Parenting still feels like a new territory for my husband and me. We are in a continuous state of learning how to fulfill our roles as husband and wife, which now includes being parents. As we enter into different seasons with our children’s growth we encounter new challenges that force us to address how we want to train up our children.
Sometimes we feel really good about how each of us will handle specific situations, and then there are times that we question what page the other person is on or what book they are in altogether! We come from different backgrounds and we have different perspectives of the parent-child relationship based on our experiences growing up.
Raising our children is forcing us to address why we believe what we do and how we can effectively train our children while being on the same page as husband and wife. This requires a ton of communication.
When things happen and our children need to be disciplined or taught what to do versus what not to do, many questions arise. Even more questions arise when we are confronted with a new situation and see the other person respond differently than what we expected. These questions are often asked in the heat of emotions so they said with little attitude:
How could you do that?
Why would you do that?
When this happens it is like whirl wind whips through the house. Insecurities come flooding as well as pride. Both of our desire is to be good parents and navigating what that looks like is tough, but it can be done. As we take the time to intentionally communicate through the situation with respect instead of attitude, we are motivated to rephrase the questions to include:
How do we want to handle this situation?
What does the Bible say about that?
What are our views on this or that?
Figuring out how to parent does not just come naturally to us. My husband and I have learned that if we want to be good parents, consistent parents and faithful parents, we must acknowledge that we are on the same team, raising up soon-to-be adults who hopefully will love the Lord. This means that I must parent with my husband, not against him. This means I need to trust my husband when I don't understand his perspective or reasoning. This means that I need to calmly and respectfully communicate my concerns, as well as my ideas of how to respond to the children.
Instead of fighting for my way or what I think is right when it comes to parenting, I need to be willing to hear my husband’s heart on issues that matter and we need to be willing to grow in our understanding of how God is leading us as parents.
God will use us to encourage our spouse and likewise He will use our spouse to enlighten us on how to be directed as parents. We must be sensitive to the Holy Spirit as we are led and we must also be willing to listen and consider our spouse’s leading.
Parenting absolutely affects our marriage relationship, but we have noticed that it has also been a huge contributor to bringing us closer together as one big family. The greatest thing that has helped us when it seems like we are not on the same team is: prayer. Humbling ourselves to go before God and ask for His help always benefits our marriage and our children.
So as each one of us continues on this journey of parenting, remember to embrace oneness with your spouse and be confident that you are doing it together, not against each other! Together with God, not against Him!
- Jennifer Smith UnveiledWife.com