Standing at the sink with suds dripping down onto their bare feet was the fun way to wash dishes for my children when they were little.

I would pull a chair up to the sink for them to stand in and then fill the sink with warm, sudsy water. I provided little things they could wash to entertain themselves.

Standing at the sink with suds dripping down onto their bare feet was the fun way to wash dishes for my children when they were little. I would pull a chair up to the sink for them to stand in and then fill the sink with warm, sudsy water. I provided little things they could wash to entertain themselves. While...

While I did the rest of the housework, bubbles and giggles were everywhere. And, yes, I had to clean that up too.

However, as they got older, the game became a chore, and their enthusiasm disappeared. My husband helped around the house a lot, but he hated to do the dishes, so this was one chore he avoided altogether.

One day, I asked my son, who was about ten years old, to wash the dishes. He balked at the request.

When I insisted, he said he didn’t have to do the dishes because it was a woman’s job. I asked him why he thought it was a woman’s job. He said, “Dad doesn’t do the dishes, so it must be a woman’s job.”

Later, I approached my husband with this unpleasant incident, and he said, “Well, I guess it’s time for me to start helping with the dishes.”

That night after supper, he put on one of my aprons and started doing the dishes. My husband invited him to join him. After that, it was no problem for our son to take his turn with the other kids.

This was one of those moments that made a statement to our son. Yes, men wash dishes, and helping is one way; dad demonstrates his love and partnership with their mom.

Opportunities like this occur all the time in the home.

Helping and loving each other does not go unnoticed in the eyes of children who are learning how to develop relationships of their own.

This Valentine’s Day, husbands and wives will do a lot of sweet things to show their love for each other, but what children see every day in the home is what will lay the foundation of love in their lives.

When we love our spouses, our children see that, and without a lot of effort, they learn to love naturally.

When our marriages are under tremendous stress, and we do everything we can to preserve them, our children learn not to give up on the important things of life.

Even when marriages fail, we can still teach our children lessons of love.

The first time I visited my mother-in-law after I was married, I witnessed her demonstrating mature, unselfish love.

After greeting us with hugs and good food, she asked my husband if he had been to visit his dad. They divorced when he was a teenager.

He told her he had not seen him in a while and didn’t know when he would. Without hesitation, his mother reminded him how important it was to spend time with his dad.

I was surprised because the anger and resentment between divorced parents often produce bitter statements instead of encouraging ones.

Even as I sensed a faint sound of pain in her voice, she told her son that just because they were divorced didn’t mean that he should neglect his dad.

In the years to follow, she was consistent in that behavior. I never heard her say bad things about my father-in-law.

There is a perfect love that parents can teach and demonstrate to their children to have in all situations, good and bad. Many couples include the following words in their marriage vows.

Love is patient; love is kind, it doesn’t envy, it doesn’t boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.


Author's Image
Deana Landers
Author for Morningcoffeebeans.com

I have had many roles in life
Pastor’s Wife , Mom/Nana , Nurse/Health Educator, Writer , Christian Speaker
I can't remember a time when I wasn't writing stories, either in my head or in my journal.

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Story Comments

  1. So very true, our actions as parents are what translates to core values in our children. I'm so very lucky to have a supportive Hubby and if I have to be totally honest he does the dishes waaaaay more often than I do :D And he does it with a smile and hug. How fortunate we are.

    • Deana Landers -

      Michelle, thank you. It is a wonderful gift to have a partner in life that is there for us. We are fortunate, indeed. Deana

  2. I was just as surprised when I saw how my brother-in-law and his ex were with each other; they set a great example for their kids! My husband is the dish washer in our family and he does it without hesitation. His parents must have raised them with everything you wrote about in mind :)

    • Deana Landers -

      Thank you, Sara. It is a good example for the children can see their parents being kind to each other after a divorce. It teaches them so much. Always appreciate your comments.Deana

  3. What a lovely story my friend. As a divorced parent (with grown daughters) the fact that their father and I have remained friendly is one of the things I am most proud of. Thank you for sharing.

    • Deana Landers -

      Libbie, thank you. I think that is such a good thing. You should be proud of keeping a friendly relationship with your X for your children's sake. Deana

  4. Maria -

    What a great husband! So happy to see how supportive he is! Great lesson

    • Deana Landers -

      Thank you, Maria. Deana

  5. I grew up in a severely sexist home, because of my mother actually. I was the only girl and all housekeeping was my job. I never did figure out what my four brothers jobs were lol. My sons always do the dishes in their homes. I loved your story about love and partnership.

    • Deana Landers -

      Thank you, Leanna. I had 7 brothers and never saw them doing dishes either:) Deana

  6. Another amazing story. We had the same issue when our kids got older and we had to learn from this. My husband even does the shopping and washing with me now. He does draw the line at cooking though. lol

    • Deana Landers -

      That is a great way to teach our children without the lectures. Seeing their dad and you work together is a great love lesson.Deana

  7. Great story Deana and it is so true to be kind about a divorced parent.

    • Deana Landers -

      Thank you, Kim. I always appreciate your comments.Deana

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