“Who’s in charge?”
The other day I found myself asking my toddler this question after she repeatedly refused to put away her new Christmas toys. Usually, she responds with a sullen, “You are.” But this time she smiled at me and said, “Jesus is!”
It was pretty hard to argue with that logic, so my new parenting motto is: Until Jesus comes back, Mommy’s in charge.
It’s a natural instinct for me to take control. I love to be the one calling the shots, especially when it comes to my kids. Leadership is a quality I’ve always been proud of until God used it to convict me in my marriage.
I was patting myself on the back for another successful day of parenting when I felt the gentle nudge.
Do you see your husband as an equally capable parent?
Do you see him as the spiritual leader?
I had to stop and think about how I was viewing my husband, and I came to the sobering realization that if I wasn’t seeing him as a leader in our family, he probably wasn’t seeing himself that way either.
My husband is an incredible spiritual leader—when I treat him like one. If I walk all over his thoughts and opinions or tell him what to do, I’m not empowering him. I’m telling him I don’t think he’s good enough, and after a while, he’s going to believe me. So many times I’ve heard women in my life talk about how hard it is to get their boyfriend or husband to church, yet I forget to be thankful for a husband who is head over heels in love with Jesus.
I’m not saying he always make the right choices—in fact, we have been in a few situations where he did not—but by choosing him over “the right choice”, I’m letting him know that I trust him, and I’m paving the way for him to become the leader he was called to be. Submitting isn’t just about honoring my husband; it’s about honoring Jesus.
In order to be the wife that I’m called to be, I need to focus on my spiritual life first. Too often, I’m looking at his weaknesses instead of my own. I’m spending my time trying to decide whether or not he is worthy of leading me, instead of remembering that his sins were nailed on the cross right next to mine.
I realized that I think about my husband’s sins more often than Jesus does.
“Who’s in charge?”
I don’t want to be “in charge” in my marriage, but I do want to be an active participant in it. If I want my husband to seek and respect my opinion, I need to make sure that I’m spending time in the Word so that I can discern what the Holy Spirit is trying to tell me.
As we move into the new year, this is the verse God laid on my heart:
“One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
– Mark 12:28-31
When asked which commandment was most important, Jesus responded to love God first, and then to love others. The order here is important because God’s love is what equips us to love each other well. It reminds me of the safety speech on an airplane when you’re told to put your own mask on first because you can’t help anyone else if you run out of oxygen. If I’m not spending time in the Word breathing in grace, I won’t have anything to pour out.
For 2019, instead of a resolution to be a better mom or a better wife (even though those are my goals), my resolution is simply to spend more time with Jesus. If you’re like me and constantly learning what it means to model a Godly relationship, I encourage you to make a decision this year to put your oxygen mask on first and dwell daily in His Word!