Today I’m excited to have Stacey Pardoe as my guest speaking about the challenges of parenting and how to navigate them with our mates. I hope you’ll make her feel welcome by commenting and sharing to all your favorite social media places. Thanks!
No matter how like-minded we are when it comes to our relationships with our spouses, there will simply be times when we don’t see eye-to-eye. Most couples agree that there are plenty of challenges when it comes to disciplining and raising children. We each step into parenthood with different backgrounds, learned behaviors, and even values.
My husband and I are on the same page in most of the important parts of our lives, but there are moments when we simply do not agree about how to handle our children. In these moments, I find myself struggling with how to honor my husband, especially when I’m completely convinced that his discipline technique is not the right fit for our child.
These five principles guide my attitude when my husband and I don’t see eye-to-eye in parenting our children:
1. Begin with Prayer
I imagine you can relate with the experience of overhearing your spouse say something to your children that immediately stirs a wave of tension in your chest. You feel the words rising in your throat, and your most natural response is to correct your spouse.
The most important lesson I have learned when a confrontational spirit arises within me is to keep watch over the door of my mouth. When I feel a sudden and emotional urge to speak my mind or correct my man, I am learning to close my mouth and pray instead. If I don’t begin with prayer, I am likely to spout off with a disrespectful comment that serves the exact opposite of what I ultimately intend. For this reason, a quick prayer to ask the Lord for wisdom is the best way to begin.
[bctt tweet=”The most important lesson I have learned when a confrontational spirit arises within me is to keep watch over the door of my mouth. #lessonslearnedinmarriage #guardmouth” username=””]
2. Focus on the Good and Extend Grace
Remember that your spouse loves you and loves your children. Consider the setting.
Has it been a long day?
Is your husband extra-tired after a grueling work week, or has he been cooped up with the kids all weekend while you were at work?
Pause and remind yourself that we all react to our kids inappropriately at times.
Even if your spouse’s reaction to your child was more than just a quick and unplanned comment …
- Remind yourself of the many positive ways he invests in the lives of your kids.
- Consider that maybe the harsh word with your son was exactly what your son needed.
- Finally, consider that God himself might have led your husband to respond in the way he did.
3. Learn to Let the Little Things Go
More often than not, we can let go of little comments and moments in which we don’t agree with our spouses. When an all-encompassing issue arises, be careful not to verbally attack or address the issue on the spot. Try not to address it in front of your children. As my grandma always said, “Form a united front with your spouse in front of the kids.”
[bctt tweet=”Form a united front with your spouse in front of the kids. #grandmasadvice #lessonslearnedinmarriage #unitedfront #parentinggoal” username=””]
My husband and I talk about big parenting issues in private. If there is an area in which we repeatedly disagree on how to parent our kids, we save the conversation for a quiet moment behind closed doors. We wait until our tempers aren’t triggered and the challenging moment has passed. Most of the time, the moments that cause tension to stir in my innermost parts are the same moments I cannot remember in two days. It’s best to let the small moments go and discuss the serious conflicts in private.
4. Maintain an Attitude of Humility
I spent seven years teaching teens with moderate disabilities in a high school special education class. I am trained in behavior modification. The years in the classroom provided me with ample training that has greatly helped me as a mom; however, it is of crucial importance that I maintain an attitude of humility.
My education and experience do not automatically warrant my expertise in all situations. There are times when my husband simply has a better sense of how to train up our son and develop him into a man. There are times when my husband sees our daughter’s need for time with her daddy and directs her in a way that is appropriate. No matter how much wisdom you have attained, remind yourself that there will be times when God speaks to and through your spouse.
Be humble enough to create space for your spouse to hear from God and direct your children accordingly.
5. Pray Again
The most important aspect when it comes to dealing with conflict over parenting challenges is to both begin and end with prayer. Pray before you address an issue with your spouse, pray while you address the issue, and pray after the issue has been dealt with. God is sovereign over every aspect of our lives. He desires that we would both honor our spouses and train up our children in the way they should go.
Trust him that these two values are to remain in balance in your home. Speak your mind in love, and always aim to honor your spouse. Cover these situations in prayer, and trust in the Lord to take care of the final outcomes. He is greater than any disagreement.
God’s plan is that you would be united with your spouse as you bring the hope of Christ to your children. This will be best accomplished if you honor one another and love one another as a living representation of Christ’s love for his church. You are the living witness of Jesus in the lives of your children. Bear witness as a united front, and your children will be drawn into the love of the Lord through the example you set.
[bctt tweet=”God’s plan is that you would be united with your spouse as you bring the hope of Christ to your children. Find out how! #hopeofChrist” username=””]
Stacey is a lover of the woods, a passionate and imperfect follower of Christ, the mother of two blue-eyed children, the wife of Darrell, and much more. She writes words about her walk of faith in the in-between moments, and she mentors and teaches the Bible to younger women. Most of all, she is desperate to live out the love the Lord has lavished upon her and make that love known to the world. She writes weekly at staceypardoe.com.
Which of these 5 principles have you found to be most helpful to your parenting conflicts?
What was one of your most recent parenting conflicts and what helped you to find unity with your spouse?
Click on the link if you’re interested in reading my latest devotional at Lifelettercafe, God Wants to Fight for You.
Also, you can click on Lessons Learned in Marriage to read all the posts in this series. The graphic below reveals all of the other bloggers who are participating in this series. Next week Liz Giertz will be sharing “3 Ways to Weather Seasons of Transition.”
Here are some lovely linkups I join – Inspire Me Monday, Literary Musing Mondays, Tea and Word Tuesday, Purposeful Faith, Tell His Story, Recharge Wednesday, Porch Stories Linkup, Break Through Homeschooling Linkup, Coffee for Your Heart, Worth Beyond Rubies Wednesday, Encouraging Word Wednesday, Sitting Among Friends, Destination Inspiration, Grace Moments Linkup, Imparting Grace, Tune in Thursday, Heart Encouragement, Moments of Hope, Grace and Truth, Faith and Friends, Blogger Voices Network, Faith on Fire Friday, Fresh Market Friday, and DanceWithJesusFriday
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