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Monday, August 30, 2010
In an effort to encourage a bit more interaction here on Journey to Surrender, I decided to form a poll question around today’s post.

The poll and the discussion I’d like to spur is about the challenges you face as a husband to stand in your place of authority as a Christ-like loving leader of your wife and family.

Take a minute to answer the poll question. Note that multiple answers permitted in this poll.

Email subscribers and RSS Readers come over to the blog or click this direct link to the survey.

Kathleen started a discussion over at from Project M by asking what we thought about the phrase, “marriage is hard.”  It got me thinking about the whole challenge/reward equation of marriage. My take is that you get out of it no more than you are willing to put into it. If you want a great marriage, then you should work at it. And the same applies to your role as leader of your family. If you want to do a good job leading your wife and family, then you will need to work to overcome the challenges that you face in doing so.

After you answer the poll question, please leave a comment about why you picked the answer you did and also. But more importantly, leave a comment about what you can do to rise to the challenge.


Anonymous said...

The biggest issue I see in my wife is her anger and yelling at the kids. Not a 1/2 day goes by where they don't feel her wrath. One of our kids is that is quite like her is a teenager now an boy do they go at it. I can convince either of them on how to calmly talk with each other. The teenager nods and ignores. The wife just gets cold and distant for a few weeks and then will finally bark out that she does not like it when I do that. I have learned to shut up and try and protect the kids as much as I can by complementing their good efforts and calmly talk and discipline them. I can tell you when one parent is screaming and one is trying to calmly talk - the calm one might as not be in the room as they will be ignored.

Scott said...

Wow, Anon, what a tough situation. I am sure you feel trapped in the middle of the storm that constantly blows between your wife and children. I know in my house the most conflict seems to occur between the parents and children that are most alike.

So how do you lead in the middle of such a hostile situation? I would start with talking to each of them separately and see if you can get to the bottom of what is really going on. Is your wife feeling disrespected, unloved, or accused by your teen? Is your teen feeling stifled or criticized by your wife?

It is very important that any correction you give to your wife is not in front of the children - that will likely only add fuel to the fire. Help your kids see the things they do that are trigger points for your wife's anger and help them take a different, more helpful approach.

The main thing, and it is not an easy thing, is to not shrink back and allow something to go on in your house that you do not want to go on there. You are the gatekeeper in a sense. When emotions run high, you have to be the one to step in and say, "we aren't going to do things this way" or "we aren't going to talk this way to each other in our house" or "lets separate until you two can talk about this more calmly."

I want to encourage you to continue to try to be the voice of reason and calm, even when it doesn't seem to have much affect. Don't give up. Stand strong. Speak the truth wrapped in an abundance of love and respect.

In the end, if your best efforts prove unfruitful, you might need to suggest some kind of counseling. If you belong to a church that could be a good place to start.

Jenni said...

As an emotional wife who has experienced many emotional conficts with teenage daughters, I think it is very important that the wife knows that you are there for her, supporting her and that is the reason you are offering help and insight. I found it helpful when my husband would assess the situation and then talk to me separately and then share what he was going to say to the child. With one particular child, I would respond and then she would be emotional and then my emotion would rise to meet hers and hers would go higher and then so would mine...
And my husband shared that one of us, the parent, needed to respond in a way that brought the emotion down instead of up. But my point is that he didn't point all this out in the middle of conflict or in front of the child. And yes, it was with the daughter who is most like me!

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