Solving the Conflict Between Being Wife and Mother. Hard? YES! Important? Absolutely! Encouraging and equipping moms in their ministry in the home.

Resolving the Conflict Between Being a Wife and a Mother

I sat listening as my daughter expressed her desire to be all her husband needed and all her daughter needed at the same time. Each word she expressed reminded me of the constant conflict between being a wife and mother. Even after 26 years of mothering I am faced with the very real reality of this conflict and how it affects each of us as women. The conflict between meeting the needs of our husband and those of a nursing baby. The conflict between helping our husband in his business and getting the children to doctor appointments. The conflict between getting the house tidy, a meal on the table, and caring for a sick child. The conflict between homeschooling lessons, character issues in our children, and having enough emotional (and physical) energy for our husband when he arrives home. The conflict between…. you fill in the blank! As women, we have multiple tasks all with equally important consequences if not meet in a timely and efficient manner. How do we resolve this conflict that can often steal our joy if not dealt with properly? For myself, I always go to the Scriptures and search for examples, gems, hidden within His Word for my instruction, correction, and edification! Hannah comes to mind quickly. If you’re not familiar with her testimony let me fill you in. Hannah was married to Elkanah, who also had a wife named Peninnah. Peninnah could have children, but Hannah can not. Elkanah loved Hannah dearly and showered her with extra because of his love for her. (1 Sam 1:5 But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the LORD had shut up her womb) Each year Elkanah would go up to offer his yearly sacrifice with his family. We’re told that Peninnah would provoke Hannah and cause her to fret because she was barren and each year Hannah would pray for a child. Have you ever experienced a time in your marriage when your husband reminded you to desire him more than any other desire you might have? I know I have. Perhaps Elkanah didn’t understand the yearning inside a woman to carry her husband’s child. Maybe he didn’t know the pain she was suffering under the spiteful taunting of Peninnah. Whatever the case, listen to what he says, “Then said Elkanah her husband to her, Hannah, why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons?” Part of resolving the conflict between spouse and child is remembering that we were created for our husbands. We have become one with only one person in the universe, our husbands. While my heart longs to serve, bless, lead and teach my children, I have had to remind my family that I am their daddy’s  first and their’s second! Even as I wrote this post, one of my oldest sons said, “Oh are you sharing how you’ve always taught us that your heart belongs to daddy first and then to us?” I pondered what he said. He’s right. I have verbally expressed the order of how I will tackle the tasks before us. When there is a conflict daddy is always picked first. SO, why do I still have the conflict? It’s my own heart. It’s my own struggle and the mess inside me that has to be resolved. This last weekend as I was needed to serve my husband or keep the schedule of the household which included 3 very important doctor appts for 3 different children, I felt the wrestling begin in my heart! In fact, I had to tell my husband. “tell me what needs to be done. Give me time to work on my own heart and don’t be offended that I’m a mess right now. It’s me, not you!” Solving the Conflict Between Being Wife and Mother. Hard? YES! Important? Absolutely! Encouraging and equipping moms in their ministry in the home. The steps I took next were instrumental in resolving this conflict 1. Pray. I had to stop and pray. Just spit out all my frustration and even a few tears privately with the Lord. 2. Communicate. I had to listen and speak. I needed to hear exactly what was needed of me. I also needed to make sure I had clearly expressed how this abrupt change was going to impact my husbands desires for the family through the week. Then I had to hear what he was willing to let go to the sidelines and what he wanted me to still find a way to make happen. 3. Get Creative! When things like this happen I always pray that God helps me think out of the box. Boxes keep me from seeing the whole picture. Creativity can bring some joy and real solutions to the problem. 4. Take action! Get busy and don’t waste a moment There’re a right way and a wrong way to deal with this conflict! The conflict for Hannah didn’t stop at giving birth to Samuel. Look at verse 22 in 1 Samuel chapter 1. Consider this passage, 1 Samuel 1:22 But Hannah went not up; for she said unto her husband, I will not go up until the child be weaned, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before the LORD, and there abide for ever. Look at how she went to her husband and with clear communication expressed where she needed to be and what they needed to be doing. Now compare that to Rebekah who helped her son manipulate her husband? There’s a right way (Hannah) and a wrong way (Rebekah) in dealing with conflict within our roles as wives and mothers. Take a look at Rebekah’s story. God has promised to both Rebekah and Isaac that it would be Jacob that received the blessing. However, instead of Rebekah coming to her husband with clear communication to remind him of the promise she decided to help her son deceive her husband! Genesis 27: 6-10 Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying, Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying, Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat, that I may eat, and bless thee before the LORD before my death. Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command thee. Go now to the flock, and fetch me from thence two good kids of the goats; and I will make them savoury meat for thy father, such as he loveth: And thou shalt bring it to thy father, that he may eat, and that he may bless thee before his death. Rebekah wasn’t wrong in wanting Jacob to receive the blessing that God had promised. She was wrong in how she responded to the conflict within her. Let’s face it sometimes our roles as wives demand that we speak plainly to our husbands and let them know the danger they are about to bring upon themselves or even others. Consider Esther! She had a conflict between her husband and her people. She could have turned her thoughts to plans of manipulation. Instead, she turned her heart to prayerfully submit to what God was calling her to do and then how to present to her husband the facts so that he could hear. We have lots to learn about communication if we read the story of Esther. I encourage you to do that! The bottom line is we all have these conflicts in some degree. Resolving this conflict has little to do with anyone other than ourselves!! As we consider our multifaceted roles as wives and mothers, it’s essential that we work through the steps of resolving the conflict between these roles. Tell me, do you have tips to share that you’ve found helpful? Until our next chat, Mrs. Joseph Wood

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