Here is one husband’s response to this post earlier in the week:
Thank you for this post. Your advice is spot on!
The thing that I want from my wife is input and cooperation, not demands, domination, manipulation or deception.
The former draw me to her, the latter drive me away from her.
I want to reiterate what you say about wives not undermining or overruling their husbands with the children.
The scripture is pretty clear that children are to obey their parents. When my wife overrules or undermines a decision I have made or a command that I have given, she teaches our kids that I am not a competent father and that I should be ignored. Rather than bringing peace and unity to our home, it creates conflict and strife. When I react to her lack of respect, then she goes into attack mode condemning me for my reaction to her sin.
The long term effect this has had is that my children stop listening to me. They just tune me out. I become more and more disengaged and leave the parenting duties to her. Then, when a child is not listening to her, she demands that I support her with the child so that she can regain control with her. My response to my wife is, ‘Why should I do for you, what you never do for me?’ This just invites attack and condemnation.
I don’t think most wives realize the long term consequences of undermining our husbands’ spiritual authority in the family. I know I didn’t until God opened my eyes to all of my disrespect, pride, idolatry of self and being in control, self-righteousness, etc… in Dec 2008.
My husband had become very unplugged with me and our children. I was constantly asking him to do more with us.
I had NO CLUE why he had unplugged. I thought he was just unloving and cared about the TV too much.
Now I know, of course, that I had disrespected him and taken over control. Now I know that I wouldn’t listen to him and wouldn’t support his parenting and thought I always “knew best” since I had read more books about parenting. It’s heartbreaking to me now to realize how destructive my attitudes, words and actions were at times back then. In front of the TV, he was safe. With me, he was not very safe at times.
When I began to learn about respect and biblical submission. I seriously felt like I was trying to learn some VERY foreign language – without a teacher. That is how little it all made sense to me at first. It took me over 2 years of constant study, prayer and journaling (for hours a day almost every day) to BEGIN to feel like I remotely had a clue what I was doing.
Soon into my journey into being a godly wife, I began to talk to our children (our son was 7 and our daughter was 2) and say things all throughout the day like:
– God made husbands/dads to be the leaders in the family.
– I was wrong to try to be in charge of things before. I am so sorry. I hurt you and I hurt Daddy by the way I treated Daddy. I don’t want to do that anymore.
– Daddy is in charge now the way God’s Word says he is supposed to be. We will all treat him with respect.
– Please use a respectful tone of voice to Daddy and to me. That wasn’t a respectful tone of voice. Please try saying that again respectfully.
– That was a disrespectful attitude. Please apologize for talking to Daddy/me like that.
– Obey Daddy and Mama because God commands you to obey your parents so that you can please God and you can have a long life.
– If one of us says no to something, don’t ask the other parent. It will be “no” from both of us.
– Your Daddy asked you not to jump on the couch. I know he’s not here right now – but we are going to honor him and obey him whether he is here or not.
– (If a child is slow to obey my husband) You heard what Daddy said. Please obey Daddy now.
– That decision is up to Daddy (for bigger decisions). We will honor whatever he decides. You may ask for what you want respectfully, just one time, and then please accept whatever he decides is best.
We will continue this discussion in Part 2 tomorrow! 🙂