Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lead Them to Calm Waters

As a homeschooling Dad, one of my duties is to protect my wife and children from "doing too much." It's a lot for my wife to already be the primary educator in the home, keeper of the home, covenant partner to myself, and all the other things that's wives and mothers do, so to allow them to take on unnecessary commitments never ends well in my home.

Over the years I've seen homeschool families lean toward overcompensating for the fact that their children aren't in public school doing all the things that public school children do, and they seem to think that enrolling their kids in more and more is somehow going to help their kids not feel so different or left out. Now, I'm not advocating living a cave-like existence, where your family never does anything, but again, the norm isn't too much non-involvement, it's over involvement.

I'm not one to let the public schools decide how many activities my children should be involved in. I don't let them set our educational agenda, dictate what's taught in our home, or let them have unfettered access to my wife and kids daily lives, so why should I feel any pressure from them when it comes to activities outside the home. They have no jurisdiction whatsoever in my home, and I aim to keep it that way.

Signs of your wife and children hitting critical mass and having an over-committed schedule could be:
  • More irritability in the home
  • Children not happy unless they're going somewhere
  • Wife stressed out
  • Dad not resting after work due to kids activities
  • Dad's day off consumed with wife and kids commitments 
  • Family's schedule at mercy of children's schedule
  • Saying no to church and fellowship because of other commitments
  • No gentle and quiet spirit in your wife
  • Family not home when Dad's home
  • Kids activities becoming a source of tension between parents
These are just  some symptoms that maybe it's time reevaluate your family's priorities. Eliminate what you can and really enjoy that which mattes most. Rather than the kids doing too many things on their own, plan to do some neat and exciting things as a family. It bothers me greatly when I see Dads who don't take their families to enriching family events where history is taught, friendships are formed, and everyone is encouraged. 

Dad's, don't let your children grow up and leave the home without you having done everything you could to make them feel like you really believed they were gifts from the Lord. A weekend getaway with Dad is worth so much more than a season with strangers.

Sit down this week and consider what your wife are involved in and committed too, then begin asking yourself whether or not it's something they need to do or can it be eliminated. Then, sit down with your wife and ask her feedback on what you think is best. Listen to her as your helper and covenant partner, but remember, whatever decision you both make, you're responsible for it and the impending results. 

If you listen to your wife, even if you don't agree, covenant headship dictates that you can't say, "I told you so." If you can't bless the decision then don't do it. You're the head of the home, go out and function as such with the Lord guiding your path.
Be the leader your wife and kids need you to be, and be the man of God the LORD created you to be. Lead your wife and children to calm waters; even if they aren't asking for it, they're looking for it. 

Best wishes!