Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Blinders and bandwagons

There's this bookshelf that I've been wanting to get for a few months now. Since I have one tiny bookshelf to hold countless homeschooling supplies, there's an overload on the floor, and it makes for a messy guest room/office/homeschooling supply room. I think it will be perfect.

The problem is, my husband strongly dislikes (I would say "hate", but we are not allowed to use that word in our house!) furniture from IKEA. He wants something of quality, preferably antique, (not costly antique, but with a reasonable price tag.) The older stuff is better quality, and made better, and won't fall apart in a few years or need replacing. I so agree.

But I'm going crazy having a workspace that is junkily organized, where I throw mail and homeschool books on the bed and have to fish through it all in a big clean up day. I need to streamline and simplify, and that bookcase just looks like it will solve all my problems. It's a quick fix.

Honestly, I just need to listen to my husband. For me to spend a good chunk of my time looking at Ikea furniture online, planning my workspace, is just fruitless. Unless he changes his mind, or decides it's the best thing to buy, we won't be getting an Ikea workspace.

Of course this notion applies to so many other things. With so much information out there, wives can be easily swayed into taking ideas as convictions, such as the best way to feed her family, biblical child education, children in church, family devotions, and living simply, among a myriad of things. This is normal, women are relational and care deeply for their families.

What I have to be aware of is that my husband's convictions may not be my convictions. I have to be aware that I am not disagreeing with my husband, and in turn, jumping on bandwagons:

Sometimes women are prone to bandwagons, which seem good in themselves. Some of them even come with proof texts. The problem is that sometimes the good thing violates a larger principle. And sometimes our contrarians are just saving us from ourselves. We need wisdom if our suffering is to be for Jesus’ sake and not for our own stupidity...
~via Amy's

Often, we need to go through life "with blinders on". Limiting information can give us peace of mind, and allow our husbands to lead appropriately. Should I be researching homesteading, if my husband does not want that lifestyle? Of course not. This can be applied to so many ideals, including bookshelves.

Really, we need to cut out the chatter and clutter in our lives in order to truly hear His voice. I know I do. This is the essence of simple living, along with asking "Does this glorify God?" One family's convictions will not look like another family's convictions. Are we following Christian culture, or are we following the Word of God? Before we jump on any bandwagons, we need to be sure we are giving our husband the lead, and we ourselves should be focused on seeking God for our own lives, not living out what others are doing.It's a constant balance, isn't it? And to that end, I'll let you know how the bookshelf thing works out. *smile*


laura said...

i starting looking at blogs today during naptime, and God has blessed me with reminders from sisters in Christ of where my focus should be. thank you. the bookshelf is nice, though ;) but my husband agrees with yours- so i'm book-shelf-less as well!

Mary Brooke said...

Andrea, Thanks for the "simplicity" and priorities reminder. I love being a wife, mother and homeschooler, but am learning in my tiredness to cut back on whatever it is that is keeping me from the best.

I'm also learning about being prayerfully taught by *God's spirit* and not just through all the many books I want to read. I enjoy your blog to be reminded of God's kingdom in our journey.

This one blew me away:

The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd. My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. Ecc. 12:11-12

Jennifer, Snapshot said...

Yep--I've been there! I've been there when I really really thought I was right, and then (months or years) later realized that I might not have been so right.

I can't state strongly enough how I value my husband's clear thinking any time I might be prone to a little bandwagon jumping.

Great thoughts.

:..Rebekah..: said...

Amen! I know many women who have been hurt or who feel guilty because they aren't living out another's convictions in their family. Many people are wounded and judged in the church and their faith is even questioned if they don't follow the current standards of Christian culture. I pray that the Lord will help us all continually ask "Does this glorigy God?" instead of jumping on the bandwagon, as you said. We must especially remind ourselves that it does not glorigy God to judge others for not sharing the same convictions as another family or fellowship of believers. Thanks for this great post!

Jana said...

This is a great post!

Regarding your bookshelf dilemma... obviously I don't know HOW small your current shelf is, but my own shelf also isn't really big enough for our books. What I've done to tide us over is use cloth-lined baskets. I've heard of people using dishbins. I have one large basket ON THE FLOOR for all the picture books we are currently interested in. I have another one for library books. I have another one for "other" books we're currently using for school. The rest, thankfully, are working on the bookshelf. I don't know if this basket/bin idea would help you at all, but I thought I'd mention it just in case.

Beck said...

Right now, my husband and I are butting heads on getting a dog - I want one, he doesn't - and it's challenging to think of him as not being WRONG but just being different. And his reasons for not wanting a dog are solid and make total sense for our family.
Another beautifully written piece, Andrea.

Crystal said...

Hey! Good insight...thanks for the post. Could you guys build one like it together? It would be good quality and you could customize it.

Mrs. "M" said...

Great post and much needed reminder. What I find funny is we have several Ikea bookcases (not trying to rub it in :o)which reminds me how different we all are and how our alignment has to be to OUR husbands. There are bandwagons I have jumped on but not need to embarrass myself.

payton said...

Like Mrs. M said....I am not trying to rub it in but I have that exact bookshelf. Since we have a boy and girl sharing a room it is perfect to divide the Transformers and Barbies in to different areas. Our alignment is to the husbands God has given us and Jason has had to pull me off a couple of bandwagons that I didn't even know I was on!

ukrainiac said...

Thanks for the reminders. Thoughtfully written -- and I have appreciated the comments as well.

I am so thankful -- MOST of the time -- for a husband that truly leads, but I, too, can get frustrated when I can see a simple solution (like a bookshelf), and yet it's not an option. It will be interesting to see what BETTER idea God has!

Lindsey @ Enjoythejourney said...

Absolutely. You (and your hubby) are so right.

Right now, my husband and I couldn't be in better fellowship...we're just trying to decide to build or to buy and where and when. Other than that, life is just cruising along and that makes us both happy.

Goodlikeamedicine said...

So true!!! It took me 2-3 years of stubbornness to get me going in this direction in our marriage! :) Not that I am always submissive now, but we are much happier, and I think it is mainly that I am cheerfully on-board with him now. One of the biggies for me was child vaccinations (me not wanting them). Ultimately it came to me trusting that God has put him as our family leader and the end of my fight to "educate my husband." It was hard at first, but I "closed the books" and trusted him, and I still do. I bet there would probably be some women who would gasp and say I could be making a mistake, but it's not always easy to submit... and God wants us to trust Him as we trust our husbands.

I love your posts!

Terry said...

You've hit the nail on the head, Andrea. It is so important not only to avoid taking on other people's ideas as "the gospel truth", but also not to impose our personal beliefs and preferences on others. This was something I had to realize when our family was exploring educational options for our kids. As for your bookshelf, I'm certain that you will find a high quality, aesthetically, pleasing, reasonably priced bookshelf, simply because you've chosen not to press the issue with your husband, submitting to his leadership on the matter.

Brenda said...

Wow! You wrote a lot of really good things here!

About the shelves. I have them in black. I really like them but husband did not enjoy his IKEA experience. :) But this much I know about trusting God--

the Bible says to submit to your husband AS TO THE LORD. If you submit to your husband's desire on this matter, you will be blessed. Maybe a better set of shelves than you could have ever hoped for? Maybe just a better relationship with your husband? Maybe just a good example for your children? Who knows? But it will be worth it.

Beverly said...

This was a thought provoking post. My husband has saved me from numerous bandwagons. I tend to buy too cheaply sometimes (not saying this about Ikea) and we have to end up replacing things that if I had bought better quality, would be long lasting. I am slowly learning! What a perfect plan God has worked out for us in having our men be the leaders.

Brenda said...

And? Even if your husband is dead wrong?

God will still be honored by your submission.

Kendra said...

Wonderful post, Andrea. I think that most of us struggle with this. I am often trying to "educate" my husband to seeing things my way, and am extremely frustrated if he doesn't. What a stubborn woman I can be! Life is so much more pleasant for a wife if she just obeys the Lord and leaves the leadership to her husband.

As for the bookshelf, you do know about Craigslist - right?

Goodlikeamedicine said...

Ah, Kendra! Yes, Craigslist!


I live right outside a pretty wealthy beach town, so I go to the Goodwill there all the time and get my designer clothes for the whole season for less than $60! (Husband likes that one!)

Simply Stork said...

Glad to see you care enough to Not buy something he dislikes...we live in a world where not only does the wife get the shelf but not even ask him what he thinks about it first...(not after :o)

good for you...you'll find something together and enjoy the perchase more.

~simply stork~

dorothy said...

I just love this post. Such wisdom, to remind us to discern between Christian culture and even good convictions, and what is truly glorifying to the Lord and what He has in mind for us.

Andrea said...

Kristi and Kendra: I *did* find one on craigslist! It's truly amazing what you can find on there.

Kendra: I do the same thing, get frustrated if my husband doesn't see things my way. But most often, the way he sees it is less emotion, more common sense. For that I'm thankful.

Mary: I love that verse!! What a great one!!

And all: thanks for your comments. I have so enjoyed your perspectives.

AIMEE said...

Very timely post for me as a queen of bandwagons :) Learning to listen to the Lord for my life instead of listening to other's views of the Lord's plan for my life...hence the non-reading of blogs as of late. I think most of my listening to all the other voices is just plain old nasty fear that I am missing God, doing the wrong thing, and on and on. Not resting in the peace that comes from a loving secure relationship with him.
I badgered my husband earlier this week for something that I really wanted...he finally gave in but as we talked last night he was resentful and upset with me about the whole thing. I was so sad that I didn't listen to him and thought my way was the right way and wouldn't budge. Relationships are always more important than my ideals and sometimes I forget that. I can't wait to re-read this post again and really soak it in.
Thanks sister!