Oh if only I had known then what I know now and what Eliza is about to share with us! Listen up ladies, this is CRITICAL, life-changing information you are about to learn! It will save you untold heartache if you apply God’s wisdom to your life ASAP!
Greg (April’s husband) with our son as a newborn
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY WEEKEND, LADIES!
This post is a priceless treasure for those of you who are mothers. May God richly bless your walk with Him, your marriages and your children as you seek to honor, wholeheartedly love and obey Christ! (Warning – you may need tissues for this one )
From a precious sister in Christ, Eliza:
I don’t feel like an old lady speaking to younger women. I still feel very young and find it pretty hard thinking of myself as a woman in her early 50′s. But I definitely am an aged woman as I have raised my family from beginning to end. So, I’ve experienced the end result and know the full spectrum from sowing to reaping. I really hope my life experiences can help other women be the mothers God wants them to be. And HE can accomplish it in our lives if we simply submit to His principles with our children as we also diligently submit to the principles we are putting into place regarding our husbands. They really go hand in hand. To God be the glory for all He has accomplished in my life!
For some reason, however, it isn’t necessarily the pain of what hurt I caused my husband (although I deeply regret hurting him and it breaks my heart that I hurt him so much), but it is the pain I caused my children that hurts the most.
They were innocent and weren’t part of the dynamics of our marriage. You just absolutely cannot imagine how painful it can be to have your children tell you the hurts you caused them. Not sure the rest of my life is enough time for healing for that. I agree that you cannot have a testimony without having first had the trials. I’m not trying to make anybody feel bad about that… I just wish I had learned a lot sooner. But, I’m choosing not to lament over it because it isn’t the attitude God wants when He did so much to accomplish forgiveness for me.
Because my husband has a very meek spirit and he also has the gift of mercy, he was very gracious towards the kids’ “mistakes, sins, disobedient behaviors.” I was very militant with the kids, and lacked greatly in the mercy department. I was really strict and was always trying to keep control of everything and everybody.
- It hurt the kids to see me control their dad ~ they thought he was the best dad ever.
But I was really tough on all of them too because I was so controlling. They did not feel loved by me. (did you hear what I said??) Imagine your kids telling you that!!
I was blind. All those years I thought I was a good mother. Then they sat me down and told me otherwise. I thought I was going to die of a broken heart. I was devastated. The truth is that the Bible advocates Mercy AND Truth. God always puts the two together. You can’t have Mercy and no Truth, and you can’t have Truth with no Mercy. Look up mercy and truth and you will see how God puts them together in His Word.
I needed somebody like Debi Pearl (“Created to Be His Helpmeet”) to wake me up and show me what I wasn’t seeing. Her book did exactly that. And I am confident that that is the kind of book God ordained that I read because I needed that to wake me up. I experienced great conviction, as I said, and I repented. I apologized to everybody and now I am trusting God to heal all of our relationships. (For Nikka’s review of this highly controversial book, please click here. April has not read this book as of yet.)
Slowly, He is doing that, and I am grateful. But I will go to my grave knowing I caused such pain and hurt to my precious babies. I am so so so thankful God got a hold of my heart through this book. He has changed my life. Praise God, my children have all forgiven me and we are now working on building new relationships with each other. I know they are shocked to see me so calm and so peaceful. It has given them hope. I know God will accomplish much in His timing.
I should have relied more on God’s Word, strength, and Holy Spirit power when I was raising my kids. I was prideful; I thought I was doing great. I don’t recall ever asking God for His opinion. Yikes! It’s just nuts how you can think you are A-OK and then God shows you otherwise. It’s pretty humbling. But I praise God for His humbling me and showing me who I was and the hurt I was causing. I never want to act like that again…I am determined to continue to learn and grow and trust in God’s power and not my own. I am so dependant on God now and don’t trust in myself. I was so high strung before because I was doing it all on my own. And now, I have God’s peace and He enables me and keeps me on track. It’s a night and day change in my life. And I am eternally grateful to the Lord to lead me to April and Nikka’s blogs because they have been such a blessing to me. Thank you, Ladies!!! And praise our awesome God!!
I DIDN’T SUBMIT TO MY HUSBAND’S AUTHORITY WITH DISCIPLINE
One area I feel I really negatively impacted the kids is in the area of discipline. What I would do differently now is submit to my husband’s choice or method of discipline for the kids. Resisting his authority in front of the kids by taking over was SO disrespectful!! For whatever reason, I always thought I was pretty good at it.
- Time has brought the truth to light that I wasn’t so good at it! I was too militant and harsh as a woman.
I think it was a contradiction in itself to be a woman and be that way. It confused the kids.
- They really wanted their mom to have a meek and gentle spirit.
- They wanted me to submit to and respect their dad.
- They wanted to me speak few words.
- They wanted lots of hugs and encouraging words from me.
- I was too busy being in control of everybody to be a soft place for them.
- They needed mom to be softer and dad to have full control.
He also always disciplined in love, and he definitely had a lot more self control than I did. I could get pretty upset and emotional. I 100% believe now that the husband should make the decisions regarding this area of parenting.
I just did whatever I thought was best — I didn’t take my husband’s preference into consideration.
When this happens, the kids can see that the parents are not in agreement. That’s never a good thing either. It makes the kids feel insecure. They need to see their parents in agreement; and if the parents are not in agreement, they need to see the mother defer to the father.
Not being respectful to my husband in other areas also really caused the kids some deep hurts. “No man can serve two masters.” The kids should not be torn between having to please both parents & when they are not in agreement, that makes it very tough on the kids. God wired the kids to thrive in the environment that He ordained for the family. There is a chain of command that God set into place, and if we do not follow that, we will have problems and it will affect the children in negative ways.
Debi Pearl also said something that impacted me. She said that control and dominance are masculine traits and that a woman’s calling is to be submissive and yielding to her husband. I never lived like that and that was NOT a good testimony to my children…now that I am living according to God’s Word, I see the kids noticing and I hope they learn from what I am practicing now — not what I practiced when I was in rebellion to God and His Word.
Unfortunately, I now only have one child left at home. Maybe I will be a better grandmother than a mother! I’m trusting in God’s goodness and mercy. I want Him to use all my mistakes for good, and I do know and understand that He can use all this for good if I use it for ministry to help other ladies. I want to be used by God to warn women that there is a day of reckoning and it just might be extremely painful. It doesn’t have to be that way. God can change us before it is too late.
“A child’s view of God is formed in the likeness of his dad.”
I read your article on “Respecting our Husbands as Fathers,” April, and it was point on!
I am extremely thankful that your statement (above) is 100% true and my own experience confirms it too. I can tell you for certain that God allowed our children to take on more of the character of their father, not me. They all love and adore their dad and are very similar to his personality and temperament. God graciously allowed them to learn to emulate him, not me. It is as though the Lord caused the children to retain what he taught and set by example and reject all the negative, unBiblical stuff I was doing. God put it in children’s hearts and minds that the father is meant to be the head of the household, and they seem to want to live that out whether or not the mother and wife applies it herself.
God honored my husband’s behavior and rejected mine.
You did such a good job teaching the children to treat their father the same way you did. That is how it should be!! In your situation, God honored your teaching because it was Biblical and so He allowed the children to emulate it. Mine NEVER emulated my behavior — thank God!! You have saved yourself so much unnecessary pain. I encourage you to continue to apply these principles no matter what! Thank you for seeking God in your life and learning the proper order for the home before any major hurts occurred. I praise your efforts and am so thankful for all the wisdom the Lord has given you. May God do this same work in homes across our land and even throughout the world for His honor and glory!!