"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;"
Eph 5:25

Monday, September 2, 2013

What She Needs From Me

Today is Labor Day.  As a teacher in upstate New York, that means tomorrow is the first of two days of conferences before students arrive on Thursday.  The school year will bring many new requirements and challenges that will cause stress in my household ... if I'm not careful.

You see, my wife is a homeschooling mother of five who works hard every day to educate our children in a way that is fitting our christian beliefs.

I know what you're going to say.  How do you balance being a secular teacher and a christian homeschooling dad?

Well, it's a tricky situation, but with God on my side, here's my strategy for keeping a peaceful home when my job conflicts with my home life:

I pray for my wife every day.  I pray that her day will be productive, that the children will cooperate with her, and that they will have a successful day of learning. I pray for her patience, for the children's attitudes (especially certain ones), and for their brains to retain knowledge and use it for the glory of God. 
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

I rarely bring school home.  For the most part what happens at school stays at school.  My wife is under enough pressure educating our kids without me bringing home more baggage to add to the already stressful atmosphere of homeschooling.  Even though I try to be salt and light in the workplace, I am always mindful that my job places me in enemy territory.  I must draw a line between home and school and honor that boundary. I work very hard to keep controversy away from home.
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Colossians 4:6)

I find ways to cool off and wind down before I get home.  I know many christians who think a man should be able to come home and relax. The stay-at-home mom should make sure the house is peaceful when her husband returns home from work. Yeah, right.  The people who think this way probably never had to come home after work to whatever horrors happened during the course of a normal homeschool day.   The fact is that I don't have much down time when I get home, so I find ways to relax before I go home, whether it's by shopping for groceries or walking around town. 
And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. (Mark 6:31)
When I arrive home I give my wife what she needs.  She has been inundated with children and questions all day and she needs a break.  I try to give her some much needed rest.  She can relax while I deal with the kids and make dinner.  It's the least I can do.
Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. (1 Peter 3:7)
So, I ask you to pray for me and other husbands who have hard working wives struggling at home to educate their children.  We need to give our wives a break, and for that we need God.

1 comment:

  1. I think it's great how you've recognized the needs your family (as well as yourself) has and are taking specific steps to ensure a healthy and balanced home. I agree that sometimes expecting our families to fill a void that they can't in this season of life is setting yourself up for frustration and conflict. So I'm glad that you consider your own needs and rest before coming home. All good stuff, Thomas! Thanks for sharing your wisdom and caring heart for your family.