I get it. You’re home all day with your preschool kids while he’s at work.
- You’re the one who gets the gum out of your two-year-old’s hair, even if somebody else gave him the gum.
- It’s you, and only you, who has to deal with crayon on the walls if no one keeps an eye on your little artist.
- Nobody else is going to keep the dog from licking the baby’s face.
- You’re the only one who can decipher which cry means what, when you lay the baby down for her nap.
It’s all you.
But what about him? He’s the one God chose to be the leader. So, how does that work, exactly? He doesn’t even know how to cut the crusts off of the sandwiches, for crying out loud.
For just a moment, transfer your attitude to the work place. Suppose your husband was your boss, and you treated him with the same level of respect (which would include any eye rolling) you give him at home. Would you get fired?
I once watched a young mom cut in on her husband’s conversation and tell him to go put their baby to bed. He said, “I will in a minute.” But she insisted that he do it now. She said, “Your son is tired! Go put him to bed!”
That woman may agree that her husband is the leader of their home, but she certainly wasn’t treating him as such. It doesn’t matter whether he knows their baby’s schedule, or knows how to read the sleepy cues. He’s still the leader. God set it up that way. But if she doesn’t regard him as the leader, he’s not going to suddenly have an interest in learning the baby’s routine. He’ll probably head to the basement, where the football game’s on, instead.
I meet wives all the time who complain that their husband isn’t leading. “He’s passive. He’s withdrawn,” they say. I’ve found (after stacking up lots of experience doing it the other way) that the best way to awaken the leader in my husband is to respectfully treat him as if he is the leader in our home. No eye rolling. No bossing. No put downs.
So what if he doesn’t know–or care to know–which kid gets what sippy cup. That is not what it takes for him to become the leader. What does it take? A wife who treats him as such.
Good post! It's such a hard balance and you really nailed it. It's also difficult because it's hard not to worry about what other people think. I have a husband that is such a servant leader. He does change our baby and cut the crusts off occasionally. But when I've let my husband do those things in front of other people, people have accused me of being lazy or letting him do too much. I begin to feel like I need to answer to others who have no idea how much I do or how our relationship works. People will tell you that you need to submit to your husband and let him lead, but then when you do, they tell you that you need to step up and lead again.
Good point, Erin! I remember talking to our neighbor out in the driveway when I was pregnant with our second child. I said something like, “There you go mowing the lawn for a second time this week and ours hasn't even been mowed once.” To which he replied, “You could mow it.” (I was laying out in the sun at the time.) Now, I have a husband who LIKES to mow the grass. He also couldn't care less about what the neighbors think of our grass length. The fact that I'm still bothered by this (13 years later) tells how much I DO care about what the neighbors think. You're right… there are lots of critical voices out there, weighing in against the husband leader model. But part of letting your husband lead is letting HIS voice be the one in your, not the voices of the neighbors (and others).