Kids, Cleaning, and Hanky Panky
I’ve been following an online debate for a few months that has sparked intense controversy and elicited some very strong opinions from both men and women. A woman blogger wrote a post attempting to educate men on what married women think about sex - basic information like a woman’s needs involve communication, affection, and faithfulness. A male follower commented agreeing with what she said and then went on to suggest that if a woman is too tired for sex she is taking on too much responsibility and in caps said loud and clear, “YOU ARE DOING TOO MUCH.” He then suggested that if we women uncomplicated our lives by eliminating some of the stresses that we encounter like our careers, overspending habits, over obsessive ways about house cleaning and over scheduling our children where we feel like we need to have them in every sport and activity under the sun lest we hinder their opportunities to become professionals, THEN - we may have a little more energy for some hanky panky at the end of the day. Many women were not thrilled with this perceived attack on their lives and they adamantly declared their right to do these activities in many contended responses. I am apparently in the minority among my sex because I whole heartedly agree with this man who was courageous enough to spell it out loud and clear for my kind. This is not to say that I haven’t struggled in some of these areas as well but he hit the nail on the head with his response. I would go so far as to elaborate on the last point he makes about our children often becoming the center of our universe when we give birth to these precious little beings. It seems, in general, as soon as these priceless blessings enter our lives we are so completely enamored in our love for them that we begin to devote all of our moments catering to their needs and desires. It is within this process that our husbands are often left in the dust wondering when and where they got stuck at the bottom of our priority lists. As moms we have this mistaken idea that we need to do everything for our children because they aren’t capable of completing the tasks themselves. This is wrong; especially as our children grow and age. It is our job to train them as the Bible so clearly points out in Proverbs 22:6, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” The word train means “to developor form the habits,thoughts, or behavior of (a child or other person) by discipline and instruction” As parents we are not told to bend over backwards and do everything for our children but instead we are admonished to train them, develop them, teach them by discipline and instruction because it is our highest calling as Christian parents to enable and prepare them for a world that is often harsh and not prone to catering to those who follow the name of Christ. It is our job to make our kids a tough breed of people who can withstand and hold firm to the teachings that we have in scripted upon their hearts in a world that does not often look favorably upon those who proclaim the Most High God. This is what we should be doing but we often don’t. Why don’t we? I think many of our reasons are connected to an aching gap in our hearts to feel needed and wanted; it’s a gap that cannot be filled by our children or our friends or even our husbands. It is a gap that can only be filled by our Creator. When I had four kids I was more apt to cater to each child’s individual needs, especially seeing that they arrived one at a time in my life, and I was able to adjust slowly to the arrival of another child. When I met Ryan and I immediately became mom to 3 more and he became dad to 4 more we noticed very quickly that this extreme hands on parenting technique wasn’t going to work real well. For about a week we would get up with all of our kids and as we had done in our previous lives ask them each individually, “What do you want for breakfast?” and then proceed to run around with a mad, crazed look in our eyes as we became a make shift kitchen, scurrying about, providing for each child’s individual taste palate for that particular morning and landing exhausted in a heap with coffee in hand at the end of the morning. Like I said, that lasted about a week and then there were no more options. Mom now decides what's for breakfast and if that option isn't appreciated there is always the fruit option in the bowl. It is our job as parents to raise our children to be independent of us someday, to be able to stand on their own two feet and to not come running back to mom and dad as adults whenever the slightest bit of trouble rears its head. Our measure of success will be whether or not they are ready to face the world head on successfully as fully grown people. Our kids should be required to take responsibility for their actions and if they don’t, there will be consequences – period; just like the real world. We are rewarded as adults for a job well done and there are consequences when we fail. This is also true biblically. God promises blessing for those who obey his commands and hardship, toil, and consequences for those who don’t. For the gentleman brave enough to tell us women how it should be I commend you and you have my agreement and support. We women often do not prioritize our husbands like we should and we need to take a step back and eliminate many of the activities that prohibit us from having the additional 10 or 15 minutes of energy that the men we married desire from us. Shame on us for not making our husbands a priority in our lives and shame on us when it could be as simple as making our children step up and accomplish some of the daily requirements and tasks on their own; especially when Christian parents are called biblically to do so.
Just keep livin!!