Practical Obedience

Kate says . . .

After my last post, Wifely Sacrifice I had quite a few ladies write to share that they agreed with me but found that actually being focused on obedience and not sacrifice was very hard to flesh out.  Let me say, I agree wholeheartedly!!!! The sacrificial attitude is many times is propelled by frustration and unspoken expectations.  So how do we work to overcome this sacrificial attitude?  How do we leave behind the sacrificial attitude and prioritize our hubby over the To Do List?

I was stuck in a sacrificial mindset for many years of our marriage and it only seemed to escalate when our kids came along; go figure!  I have been chatting with some ladies and thinking about what we can do to be obedient to God’s calling for you as a wife.  I was trying to think about actual practical ideas of how we can leave behind the sacrificial attitude and move to a place of obedience.   A couple of ideas:

Simplify

Take some time to evaluate and see if there are things you can eliminate from your daily list.  Look at your family’s schedule, is there any way you can simplify and cut out things?  We find it very hard with three kids to have a simple, non rushed, non crazy week at home.  Awhile ago we made a decision to try our best to keep things simple.  For example, we allow each of our children to do one sport or activity (art club, music, boy scouts, girl scouts, etc) at a time.  Our three kids are still fairly young (8,7 & 5) so we know it will not always be like this, but we still intend to help them think through signing up for more than all of us can handle.  We also try not to schedule too many social things in one week.  These are just a few things we try to be conscious of, but they really have contributed to us finding more time for each other and spending more family time together.  If you are active in your church, think about and limiting how many nights a week you are there.  We love to serve at our church and we believe God calls each of us to do so, but we need to keep our family priorities above church responsibilities.

A Resounding NO, Reality Check

While God was working on my heart to change and prioritize my marriage and hubby, I was also caring for my uncle who was sick with cancer.  I have shared about this journey with my uncle many times.  One thing that being with him every day, watching him fight for his life, knowing he was dying, taught me was that life is short!  I know, I know we all say that, but I believe I truly grasped that concept as much as one can.  It taught me what really mattered were the precious moments we spend with our husband, our family and the moments we spend serving God.  I thought about what it would be like to be in my uncle’s place.  If I was near the end of my time here on earth would I be looking back and wishing I had done more housework, cleaned more, kept my house tidy more?  I answered a resounding no!   a NO that shook me to the core. While those things are important and have their place.  I realized that they should not be prioritized over my husband and family.  It is a blessing to your hubby to keep the house going and care for things, but if you asked him if he would rather you make the house spotless before bed or come up and share some alone time with him, I think most times he would jump at the chance for the latter.  Do you want to look back on your life and see many hours of cleaning and straightening all to keep control of your life?  Or do you want to give up some of that control and give your hubby more time with you?  I don’t want to spend any more time than necessary doing things that truly don’t matter and choose to focus my precious time with my hubby and kids!

Prioritize and set limits

Set limits on the activities that keep you from time with your hubby.  I am currently home with my kids all day.  I home school so we have much to do each day for school along with other house chores.  Most days I get done what I can and whatever does not get done before Brad gets home from work, is set aside until the next day.  There are exceptions, but this is my overall limit I have set.  If you are working during the day this might be tough, but you can set a time limit to what you have to do.  Tell your husband you are going to this for 1 hour and then you will spend time together.  Prioritize your husband before all the house work.  Show him that he is more important than laundry and a super clean kitchen!  Show him that you can go to bed with a few things out of place in the house.  It might be very hard for you, but you can do it!  Take baby steps, one day at a time.

Ask God

Ask God to help you be the wife that He wants you to be.  Ask Him to reveal to your heart what he wants you to change.  He wants to lead you and guide you as a wife.  Pray for strength, peace and direction.  Share with God the places where you struggle!

It is hard to juggle everything that you have to do in a day.  But in the end, we want to look back and enjoy our many memories with our hubby!

What are your thoughts on how to better live out obedience rather than have a mindset of sacrifice?  Share with us your thoughts, struggles and victories.  What has God shown you that you can share with all of us wives?

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7 Responses to Practical Obedience

  1. I love this post Kate. I so appreciate your realness and the way you get at the heart of issues.

    I know with some of the stuff I’ve been going through lately in life (kid issues, elder care issues, etc.), I have adopted the perspective that there is a season for everything. My priority right now is highly focused on being a wife, mom and daughter-in-law.

    While the intensity of my responsibilities as a mom and daughter-in-law will lessen over time, I know my role as a wife will always be on the forefront (this is a good thing!)

    I want to be able to look back on this time in my life and know that I invested in relationship with my kids and husband (and my mother-in-law, who won’t be with me for many years to come).

    Anyway, great post! Sometimes as women, we have to draw lines around what matters most and not be overly concerned with how others interpret our boundaries.

    Keep up the great work! You encourage many!!

    • Hey Julie! Your words of encouargement are greatly appreciated! You are so very right about drawing lines and boundaries. I used to bulk at the thought, but now I see how placing those things in our lives encourages our marriage as well as our family as a whole. So True!

      And you dear friend are encouraging many as well! Be sure to check out Julie’s awesome blog over at http://www.intimacyinmarriage.com We think she is simply awesome!

      Blessings, Kate

  2. Yes I Love this Post… very helpful tips on keeping top priorities in perspective within a marriage. I’m not married yet but I am studying, taking mental notes on how to be the best wife to my future husband. Thank you for sharing your Insight.. its appreciated.

    • Hi Louise! Thanks for writing and sharing! I wish that I had been spent more time educating myself before I became a young bride! I admire that greatly! God will bless you and your marriage as you seek His will for marriage. Blessings to you! Kate

  3. I like this post Kate, it’s such an important subject. I have found that the regular demands of life continually jockey for position. I use my day timer to help me. I go month by month and leave myself notes as reminders of how important my marriage is, and continually try and co-operate with what the Holy Spirit is leading me to do and what areas He’s leading me to grow in.

    Also, when I have my morning ‘date’ time with God, beside my chair are my various prayer journals and devotionals that are specifically targeted at wives … this serves as a great reminder.

    • Hi Robyn! Thanks for sharing! I am sure your hubby is greatly blessed by your willingness to keep your marriage at the forefront. And YES, prayer time and diving into the Word is so vital! Was thinking of my hubby today as he is at work and felt the strong urging to sit down, pray and read God’s word! What an incredible blessing! Thank you so much for sharing! Blessings to you and your hubby! Kate

  4. This is a needed post. It is so easy to let our to-do list rule our lives. It’s also easy to take hubby for granted and not work on that relationship.

    I would add one more thing to the list. This is to Ask Hubby. When pressure does build and your torn between the thing that you feel has to be done before tomorrow, you can submit it to your husband, explain your desire to be with him and the need to finish the task, and ask for his counsel. He will be honored by your submission, will often bless you to finish the task, and may even help out. If he asks you to be with him, leaving the task undone, you can trust God with how to get it done. It’s amazing how creative the Lord is in providing solutions to such dilemmas.