Question: I only have boys and struggle with this. My husband hardly does anything for himself--he works so that I can stay home. I appreciate this. On the flip side of serving him, or jumping up and stopping whatever we're doing to help him, I worry that I'm teaching my boys to be this way themselves. I agree with the man being the spiritual leader and all of this, but I don't have daughters and my sons want to be just like daddy. Am I making any sense? He doesn't give compliments, usually it's negativity over things not being super tidy and orderly--I run his home office and home school too. I feel very overwhelmed and pray the Stormie O prayers everyday. I know it takes time, but how do I model as a mom what it is to be a loving nurturing dad/husband for my boys. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciate. Thanks so much!
Answer: I am just going to be frank here in this reply. I believe 100% that I am my husbands help meet and I truly delight in serving him. HOWEVER, I don’t do this alone! I believe it would be a disservice to teach my children to “wait to be served” instead of training them to serve (that includes my boys and my girls!) While it is important for my girls to learn to minister to their husband and children it is just as critical for my boys to learn to lay down their lives for their wives and children. I am convinced that my boys will never know how to protect, cherish and provide for their families if I don’t teach them to work today! I would encourage you to train your boys to come along side you to work in the home. Give them responsibilities for certain tasks that must be done daily and then others they can work on weekly. Having those daily chores is vital for the development of perseverance and learning to do the not so glorious jobs in home life. Those weekly projects can be more of a time to learn skills like fixing the toilet paper roll holder on the bathroom wall, the hinges on cabinets, the weeds in the garden and so forth.
I am going to give you a glimpse of some moments in my home and things I have told the children:
Situation: Children are not cleaning up after themselves, or helping me as I clean up after them.
Me: “Can someone please spell ‘Mom’?”
Children: “M. O. M.”
Me: “That’s right! It’s not M.A.I.D.! I love being your mom but I am not your maid!” I then start talking to them about the difference. I give them clear ideas on how they could do a better job in this area.
Another conversation that has happened in our house:
Situation: Children are not doing what was asked of them. Time is running out for when a project was expected to be done.
Me: “Didn’t daddy ask you to have that project done before the weekend?”
Child: “Yes but…” (and I could hear 1000 “reasons” why they haven’t accomplished it or why they won’t.)
Me: “Daddy asked me to make sure you got this project done. I want to do my job in making sure I am doing what your daddy asked and I would also like to help you accomplish what’s expected from you. Is there anything you need me to do to help you?”
There are times I will give them some guidance through verbal instruction and tips. Other times I will give some hands on help. If I see a child is still putting off what needs to be done, I might give some encouragement from verses in Scripture or stories we’ve read or even real life examples. Sometimes all they needed was my presence while they worked. Each child is different and what I expect as acceptable is different for them based on their own personal development and skills. The important point is that I NEVER do it for them! They will never learn how to see a project through if I don’t let them experience that process now!
I hope some of this sharing has helped!
With much love,
Mrs. Joseph Wood