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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Wisdom of Seeking Guidance (especially from your husband)

For many homeschooling families, the wife/mother assumes majority of the workload that is put into the schooling of the children.  Husbands very often do take on a few subjects or particular children, but their role is not as the primary educator of the children, or facilitator of their learning (as they get older).  I have read of a myriad of ways that husbands participate in the homeschooling of the family, but one of the most significant helps a husband can offer for the wife is an outsider's perspective and the value of his headship and leadership within the family.  Let's face it, homeschooling is not the easiest of tasks, and though the difficulties of it manifest differently for everyone, there is some struggle going on within most homeschooling moms at any given moment: "Johnny really needs to do his math, but we are running so behind I don't know how we can get to it!...The floor needs to be swept but the baby is crying and needs a diaper change...I really need to spend some one-on-one time with Jill, but I just don't know how or when we can do that without so many distractions and interruptions!"

At least, this was where I was just the other day.  Feeling overwhelmed, incapable, failing at everything, and exhausted.  Things just felt scattered, chaotic, and frantic, rather than the scheduled, predictable, joyful, and pleasant atmosphere I yearned for our house to exude.  The kids too were feeling the disorganization and acting out because of it.  In our family, the more predictable and expected the order of the day/week is, the better tempers we have.

See, majority of the home schoolers I know, myself included, go through seasons where a feeling of inadequacy is experienced, often due to the expectation of needing to do more than is truly needed.  This is the homeschooling version of "keeping up with the Jones'".  We see, hear of, or read about homeschooling families that do a million things and we imagine them doing it all perfectly and without any tension, ever; violin lessons, speak 3 languages, Chess tournaments, kids able to scrub the house top to bottom with perfection, etc.  The reality is that every family has victories and struggles, difficulties at one point or another with messy children, and must go through various trials while doing life together.  The operative word here, though, is TOGETHER.

Segue to the point of this message (did you know it's not spelled segway?  I didn't, lol).  In a marriage relationship, two people are joined together to become one, and in this holy union life is meant to be done together.  All the struggles, joys, thrills, chills, trials, and victories are meant to be experienced alongside of each other, while knowing that there will be times when leaning on the other person for stability and strength will be necessary to get through a particular season.  There is nothing shameful or weak about this!  It is the reason God provided the Body of Christ (i.e. the Church).  For one thing, each of us are blessed with particular gifts and talents that balance out and fill in the gaps of others around us.  In our marriage, Mark is the administrative one.  Administration comes dead bottom for me in my giftings.  But, my weakness cannot be balanced by his strength if I do not seek out his insight and help when needed.  Sadly, he is not a mind-reader!  In addition, though, God designed the family to run in another organized and orderly fashion, with one head, not as an ugly two-headed dragon.  The family is another earthly example of the relationship of Christ and His Bride, the Church (see Ephesians 5:22-32).  In the same way it is foolish for me to go about my life, struggling as I may be, without ever seeking the wisdom and perspective of Christ, it is equally as foolish for me to do the same without seeking the wisdom and perspective of my husband.  Ouch!

So, God has seen fit to bring me to just this point.  He has seen fit to humble me, putting so much on my plate that there is just no way I can wisely do everything while maintaining a Christ-like attitude and my overall health.  He has pushed me to my breaking point...the point where I must (gulp) ask for help.  DOUBLE GULP!  Maybe I am the only person who struggles with this, but God has been pruning me to know when it is wise for me to pull up my bootstraps and get to work, and when I really do need help to get it all done.  For a little while now, I have known this is where I am.

My husband and I had a sit down last night and ironed out solutions for some of the most immediate things that are on my plate and needing attention (i.e. home school), and I was so, so blessed by his insights and wisdom!  He brought to the table solutions that I was too close and too swamped to see, and helped to eliminate things from the list that just do not need to be happening right now.  I feel like an elephant has been lifted off of my back!  The value of his perspective just cannot be overstated.  Wives, be sure to seek out your husband's advice for things pertaining to your home schooling and overall flow of your household.  He is the head and God has ordained him with insight that cannot be explained in this world.

I know that there will be some ladies who read this and do not believe that their husbands are interested in participating in the home schooling endeavor.  A sure way to keep it that way is to keep him at an arms' length from it!  The more he feels invited and welcome into home schooling, the more he will become involved (most likely gradually, so be patient).  Others may not trust that their husbands will offer sound advice, or wisdom.  This may be true, but it does not remove the importance of inviting him into the schooling.  It does, though, stress the importance of your relationship with the Lord to be able to discern what is Truth and what are lies.  Dismiss that which is a lie, or harmful, and embrace every bit of wisdom and Truth that exits his mouth!  We must be wise enough to listen to and trust the leadings of our husbands, trusting wholeheartedly that the Lord is in control, no matter what.  Even if your husband is not a follower of Christ (yet) you are called to submit to him, as one submitting to Christ, because ultimately Christ is in the driver's seat.  Always remember, "The Lord watches over the ways of the righteous" (Psalm 1:6).  If all else in this earth fails, Christ is still leading you in the ways of righteousness...you just may be too close to see His perspective yet.  Be patient.  Solutions will come, whether from your husband or not.  His timing is always best.

As a Christian, my life is first and foremost meant to bring glory and honor to God.  If I am too caught up in dealing with the things of this life to fulfill this calling, then something needs to change. And, more often than not, that change will begin with me.

1 comment:

  1. I can definitely relate! I have a challenge where our oldest learns differently (for a lack of better words) than I do/did. He has the same learning challenges my husband had. For a while I just struggled with my frustration until it became obvious that I just couldn't understand his thought process on my own. I had my husband "sit in" on the struggling part (which in both of their cases is letters, letter sounds, reading, etc.) and when it got to a point where I felt like he wasn't trying my husband stepped in and asked him to think of it another way - a way that I wouldn't have thought of myself because to me it's "obvious," but to them it's not. My husband's support and guidance in teaching our oldest has been invaluable, and I'm not sure where we'd be if I hadn't asked for his help!!