Whenever my wife takes the children out of town to visit family for a few days, my intent is always to get “tons of stuff done.” What usually happens, though, is that I revert to pre-marriage/family habits: staying up until 1:00 a.m. watching t.v. and movies; getting up at about 8:30 or 9:00 a.m. every morning (except Sunday, when I *had* to be up for 8:30 service); and eating out for just about every meal. In short, I turn into something less than a man.
There is a great line in the movie “As Good as it Gets” by Jack N. where he says: “You make me want to be a better man.” What is it about our wives and children that make us better men? Responsibility probably has something to do with it. Accountability, the need to prove oneself to his spouse, whatever. Perhaps it is God’s way of saying, “It is not good for man to be alone.” I am a better person (outwardly) when my dear wife and children are home. We have schedules to keep, and routines that make life more structured. Some people are self-disciplined and could use such time to “get tons of stuff done.” I am not. I need the structure that comes from family life in order to be productive. I am actually more productive when everyone is here. Yeah, life seems more hectic with three children, but at least it is not “without form and void.” Can anyone else relate? (By the way, if my wife is reading this from her remote location, I will say that the house is nice and clean. That I can do–much easier when little Martin (18 months) is not pulling toys out of the toy box constantly!)