Welcome to day 4 of 5 Days to Becoming Goddess of Your Home. Today I want to share my heart with you about reigning in equality in the home with your spouse. This can be a difficult concept for a partnership that has been under a patriarchy teaching in the past, and I will be expounding more on this topic at another time. When my husband and I left a patriarchy type church, we went through a major shift in how we reigned together in the home. By no means are we the best role model for reigning in equality in the home, but we do our best to continue to learn to be humble and balanced as equal partners.
I’m going to share just a few thing to consider in having an equal partnership.
1. Realize that you both have strengths and weaknesses. Self evaluation is a must before you can even think about what your spouse’s weaknesses are. If we aren’t careful we can run into the trap of thinking we’re somehow superior to the other and then a power struggle begins. We want to avoid that! Ask your spouse if he is willing to sit down and go over a few things together. Determine that you will each write out a list of your strengths and weaknesses in regards to your marriage and home. Then put the lists side by side and determine which of you will be responsible for each thing based on what your strengths are. Many times where one is weak the other is strong.
2. Be willing to assist one another in the areas of weakness without condemnation or belittling. It’s far too easy to get lost in a groove of complaining and belittling. This is part of our human nature..to take the road of least resistance. We need to push against that grain and build each other up with encouragement. I’m not fond of the idea that whatever area you’re weak in, that you never have to take care of those things. If something were to happen to your spouse, you would need to know how to survive in that area without him. Seeking each other out for help every now and then is great, but avoid becoming an enabler to each other.
3. Determine that you will not reprimand each other. We aren’t children and shouldn’t be treated as such. If there is a situation where one of you is struggling with, take some time to discuss it when neither of your emotions is running high. Sometimes you might want to wait a day or two then approach each other gently and with support. This is always best to be done in private away from ear shot of the rest of the family.
4. Be ready to apologize. We’re all going to falter when it comes to respecting each other, but be quick to apologize…and mean it. Don’t try to cover something with a flippant apology when you’re not truly sorry. Sometimes it’s better to say “I’m not dealing well with this.” Then take a cooling off time before discussing a matter again. If you’ve blown it in front of the children, apologize to them.
5. Have a united front with children. Sure there might be times when one of your is unreasonable with the children and the children might go to the other parent for help. Sometimes we do have to be a mediator between the other spouse and the kids. Listen to the child explain their side of the story, then assure them that you will be speaking to that parent about the matter. When you get together with your spouse to discuss it, come to a final decision together and approach the child with your firm answer and be loving. If your children think you are on equal footing with them in the eyes of the other spouse, they will surely take advantage of that at some point. The ‘authority’ of the home needs to be equal and united.
Being on equal footing is something that requires a lot of balance through grace and patience. It is in my opinion that any sort of hierarchy leadership in the home is simply an easy way out for a couple. I believe this would lead a family into a mindset of superiority over the wife and children and increase laziness and a demanding spirit in the husband. If a husband thinks he’s the final and ultimate authority then he has omitted the need for accountability in his own home and our human nature is more likely to fall into a trap that otherwise could have been avoided.
We all need to practice humility in the home in order to maintain a balance of mutual love and respect.