Monday, May 19, 2008

Priorities? Husband vs. Children

Pennie commented on my last post that it is hard for her (and I'm sure for many, many women) to put her husband before her children. I think that is natural.

God has given us as mothers a tremendous drive to protect our children. We are meant to bond with them in a way that we don't bond with anyone else. They need us for every thing, particularly as babies.

However. . .they are not our first priority.

Of course we are to give them love, shelter, food, tenderness, support, encouragement, chauffer services, clean clothes, kisses on boo-boos and all that good stuff.

But we are supposed to make sure that our husband is taken care of first. Not, of course, to the point of neglecting our children, but certainly they can take their rightful place behind Daddy.

We have become a child-centered society. In ages past, children were not the center of the family. Joyful additions, to be sure, but not the center. They were expected to contribute to family life, to be respectful and, let's face it, to do what Mom and Dad said.

If it's a choice between making sure that your child gets to a playdate or making sure that your husband has clean clothes and a hot meal, it shouldn't be a contest.

Now, Pennie in her comment seemed to have concerns about her children being actually, physically hurt. I'm not exactly sure what you meant, Pennie, or where you are coming from, but I would never expect a woman to stay in a relationship that is abusive either to herself or her children. NEVER. In that situation, a woman must seek help for herself and for her children.

But for the vast majority of us, this is not the case. For most of us, it's simply a matter of our choices. It's easier and, yes, more enjoyable, to put our children first. We don't want to have to submit. That's the real truth.

But if we truly understood that respecting our husband will lead to so many blessings, we wouldn't hesitate.

It's simply a matter of understanding two basic things:

1) Men thrive on respect. They wither away when they feel unimportant to you. And nothing leads you down that road faster than allowing your children to consume your life. But when you restore him to his rightful place of honor, he will blossom and you (and your children) will be the beneficiaries of his newfound self-confidence.

2) We are called to respect our husbands by God. It's not a choice really. And while Titus 2 tells us to love our husbands and our children, we are told over and over again to respect our husbands and to be submissive to them. This is God's plan, not mine. And God's plan is always smarter than anything we can come up with.

5 comments:

Pennie said...

THANK YOU! I know that this is being written from a perspective where children aren't being abused... it's just the voices in my head, that say *You're really going to sacrifice your children's happiness? Even for a second? Are you insane? They need you. They depend on you.* It's hard to get away from that mentality when it's so ingrained in us that we can do what we want when we want. Thank you for adding a special blog to your series!

Misty said...

I'm so glad I stopped over here today! I have been struggling with this very thing... and it's such a necessary reminder that our husbands are our first priority. thank you for sharing!

Karen said...

That's one of the things that I love about Elizabeth George's books. She very clearly outlines what our priorities should be. God, husband, children, and so forth. Thanks for reiterating that sentiment.

Love Bears All Things said...

Very good! I always went with the notion that the children are going to grow up, leave you an start their own lives. You want to have a happy marriage and relationship with your spouse when that happens so you'd better nurture your husband. Plan dates and teach the children to respect the boundaries you set for time with your mate. Now, I've been married for 41 years so I can speak from a little experience. Submission is biblical, the Husband is Head of the house just like God is head of the Husband. It does not say that you need to be a doormat for a man to walk on, though. A husband is to treat his wife as Christ treats His chuch.
Mama Bear

Jess said...

the times when i have been able to really put my husband first (after the Lord) before the kids, my kids do better, seem more secure, and are even more well-behaved...

lori, as always, you tackle tough issues with wisdom and balance...

love,

jess

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