It got me thinking about my husband and other homeschooling dads. Here are some things I hear often.
"I can't remember the last time my husband and I had any time alone together."
"I am up late working on the computer and he gets up early to go to work. We never see each other anymore."
"He just doesn't appreciate all the time I spend homeschooling HIS children."
"I wish he had a better job. We can barely get by on his income."
Often, when I talk to homeschooling moms, they ask me for advice on how to get Dad to do more or to be more supportive. Many times, in the hustle and bustle of homeschooling a houseful, romantic life with Dad is put on the shelf and Mom focuses on the children, maybe more than she should.
So, what can we do to honor and appreciate our husbands more and express criticism less.
Respect your husband. Ask his counsel and listen to his advice. Speak highly of him to other people, especially your children. Don't tell others about the piles of dirty laundry he leaves in the bathroom, tell them about the way he wrestles with the kids before bedtime. Don't talk about all the things that need to be fixed around the house. Instead, talk about the way he works so hard to support his family and buys you roses on your birthday. Focus on the positive.
When you talk to your husband, don't treat him like a child, talking down to him. Avoid nagging. Examine your tone of voice. Is it kind? Is it full of respect? Follow his advice.
Do you notice that in the 2 main passages on husband/wife relationships, the wife's role is mentioned first and then, then the husband’s. I always thought that was strange because the husband is the leader. Shouldn't his role, as leader, be discussed first? Why was the wife's role to submit mentioned first in both I Peter 3:1-8 and Ephesians 5:22-33? How can a wife follow if a man isn't leading? But, after 26 years of marriage and over 20 years as a pastor's wife counseling couples, I realize the wisdom of God.
A man can't lead when a woman won't follow. He can try all he wants. So many women don't want to submit to their husbands' leadership. I know a woman who belittled her husband when he was trying to lead family devotions. Then she complained that he wasn't the spiritual leader in their home.
Make a choice in your heart to follow your husband. Don't worry if your husband isn't perfect; mine isn't either. But, I am not trusting in him, but the Lord to lead our family through him. When I was a young wife, I memorized I Peter 3:1-7 to help me grow in this area. It was an amazing help! This passage talks about putting our hope in God, rather than our husbands, so that we can submit.
Thank your husband for EVERYTHING he does for you, the children, and your home. Let him know that his labor is not in vain. When he works hard or finishes a project, make a big deal about it.
One thing most husbands really like is to be greeted at the door when they come home from work with big hugs and kisses from the whole family! Tidy up the house, wipe dirt off noses, and welcome Daddy home with open arms!
Be content with your husband, his intellect, his abilities, his humor, his walk with the Lord, his personality, and his career. Pray for him to be everything God wants him to be, but be content with who he is. If he never changes, let that be okay with you. Just love him!
Be content with his income and learn to live cheerfully within it. We always think we need more money, but we are abundantly blessed in our nation. Our children need our time and love, not more stuff.
Romance your husband. Make personal time for the two of you a priority. Surprise him with a weekend away at a Bed and Breakfast or nearby hotel. Dress to please him. Hug and kiss him. Remind him that you are still madly in love with him!
Include your hubby in homeschooling in creative ways that he would enjoy. We started making dinners that went along with our geography class and, later, history classes. My husband loves to eat. He looked forward to once a week enjoying a scrumptious meal from a foreign nation. He would ask the kids about what they learned--it became a great family time of learning.
Too often, I can just dump homeschool or discipline problems on my husband, so I tried to come up with fun ways to let him enjoy homeschooling. We invite him on field trips or to help us with fun projects. My husband, a pastor, loves to teach the Bible, so he will help out with some of our Bible classes. But, I have no expectations. That way, when he can help, I am thankful and can appreciate him.
Remember you may homeschool for 12 to 25 years, but you are married for a lifetime. Keep your marriage a priority and make your husband feel like he is king of his castle! God will honor you for honoring your husband.
Honor the Dads!
Merey (Meredith Ludwig Curtis)