Reflections and Poetry

The trouble with living with boys: a reflection

Domestic bliss… Not

Yesterday was one of, if not the, worst days of our family life. I could not say anything without it being refuted. It was maddening. I extricated myself for a while… I should have stayed out until everyone went to bed, because I was home for half an hour and it all started again.

In my household there are three of us: my hubby, my son and me. I’m the odd one out. It used to be my hubby and me; I was the odd one out. Then my son was born and for most of his life, until now, it’s been my son and me, with my hubby as the odd one out. Now I’m the odd one out again, because male logic has trumped female sensitivity. It’s a household where, if you can’t prove it with math or logic, you are shut out, incorrect, have to defend your position if you want to take a position.

Here’s where the wisdom comes in… a bit too late for yesterday’s horrible day of strife.

The LORD puts us in families (lots of ways to define that but not the point to explore today). Right now, as “iron sharpens iron”, He is sharpening me, preparing me, humbling me, through my family dynamics, so that I can take a step back from my emotions, be more precise in how I use words verbally (… versus as I writer, since as I writer I tend to be fairly precise by profession) and sharpen my thinking skills generally.

Women on the whole may be acutely aware of situations but less prone to speak about things as concisely as men (I’m overgeneralising of course, but men to tend to be more fact-based according to psychologist reports). So, we often lose a battle of words, if we’re evenly matched in capability and education.

Now, in my family, my young man and my husband echo one another and I no longer face one to one, but two against one; I’m the one and I don’t like it.

But the LORD put me in this situation for at least one reason: I’m here on this earth to be perfected by Him. The domestic life which is challenging will do that, if I don’t become faint-hearted.

So what is this reflection for?

To encourage other wives and mothers who experience strife in their homes which they know they should be able to avoid, but can’t seem to manage it.

I shared vaguely my frustration about yesterday with a prayer group I have on-line. I didn’t bother with details but just described a miserable day of strife which was largely my fault. One friend came back with scripture:

“Fear thou not, for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” (Isaiah 41:10)

Amen to that.

I suppose we women need to come together now and then, to help us ensure we aren’t always the odd one out.  We lift each other up, encourage each other to dig deeper and look longer at what the LORD is doing in us, and help us to communicate more effectively to the other half of society. We all are richer for each other; fellowship offers greater vibrancy in our lives.

Acknowledging differences

And finally, being aware that men and women are different, not only biologically, but also in our ways of thinking, we can choose our battles (which is generally futile) and engage with clear-thinking minds and hearts full of compassion, in order to minister to others of both sexes.

I’ve a long way to go before I can discuss even-temperedly with my male counterparts at home. But I will find a way, because the LORD is with me. He’s with them too, and so He’s making us all sharper.

My prayer is that I don’t cut them or myself, but allow the LORD to do His thing in pruning us all.