When David was a baby, a lady in the church told me that if Lee had the baby and was making him squirm and fuss, I shouldn’t immediately rush over and take him away. Even though Lee’s job involved holding babies all day, he didn’t know David, and more than once I found myself tempted to rush in and show Lee how it was done. I didn’t always win that battle.
This lady’s reasoning was that, if daddies grow up being hands-off with their children (and mommies do just fine with young children, usually), then it will be very difficult for them to step into a different role when they are teens, and mommies need help. This may especially be true when daddies don’t spend extended time with their children on a daily basis.
We don’t learn to lead without making mistakes, so we wives have to hold back and let our husbands learn. Better for them to learn when the problems are infant and preschooler sized, and not adolescent sized.
One of the ways that I’m attempting to keep the biblical authority structure healthy and intact is by sending my children to Lee when they ask questions while he’s around. I try to be sensitive when Lee has had a stressful day, but often when the kids want to know something and their dad is home, I tell them to ask daddy. I particularly direct them to dad when they’re asking permission for something, or asking knowledge questions, or asking for something to be fixed.
On Sunday, I saw a glimpse of the fruit of this practice. David wanted to know if he could play outside after church. He got two words out while talking to me, stopped, and then asked his dad. I got a little giddy, although maybe it’s not that big of a deal.