Let the guardian spirit of the hearth be not its evil genius, but its muse….   she can produce much by helping her husband to produce, compelling him to keep a watch on himself, to give his best, helping him to recover after the inevitable lapses, buoying him up when he loses courage, consoling him for his disappointments without accentuating them through undue insistence, soothing his sorrows, being his sweet reward after his labors.

After the efforts of work, a man is like a wounded soldier.  He needs to be surrounded with care and quite.  Do not force him, let him relax and encourage him, take an interest in what he is doing; add your strength to his at the moment that he is, as it were, depleted by a perhaps excessive expenditure of himself; in short, be a mother to him, and this strong man, who is all weakness, will feel himself braced up and fresh for new struggles.

Children complicate life, but so sweetly that they should serve to give the worker fresh courage rather than to lessen his resources.  The little ones take much of you, and what good would they be if they did not now and then tease and tax you?

But they hearten you just as much, and perhaps more;they can heighten your inspiration by mingling joy with it; they give a love-lit reflection of nature and of man and thus defend you against the abstract; they bring you back to the real, about which their questioning eyes are waiting for an exact commentary from you.  Their pure faces preach integrity, that sister of knowledge; and does not their readiness to believe, to hope, to have great dreams, and to expect everything from the fatherhood that guides them – does not this uplift you also, you man of thought, and give you motive for hope?  You can see an image of God and a sign of our immortal destiny on this image of the future .

A. G. Sertillanges in, The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods


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