Sunday, August 14, 2011

To Teach Her Children-Raising Future Husbands

I'm praising the Lord that I had good tests from the doctor and I'm on the mend from a grueling 6 week bout with pneumonia. It's not easy being sick for so long and living with 4 males. In the midst of this illness, I became embittered at the lack of willingness from my husband and sons to help me with dinners, cleaning, etc. It seemed it was still expected of me, and like a good martyr, I went along with my normal duties with resentment and not getting the rest I needed.

At the midpoint I realized I needed help, so I asked my 15 year old how he would show love in a practical way to his future wife. I thought his answer was so honest, "To provide for her." I kind of teased him at first, but I also thought how wonderful it was to think how God wired him. I told him that providing for the family is definitely an important way to show practical love to his future wife, but what happens if she gets sick, and she is no longer able to do the things that need to be done? He really couldn't give me an answer. I would consider my teenage son Kyle to be one of the most sensitive young men I know, so I realized just then that men are wired by God's wonderful design differently, and I had to use my sickness as a teaching opportunity.

I simply told my three boys to help me around the house and gave them each a list. I was amazed at how well and how proud they were to step up to the plate with my household chores. Instead of watching me suffer helplessly, they felt empowered to help their mom get better. I was simply amazed at their positive and even masculine attitude.

How silly I was. I expected my men to pick up the slack and when nobody did, I thought they didn't care about me. How wrong I was. They are wonderfully different, and they need to be directed. For example, let's just say my husband had a small business and he fell ill. How would I like it if he just expected me to pick up where he left off with no directions? How would I feel if he thought, you see me do my job, why don't you just do it? What if he became angry with me because I was unable to read his mind and do what needed to be done? If he gave me a list or told me what to do, I would be more than happy to help him.

A while back, I made a basic housekeeping binder. I have a loose cleaning schedule that I do on my own. My guys need detailed instructions just as I would of I need to take over my husband’s job, so I added a "Sick Mom" tab. I also put in very basic recipes so they can do the grocery shopping, prepares meals the next time I get sick, because that is inevitable.  I can honestly tell you it will empower your husband and sons. It's also not a bad idea if you have daughters. My teacher's always told me a Proverbs 31 woman is always prepared. Unfortunately I learn the hard way.

While we're on the subject of being prepared for a sickness, I came away with one tip. Try and to double up on at least one meal a week to freeze while you're well. I wish I would have done this. My cholesterol went up just by eating more take out. It's important to make sure you're not only resting, but eating well too.

After waking up and verbalizing my needs, I was delighted at my husband and sons who really desired to be helpful all along. Even my two younger boys vacuumed and dusted with such enthusiasm. I've never been more proud of them. I remembered something I had forgotten, that men are very different. I expect them to be like me, and how self absorbed is that? I also used the opportunity to teach my boys how to love their wives and die to self.