I love telling this story, so I thought I’d post it here in case anybody else gets as much of a kick out of it as I do.
There were 8 kids in our house, which is a big source of real interesting stories as you can imagine, and occasionally we’d have steak, and boy did we love it. (I still do.) But my dad used to do something that when I was a kid I understood one way, and when I became a man (and a married man at that) I understood another.
My dad would, as soon as the steak was off the grill, cut off the best part of it and give it to my mom. Ther was never any discussion. None of us were ever getting that real nice tender portion. No, sir. I thought my dad was trying to show my mom how much he loved her. And he was, and I’m sure that was the main point. But there was something else.
My dad was showing his kids how you treat someone you love. He was modeling it. He never “taught” us how to do it. He showed us instead. This is the same guy who when he came home from work put down his briefcase and gave my mom a kiss and a hug. Immediately. We learned by example, and I hope we learned well. If you love someone, you put them before yourself. Whether it’s loving God (we NEVER missed church) or loving your family (something my parents did, in my humble opinion, as perfectly as any parents ever have).
They made rituals in their lives, traditions that made this live and breathe in everything they did and everything they were. Think of some kind of ritual you can put in your life to do this kind of thing for the people you love, your spouse, your kids, your parents. Show the world how to love by doing it.