While watching a humorous video of my nephew, Kaden, doing his rendition of Gru’s minions, I had a moment’s epiphany about a wife’s unique capacity to impact the climate of a home. How this connection happened is a curious thing really, considering the fact that Gru’s minions really have nothing to do with being a wife. But I suppose it was observing my nephew’s candid happiness, the child-like, uncontrived delight that he exuded that made me smile and conclude that he is doing just fine.
I say this because a few months ago, my sister-in-law, Denise and her husband, Fritz, relocated their family to the U.S. They were here for a while, taking a sort of “sabbatical” from their life in California. And it was a welcome respite for Denise. After all, she had grown up with the comforts of househelp and having a yaya to mind her kids. So she enjoyed being in Manila after being gone for three years.
When Fritz decided that it was time to go back to California, Denise’s initial reaction was disappointment. She enjoyed being close to family and friends, and having our kids grow up together. However, I was incredibly blessed by her decision to have the right attitude and perspective about Fritz’s decision, and to affirm his ambitions and dreams for their family.
At the end of the day, she submitted to him as the leader of their home. And beyond that, she trusted that God would guide their family through him.
I know that it was a struggle for Denise but she is a woman of God and understands the principle of supporting Fritz’s headship. Because of this, the blessings of her obedience and faith have trickled down to her children, too. God is taking care of their family and blessing Fritz’s endeavors to build his career and establish his home.
Fritz and Den have obedient kids. I know this has a lot to do with parenting as a team. But I absolutely believe that Denise’s attitude as a wife encourages her kids to be good followers. Her willingness to be a helpmate to Fritz, a lifegiver along side him, makes her a positive role model to them.
I have also seen the way her kids, Kaden and Audrine, respect Fritz. They hold him in high regard just as she does. Denise not only learned this from God’s word, she saw my mother-in-law, Daisy, model the same attitude towards my father-in-law, Eddie. I have seen it, too!
I wanted to write about Denise’s example because it made an impression on me. The reality is, I will not always agree with every decision Edric makes — big or small ones. But God has ordained him as the head of our family. And my responses to him impact the climate of our home, too. Our children need to see me supporting him, encouraging him, and being one with him about the choices he makes. They need to feel like there is unity and harmony in our home and it has alot to do with the way I respond to Edric’s leadership.
How can they possibly relax and be at rest if they see me continually challenging Edric’s authority or being insubordinate to him? How can they possibly understand what it means to obey and submit if I don’t model the same? And how can they have the right perspective when our family goes through difficult times due to hard choices that Edric must make if I don’t communicate my unconditional support towards him?
My attitude towards Edric’s headship gets passed on to my kids. I remember instances when Edric would make a call about something and the kids didn’t like it. But I would tell them, “Daddy is our leader. We will follow him.” End of discussion and attempted mutiny. If I am not negative about Edric’s decisions, the kids tend not to be either.
They see the chain of command in action…Edric is under God’s authority, I am under Edric’s authority, and the they are under my authority. As a family, we are all subject to God. If I break the chain, my children will be more inclined to do the same. I put them in jeopardy by failing to model obedience. I also become a threat to the peace in our home by instigating an attitude of resistance.
So when I have a perspective that is contradictory to Edric’s, I try to be careful about voicing this out in front of our kids. I pray about it, or Edric and I talk about it so we can resolve it in private and come before our children as a united team. The kids don’t have to take sides or feel stressed that we aren’t aligned. They are assured that mom and dad are one.
The buck may stop with Edric, as he likes to say, as leader of our home. And he recognizes the seriousness that the responsibility of headship comes with. But mothers are the lifegivers of a home. We can cultivate an atmosphere of positivity and God-centered attitudes if we model these ourselves, particularly in the way we come along-side our husbands to be their strong supporters and cheerleaders. When we do this, our children will most likely do the same, and we will all benefit from the harmonious climate that distinguishes our homes and attracts people (including our own children) to Jesus Christ.
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity! (Psalms 133:1 NASB)
Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:1-3 NASB)