Are You Doing Family Life the Right Way?

Most of us deeply desire a peaceful family life but we don’t know how to make it a reality.

As women we like to begin by focusing in on our relationships with our children, and rightly so. I have actually written extensively here on my blog concerning ways to better mothering with these posts:

How to Become a Tolerant Mom

How to Become a Peaceful Mom

How to Be a Sweet Mom to Your Family

But if we think simply building good relationships with our children should be the main focus, we’re sorely mistaken. A peaceful, wonderful home atmosphere will not not manifest itself if we neglect one extremely critical ingredient:

Loving our husbands.

Our culture does not support this endeavor. Feminism has encouraged us to disregard men because, well, they just aren’t women!

I once found a plaque in my grandmother’s house that said this:

Women’s faults are many,

Men have only two;

Everything they say

And everything they do.

It’s hypocritical, really. Women would become very upset with their husbands if they:

  • Gathered in groups and exposed their wives’ worst faults.
  • Shared sarcastic remarks about women with other men in front of their wives.
  • Whenever convenient pointed out their wives’ bad habits and past failures.
  • Second-guessed their wives every time they tried to parent their children.
  • Never said “Thank you.”
  • Spoke impolitely, disrespectfully, and even totally ignored their wives whenever they felt like it.
  • Showed little or not affection to their wives.

But we women behave as though there is some unwritten law that men deserve to be treated poorly, especially if we are carrying around offenses from the past.

And these days it doesn’t start with husbands, it starts with fathers. The majority of us were reared by women who were encouraged to incubate and disseminate bitterness and hatred towards men. Even among women who claim they are not feminists there is a strong tendency to try and make males more female.

So many of us are critical and suspicious of men because of the attitudes that were modeled for us from an early age. Even if we love our dads, we have trouble showing it in front of others. It’s just not approved behavior in most circles. Young women who express open appreciation and affection for their dads are considered victims of brainwashing (or some sort of slavery).

I know this because I was reared in such an environment. Men’s faults were the main topic of many conversations. The atmosphere of man-hate was so thick that I cussed my own father out on the phone when I was 11 years old (my parents were divorced when I was eight).

Praise God, I was introduced to the grace of Jesus and was born again. As soon as I became set free, forgiveness flowed all through my being. I began to pray for my father. The next time my dad called I was a totally different person. Instead of cursing, I expressed my great love and appreciation for him. Because of Jesus I did not grow up disregarding the men in my life, I grew up appreciating and loving them.

As a consequence, I have been able to enjoy enriching relationships with my father, my grandfather, my stepfather, and my husband (now of 35 years). Instead of expecting them to become women, I have learned (through much trial and error, I’m afraid) to appreciate their uniqueness as men.

So many women are missing out on the immense benefits of men in their lives because they exist in an offended state. It wouldn’t be enough for a man to offer up the entire world on a silver platter; he would still be WRONG. We criticize the tone in their voices, their mannerisms, their matter-of-fact analysis of a situation, and their straight-forward approach of addressing problems.

As one astute writer pointed out, humanism is the worship of self, feminism is the worship of the female self.

Humanism:  the denial of any power or moral value superior to that of humanity

Feminism:  the denial of any power or moral value superior to that of femininity.

This is where we need to take another look at ourselves. While we are every bit as valuable to God as men are:

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither malenorfemale: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:28

Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

1 Peter 3:7

Christian women, those who understand sin and grace, should understand that our faults are more than “many.” Even our “good works” are like used menstrual pads (the actual translation of “filthy rags”) in God’s sight:

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Isaiah 64:6

We are not the “goddesses” (or divas, which is the Latin word for goddess) our culture makes us out to be. We are sinners saved by grace alone, and when we begin to demand to be worshiped for our goodness, our intellect, our talents, etc. we step away from the testimony of Jesus and open ourselves to deception and the destructive plans the enemy has for our lives.

The core of Christianity, of being Christ-like, is humility.

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Philippians 2:5-8

This is why so many of us are experiencing chaos. It’s not about being stay-at-home moms or wearing dresses or even wearing head-coverings. (In fact, some of the most awful women with some of the most hen-pecked husbands are the ones who wear skirts.) It’s about the state of the mind which becomes the state of the heart.

Where are our thoughts? Are we highminded; that is, are we so full of our own conceit that our minds are clouded?

Check yourself:

  • When your husband enters his opinion do you automatically begin to take it apart or criticize it in your mind?
  • Are you immediately thinking of exceptions or reasons you don’t want to cooperate?
  • When you speak to your children about their father, is it with criticism and contempt?
  • Do you encourage them to second-guess him?
  • Do you complain about him to your children (or relatives or neighbors in the presence of your children) when he isn’t present?

Most of us don’t even notice when we are thinking and acting in a destructive manner. It’s just our human nature for us to want our own way, to put people down so that we feel superior.

But isn’t that what everyone accuses men of doing?

I know, I know; men really are not perfect. They make mistakes, they SIN all of the time. They do things that aggravate us. They sometimes forget their responsibilities. They aren’t always clued-in to the feelings of others.

However, women are definitely not perfect, nor are they right all of the time. I could cite many, many instances where I have corrected my husband to find out just how right he was. Or what about the many times I have jumped to conclusions, or been down-right mean to him? I know I often aggravate him with some of my questions, or incessant talking, or demands. There have been times when I totally disregarded his requests and treated him as if he didn’t exist because I was focused on something or someone else.

I think one of the worst things I have done was to project the frustrations of my life on him. There have been times when I was actually upset with the difficulties of raising children and keeping house but I became angry with my husband because he could “take it.”

It’s the devil’s plan for us to attack our husbands. This is because when we attack each other we bring our homes down around our ears.

For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

James 3:16

This was made very clear to me lately when I almost lost the love of my life. In an instant I saw my existence without him, and it was not pretty. Gone would have been his sense of humor that has spared me so many times from my own super-seriousness. Gone would have been the truthful logic that cuts through my own tendency to see things emotionally. The strength of his tenacity, the focus of his sense of direction, all could have disappeared in an instant.

It’s not worth it, ladies. It just doesn’t pay to downplay the role of your husband in your family. It’s destructive to every part of your family and your personal life.

But the reality is that women today do not think of themselves in the context of helping “their man.” Women today have been brainwashed into thinking that efforts in that direction are in the category of oppression, subservience, and catering to frail male egos. It is sad that this is the prevalent point of view, because interdependence is what ultimately feeds both the man and the woman what they truly need to be happy.

Dr. Laura Schlessinger

God puts it this way:

The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish pulls it down with her hands.

Proverbs 14:1

The bottom line:

Women who appreciate men have better lives.

“But where do I start? How can I begin to cherish my man when all I can see are his faults?” I hear you asking.

Thankfully, there are others who are willing to help us on our way. Here are a few resources that can help:

What Speaks Love to Your Husband?

11 Ways to Show Respect to Your Husband.

7 Ways to Adore Your Husband

This definitely goes against the prevalent “wisdom” of our day, but it’s God’s way, and His ways are the true path to genuine peace.

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4 thoughts on “Are You Doing Family Life the Right Way?

  1. Oh, I love this! This is such good material.

    “It wouldn’t be enough for a man to offer up the entire world on a silver platter; he would still be WRONG.”

    Yes!! That is the attitude that we have to fight!

    I grew up just as you wrote, with a mum who, though a wonderful woman, treated my dad with incredible bitterness, no matter what he did (he is a great guy). I guess she can’t see how ugly it is, because they’re in their seventies now and it hasn’t changed. But the problem is just that I have absorbed SO much of this, as I suppose my mum did from her mum, and it is my default. I have to work so hard at changing this! I honestly considered never having children so that this bitterness and negativity would stop with me, rather than continuing to yet another generation. But as it’s a bit late for that (*grin*), I am working super-hard on changing those negative patterns. It’s a lot of work!!

    Thank you so much for writing this excellent piece!!

    • I know what you mean, Diana. I still find myself working on changing the way I think and respond. My husband is such a wonderful man, too. I think it comes from two sources; myself and the devil. Thankfully, Jesus has made it possible for us to have victory over them both, praise His name! Thank you for taking the time to chime in–I think it’s time for a counter-movement 🙂

  2. I needed this today Sherry! I’m about 2 weeks out from my 4th C-section and I just started nit picking at my husband. He is an amazing man, father and husband. through out the last ten months he has been supportive and kind. It’s been a difficult and sometimes scary time but through it all I could rely on him. And somehow I’ve allowed my hormones and tiredness convince me that he isn’t doing enough! Shame on me. Thanks for the gracious reminder of what I knew but had forgotten! We are a team. I’m so blessed but Satan just wants a foothold in our marriage. I will be praying that God gives us gracious hearts towards these men who do so much for us and our families.

    • I understand where you are coming from, Jesse. I am so very guilty of taking things out and being a damp rag for my husband at times. It’s just part of the plan of the devil to think of ministering kindness and understanding to everyone else but our dear partners in life. We all need to remember just how amazing a man has to be to take on a lot of little kids to feed, clothe, and pour their lives into. I know I am appreciating mine 🙂

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