Jimmy and I believe there are lessons waiting to be taught in nearly any situation. Just give it a little thought and you'd be surprised at the different opportunities we have to teach our children, even when they are adults. With this in mind I told our son, Drew, years ago I was his Valentine until he had one of his own. As his mother I use these times of the year to teach and mentor him with regards to how to enjoy a healthy relationship with a woman so when he finds his own "one and only" he'll be the best husband, father, and leader of the home he can be.
As mothers to our sons, we are the first woman in their lives and this relationship, be it good or bad, carries a life-long impact. My goal has always been to have a healthy, strong, close, and happy relationship with Drew so he will desire the same when looking for his future wife. Part of what makes our relationship strong and healthy involves taking advantage of teaching opportunities along the way.
When Drew was a little boy Jimmy made a special point to help him remember my birthday and holidays, with the sole purpose he'd one day do the same for his wife. Now that he's older I've taken over the role of teaching him more directly. Like anyone there are times when he's failed to apologize, spoken without compassion, or acted in ways that I know would likely offend a woman. When this happens I lovingly draw it to his attention and work to teach him how to better handle himself.
As an example, not long ago something got his tail feathers in a twit. He didn't take it out on anyone but it was something that even he admitted was minor. So, before he left the house I gave him a big hug and gently whispered in his ear, "Honey, I want you to work on something." "What's that?" he asked. "Self-control. It's a fruit of the spirit that's vital in life because the world is full of glitches and obstacles. To be a godly man you must have self-control. Work on that for me from here on out will you?" He took it very well and I must say this fruit has indeed begun to flourish in him.
Life is full of opportunities to learn and in learning we are obligated to teach, especially our children. One thing I've learned now that Drew is an adult is that teaching did not end when he turned 18 years old. In many respects it began anew as he went out into the world as adult. Our job as parents of adult children is to obtain and maintain a healthy relationship with our children in order to teach in the adult setting. They will make mistakes but don't we all. In the end they'll do fine as long as they have loving parents that teach from afar and pray like the dickens for them every inch of the way!
By the way...are you dying to know what the dog on Drew's card is saying?
FRONT: "I have a confession to make."
INSIDE: "I've seen you naked."
BACKSIDE: "More than once too."
Thanks Hallmark! It's sure to give him a giggle.