As homeschool moms, we’re used to taking charge of our households during the day, managing the kids, their schooling, the pets, and the telephone all while juggling a laundry basket on one hip and a laptop on the other. When we finally sit down, we’ve got a school book in one hand and the Bible in the other—trying to improve as a teacher and attempting to live out the walk of the Proverbs 31 woman all at the same time.
Some days, we’re rockin’ and a’rollin’ like we’ve got super powers and other days we’re hiding in the bathroom hoping no one remembers that there’s supposed to be a wife or mommy in the house. Too often, we try to do it all or at least act like we think we can and inadvertently we get things around the home out of balance. We become of the boss of everything and everyone and then no one wants to help us when we need them.
One relationship that often gets out of whack nearly as easy as your back—and becomes twisted like your neck when there’s a crick in it—is the relationship you have with your husband. When you spend all day bossing (I mean, directing) kids around, it’s kind of easy to do the same thing to your husband when he comes home at the end of the day. It’s sometimes second nature to tell him to pick up his socks or to put his dishes in the sink, just like we’d tell our children. Then when we all of a sudden feel like mommy to not only the kids but to our husbands, as well, we start to blame him and wonder where in the world our manly man we married all those years ago went. We wonder why he won’t step up and be a man.
Just like when your immunity is low and you’re exposed to toxins and viruses and bacteria, forgetting the God-ordained order of your household will cause serious illness in your family and maybe even in the future generations. The best cure for this “disease” and the way to have a happy home is to remember that while we cannot change our pasts, we can direct the future and make a difference. We can make sure our households reflect the Biblical model.
How can you show your husband that he’s “the man” and not your child? How can you make sure you’re not showing your kids (and others) that you’re your husband’s mommy and not his wife?
Respect your husband. Keep your words and attitudes toward him and about him kind, gentle, and loving. Avoid speaking in harsh tones and being condescending to him.
Encourage your husband. Proverbs 16:24 says: “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Tell him how thankful you are that he works hard to provide for your family. Make special time with him without the kids. He wants to feel like a “grown-up” with you. Although words of affirmation from co-workers and bosses mean a lot to a man, those encouraging words spoken by his wife are priceless to him.
Be his helpmeet. Sometimes we do things for our husbands because we think we can do them better than they can. And then we complain because we have to do everything ourselves. Be a helpmeet without doing everything for him. He is a man, after all. He is quite capable of doing things.
Stop complaining. If you complain that you have no help around the house or complain about how he does things, it makes him want to help you less. If he doesn’t know how to do what you need him to do but he desires to help you, then show him how. Tell him how thankful you are when he helps you with the kids and around the house.
Kids will do things halfway so you won’t ask them to do them again. Is your husband doing things halfway? Maybe he’s trying to get out of helping. Maybe he feels like you’ll go behind him and redo it. Let him fold the towels his own way. Believe it or not, there really isn’t a right way to do it. Let him see that his way is okay too and that you appreciate his efforts. Make sure he knows how valuable his help is to you.
Children naturally want to rebel against what mommy tells them to do. They want to play first and do chores or schoolwork last. If you treat your husband like your child he will not want to help you. He will not want to be with you. He will find something to do elsewhere. He won’t feel like a knight in shining armor or superman.
A word of caution: Check your motives before you lavish your husband with words of affirmation and make sure that you are not showing him false respect and pouring empty words out on him just so he will do things for you. Philippians 2:3-4 says: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.Remember a marriage and a family is a team.
As the mother of a girl, I want to exemplify what a Biblical woman is like and I want to show her how she should treat her husband. As the mother of a boy, I need to show him how he should want to be treated. I do not want my daughter to take charge of her husband like she will her children. I do not want my son to buckle underneath the badgering of a strong-willed woman. I want him to be respected in his household by his wife and his children. I want my daughter to be blessed with a man who knows he’s the one who provides for and protects her.
As helpmeets and wives we help our husbands tremendously when we don’t treat them as children. When they know they have a wife who loves them, respects them, honors them, and desires their leadership in their lives, men exemplify God’s original design for them.
Photos: Wedding photo and couple hugging photo courtesy of http://www.kaylajohnsonphotography.com