It was the end of a very busy day filled with homeschooling, canning and preparing for visitors. I sank wearily into the recliner. My husband walked into the room and cheerily questioned, "How about a cup of coffee, Hon?" I stifled the quick retort, rolled my eyes, sighed and wearily rose to put on a pot of coffee.
A few days later as I was preparing supper, I asked one of my daughters to pick some green beans from the garden. She rolled her eyes, sighed and wearily rose to complete the task. I was shocked by her blatant disrespect. I would have reprimanded her, but was pricked in my conscience. She was, after all, only imitating my behavior.
I began to realize that the way I responded to and obeyed my husband was exactly the way my children were going to respond to and obey me. If every time he said something, I argued and questioned his authority, it would only be a matter of time before my children responded in like manner. Because, no matter how much I "said" I was an obedient wife, my actions were telling another story.
To be discreet, chased, keepers at home, good obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
I began to realize that it was my duty to show my children how to respect their dad. I began to make a conscious effort to respond immediately and cheerfully to his requests, to reply with a "Sure, I'd love to." because that's how I wanted my children to respond when I made a request of them. If he made an observation, I became careful not to criticize or belittle it. And if he stated (for example) that we needed a new lawnmower, I tried really hard not to remind him of the 101 things that I needed more.
I took it a step further and refused myself the privilege of criticizing him or any decision he made in front of my children. I would only say good things to them about him and if they were to question his decision, I would defend him and explain that he was able to make decisions based on logic, where we were more apt to make emotional decisions. Because God had placed him in a position of leadership in our home, we were to respect his decisions. Despite my disbelief, the world didn't end when in his retelling of an event, he mistakenly said that we were at the Green Bay Walmart (when in actuality we were at the Shawano Walmart) and I didn't correct his error.
My children and my husband enjoy a very close relationship. They love and adore their dad and would do anything in the world for him. When he "talks" with them about areas that need improvement or growth, they quickly comply and if he asks them not to do something, they refrain, even if they don't always understand.
Sometimes, I think our eyes can become dim to the fact that we are not in competition with our husbands. We are to work together as a unit to raise our families for God's honor. After all, as Abraham Lincoln so nobly stated, "A house divided against itself, can not stand". Neither can a home be what God intended it to be if we undermine the head God placed in our families.
"Unless you die to yourself and your feelings, you will never really live." WMB