Thank you for visiting, I hope you stick around! This is a blog dedicated to encouraging women to rest in God's grace and righteousness. I pray that nothing you read or see here leaves you feeling discouraged or inadequate. The last thing I want is to contribute to the "I don't measure up to this blog" epidemic that is plaguing so many moms today! My prayer is that this blog helps any readers (and myself) be comfortable with the eternal and secure identity in Christ that is there for the taking. Here's to walking in His liberty!


Monday, February 10, 2014

{letting your husband lead you, part 3} help him establish authority with the children...

How many times has this happened?

Dad: "{Kid}, what exactly do you think you are doing? I asked you to {insert task here}."

Kid stands there dumbfounded, not knowing what to say.

Kid: "Um...mom asked me to {insert thing that got in the way here}..."

Me: "Honey, I did ask her to do this for me real quick. Can she do{his ignored task} after??"

(Or something of that nature.)

This happens so much in my house! My poor husband is so good at taking each little opportunity to gain ground with our kids, as far as their obedience goes. He is great at phrasing things the right way. He can assert his Godly authority over our children without exasperating them....and then I come along and throw a wrench in the works. I undermine his authority right in front of them.

I'm sure some will think that may be a harsh way to put it, but you have to think about it the way a child will think about it. A child will have a heck of a time differentiating my chiming in to modify and/or negate the discipline situation they are in with their father, from me telling them flat out to ignore him, or that what he says goes...as long as it aligns with everyone else's opinion. If I've done the first in front of the kids, I may as well have done the second.

Though this may sound weird at first, think about why at least half of the moms out there say the phrase "you just wait until your father gets home." I'm not saying we shouldn't discipline our kids ourselves, ladies, but God's design for the Christian family home places the man as the head. Maybe this is why that phrase flies out of millions of mouths every single day. He has Godly authority over his family, and you have the Godly task of helping him establish this authority with your children.

So what does this look like practically? Honestly, I'm still working that out. I told you, this blog is mostly for my own growth. ;)

After months of thought and prayer, and gleaning wisdom from some very wise women, I will offer three practical guidelines that may help get the ball rolling.

1. If he's handing a discipline situation, LET HIM. If there is something you NEED to add during a discipline situation that he is handling, be sneaky about it. 

That sorry exchange up at the beginning of this post? It can be avoided. I can just keep my mouth shut and trust that if he needs to ask a clarifying question, he will. I can also be involved in the situation as his sidekick, rather than a mediator, and if I need to quickly tell him that what's happening here is just a miscommunication, it can look something like this:

Me: "{child's name}, I did ask you to do {such and such thing} for me--and I'm sorry for the miscommunication on my part--but please obey daddy and do as you were told, and we can talk about what I asked you to do afterward." 

This way I am not undermining his authority over the kids, but reinforcing it. Plus, I'm letting dad know that I goofed and that he might want to pull back a little because of that, but without derailing his opportunity to point our child to Jesus.

2. Remind them often of all that he does for the family.

My husband works his tail off at his job. I'm sure yours does too. I don't work outside the home (and even if I did, I don't have his admirable skill set and couldn't make even close to enough to support us), so I am pretty aware of how much we rely on him financially. When the kids and I go to the store and fill our cart up, that's an opportunity to bring up God's bountiful provision through daddy's job, and daddy's obedience to God in working hard at that job.

Also, those nights when my husband comes home from all that hard work and sees that I have had a monster of a day...and grabs us a pizza or cooks dinner himself, I can remind them of how he sacrificially loves mommy the way that Jesus loves us.

Additionally, when I see them stomping on their toys or treating the furniture like a jungle gym, I can remind them to be good stewards of what the Lord has blessed us with. It doesn't honor God to not take care of the things dad works hard to pay for, and they need to be reminded of that. (Psst: I'm not saying that you aren't teaching this lesson if you let your kids play rough with their toys or your couches....kids gon' be kids. You just have to look for these lessons where it's applicable to you.) :)

3. Remember that they are listening to how you speak to and relate to him.

I can get just a tad snippy and finger waggy. Hard to believe, I know. I have the sass of a thousand pregnant Beyonces, and it bursts forth quite valiantly at times. It's something that I chuckle about with friends who share this struggle, but when it comes down to it this is not a behavior that is honoring to God...or good for my kids to see.

If I speak to my husband disrespectfully, believe me, I will come face to face with it in the very near future when I hear the exact same tone out of their mouths. It's startling, and I speak from experience here.

Couples argue, and that won't change. Chicks get sassy, and that ain't goin nowhere. But the Bible does tell us to take captive every THOUGHT and make it obedient to Christ. Not even just every word. Every.Stinkin.Thought. Thank the beautiful Lord Jesus for his perfection, because I'd say the vast majority of my thoughts are not obedient to Him. I take great comfort from this verse, in the midst of the heavy conviction it brings. It's not saying that we can make our thoughts 100% pure, it's saying that right in the thick of those thoughts, we can MAKE them obedient to Christ.

When my inner preg-yonce is trying to claw her way out, and my pride is bubbling, and I JUST HAVE TO BE HEARD....I must try to make my thoughts obedient to Christ. I must try to speak respectfully to my husband, even though he is just so wrong in my opinion.

The task is a noble one, which of course makes it a difficult one. Help your husband establish Godly authority in your home under the authority if God's Word, and rest in Christ's perfection and grace when you don't get it right.

Here's to becoming more like Jesus,


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