Teaching by example

This isn't  some deeply religious post with biblical references - although it could be; there are plenty of scriptures dissecting the importance of a man loving his wife. This is just something that came to mind today after I received two catalogs from Frederick's of Hollywood today.
I flipped through it fairly quickly, glancing at the special Valentine's lingerie. I rarely order from them unless they have some huge sale (they have mix & match panties, 5 for $25 all the time!!) but I always flip through their catalog.
When Josh got home, he excitedly started flipping through it, too. It's almost Valentine's day, which gives him an excuse to buy that stuff. He began to "ooh" and "ahhhh" over each adorable little piece, and I could see the gears turning as he tried to envision each chemise on my curvy mom-bod.
"Which ones do you like?" He asked quickly.
"Is this valentine's gift for you, or for me? Cause I would like to have my wedding ring sized up," I answered with a laugh.
"It can be for me!" he added hastily.
Then my dad walked up and saw the magazines.
"Your mom used to be hot, she used to weigh about 100 pounds, believe it or not!" He started dying laughing. My mom was sitting at the table right next to us, and he probably found it even funnier to make a joke about someone who was there to hear it.
I informed my father that you don't have to be 100 pounds to be attractive.
Then he picked up a catalog and started talking about how "hot" all the models were, especially the more scantily clad ones, with utmost hilarity.  Josh just sort of shook his head and ignored my dad.
Finally my dad, in a last attempt to try to get Josh to be a disrespecting pig, asks "Okay Josh, be honest, if this woman," he points to a model in a sexy outfit, "was standing in your room and Abby was too, who would you get in bed with??"
Obviously, my father has no tact and nothing is sacred.
Josh points to me.
"Are you sure Josh?" I asked him. "This woman might not have chlamydia..."
"Yeah I think I'll pass...."

So after my parents left, I kept waving the magazine in Josh's face asking him why he can't see that this model is clearly the perfect woman! She doesn't weigh very much, she is like, 6'2, and has blonde hair... that is like, universal-standards-perfection right?? I mean, who knows if she has any STDs, or if she would wash dishes, have your children, if her I.Q. is above 12, or if she can help you stack the 1/2 cord of wood that was just dumped in the driveway; but that doesn't matter, because she doesn't weigh very much.

Now, ask yourself, which response would you want from your son regarding his wife in this situation? Do you think it is acceptable for him to see a commercial with an iconic "sexy" woman in a bikini and start telling his wife how much he finds that girl sexually attractive? Or make lewd jokes man-jokes like "I wouldn't kick her out of bed for eating crackers!"

I don't know very many people who would want their sons acting that way to any woman, especially one they were married to.

Now ask yourself how your husband would respond in that situation.

It's fairly likely that your son is going to react the same way that your husband reacts, because that is where he is going to take most if his education in "how to be a man." Even if you think it is funny or it is a joke between you guys, your son is going to latch onto that. Maybe he will marry a woman that is very self-conscious and just doesn't find it funny. Either way, people need to remember that every day, they are teaching their kids about life; and how you act to your spouse is how your children are learning to interact with their spouses in the future.
It's no wonder that my sister grew up with eating disorders, listening to these frequent responses from our father and his views on women. Parents need to think about the effects of their behaviors;

How is this going to translate from my child to a spouse?
How is this going to translate from my child to their children?
How is this going to translate from my child to their grandchildren?

I'm not saying that Josh is now the perfect husband in every way because he doesn't lust after unobtainable models in lingerie, but would rather buy the lingerie and put it on me. But it does mean so much to me that, unlike my dad, my husband would never tell me to my face that models are the epitome of the perfect woman and that they are more sexually attractive than me, after three kids in four years.

After waving the catalog in front of Josh for about twenty minutes and sarcastically explaining to him how desirable these women were because of their weight, I demanded, "Okay fine... then what is the perfect woman???"
To which he answered, "YOU!"

I hope my sons learn that one!!!!