Monday, June 21, 2010

God's System of Government

Saturday, March 20, 2010

God's System of Government

It is amazing to me how parenting teaches us many of the lessons we need to learn.  For many years, I have struggled with my position as a wife and mother.  Where do I fit? From reading the Bible, I know that I need to be obedient to my own husband, but how does that translate into everyday living?  I know that he is the Head of our family, the leader, and I am support staff, but what does that look like?  Does that mean that I can never voice an opinion and have to meekly accept any decisions my husband makes with nary the bat of an eyelash?  I have struggled to find a balance in my position.  A wise man takes his wife's counsel, but how do I know when I am "counseling" him or just telling him what to do and how to do it?  Interestingly, it was an encounter with my oldest daughter that answered many of these questions for me.

I was having a rather prickly moment with my two middle children regarding the state of their bedrooms.  Maybe prickly isn't quite the right word - picture a volcano spewing smoke, getting ready to blast and rain molten lava and rock on the face of the countryside - that might be a little more accurate.  Anyway, as I spewed away, justifiably, of course, my eldest daughter broke in and said, "enough, Mom - you have no business talking to them like that!".  Immediately, I saw red.  She had no business speaking to me like that!  I was the mom - she was the daughter.  She was out of order!  Then it hit me. It wasn't that what eldest daughter had said was wrong, in fact, she was quite right - it was that it was out of order, therefore it was offensive.  Had eldest daughter talked to me later, when I was receptive, or if she had quietly asked to speak to me elsewhere, out of siblings listening ears, I would have seen her wisdom and responded much more positively to her words.  Her words would have been spoken in the appropriate manner, in order, therefore they would have been received.  My eyes were opened.  The nature of eldest daughter's offense with me was exactly the nature of my offense with my husband.  No wonder he didn't respond well to my words of wisdom.  My words were offensive, because they were out of order!  I wasn't waiting for the appropriate time to talk with him and I wasn't speaking to him with respect, but more like a mother chastising her small child.  Oh, how offensive my words and very attitude must have been to him!  It wasn't that I wasn't "right" approaching my husband with my grievances - my thoughts were justified and timely, but I was offensive in the manner in which I delivered my "wisdom".

I was so excited so have learned this little pearl of knowledge that I couldn't wait to put it into practice and see the results.   Typically, all to soon, I had the chance.  One of our friends sons was spending the day with us, and he and eldest son were busy playing outside.  My husband had planned to work on the wood deck and headed out to get his chainsaw and gear together and put the boys to work splitting wood with the log splitter.  The minute they saw him come out the door, they high-tailed it for the woods!  They knew there was work to be done, but thought they could get out of it by getting out of Dodge.  I was hot!!!  I trotted them up out of the woods, filling their ears with many useful scriptures - particularly those dealing with the admonition that those who do not work will not eat (if anything can get the attention of a couple of 14 year old boys, it is food!).  By the time we had crested the hill, they were contrite and headed out to the wood deck to make restitution.  My husband wasn't having any of it.  He would rather work alone than have a couple of boys who would rather play boy than be manly.  The boys were miserable.  They realized the error of their ways, but now they were not being allowed to make things right.  It was time to put my new found wisdom to use.  I went out to the wood deck and asked my husband to reconsider.  He said NO!  I went back to the house, and started to get a little irritated.  When you do something wrong, you have to be able to fix it.  I wanted the boys to be able to earn Husband's approval - they were desperate for it.  This time, instead of going outside to tell my husband all of the things he was doing wrong, I decided to pray for a quiet and gentle spirit and for the wisdom to deal appropriately with my husband - and to accept his decisions.  Once more, I set out for the wood deck.  I asked Husband if he would be willing to reconsider his decision.  This time, he shut off his chainsaw, set it down on a stump and said "what are you seeing that I am not seeing?'.  I explained my thoughts about the boys needing to be able to make it right and earn his approval, and guess what - HE LISTENED!  He allowed the boys to help him finish.  He helped them along their way toward manhood.  He extolled the virtues of working first so that you can enjoy playing later.  He showed them mercy.

God had taught me, in that one moment with eldest daughter, what his System of Government looks like.  He showed me that I can be right in my thoughts and opinions, but if I am not right in the way that I approach my husband, my words will fall on deaf ears.  He showed me that when I approach my husband with reverence and respect, I can effect change.  Finally, I understand how to be heard.

1 comment:

  1. That is so hard. Our church really holds the man accountable for leading the family and I am to respect and reverance him even when I don't think he deserves it. He is supposed to love me even when he doesn't think I deserve it. Have we achieve this standard? no but it's the path we are on to attain it. Holly