I was having a conversation with some friends of mine at the park yesterday...we get together on a weekly basis to have our children get some proper socialization (insert eye roll here). Honestly, it's more so we mommies can get some proper socialization! Usually it's me and 3 or 4 of my good friends. The great thing about this group of ladies is that they're all Christians. Not just "Christian" ladies, but practicing, God-fearing, seeking to please Him in all they do Christian ladies. We all homeschool and we're all what you would call "like-minded". Whenever we get together, it's a time to uplift, admonish and encourage each other. We share gripes and struggles, but we also do our best to lead each other back to the Lord we serve and are striving to please by walking this challenging path we walk. There are times when we all struggle with WHY?? Why am I doing this? Why is this so hard? Why won't my children just do what they're supposed to do and give me some peace...and the big one: WHY ISN'T GOD LISTENING TO ME?!?!?! It's definitely a struggle living this life. Having children home 24/7 is a blessing I wouldn't trade for anything. Having MANY children is a gift that is as humbling as it is wonderful.
So what does this have to do with husbands, you ask? Well, the thing is, although I would consider my group of close friends a godly group of women, we are just as easily drawn into secular sentiments as anyone else if we aren't on guard. So, the conversation that sparked this post went a little something like this:
One of the ladies in this group of friends announced that she is pregnant, yet again. What wonderful news, right?!?! Well of course!! Everyone was very happy, but then the conversation took a bit of a turn. "My husband is SO happy, he'd like us to have a dozen more!"
One friend says, "Of course HE would, he's not the one who has to deal with them all day long!" Now, let me just say, this wasn't said in a way that many similar sentiments to this are said...as I said, we all homeschool, we all think that children are a blessing and we all feel blessed beyond belief to be able to have the privilege of being home with our children. It was said more with a feeling of, "Children are a LOT of work, they're hard on our bodies, and when you're already not getting much sleep, they can be downright exhausting." And to this statement, we all laughed, and nodded in agreement. But then I got to thinking. No, our husbands have no idea what it is like to be pregnant. The nausea, the exhaustion and the reality of still having to "get it all done" no matter how you feel. They don't know what it feels like to be up all night nursing a newborn, or the stress of trying to teach children while a baby cries and a toddler yanks at your leg and your preschooler announces that they accidentally pooped on the floor and need you to clean it up because although they did the best job they could, they couldn't quite do it! The stress load can sometimes be seemingly more than we can bear...and while we're doing all this: still keeping a clean home, cooking meals, trying to look attractive, keeping a good attitude AND maintaining a healthy desire for our husbands (PSHEW!!). Sometimes the thought of another baby isn't as joyful to us as it may be to our husbands because we're the ones who have to bear this burden. But wait a minute!!! Don't our husbands have a burden to bear? I mean, beyond the obvious bringing home the bacon, making sure we've got a roof over our heads, a bigger car for our ever-expanding family, doing well at his job so he HAS a job to afford the lifestyle he has chosen. Yes, he has THAT burden. But beyond that, he has the burden of being the SPIRITUAL leader of the family. He is responsible for what I do as far as the upbringing of our children is concerned. Of course, I will stand before God on Judgement Day and answer for what I've done (or haven't done as the case may be), but my husband will be held responsible for how HE lead his wife and his family. That is a huge burden to bear. I realize that many husbands may not even KNOW that they are responsible for this, but look at Adam and Eve. It was EVE who sinned first. Yet God doesn't address her, he addresses Adam and his failure to watch and protect his wife. To this day sin is found in the "seed of Adam", not Eve, which is why Jesus was the only human being born without sin, because He was conceived absent of the seed of Adam. God punished Eve for her sin, but the responsibility was put on Adam. Our husbands have this same responsibility not only for themselves, but for their wives and for EACH child the Lord blesses them with. So yes, it may be "easy for him to say that" since he doesn't have to stay home and take care of the children, but if we look deeper, each child the Lord blesses us with is yet another soul that he is responsible to "train up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." I have to say, as I have an 18 month old and a 6 month old who keeps me up all night long...in many ways, I have the easier job. I tend to their needs, he must tend to their souls. Thankfully, by God's grace, neither of us have to do it alone. Thank you, Lord.