I became a 1st-time Dad just over a year ago. I’ll never forget the excitement, anxiety, bewilderment, confusion, and mind-numbing fear I experienced when leaving the hospital on B-Day (Baby-Day) with a our very own brand-spankin’ new, fresh baby! Everyone says the same joke “where’s the instruction manual” because everyone feels that way!
In addition to rounding off my first year as a new dad, we have our second kiddo on the way! I have learned a lot in the past year, and will do a better job with baby #2, Maximus Excalibur. (Sigh… sadly, my wife keeps vetoing this name.)
IMPORTANT CAVEAT: I definitely have NOT done all of these things superbly, or even decently at times. I have learned a lot from my wife and others. By the grace of God, I am improving and growing. Nonetheless, you can file all of this wisdom away as near Gospel. You are welcome.
I don’t know if I’m allowed to say this, but this first year has been really… well… weird, exhausting, annoying, frustrating, and wholly overwhelming. In a previous post I shared a couple major epiphanies about being a new dad: [Ponderings of a New Dad] God’s Love is Illogical and I Surrender All?.
For most guys, it is difficult to connect with babies. I am most guys. At initial, selfish glance… they just get in the way of life, marriage, sex, social activities, happiness, hobbies, and sanity. Side Note: Speaking of hobbies, say goodbye to those for the next couple decades. You have much more important things to do.
It DOES get better. It can be awesome. I have grown more than I could have imagined. There is a reason the word “exhaustion” appears many times throughout this micro-eBook of a post.
My love, appreciation, admiration, desire of and attraction to my wife has never been as high as it is now. It really is growing at alarmingly rapid rate, despite the inevitable tension that has occasionally flared up [more than the combined history of our pre-baby marriage ]. I am frequently overwhelmed by the stature, strength, heart, compassion, beauty, and innate motherliness of my wife. I remain baffled at (and learn from) how easy everything seems to come to my wife AND the constant insecurity she feels regardless of how awesome she is. I feel like a bumbling buffoon…
Here is what I have learned…
One of the most popular and controversial posts on my little blog is Lowly Woman: Cook, Clean, Make Babies & SUBMIT to Your Husband.
Tonight, the post received a comment that I really appreciated. I really enjoy interacting with my few readers!
I started writing an email response to him, but it got pretty long so I thought I would just publish it as a blog post. In order to full appreciate the context, you might want to read the complete referenced post.
“Brandon” submitted the following comment:
Hi, this is in response to your post: “Lowly Woman: Cook, Clean, Make Babies & SUBMIT to Your Husband“. My wife, we are both new too our faith, has taken the scriptures on a wife’s role distressingly. There have been many times when she comes to me in tears and we seem unable to find “adequate” answers through praying or other knowledgeable Christians.
Her biggest issue is why God declares that women can’t be spiritual leaders like pastors in a church and why did He deem that only men should have leadership roles? Honestly, it is a bit unsettling for me as well. I try to tell her and myself that it has nothing to do with superiority but I guess we are still blinded by our human perceptions of pride and worth.
If you have any input on this it would be much appreciated. Thank you.
First of all, Brandon… thank you for writing!! I really appreciate your thoughts, honesty, and the desires in your message. I sense a real “seeker’s heart”. Thirst for God’s truth is awesome.
I hope this is not too disappointing, but I will not have a magical cohesive and conclusive answer for you. However, I am humbled to share some of the thoughts and considerations. Some of the thoughts below may seem like “cop outs”… but, I don’t think they are….
Selfish is innate to the human condition! Due to the nature of sin, we are ALL sinful. That usually manifests itself as different types of selfishness. Pride is the default of the human heart. Selfish and “alive” are synonyms. That includes YOU and ME!
Under selfishness is pride. We think that whatever we want, desire, or are doing is more important than others’. We think, but don’t say… “Don’t inconvenience me with you… you and I should both agree on how important I am”. Selfish people get married and have miserable lovers… that’s just the way it works.
On a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 is Jesus… how would you rate your selfishness?
Our world and lives encourages selfishness.
Martin Luther said “Sin is the self bending in on the self”.
Selfishness & Pride
Proverbs 8:13: “The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.”
Proverbs 16:5: “Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the LORD; be assured, he will not go unpunished.”
Proverbs 16:18: “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
- “In pride… we don’t love or serve our spouses… we USE them for our desires and purposes.”
- “Self esteem”, “self activation”, “positive self image”… all are pride.
- In American culture, pride has become an extolled virtue, not a vice.
- God’s Plan A is humility. His Plan B is humiliation.
- We should pray to be clothed in humility. This enabled us to put on the cloak and disposition of Christ.
- In Western culture, pride is something that should be aspired to instead of repented of.
- You can never be proud of your humility…. that defeats the reality of humility! However, you can be someone humbly pursuing humility.
All too often you hear stories of “Tornado Husbands” that unnecessarily and inconsiderately leave a wake of disarray as they meander through their homely habitats. Wives will inevitably feel frustrated, resentful, exhausted, disrespected, offended, overwhelmed, sad, and more. Yes, there is definitely a balance to this, but more often than not, men get lazy. Yes, days can be long and exhausting, but get over yourself.
I remember the beginning of our marriage, after my brand-spanking new wife and I started living together, I was and am still amazed by the “little stuff” that matters to her. Do not misunderstand me, I am not complaining! I am merely an amateur anthropologist documenting surely staggering phenomena. Since I am the most perceptive husband in the world, I have observed the following […]
We had a wonderful discussion at bible study / small group last night that I definitely want to share with all of you. This simple analogy may seem a bit macho, but I assure you it is powerful and can transform how you relate, live, and communicate with your spouse.
Consider how your approach to so many aspects of your marriage would change if you looked at your marriage as a truly united and cohesive TEAM.