tempting to give her the quick answer that gets you back to whatever you were doing. Answer truthfully and give your honest opinion. Serving your wife and helping her with whatever she needs help with is the most important thing you can be doing in any moment of your day.
When you're playing with your kids, this habit is even more important. Your kids, as you undoubtedly know, are always watching you. When you press pause at the drop of a hat to help your wife, they see what being a good husband means. When they see that you'll pause whatever game you were playing or stop everything when your wife asks for your attention, it'll make an impact.
The habit of dropping everything for your wife is a difficult one to master. It takes a good deal of effort to break out of the cycle that we're currently in. However, with practice and discipline, you'll soon be communicating to both your children and your wife that she's the most important thing in your world, at every moment of the day.