Tag Archives: self knowledge

Being a helpmate of my husband

Being the head of the household must be a challenging job, especially when you have a wife like me. In Ephesians 5, St. Paul makes it clear that just as Christ is the head of the Church, and we are the body, so the husband is the head of the wife. Of course, many people overlook the next verse of this important message. To sum up, Christ loved his Church so much, that he gave his life for them.

I think my husband is much like Christ. He works hard every day at a job that doesn’t necessarily give him warm fuzzies and is surrounded by a materialistic, worldly, self-interested group of people. But he continues and perseveres, always doing the right and honest thing, even if it hurts his paycheck or chances of promotion because he is a man of integrity. That’s why I married him and I hope and pray that never changes.

Now, don’t get me wrong. He grumbles and stresses and worries. He is not perfect, nor am I. At times, he thinks that I am trying to run the show. Honestly, both of us have issues with trying to run our own game plan instead of listening to God’s plan for our life together. So instead of turning to God, we sometimes are like two people in a tug-of-war, feeling as if one or the other is winning or getting their way. God must be looking down at us and just shaking His head. I know how I feel as a parent when my children behave this way, and God loves us more than a parent loves a son or daughter, but I am certain at times He must be amazed at how we choose to use our free will.

A dear friend of mine shared some insight into the life of the Holy Family. I have developed a devotion to St. Joseph because he lived with two people who were like no other on earth, and had the responsibility of being the head of their household. My friend shared that although the Blessed Virgin Mary was without sin, she still deferred to St. Joseph as the head of the household. This made me stop in my tracks. It is making me take a long, hard look at myself and my willingness to serve and be subject to other. I fully understand that marriage is a mutual self-giving, a communion of persons. I just had not realized how much my own pride and will get in the way of fulfilling that ideal of marriage. I need to let go of my plans, listen to God more, and be the helpmate to my husband I am meant to be. Sometimes, this will be a giving up of self and of control. I really don’t like the thought of having to do this, but I will do it out of love.

Who Needs a Mirror When You’ve Got Kids?

Who needs a mirror when you’ve got kids? In some ways, children are better than a mirror. Let me share three ways:

1) Children let you know things you already know but don’t want to remember, just like a mirror. For example, “Mom, you’re belly is pudgy.” When I respond with a distressed look, they reply, “But we like it because it’s soft when we snuggle with you!” Now, that’s better than a mirror!

2) Children repeat what you say and act exactly how you do.  When I was in a bad mood the other day, I grumbled at one of my children. As soon as I was done, that child turned and grumbled at his sibling, who then grumbled at her sibling, and so on, and so on. It was horrifying to watch! Also, If you just “say” things to them, but don’t do them yourself, they will never follow suit, just like a mirror would never reflect what you do not do. This is especially true if you have a bad habit–like biting nails or losing your temper or rolling your eyes. Stop those habits now so your children do not reflect a “not-so-wonderful” you. Plus, you’ll be much happier when you look in your “new” mirror (aka see how your children behave.)

3) Children often reflect your love even greater than you gave it. When children know they are loved and are shown how to be honest, how to share, how to forgive and how to obey, their actions often show such great love that it can melt even the most hardened heart. Have you ever been approached by the most adorable child with curls and big eyes who waves at you from their wheelchair and just wants to shake your hand? That happened to me yesterday and I knew that this little child was well-loved. It just radiated from her. Children reflect love so brightly when they are gentle, kind, patience, humble and full of hope.

Mirror, mirror on the wall
whose the fairest of them all?
-or-
Mirror, mirror in my house
reflecting truly both me and my spouse!

I highly recommend that you think through your choice of mirror — they can be brutally honest, but well worth the investment.

Side-seat driver

I’ve been teaching my son how to drive these past few months. I definitely have let my husband do the lion’s share of the teaching. My husband is much more patient than me and can communicate clearly when it comes to immediate action needed. This is really helpful when our young driver is about to run a yellowish/red light! In these moments, I go into “soup” mode. That’s what I call it. I want to respond quickly, but feel like I am swimming in soup. What comes out of my mouth doesn’t even make sense.

All this driving got me to thinking about God. Okay, let me catch you up. When my son is driving, I’m focused on remaining calm and keeping my voice level and easy. I am blessed with a pretty cautious son, so things usually don’t get too challenging, until I insert myself. For example, I needed to mail a letter, and at the last minute said, “Turn here,” forgetting that he needs ample time and space to accomplish this. Yikes! Being a side-seat driver didn’t help him at all. Suddenly, I realized that I’m like that with God. I let Him drive most of the time. But right when things get going well, I insert myself and demand immediate turns, sometimes in the totally wrong direction.

Here’s the good news. I’ve learned a thing or two.  God used to only be my side-seat driver. I had the steering wheel and my own navigation system, although who knows where I was heading. He would just yank the wheel to avoid immediate danger. So, although I have plenty of room to improve, I am sure thankful I am no longer driving that car. But don’t let me fool you– it sure was hard letting go of that steering wheel!