Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I can act as an expert on parenting and marriage because I'm not a parent or a spouse. Smirk.

A lot of times I feel like there are many couples making glaring mistakes in parenting.  Maybe the mistakes aren't glaring to them because they're center isn't the same as mine.  I think having the right center makes things much more obvious.

I was watching the new season of The Middle tonight.  Next to Modern Family, I find The Middle one of the more entertaining family comedies out there right now.
In tonight's episode, the question of hierarchy comes up in the family.  Mom tries to point out that the kids are not in charge ... mom's in charge!  She goes so far as to draw a family hierarchy... Mom, kid, kid, kid. In birth order - which of course inspires more arguments, until the question, "What about dad?"
Fine.  She writes "Dad" next to "Mom".

At this point I think, "That's right sister!"

Then the kids argue that Dad is above Mom.  Mom protests.

Personally, I start thinking... "Yeah, the man should be the head of the household.  Why is this mom so opposed to this?"  
The program continues to display the drama of who is in charge.   Then it dawns on me.  The Hecks have the hierarchy all wrong.   Of course the wife is going to be uncomfortable if her husband is 'above' her.  she was right the first time - with Dad on the same level as Mom.  But she forgot to write God, above both of them.

I think it would be easy to love a man, trust a man, and honor a man who put God before not just me, but before himself.   I have long stressed that I believe that is the way it should be... and I know there are those that have trouble with the concept.  
Actually it came up on a friends FB wall once when someone posted that their kids are FIRST in their lives!! Rah Rah!  I pointed out that I thought the God, Spouse, Kids hierarchy was better suited to family harmony.  Someone asked how that works... how could you put your man before your kids?!  What if the man is abusive?  Well, an abusive man is not a man who has God first, now is he?  A man who puts God before all else will be a good man by default.  Oh, she hadn't thought of that.
Really?  (Well, I guess that's why she's married and I'm not.  Clearly I'm too picky looking for a man who puts God first. )

Then there is the knowledge that a man of God is wise enough to lead side-by-side.  I read once that the husband in the Dugger family says that the decisions he's made that were worst for his family, were the once he made without first consulting his wife.

Well, the Hecks didn't have that epiphany tonight.  Instead, they realized (once dad took on some of mom's duties and failed - it's a comedy after all.)  that in a family, sometimes everyone pitches in and leads in their own way.   Sometimes a sister helps in a way a parent can't. Sometimes kids help parents.  (all true)

I guess they couldn't land on the God theory in a program produced for a mass audience and with big corporate sponsors.   Look to reruns of 7th Heaven for that!


erinannie said...

You, my dear, are always amazing. I love that you have the heart and bravery to post about this.
In my religion (Mormon/LDS for those of you who don't know me, but I know TRS does know that already), our marriage covenants actually specifically state that the woman will love and honor her husband and put him above her AS HE PUTS GOD ABOVE THEM. God does not need to speak to two people, when two faithful people should have the faith to rely on just one of them to receive answers. The harder burden truly is on the woman in that she must have faith in both the Lord and in her husband that he will go to the Lord in faith.
I look around at the women I know now, who got married at such young, young ages and wonder if they had any idea what they were doing. How can you possibly ever know your own faith well enough at age 20, let alone trust in the faith of another person at such a young age, to make lasting, eternal covenants?

Melissa in Ohio said...

You state things so well. I really enjoyed this post. It's a tough one for me, regarding putting the man above me. Maybe I need to learn more about what exactly the Bible says about it. Being 39 and never married, I've had to learn to do so many things for myself. And I believe I do them as well, often better, than many men (say, for example, decisions regarding my money and retirement savings). I have trouble accepting that just because men have external sex organs between their legs, that they are somehow the chosen ones to be 'above' the other sex. People have their strengths and weaknesses -- why are the men automatically assigned as stronger? I think the couple should find a good balance between them based on who's better at what. If they can't agree on who's better in a certain area (like money) it doesn't make sense to me to decide a toss-up by just saying 'ok, it's the man then, just b/c he's a man.' I'm probably in an unusual situation though b/c I'm doing fine, even very WELL, all on my own, with money and other decisions. Maybe I can understand and come to terms with what the Bible says about this someday! For now, not so much. Thanks for your well-thought-out posts! I enjoy reading every single one.

Anonymous said...

Really interesting TRS!
As a Muslim I can totally relate. In Islam the husband is without a doubt, the head of the household. In any organisation there can be only one leader. But as you said, God is above both, and ultimately both husband and wife are obliged to follow God first and foremost. And in following God, the wife's duty is to follow her husband. now this doesn't mean she is a door mat by any means, and she is entitled to her won rights which are fair and advantageous for her.
In most Islamic marriages I've seen where this is implemented and upheld it is a beautiful thing, because most men do generally consult their wives on a constant basis and they both want to keep each other happy for the sake of upholding a peaceful and happy marriage in the eyes of God. And as you point out also, that when you put God first you wont abuse your position in any form anyway.
Reading you posts for time I have been, I can see you endeavor to put God first yourself and I say good for you! I truly believe when you put full faith in God that He alone created you and beautifully sustains you, He wont let you down. We are all tested with different things and perhaps this one is yours, but hang on in there!
Roze xx

TRS said...

Melissa - like you I have been single my entire adult life, and I have to do everything for myself... so I can relate to the hesitancy toward suddenly giving up power, leadership and authority to a man.

Although, as the commenter right after you pointed out... One who truly puts God first would not abuse his position. I have more thoughts about this and plan to do a few posts about it coming up.

@ Anonymous... how refreshing to hear from you... I am especially intrigued that you identify as a Muslim, yet concur with our Christian ideas. It's a small world after all! You have no idea how beautiful your comment is to me! Thanks for stopping by!