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Moments for Mom: The children are watching

  • Elisabeth K. Corcoran
  • Updated Apr 01, 2003
Moments for Mom: The children are watching

My husband, Kevin, and I were having one of those days...where disconnection was prevailing. We both were handling the situation poorly, but life has to go on and sometimes you can't fix something before he heads off to work or you have to run the kids to school. So we had a day or so on not-so-good terms. It was run-of-the-mill stuff, nothing huge. In fact, I don't even remember what started it. (Okay, well, I do...but that's not the point...)

Later the kids and I were cuddling on the couch waiting for Daddy to come home for dinner, and Jack snuggles close to me and says, "This is what Daddy's going to do when he gets home." It was very sweet. But I said, "Probably not today, honey...Daddy's a little upset with me." And Sara said, "Ah, Mom...", kind of like, 'what did you do now?' 

Just as we were talking, Kevin came home and the kids went running to greet him. I walked into the kitchen to get dinner on the table. He and I didn't really look at each other, let alone say anything, while he was greeting the kids. But Sara comes over to me, nudges me and says, reminiscent of two junior high girls at their first dance, "Mom, go to talk to him." Made me smile. And it worked - we made up that evening.
This incident really got to me, for a couple reasons. One, my four-year-old was able to imitate the kind of affection Kevin shows me - because he's seen him do it. And secondly, six-year-old Sara was visibly bothered by the knowledge that her Mommy and Daddy weren't okay. That didn't sit well with her. In fact, she wanted us to fix it. And she took matters into her own hands to get me to initiate communication. 

My children are watching. They are listening. They see how well (or not well) Kevin and I treat each other. They feel the distance...just as they can feel the genuine love. And we are showing them each what to expect out of marriage...which is really scary sometimes.  Sara will make Kevin the standard from which she chooses her husband, and Jack will more than likely treat his wife the way he observes Kevin treat me. That goes the other way as well...Sara will love and respect her husband with what she sees me model, and Jack will choose a wife based on what he likes in me. 
So two points of challenge and encouragement today, ladies. Take extra care with your marriage - this is not just a relationship that affects you and your husband; it will have lasting effects on your children. Treat your husband's heart with gentleness, show him respect, display your affection for him openly. Secondly, pray, pray, pray for the spouse your child chooses...their choice will rest a lot on what they see in you and your husband; and it will affect their lifetime's contentment level, their children's lives, and their spiritual effectiveness.

Elisabeth K. Corcoran is the author of Calm in My Chaos: Encouragement for a Mom's Weary Soul.  She is wife to Kevin, and mom to Sara, 6, and Jack, 4-&-1/2.  Her passion is encouraging women and she fulfills that through heading up the Women's Ministries at Blackberry Creek Community Church in Aurora, IL and writing as much as she can.

Calm in My Chaos can be purchased directly through her publisher, Kregel Publications at 1-888-644-0500 or by clicking here. It may also be purchased at or, or through your local Christian bookstore. This column is original and not excerpted from her book.