I cringe to think of the early years of our marriage and how I stood in the way of my husband being the head of our home. My strong personality, coupled with his easy-go personality, were the starting point of what our marriage had to endure from the beginning.
Although I grew up in the church, and attended a private school, the concept of the man being the head of the home wasn't anything that I really thought about, until I heard about it in a small group setting of women in a Bible study. I remember when I honestly asked myself, “Is your husband the head of your home?” I knew the answer was… ‘no‘. If you are like me, you may be looking for ways to learn how to empower your husband to be the head of your home.
How to Empower Your Husband to Be the Head of Your Home
Once I found out about the Biblical structure of the home, and how God appointed man to be the head of his home, I wanted it with all of my heart. I prayed for my husband to begin to walk in this position, and take over the leading of our family.
I put all the responsibility of this desire on my husband and expected him to change, step up and take control, even without him understanding the concept and what it may look like to him.
I have to admit that this revelation was so important to me that I overlooked how important my husband was to me and treated him so poorly anytime I didn't feel that he measured up to the picture of what it meant in my mind. I became a silly woman that was tearing down her own home!
Here is what I did when I realized what I was doing, and how I changed my attention to empower my husband to be the head of our home:
Ask his opinion before sharing mine – I find that when I have respected his opinion before mine that it is close to my own. When our opinions differ, which does happen from time to time, he is more willing to hear my suggestions because I respected his role as the head of our home, allowing him to respect my role as ‘his help meet'.
Listen longer and speak less – I can't believe how much I have dominated our discussions in the past. I found that once I let my husband speak more in our relationship, the more we grew as a couple and our desires became more of the same.
Allow him to make mistakes – I'm giving my husband the privilege of being human, which means knowing he is going to make a mistake, as I do, from time to time. I realized that it is through the mistakes that we both grow.
Love him when he makes mistakes – When he does makes mistakes, I need to love him through it, as he does with me in my errors. I'm not sure why people think that others are the only ones that make mistakes.
Allow him to speak for your family when in a couple setting – Years ago, I heard an older woman say ‘when she realized that her speaking for the family was going against her prayers for her husband to be the head of the home', I started using invisible duck tape when we were around couples that were asking us questions about our family. In holding my voice, my husband found his and that was a huge step in building his confidence as the head of our home. (This was truly one of the hardest things that I had to discipline myself to do)
If you found this post helpful, you may also like this post, How to Rebuild Trust Once It Is Broken…
What is going on in our society? It seems more and more strangers are taking the liberty to literally step into a conversation I have with my child and give their own advice, and often times tell my child that they can do the opposite of what I just told them they can't do. This past weekend, I had so many situation of this happening to me that I just needed to make a public stand and ask adults to ‘stop overriding my parenting', while reminding myself not to become these kinds of strangers.
Stop Overriding My Parenting
I want to start this out by saying that I appreciate insights and information that I may have missed about one of my children, because I'm well aware that I can't see everything and if you have raised your children already, I cherish the wisdom that you may have for me and long for it most days.
I welcome the little corrections from loved ones, when my watchful eye didn't see something that my child was doing, and love that you care enough to help my child learn to do the right thing, at the right time, as long as it is done with love.
This post has nothing to do with these situations, and involves perfect strangers, who have no idea about my child and where they are struggling or overcoming at the moment. The unknowing face of a person that has never crossed my path or that of my child but seems to have more insight about parenting my unique child in that brief meeting, than I have learned in the years of his life.
This is who I write this for, and hoping that with all ability within me that I don't become this person to another mother that I have the opportunity to share a moment with in public on any given day.
When I happen upon your yard sale or visit your store, and you hear me instruct my child to not touch anything but look with his eyes, not his hands, please do not override my parenting, but voicing in front of him, “It is okay if he touches them.”
Do you not understand that my son may be practicing first time obedience, or maybe he is struggling with nagging me for too many things on this one errand and he needs help to find his self-control.
He may look so sweet with his big brown eyes, and his sandy hair, as you were quick to point out, but he is 100% boy, and those figurines that you are trying to sell are as breakable as the next glass thing that we may encounter on our outings today. Although, you may think it is trivial for this mom to teach her son not to touch what isn't his or that he needs to enjoy things with his eyes, and not his hands, I'm trying to train my son in responsibility, which means if he broke your figurines or the cherished china of the next persons that we visited, I would have to demonstrate that responsibility means to pay for the damage you caused another.
A Mom Trying to Raise an Honorable Man
Dear Second Stranger,
Do you not understand how awkward and inappropriate it is for you to take a pair of pants off your shelf, and proceed to ‘fit' them to my son, even after I told you there were 2 sizes too big for him and not what we were looking for today.
I'm capable of knowing my son's size and needs, and just because he is the same gender for the majority of the clothes you are trying to get rid of at your sale, please by no means, mistaken my son as a sales tactic and pull him toward you, in the attempt to sell your goods.
And when you scare people away so quickly because of your boldness, I would like for you to consider that his brother, which stood next to him, was already taller than I am, and I don't need to hear you call after me with threats of ‘he will grow faster than you realize' in hopes to get me to turn back and purchase your pushed wares.
A Protective Mom Who Knows How to Provide Clothing for Her Son
Dear Third Stranger,
Imagine how uncomfortable you would have been when you insisted that my son could keep playing with the thing that I told him to not play with and he broke it, but I wasn't willing to pay for it (I'm not that kind of person, which is why I insist on my children to not play with things I haven't given them permission to play with).
Do you not realize that I know how rough my boys can be on things, and I'm only respecting your belongings by limited what my children do with them. I would have hoped you would appreciated the care I was taking with watching my boys around your belongs, so they didn't damage them and allow others to purchase them.
I would have staying longer, and looked around more, however I had to leave because my boys mistaken your input as overriding my parenting and caused them to disobey me by continuing what I asked them to stop doing. The best solution was for me to avoid the temptation for them, and just go on with our other things.
A Mom Who Is Doing Her Part in Raise Responsible Young Men
We run into ‘well-meaning strangers' all the time. I'm sure it is because my boys know how to behave themselves in public, most of the time, and they can see a difference with their responses to me, that they feel that my boys wouldn't be the kind to make a mistake and break something, or get too wild when enjoying a toy.
Unfortunately, they are these types of children because most children don't plan on breaking things or play too hard on a toy, it is just part of what happens too often.
My hopes with writing this post is to help all of us remember that parents know their children best, and even if we don't understand their instructions to their children while they are in our present, doesn't mean they are wrong and surely, doesn't give anyone the right to speak up and override their parenting.
I would hope that more and more people will begin to appreciate the guidelines that parents enforce with their children, and begin to see them as people working to make a better community by raising character filled children, who one day will be adults in their communities.
Encourage them in how they are parenting their children, and recognized that these boundaries are to teach respect of others, and it started at your front door.
If you have a child, you have daily interrupting, whether it is while you are on the phone, talking to another adult, writing an email or text, talking to another of your children, or deep in thought. It happens to us all. Here are some tips to stop the interrupting while giving your child your attention, and doing it with one easy rule.
Stop the Interrupting While Giving Your Child Your Attention
Child are full of ideas, and exciting things to say. They aren't skilled at holding their thoughts for long, and because of this lack of training, they want to tell someone about it the moment it comes to their mind or they may lose the idea all together. This is the reason behind the constant interrupting that happens in a child's life.
Most of the time, it is the mom that bears the blunt of these interruptions and many times, we as moms, can become unaware of how it can affect the way others feel when you allow these interruptions to be a consistent distraction to a conversation they are trying to have with you.
Many years ago, my husband and I took a parenting class that taught a simple rule that will help children learn how to properly interrupt and in doing so, gets your full attention in a polite way for those you are in a conversation with or giving the opportunity to allow attention to shift to them.
This one simple rule is called ‘the interrupt rule'.
Depending on how consistent you are with implementing the interrupt rule, you can make a world of difference really fast. The thing that I love most about this rule is that it demonstrates how important your child's ideas and thoughts are you to, while respecting others at the same time.
Here is how the interrupt rule works:
A child is taught to ‘interrupt' or ‘get your attention' with their hand, not their mouth.
How this looks is very simple. Your son wants your attention to tell you something that is important to him, but you are listening to a friend talking with you. Your son may not realize he would be interrupting, because you aren't talking, but by learning to use his hand to get your attention, you will become aware he wants or needs you while still respecting you and those you are talking with.
The parent is taught to ‘confirm their desire' by placing your hand over theirs, but this doesn't give them the permission to talk just yet.
If your child has ever repeated “Mom” several times because you didn't respond to them right away, you can turn this gentle gesture of a hand placed on your arm with a repeated ‘hitting' to get your attention. Teaching your child from the beginning that you know they want your attention, and you will give them it as soon as you by just placing your hand on theirs, is all the reassurance they need.
Be sure that your child fully understands that your response to his or her hand isn't the permission to talk, but your assurance to listen in just a moment.
The parent then gives complete attention as quickly as possible by giving eye contact and keep it with their child.
It is so important that you reward your child that has learned to implement the interrupt rule your attention as quickly as you can. The younger they are, their idea or thought is quickly lost, so waiting more than a few seconds can prove too long for them to remember, and will only frustrate them with this method and they will resent using it.
It is really important that use this opportunity to demonstrate how to be polite to others who are speaking, and show them how to use the phrase ‘excuse me', when interrupting another person that you are in conversation with.
Prior to looking your child in the eyes, say “Excuse me for a minute, my son needs my attention.”
Next, look at your child in their eyes, and that is the only thing they need to know that they not only have the permission to interrupt, but now has your full attention. Keep your eyes on them, as you would the person that was just talking, and when he or she is finished speaking, be sure to praise them for their proper use of the ‘interrupt rule'.
You will need to instilling the interrupt rule when it isn't done correctly.
Children will need a lot of practice to do this correctly, so be sure to be patient and allow others to know that you are in the training stages and to have patience with you for any extended interruptions while you are working to create character in your child.
When your child doesn't use the interrupt rule correctly, stop him or her immediately, even though you may be demonstrating an interruption yourself. Then follow through with a need for an apology to the person speaking. “Manual, you interrupted Mrs. Jones. Please apology to her and use your interrupt rule.” At the same time, you will want to take their hand and place it on your arm.
As a courtesy to the other person, allow the child your attention after the apology is done. Prior to giving your attention back to the adult, remind him or her that he needs to use it properly or he will need to practice his self-control for 5 minutes.
Interrupting for an emergency requires one more step.
It didn't take too long for me to see the need for another step to this interrupt rule that we learned, and that was when my attention was needed due to a hurt child, but I didn't know it was that important and required my child to wait nearly a minute for the opportunity for my attention. I felt horrible!
That day, we implemented the emergency interrupting rule, that follows the exact same steps but instead of placing the hand on my arm, they place it on my shoulder and will get my attention the moment they do that.
It works AMAZINGLY!
The interrupting rule works for adults as well!
The way of interrupting works so well that I have used it to interrupt my husband or other adults when I need their attention during a conversation. My older children still use it from time to time, as well.
As a Christian family, we desire our children to read and love the Bible like we do. However, it takes time for them to understand that Bible, what it means and how it relates to them. But it doesn't have to be that way! I'm so thankful for the resources that we have used to bring the Bible alive for our children and I know you will want to know about them as well, because they are truly ‘good things'!
How to Bring the Bible Alive for Your Children
When our older children, now 18 and 20, were really young, we invested in Nest Family animation. Honestly, this was one of the best investment in raising our children to know the Bible.
The sweetest memory I have of the impact of these movies happened in one of my darkest times as a mother. I had experienced my second miscarriage at 26 years old and although I had two beautiful, healthy children, my heart was broken from the lost of another precious child.
I spent the day crying and depressed.
On one of these days, my two year old son (my 19 year old now), climbed up on my lap on the couch and looked out the window with me. He knew I was crying for our babies in heaven. He looked at me and said, “Mommy, if I had a red horse, I would go to heaven and get them back for you.”
That was the day my healing began.
My son was speaking about the Biblical story of Elijah being taken to heaven in a chariot of fire. In his little mind, if a ‘red' horse can take someone to heaven, it must be able to return as well.
These movies brought the Bible alive for my children like nothing else could!
12 Animated Old Testament DVDs
As you can imagine, our animated videos have been watched hundred of times with our oldest three children. Almost two year, we reinvested in this series, and now our 5 year old is learning all about the stories of the Bible and it is coming a live to him, as well.
Our twelve year old still loves watching these and will often times just pop one in several times a week. We love the DVDs because each of them have interactive quizzes at the end of each one to see how much they remember from the DVD. He loves to quiz himself!
Here are the titles that come in the 12 DVD series, which you can purchase each one separately, as well:
- Joseph's Reunion
- David and Goliath
- Abraham and Isaac
12 Animated New Testament DVDs
These movies have shared the good news with our children in ways that they understood at a very young age. They learn about Jesus and love him early in their life. They see miracles of Jesus and learn to believe in His power with faith that is unspeakable.
Here are the titles of the 12 DVDs in this series, however you can purchase them individually as well:
- John the Baptist
- The Good Samaritan
- Jesus, the Son of God
- Forgive Us Our Debts
- The Parables of Jesus
- He is Risen
- Bread from Heaven
- Treasures in Heaven
- The Kingdom of Heaven
- Worthy is the Lamb
- The Lord's Prayer
There are many other titles in the New Testament, including The King is Born.
These would make amazing investments in your family's faith. Suggest titles to family members who like to purchase gifts for your family!
More Resources to Bring the Bible Alive for Your Children… and YOU!
We also love the word-for-word from the NIV DVS from Visual Bible! These are so powerful and worth investing in for the whole family to enjoy together. My older children still talk about all of these.
With the extra time that summer usually brings us, I would encourage you to use some of that time for summer service to others. Demonstrating to others that they matter is a lesson often forgotten and so important to learn. Starting somewhere is a good thing, so I'm going to share seven ideas with you for summer service that your family can do together, but start with the one or two that fit who you are best. You will be glad you did!
7 Summer Service Ideas for Your Family
- Raise Money for an Orphanage – Our hearts are tied to Door of Hope Palawan, but you may know of another. Do a yard sale, bake sale or just collect change and donate it to an orphanage.
- Collect Denim to Make Shoes – There is a great opportunity to help those who need shoes for their health and an organization is meeting this need with denim! Learn how you can be a part of this great way to recycle old denim for a new purpose with Sole Hope.
- Collect School Supplies – Every year our family does Operation Christmas Child, which packs shoe boxes for children around the world. They only give one box to one child and that child will hear about Jesus before getting their first gift and owning something for the first time. Read about how I met one of those children who received a box and literally changed his life. Take the summer when school supplies are cheapest and ask those you know to donate for your own boxes for later in the year.
- Collect Winter Coats and Blankets – Often times, summer finds families cleaning out their closets and getting rid of excess. This is a great time to collect items for the homeless in your area.
- Visit a Nursing Home – Most people think about this around Christmas time, but all year long is a great time to visit the elderly.
- Start a Food Pantry – There is needy all around us and what a great opportunity to do a service in the summer to start a food pantry in your home or church. Collecting canned goods or boxed items and delivering it to those you know could benefit or having them come to you for their needs is a great thing! If this is too big for your family, considering helping organizations that do this every day, like Food for the Hungry.
- Be a Good Neighbor – Do you know of those in your neighborhood that could use an extra hand? Maybe an elderly couple could benefit from your family doing their yard work, a stay-at-home mom needing some child care help, or maybe new parents or those who are sick needing a home cooked meal.
If you want more serving ideas, check out A Year Schedule for Family Charity Fun…
Women long to be mothers and once they are blessed with children of their own, their dreams have finally came true. They adore their children and love them with all of their beings. They love being a mother. So, when one day, they realize that something isn't the same and realize that motherhood robbed their joy, they are not sure what to do or who to tell.
When Motherhood Robs Your Joy
I was living the life that I dreamed about living. I had an amazing husband, healthy children and I was staying home to homeschool my children. Truly it was everything that I desired.
Little did I realize that over a period of time, motherhood was robbing me of my joy and I didn't realize it until it was gone. Completely gone!
I was just going through the motions of our mundane days, doing what homeschooling moms do daily. My laugh was disappearing. Crying was happening more. Arguments were breaking out between my husband and I over the littlest of things.
All of this was happening and I was even letting anyone know how I was feeling. I was keeping it to myself and putting on smiles when friends were around me.
Finally, it hit me!
If I didn't do something to help myself, I was going to lose the most important things in my life and I was the only one to blame for it, because I wasn't being honest with my husband or with my closest friends.
One night after my husband had put our children to bed (I even stepped away from this family tradition of our whole family praying together at the end of the day), I opened my heart up to him and I cried for hours. I mean HOURS.
In the end, I told him these harsh words, “Motherhood has robbed my joy!”
I believed it wholeheartedly at that time, but as we worked to help me find my way back to my family, I realized that I couldn't have been any more wrong.
I had allowed myself to rob my own joy and I was blaming the people I loved the most.
There were several habits that I had allowed myself to get into that was the source of my joy being gone but until I took an honest look at what was going on, I truly believed it was my own children because I was with them all day long and let's face it, mothering isn't for the faint of heart.
Here are some of the habits that I identified to be the true robbers of my joy:
Most of my day was filled with negative thoughts and I didn't even realize it. The more negative thoughts I was having, the more it was affecting my relationship with my family. It was literally making me lose sight of the amazing positives that each of them had because I couldn't see past the negative things.
When I was young, day time television played in our home and I really never understood the dangers that came from them, so when I had a home of my own, I began to watch day time television during my afternoon hours, when my house work was done and my child napped. I continued this habit until we had started homeschooling the first year or so.
It took me realizing that everything I was finding to be negatives in my family and home, all resulted from the influence that I allowed from these day time shows. My happiness was being chipped away from the ideals of what Hollywood was showing to be popular.
Removing these influences were the best thing that I have ever done for my own happiness and joy.
All parents do this from time to time, threaten your children with punishment without following through with what you had said you were going to do. As the sole parent for all but 2 hours of my children's day, I was chipping away the joy of motherhood by my own laziness in parenting.
I was attempting to raise my children to be exactly what I wanted them to be through manipulating them through empty threats, which opened the door to me raising my voice more and more, resulting in an angry mother.
It took me confessing this to my husband and myself that allowed me to see that my joy had no hope of surviving motherhood because I was taking it away out of laziness and anger.
I removed the threat parenting with consistent parenting and I was shocked with the quick results it produced in my own children and in my joy. It was easy to lead from a consistent parent to a positive parent, which brings joy all the time.
Feeling like I have to do everything, at the speed of light, and for the glory that comes from wearing a cap was my nemesis at that time. I have high energy, never needing caffeine to get me started for the day and always finding the first 6 hours of my day to be my most productive time, I would have no problem staying on top of laundry, a clean house, meals, homemaking, etc, so I continued to add more and more to my plate, not realizing that I was snuffing out the joy with busyness.
Busyness is a robber of joy!
It was during this time that I was inspired to think of my day as a plate, and only could I add something more to it, if I could take something off from it. I was able to do that through delegating and teaching my children how to do chores and some meal prep.
I still have to fight the urge to wear my cap from time to time, but this plate analogy helps me keep perspective and managing my busyness.
Managing My Emotions The Wrong Way
Woman are amazing at hiding their emotions, until they can't hold them any longer and they explode. I know this from personal experience.
Even worse is sharing our emotions with the wrong person, the wrong way.
I have been very blessed to know have close friends that will sit and be negative with me. If I share my negative emotions, I can trust them to help me turn them into a positive and get through the emotions that I'm stuck in.
It is important to only share your emotions with someone who is going to help you work past them, find the high road and help you get there. If you don't have friends like this, then keep your emotions to yourself and work to find ones that can be this for you.
My husband has been the one that has had to deal with the exploding results of me holding my emotions inside. I have learned to overcome them by sharing my emotions when I'm feeling them. This allows me to do it in the best way, without allowing resentment, frustration and other negative thoughts to accumulate.
Feeding Myself With Good Things
Reading Scriptures has always been a great source for me in my life and this period of time when my joy was gone, it proved to be just what I needed.
Comedy became an important part of my life, in order to bring my laughter back full force.
Reading good books that inspired me to improve areas that I needed the most help in was one of the best resources that I did during that time, and still do, as it allows me to learn from others and improve because of them.
One of my favorite movies that I would have LOVED to have available to me when I was going through this season in mothering, where my joy was being robbed is Mom's Night Out. Our family has watched it over 10 times, and I look for any opportunity to share with other families because it is THAT important of a message to miss.
Do you feel like you're overwhelmed by parenting? If so, you can download my free Overwhelmed to Overcoming 5 Parenting Tweaks to Overcome Your Parenting Struggles. Not only will this identify five areas that cause parents to become overwhelmed, it provides solutions to overcoming these areas as well. Just click here to get Overwhelmed to Overcoming 5 Parenting Tweaks to Overcome Your Parenting Struggles for FREE in your inbox.