And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers... (Mal 4:5)
In my last post, I talked about mothers being a very huge part of connecting the hearts of fathers and children. And we only got as far as attempting to connect the mother and father..
So, let's pick up where we left off. If you would like to read the first post, you can read it here.
So, the question that arises in my mind goes something like this:
So what if my husband is a deadbeat jerk?
And the reason this question is so prominent is because I have a hand full of friends who have been "happily married" to "Christian" men who are now living the single life in one way or another. And in almost every case, the devoted, stay at home mom (who let her career skills slip to raise a family) is now forced to pull herself up emotionally and financially to poverty wages and carry on.
This is a sad reality for too many people. And unless your little church is locked down, nicey nicey and doesn't let less than perfect people in, it will probably be happening to someone you know.
So, what is to be done for these kind of people? or you, for that matter, if you are reading this?
Take courage, my friend.
The abandoned wife is (in my opinion) the modern-day widow. God is the father of the fatherless. The widow's husband is God. God is the father of those children.
If you can find anything redeeming to say about the deadbeat husband, then say it. Try your best, but don't beat yourself up over it. I think there's enough guilt trips going around, and I, for one, am not going to add to it. So, you, my dear friends, are just going to think of God as your husband and the father of those precious children.
For the rest of us, take heart also. Even the best of men are still men at best.
We are dealing with humans here. Even though our husbands desire, need, want.. respect, there are just going to be those times when it is a sheer act of the will not to say anything negative about daddy to the kids.
As the kids have gotten older, some times I will just mention that daddy and I disagree on something, but it is also not a fundamental "life principle" or something. If it is something where two normal people would and could have differing opinions, I think it makes sense to expose your children to these sorts of things when they are mature enough to not disrespect either parent.
What age is appropriate to expose your children to disagreements between you and your husband? Probably later rather than earlier. For the most part, we attempt to represent a "united front" to the children, especially when they are too immature to understand. In the younger years, this represents a security for them. In the older years, they will remember how you handled disagreements.
And let's just be honest. Sheltering your children from all forms of disagreements is not healthy either. They need to see how things are worked out. They need to learn communication skills. You don't just start yelling and swearing and hitting. And while we are talking about communication-- guilt, manipulation, whining, threatening, tantrums, silent treatments, sarcasm, need to be dropped. You don't need to use them on your husband, and you certainly don't use them with the children.
Let's use disagreements as an opportunity to develop communication skills between husband and wife. And yes, we will all make huge mistakes in this endeavor.
Just last week, to my shame, I pitched a royal fit over stuff. Even my kids were telling, "Mommy, you were not happy with anyone last week..."
So, with this idea in mind, I think you know that you have a less-than-perfect communicator who also happens to be a wife, mother and a hedgehog who writes...