Handing over the Reins

"Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands" (1 Peter 3:1a).

Our homeschooling day had been long and filled with interruptions. My toddlers had been cranky, and phone calls about organizing activities at church had put us behind schedule in our schoolwork. Herding my children from one subject to the next as quickly as possible, I felt like a trail boss blazing through our schoolwork. However, as the sun began to set, I realized we weren't going to finish our lessons for the day. Finding the best stopping point in our studies, I told my children to quickly put away their workbooks. My husband would soon be home from work, and it was time to pull out the chuck wagon to feed all my hungry hands.

Delegating kitchen responsibilities to my older children, we began to prepare supper. A short time later, my husband arrived, and he also helped in the preparations by setting the table. As he completed the chore, I continued to give more instructions to him and the children with the same trail boss attitude I had been using all day. Although my husband gladly helped with the assignments, I sensed a problem in his response to my commands. Forgetting to hand over the reins to our home, I realized I had been bossing my husband just like my children.

Although homeschooling husbands and wives work as a team, husbands must be allowed the opportunity to assume the leadership role in the family. Unfortunately, after being in charge of the home and the children all day, many homeschooling moms have difficulty in transferring that responsibility. In fact, our independent spirit and self-sufficient ways tend to leave Dad out of the homeschooling picture altogether. If you find yourself making the same mistake as me and not allowing your husband to lead, perhaps it's time to remember God's exhortation in Ephesians 5:22-23a: "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church."

Lord, I know You've designed the home to work according to Your plan. Please, show me how to work together with my husband when homeschooling and transfer the leadership of our family to him once he is home. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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Comments(15 comments)

RACHELLE M 06/28/2009 11:28:12

Your devotionals are always right on. Thanks so much for devotionals that directly relate to me as a homeschooling mother!!

CHRISTINA L 06/28/2010 06:50:08

I have no trouble giving the responsibility over to him. It takes sooo much pressure off of me! At first, I did until I realized the bliss of not being in charge for a few hours and having someone take care of me.

Mahogany M 06/28/2010 11:17:31

This devotional is right on time. I did the same thing to my husband yesterday as we tried to get the kids ready for church. He even said to me, "I am not a child. Stop talking to me like I am one of the kids." I began to get defensive and got upset with him, thinking to myself well if you would do this and that I wouldn't have to speak to you that way. Of course, God does not want me to respond that way. My attitude ruined the whole day and that was a bummer. Today when he walked out the door to leave for work I could still sense that all was not well. We have such a major influence when it comes to setting the mood in our homes. I wish I would have just given him a kiss and said honey please forgive me.

HANNAH A 06/28/2010 14:21:57

I have a husband who doesn't want the reigns. I would love to hand control over to him when he's home, but he wants me to take care of the kids, him, and everything else 24/7. It's a huge responsibility and a burden. Just once I would love for him to be the head of the house, but he literally is like having a fourth child. This article made me realize what I'm actually missing.

CARL V 06/29/2010 06:21:14


Have you talked to your husband about how you feel? I'm quite certain that degrading your husband on a blog isn't going to solve your frustration. As a husband myself, I would hope that if you told him in a respectful manner that you wanted him to be more of an authority figure, he would gain a sense of importance in the home and hopefully step up to the plate and take more of a leadership role. Granted, it would be wonderful if he would see the need to do this on his own, but sometimes, husbands need to physically hear your thoughts.

SHANNON M 06/29/2010 12:26:41


I just wanted to validate your feelings of over responsibility. I will pray for you.

KIM S 06/30/2010 09:24:04

Carl V,

While I agree with your advice, I take issue with the way you subtly chastised Hannah for posting her comment. "I'm quite certain" that it wasn't her intention to degrade her husband (on an anonymous blog, no less, where no one would even know who her husband is) but rather to just let the author of the blog post know that her words hit home with her. Ironically, had she not posted her comment then you would not have had the opportunity to give her your sage advice.

Michelle G.

CARL V 07/01/2010 06:16:57

I agree that my previous post could've been more tactful, and for that I apologize. The point I was trying to make is much more clearly explained in God's Word later in the chapter this devotional already mentioned: "Each of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband" (Ephesians 5:33). I wanted to challenge Hannah to have a conversation with her husband, one that might be quite difficult, to help her husband do a better job at the first part of this verse. Also, I wanted to point out that a wife (even on an anonymous blog) is called by God to respect the man He has placed in her life.

ALYSSA W 06/28/2012 05:29:34

I completely understand how Hannah feels. I too have a husband that does not want the \"reins.\" I try to submit to him in everything I do, as do all my little ones. However, he has said that he does not want the role of complete leadership. He likes to have a lot of \"ME TIME.\" So by me agreeing to his requests I am submitting. Not every homeschool family has a 50/50 contribution to the family. It is not easy and Hannah it is easy to become envious of what other families are like, but we need to try and pray for contentment and happiness in our own situations and not covet other couples and think about what our husbands don\'t do. I will pray for your continued strength and growth in Christ. He is the ultimate husband!!

BRENDA C 06/28/2012 05:39:58

Ladies, just be grateful you even have a husband to hand the reins to............That would be such a blessing to have that again...................

ANGELA T 06/28/2012 06:41:48

I completely understand about having a husband who doesn\'t step up and take charge. Our marriage was there for several years....until I learned to step back! When I stopped being \"the boss\" he started. It took long talks and humility and submission to God on my part before I realized that I was part of the problem. Not saying this is the way it is in every case but in ours it was. The Lord opened my eyes and his and now it is a huge relief to be able to step back and let him step up! Our marriage is stronger than ever and my husband is VERY comfortable in a role I never dreamed he even wanted!

KATHY S 06/28/2012 07:49:50

I don\'t wan\'t to get off topic, but, I am not getting these devotionals fro the last 2 days. I\'ve been accessing them through June 26th\'s blog, then going to most recent posts to get to yesterdays and todays.

Just wanted to make you aware if there is a way to fix it, Thanks so much!

Relationships. Well when I was a child, Mom was in charge until Dad walked in the door, then he was in charge of Mom and us. And everyone better listen!

My brother and his (ex) wife; he would come home from a 14 hour day of work, and couldn\'t even have dinner or relax because his wife handed him their baby and said she was tired. \"Here,you take her, I\'ve had her all day\".

My friend and her husband have a pretty good balance. She\'s gone to work 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mon-Fri.

He works 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. same days. During the week he cooks, runs the kids to the Doctors. dentists, martial arts,cheerleading, religious ed. Whatever\'s needed. On friday night at 7 pm. she takes over all the cooking and does the cleaning for the week (they help her). She\'s in charge then until an argument breaks out, then her husband jumps in for reinforcement.

I\'ve been alone since my son was born. His Father comes about once every 2 years to see him now, maybe longer. I guess he\'s too busy to see his son. Which, is probably for the best. Why get a childs \"hope\'s\" up to be let down.

So, I\'m Mom and Dad roles. The only time I really miss having a husband, (and this doesn\'t sound normal), but, If I need to be in the hospital, I would love to have someone there to say \"It\'s o.k., I\'ll take care of him and the house until you are well\".

But, that\'s just not in the cards for us right now. And maybe for the best.

A stepfather would be a HUGE adjustment for my son and myself. I don\'t know if either of us are ready for that. Plus, I\'d like to be healthy before God put a man in my life!

It will be 101 degree\'s here today, if it\'s hot where you live at too, and you have access to a pool or beach go have some fun in the sun!

R S 06/28/2012 07:57:23

Mahogany, if you haven\'t already, give him that kiss tonight and ask him to forgive you :) Appreciate your humility.

I am encouraged by the devotional. I need to hear this once in a while, I have not arrived!

This discussion raises a lot of emotions, doesn\'t it? We have, as a society, and even as Christians, strayed so far from God\'s will that both men and women are confused about their roles. Of course, some in both genders are not confused, just shirking responsibility.

Carl, I think it\'s good to hear it from a man\'s point of view, as long as that man is speaking biblically, as I believe you were.

AlyssaW, good advice.

Precious Father, please help us to learn contentment in whatever state of life we are in and seek, above all else, to bring honor to your worthy name. Help me to win the battle over whatever trial would keep me from living and raising our children for you. In Jesus\' name, amen.

TERESA S 06/28/2012 17:19:49

I think peace in the family is very important. My husband comes in exhausted in the evenings. I rarely ask him to do anything, so when I do, he does so very well. I worry he does not get enough rest so I do as much as I can. We are laid back about supper. If I ( and the girls) do not fix supper, he will fix his self something or I will fix hot dogs or a TV dinner. The uttimate goal in our family is not to stress!!! No hard and fast rules about who does what, it is who ever is less stressed picks up the slack. My parents had the traditional roles, sit down suppers ect and the tension was high. I encourage spouse to consider the other - Even though my spouse does not \"lead\" like many conservative churches preach that he should, our lives are peaceful and predicable. IWhen I find myself wishing my spouse would fix things around the house, or take out the garbage- I pause- and remember there are many husbands who perform the tradition chores who are overbearing and a cross for their spouse to bear. And then , I realiaze, I am lucky to have married such a patient, kind, and slow to anger man.

Chris Ciappa 07/01/2014 13:06:28

I sort of feel very alone. I am the exception rather than the rule. I am a divorced dad with custody of all three children whose mom was physical with them and cheated on me in two countries. All I desire is that my lord provide stability for me and my children. I despise public education, I cannot afford private education, I would love to home school but that is not realistic. As I sit here I can only humbly beg my lord and savior for help.

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