THE BLESSING AND RESPONSIBILITY OF BEING A HUSBAND AND FATHER
If you treat your wife not as someone who happens to marry you, but someone who is going to spend the best part of her life for your welfare, which is actually the case, and treat your son not just as an incidental outcome of some pleasure, but as a living manifestation of your love and joy, which is also actually the case, you will find spending time with them not a responsibility but a special privilege.
— Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit
Sifu, I believe that you are one of the wisest and most compassionate men alive today, and I place great value and worth on your thoughts and opinions. I have been married for almost one year now and my wife and I have just had our first child, a boy. What advice can you give me to be a good husband and father?
— Kevin, USA
Congratulations for being a husband and father, and thank you for your kind words.
Being a husband and father is one of the most wonderful things that can happen to a man. So treasure your blessing.
With the blessing comes responsibility. The most basic responsibility of a good husband and father is to provide for your family to the best of your ability. Provisions involve not just physical wants and comfort, like decent food and housing, but more importantly spiritual needs, like loving care and spending time with them rewardingly.
Providing for their spiritual needs does not need money, but it needs time and effort. If one really treasures his wife and child, he can readily find the time and effort, irrespective of how busy he may imagine himself to be or even really be.
If you treat your wife not as someone who happens to marry you, but as someone who is going to spend the best part of her life for your welfare, which is actually the case, and treat your son not just as an incidental outcome of some pleasure, but as a living manifestation of your love and joy, which is also actually the case, you will find spending time with them not a responsibility but a special privilege.
Marriage is sacred. Personally I believe a man should have one and only one wife. You have chosen your wife. So you just have to make sure your marriage can only be successful. You have no other choice, and there is no looking back. Be generous in your attitude. Assume the position that you, and not your wife, are the one to take the initiative to ensure a successful, happy marriage. When you have set the right initiative, your wife will naturally respond.
Reproduced from Question 1 in Selection of Questions and Answers — January 2001 Part 1
Please e-mail your questions to Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit stating your name, country and this web page for reference. E-mails without these particulars may not be answered.