Do you parent with your husband, or against your husband? Or do you feel like he parents against you? Hmm … tough questions, but I wonder if most couples don’t wrestle through this on some level. Would you like some help?
This is one of the tough issues my coauthor, Kathy Barnett, tackles in The Warrior’s Bride, releasing next week! Within its pages, you’ll find considerably more guidance on parenting, but we wanted to take the time today to offer a little perspective on parenting disagreements in this excerpt from Chapter 8: When the Two Become Three.
Parenting is the most difficult thing I’ve ever done in my life, second only to marriage.
More than anything else these are the two places that keep me on my knees asking God for help. Loving the kids is easy for both my husband and me, but coming together to share the same parenting views is not always easy.
There are so many areas where Sam and I have disagreed through the years. It seemed right from the start that Sam would be gone frequently, so the daily tending and training of our first son was left largely to me. I was the one who figured out the sleeping, eating, and playing schedules. And although I welcomed Sam’s help when he was there, I found myself frustrated when he didn’t adhere to my schedules.
He would give them chocolate milk at six weeks of age. He would bathe them and use the wrong shampoo. He would hold the children all the time. He was just trying to help, but because he didn’t do things as I would do them, I got upset.
Parenting with Sam felt almost like parenting against Sam at times.
I knew that wasn’t what God wanted. And as I learned how to be a better wife and mother, that pesky word submission kept rearing its ugly head. Especially when Sam and I wouldn’t agree.
God has reminded me on several occasions that our children are as much my husband’s as mine, so he not only should have equal say in their training and development, but even more: because he is the head of our home. It doesn’t matter if the task of caring for their daily needs largely falls to me. The responsibility is still Sam’s, and he will stand accountable for that before God.
Just as in every other area of our marriage, we wives must learn to submit to the headship of our husbands when we parent our children. This is extremely hard when you have drastically different views on how to raise your kids.
But we must remember that much of our calling as wives is to help our husbands succeed in their calling. So, if he was called to be a father, then you were called to help him succeed at being a father.
This might not resonate well with some of you, I know. You may be thinking that if he is head of the home and will stand accountable before God, why isn’t he helping to parent more? Or, at least, why don’t I get equal say, since I do more than half the work in the rearing of them?
For the sake of our roles in the family, I have to realize that my life is surrendered. I am here to serve my God, and I do this through serving my husband and serving my children by sacrificing my life for their training.
Our sacrifice in this is the epitome of Christlikeness. Christ humbled himself and gave up everything. It was for the joy of seeing us healed and united with our Father that He gave up everything.
We must be so willing to see our children’s hearts united to their daddy’s hearts, and ultimately their Heavenly Father’s heart, that we too are willing to lay our lives down. Daily.
The Warrior’s Bride, already out on eBook, releases in paperback on October 17th! To read the opening chapter, click here.
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