Have you ever had someone owe you something that they refused to give you? It can be pretty frustrating. Perhaps it is even something you really need! Moreover, it is ten times worse if that someone is close enough that you encounter them frequently. This is true, in varying degrees, for every one of us right now. What is it?
I marvel at how the creative genius of God designed the institution of marriage. God placed two opposites together in a lifelong covenant that is designed to represent the relationship of Christ and His bride, the church. The purpose of that union is to bring God glory and raise up godly seed (Malachi 2:15).
Into the man and woman, He placed intense inner needs, which can never be circumvented. Women marry for love and companionship. Men need respect. However, what is the husband to do if he isn’t receiving the respect he needs (Ephesians 5:22-33)?
Have you ever noticed a situation in the news or maybe at work, where either a group of people or an individual feels their/his rights are being violated? They will demand, get angry, petition for new laws, and do just about anything in trying to get this injustice resolved. The end of this militant campaign is that they are the targets of contempt by the others whom they expected to right the wrong. They appear to be a bunch of whiners and complainers.
So, dads, what do we do if we are not receiving the respect we deserve? First off, we obviously don’t turn to another woman. After a while, that other person would realize why our wives don’t respect us, not to mention we would be breaking a covenant. I believe the first thing would be to cry out to God and ask Him why we aren’t being respected. I think the answer will surprise us. We are receiving more than the respect we deserve! It’s true in my life.
Let God show us our failings, bad decisions, and tasks left undone. If He doesn’t show us enough, then we can ask our wives, as I’m sure they can give us some more ideas. The result–we will realize that we don’t deserve the respect God says our wives are to provide. Yes, it is humbling, but it will take the wind out of our sails and the fight out of our speech.
Of the groups or people we observe, the ones who are determined to fulfill their responsibilities and act according to the respect they desire are the ones who will begin to receive it. Maybe this respect is not fully the amount they think they deserve, but who among us is paid what we feel we deserve!
Now what does that have to do with home education? Everything! With our wives taking so much time and emotional energy to teach our children at home for us, they are under great stress. We will have additional responsibilities when we take on home education. Our wives become very discouraged when we neglect our responsibilities. Trust me, I know from personal experience!
Specifically, I believe we should first apply ourselves to what our wives need most, and that is love. Just as we often don’t deserve respect, they won’t deserve the full amount of love God has commanded us to give them. However, that is what is needed. It is ironic that with the additional responsibilities home education brings, our wives could be even less lovable. However, we will never love our wives if we allow ourselves to think about their perceived faults; they will never respect us if they think about ours. We are to give them what God says they need and expect nothing in return.
I believe when we concentrate on our responsibilities, of which the primary one is loving our wife, God is free to open her eyes to respecting us like she never has before. The result: peace at home, mama feeling loved, dad being respected, and the children learning and growing in a healthy environment.