Thursday, December 2, 2010

The "Secret Weapon"

When it comes to action stories, the scripts don't change much: hero and villain fight a mighty battle, and at first it isn't clear who will become victorious. That is, until the hero produces his "secret weapon" and deals his opponent the fatal blow. The hero wins, the enemy dies, and everyone goes home happy.

Whenever I read one of these plots, the first thing that comes to mind is, "Why didn't the hero just bring out the 'secret weapon' in the beginning and save himself some battle wounds?"

As far as I know, there isn't a logical answer to that question.

I've noticed that my own life isn't much different from the scenario above. As a wife, mom, and home educator, I have a "secret weapon" that, instead of tapping into right away, I tend to neglect until things have really run amuck. It isn't as though this secret weapon lies buried, forgotten, in a dark closet. Rather, it is daily before me, though I seem to stare right through it.

No, it isn't God's Word or prayer - though I've been just as guilty about neglecting those necessities as well.

The secret weapon of which I speak?

My husband.

Yes, I have forgotten to let him fulfill the role which God designed for him. I plan, create, develop many good ideas, but only when they fall apart completely do I turn to him and ask for his input. As it turns out, he has some really good insight (imagine that!). And if I would more readily seek his advice, I think I'd save myself hours of worry, frustration, and misery.

What opened my eyes to this was a book called "Don't Make Me Count to Three!" But it wasn't what the book said that sent me a warning signal; it was what WASN'T said.

I always begin reading a book at the beginning - the introduction, the preface, or whatever part comes first. So I did with the above-mentioned book. The author began her acknowledgments by thanking her children, then her friends, editors, publishers, and so on. But she never once thanked her husband (I double-checked). Honestly, he was rarely mentioned at all, even though it was a book on discipline - something I consider to be both parents' department, not just Mom's.

That isn't to say the book wasn't good; I found it very helpful in understanding discipline from a Biblical perspective. But I feel it could have been so much more profound if the author had enlisted the help of her husband.

I think that often we Mommies get lost in this battle of child rearing and teaching. We're with the kids day in and day out, often without respite. We feed them. We love them. We educate them. We train them. We chauffeur them. Caring for the kids becomes so ingrained in us that we forget that God has designed parenting to be a joint effort, and this can be very dangerous.

Of course, there are always special situations - I know of single moms who home school, of families where Dad does the schooling while mom works - but for the majority of homes, Mom does the child care and education while Dad wins the bread.

Please don't follow in my footsteps and neglect this wonderful helper whom God has graciously given you. Ask your husband for help and guidance. Get his perspective on your kids' education (and other areas of life, too). Use your secret weapon from the beginning and avoid some battle scars.

Chances are, not only will your home school life improve, but your marriage just might, too! :)


  1. Very good. :) So glad J's around for you to turn to, even if you forget your 'secret weapon'.

    (btw, I always wondered about the plots too and why they didn't bring out said weapon sooner :P)

  2. Amen. When I'm confused, my husband always gives me just the right wisdom or clarifies our convictions. He was very helpful once again when I asked about the fairness/graciousness thing with our kids.