The current trend in our society is that more and more wives and mothers are reentering the workplace. Different families have different needs. And many have decided this is what best serves them.
Yet at the same time, some families are bucking this societal trend. They’ve decided it’s not in their family’s best interest to have mom working outside the home. And while this is a great decision for many families, it’s not a decision that comes free from difficulties.
Anytime you buck a societal trend, there’s a price to pay. For mothers who stay home to raise their children, one price they pay is a drop in social status. This is sad because stay-at-home moms work so hard and sacrifice so much. Current characterizations of stay-at-home moms tend to be patronizing at best, and at worst, downright derogatory.
As a result, guys, the choice to stay home with the kids can be hard on your wife’s self-esteem’even if it’s a decision she believes in and is thrilled about.
So if you and your wife have chosen to buck the trend, I encourage you to ask yourself the following three questions:
- What can I do to lighten her load?
- How can I encourage her and affirm the great value of what she’s doing?
- What practical steps can I take to make staying home with our children less physically and emotionally draining on my wife?
In Proverbs 31:29-31, the husband grants his wife her proper prestige with these words:
‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.’
Men, we’ll not only draw prestige from the success of our marriage relationship, but we must also be sure to build up the prestige of our wife. Of course, this begins in the home.
‘Building up’ begins with words, but must be verified and reinforced with actions. The Bible says in 1 Peter 3, ‘Husbands’be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as’heirs with you.’ Acknowledging that your wife is your fellow heir establishes that she’s entitled to the same honor and respect as you. By contrast, you have no right to rob her of what you ought to give, and what God promised she’d have. Oneness isn’t merely a feeling; it’s built on actions.
Moreover, building up the prestige of our wives doesn’t end in the home. What begins there must be carried out into the community. Here again, actions speak louder than words.
Gentlemen, can we justify placing our wives anywhere but in the highest place of prestige in our lives? We must set ourselves to the task of building up our wives’both inside and outside our homes.
Men, as the father in the home, you shoulder a great responsibility in raising your children. How will you and your wife go about it? What standards will you choose? How will you discipline? What values will you teach and demonstrate?
These questions are crucial; and whether it’s intentional or merely by default, they’re all communicated to your children. Intentionality is the key; and it’s a huge help when you and your wife are on the same page.
You and your wife can provide two basic elements in your home that are invaluable to helping your children become the individuals God wants them to be. One is consistency. There are few things worse than one parent operating off one set of values while the other confuses, and ultimately, sabotages those principles with a competing set of values. Parents must strive to agree on core values’living them and passing them on in a unified front to their kids.
The second important concept in raising kids is teamwork. Guys, surrender your individual rights and the blatant exertion of authority and be your wife’s teammate. Help her. Share duties. Pitch in. And never undermine your wife’s position by making yourself appear more important in the eyes of your children.
Instead, help your children learn to honor their mother and to appreciate the value of a woman. This bedrock principle will have a tremendous impact on your kids’ future.