The Bell Family

Random ponderings on God, life, and the humor all around us

My Husband’s Priority


Bill and I have lately been reevaluating our priorities based on some new insights.  This mainly came after reading “Feminine Appeal” by Carolyn Mahaney.  In her chapter on working at home, she addresses the woman’s top priority–to be a helpmate to her husband. 

After talking with Bill about this chapter, we began thinking about how I would be the biggest help to him, so we looked at what was Bill’s greatest responsibility.  According to Scripture, this responsibility is to pursue godliness himself and to lead his family in godliness.  We began realizing that everything I do as a wife and mother needs to be centered around helping Bill in this pursuit.

Based on this knowledge, Bill began evaluating every aspect of our lives–our kids, home, food, health, sleep, schedules, activities, etc. and thought about how each area fits in to helping him achieve that goal.  He then began to delegate some new tasks to me, took some of my tasks away that weren’t important, and we both began to change our priorities.

Here are a few things we have changed: 

1.  I changed my exercise time to later in the day so I could sleep in thirty more minutes in the morning.  This way, I can stay up thirty minutes more the night before so we have sufficient time to talk about things and read and pray together.
2.  When I wake up at 4:30, I shower right away instead of waiting until he leaves for work.  When we have our quiet times during the same part of the morning, I selfishly can’t seem to stop myself from running to him to tell him something I’ve discovered or ask him a question.  Each time I do this, it takes away from his time with the Lord.  If I’m in the shower, I can’t disturb him.  🙂
3.  When I am working with the kids during the day, I strive to think about their salvation instead of having a smooth day.  For instance, our main goals with Liam right now is to help him understand language.  The more he understands, the more Bill can teach him about our amazing Savior.  That’s a different perspective than I’ve had before.
4.  Many days I talk way too much when Bill gets home because I have hardly talked all day long.  Because I am married to the greatest listener in the world, my talking would often prevent Bill from doing his work at home or spending time with the kids.  We came up with several outlets for me where I can talk to other women during the day.  I have joined MOPS, go to a mom’s day twice a month at church, meet with another woman once a week, and have begun scheduling a play date once a month among other things.  Though my schedule is a bit busier, our marriage has been blessed greatly because I have become a better listener to my husband and I have freed him up more.
5.  I take the kids on an outing most afternoons and don’t return home until around 4:00.  Since Bill gets home around 3:40, this gives him a short amount of time to be completely alone (something he doesn’t get any other time of the day) to pray and gather himself before the demands of being a husband and father come bursting through the door.
6.  We have made diet, exercise, and sleep a bigger priority so we can have the energy to serve the way we need to. 

These are not the only changes we have made, but we have both been amazed how much God has blessed us for simply changing this priority a bit.  The decisions I have to make each day are clearer, and I have joy watching my husband and our family grow in Christ each day.


4 thoughts on “My Husband’s Priority

  1. Courtney this is a great post…I just have a question. Is Bills responsiblity of being the leader bigger than his responsibility to Love you like Christ loved the church? I see them as equal and see that he should be giving that time to “talk” to you in the afternoons as much as you need. I am just curious about this, because we had Dr. Ware come and talk to us about this in our class on thursday night and he talked about how many men aren’t loving their wives like Christ because they want a lot of “time” to do their stuff.

    Just curious.

  2. Great question, Becky. I think Bill’s responsibility to be the leader goes hand in hand with his responsibility to love me like Christ loved the church. To clarify, Bill was not annoyed with how much we talk–he loves it and says it’s what he looks most forward to when he comes home. Bill and I still schedule “couch time” to talk while the kids are up, and that’s also why we changed the schedule so I would stay up later to talk to him. We also still talk almost constantly every chance we get, and we are going back to having weekly, not just monthly dates.

    The problem we were having is that I was demanding all his time from him, even getting jealous when he took time to play or talk with the kids. I wanted him all to myself just so I could talk about random things. It was a sin problem in my heart, not his. He was becoming unable to spend time with the kids, do necessary business like pay bills, even sometimes change out of his work clothes.

    Bill is one of the most selfless men I know. If you see him at any time at our house, he is never taking time out for himself. He is constantly talking to us, playing with us, teaching us, helping me with work around the house, or whatever else he thinks we need. He is a man who loves to read, but you will hardly even see him do that just so he can be with us. I don’t just talk, I talk way too much. For me, it’s selfish and a sin problem I have been in much prayer about. I am the kind of person who thinks about what I want to say next when I’m “listening” to someone, and most of what I say is unimportant. Though Bill listens to me each time I want him to, I rarely take the time to listen to him or genuinely ask him how his day was. I don’t desire to understand his heart the way he desires to understand mine.

    Bill and I have seen the husbands and wives Dr. Ware refers to, and each time I praise God that I have a husband who loves me so fully. I have often been pained for the wives who get put on a back burner for the husband’s other interests, and Bill struggles to not feel anger toward those husbands (praise God for grace). We definitely need to pray for families we know like this and do everything we can to encourage them and not judge them. I hope that helps.

  3. Court, you’re very kind to describe me so glowingly even though I so often fall far short of the description you gave of me. You are a gracious gift from God and I’m so grateful to share my life with you.

    Becky, I can certainly understand the perspective you’re bringing to this discussion. Court filled out nicely her motivations for making the change. On my side of things, the idea to find new outlets for her to converse with others had little to do with my time or my stuff. Instead, it had to do with the very practical fact of not enough time in the day. Before we had children, Courtney and I would spend almost all of our waking time together talking and discussing various things. Our conversations are definitely one of the jewels of our relationship. But with the blessing of children and other added responsibilities, there is simply not enough time in the day (or night) to continue this trend from early in our marriage. Before the changes we implemented it was very common for us to stay up until 11:00 or 11:30 and then be too tired to get up at 4:30 in the morning, which adversely affected the next day. We love to have relational intimacy through conversation so much that there simply isn’t enough time to indulge in it. So, understanding my wife’s desire for conversation with other adults and the constraints on my time (due to spending time with our children or just general daily maintenance tasks), we opted to reorient her schedule so that she could use more of her time while I’m at work to have other friendships that would give her an outlet for conversation.

    I’m not sure if I’m making things clearer or muddier. When it’s all said and done, this is about understanding that my wife has particular needs for conversational relationships. Like I said earlier, it’s really not about my desire to have more free time or do other things, but about helping my wife meet her relational needs/desires while I also meet the needs/desires of my children and the obligations of everyday life. The move to find more outlets for her was specifically one avenue to assist me in loving her as Christ loved the church by doing everything I could and encouraging her to find outlets for relational intimacy with others. For the record, we still talk with each other a combined total of three or four hours each weekday, even after implementing some of these family changes.

    P.S. When I first told Court about this, she originally thought that I wanted her talking to me less. After a rather awkward weekend where she tried to “give me space,” I was able to explain more accurately that I didn’t want more time from her, but wanted her to have more time to be relational, which is a strong and beautiful aspect of her disposition.

  4. THank you both for sharing this journey with me and many other readers 🙂 I am glad this is working for you guys and who knows, Dave may be calling for some ideas on how to give me more time to “talk” hehe.

    Have a great evening. 🙂

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