Honest Marriage Episode 6 // On Parenting

Dating & Marriage, Motherhood, Podcast Episodes

We’re told that having kids can be the death knell of a marriage. We’re told kids can ruin, wreck or render painful a relationship otherwise well preserved. But the truth is that kids don’t ruin marriages; they reveal them. Serving the children God blesses us with will expose our patterns of sin and selfishness, things we were better able to brush under the rug without little humans around. In this episode of the Honest Marriage series on Verity Podcast, Josh and Phy talk about how parenting changes marriage, how they get on the same page, and how to communicate about parenting decisions (especially in the little years). We also touch on division of labor in the home.

Resources

  • Raising Cross Formed Kids Podcast – cohosted by Phylicia with Ryan Coatney
  • How to Really Love Your Child
  • Never Alone: Parenting in the Power of the Holy Spirit by Jeannie Cunnion

Listen Now!

Transcript to Come

Phylicia: Welcome to Verity. I’m your host, Phylicia Masonheimer, an author, speaker, and Bible teacher. This podcast will help you embrace the history and depth of the Christian faith. Ask questions, seek answers, and devote yourself to becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ. You don’t have to settle for watered-down Christian teaching. And if you’re ready to go deeper, God is just as ready to take you there. This is Verity, where every woman is a theologian.

Welcome back to Verity Podcast, The Honest Marriage series. I’m Phylicia Masonheimer and my husband, Josh is here with me. 

Josh: Hello. 

Phylicia: Today, we’re talking about parenting. Parenting can be really heavy, sometimes, on a marriage and we have three children ages six, four, and one. So, we’re in the middle of the little years of parenting and we know how exhausting and tiring those years can be, even though, all years of parenting we’ve heard can be really difficult. So, we obviously can’t speak to ages beyond six, but we hope that some of what we share here is encouraging to those who are in a season of really little kids. Would you say that parenting has been a challenge for us at times?

Josh: Yeah, it really has. It’s funny because like, you would think that like you figure it out with one and then that cookie cutter would work for all the rest.

Phylicia: [laughs] 

Josh: But no. [laughs] 

Phylicia: You wish. That was how it was. But yeah, they get older, and then they change, and then the second one is nothing like the first one, and the third is nothing like the second.

Josh: Quite the opposite. [laughs] 

Phylicia: That’s been the story for us. We have two girls first, Adeline and Eva, and they are complete opposites in many ways.

Josh: Somehow, Ivan has been able to become the complete opposite of both those girls.

Phylicia: [laughs] It’s true. They’re all such unique little souls and we love them. I would say, before we even get started into this that, Josh and I really enjoy being parents. Would that be?

Josh: Yeah. 

 

Phylicia: Yeah.

Josh: It’s fun.

Phylicia: It’s fun. We enjoy it. We still shower, we still sleep, we enjoy each other, we enjoy being with our kids, we just want to say that right away, because I think there are so many parents with young children, especially, millennial parents, who are so negative about family and about kids, and will say that, “Kids will ruin your marriage.” The reality is that, kids don’t ruin your marriage. They expose the sinful patterns of behavior that were already in your marriage.

Josh: Yeah. It’s like when you’re put under the fire, the true insides come out.

Phylicia: Mm-hmm. You find out who you really are. 

Josh: Yeah. 

Phylicia: Under the stress of having to serve this dependent–

Josh: It’s refining. 

Phylicia: It’s refining for sure and I think our culture just exalts anything but service, and children have to be served and taken care of. I think it’s so foreign to people in such a shift in their marriage that it really does expose a lot of selfishness sometimes.

If you’re listening to this marriage series, there’s a good chance that you or someone you love is married and that’s fantastic. Because on December 7th, my brand-new co-authored marriage book is launching into the world. It’s called The Flirtation Experiment. If that title intrigues you, good. Because I can’t wait for wives to pick this book up, and be encouraged, and equipped to pursue their husbands in ways they maybe never expected to do so. When I wrote this book, I was looking back on a year when I was really struggling to cultivate a relationship with Josh. I felt lonely, I felt disconnected, and I realized that I could wait for him to change it or I could make the change. So, I made a list of 30 flirtations, all different kinds of ways to show him that I loved him, and through this experiment, I found that I actually was changed. 

I co-authored this book with my friend Lisa Jacobson, who has been married 28 years to my eight years, and we alternate chapters showing you the ideas that we used to cultivate an intimate and fun, romantic and flirtatious marriage. You can preorder the book now. Anywhere, books are sold from Amazon, to Barnes & Noble, to Christian book, or you can go to the flirtationexperiment.com to get two free chapters in the introduction, and to be notified when the book launches. I hope you guys will grab it. We have some awesome bonuses for those who preorder and I’m excited to get this book into your hands. 

So, okay, we want to start with a passage. That’s how we’ve been starting each of these episodes in the Honest Marriage series, and the passage, we’re going to read to today, we’re going to be reading in Matthew 7 and in 1 John 3. We really are focusing on these because they give us a glimpse of the Father, heart of God. Matthew 7:9-11 says, “What man among you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or, if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” And this is Jesus talking.

Josh: Yeah.

Phylicia: You then, who are evil. [laughs] 

Josh: [laughs]

Phylicia: I got to love it, he’s like.

Josh: You guys.

Phylicia: You guys are super not perfect-

[laughter] 

Phylicia: -and you definitely know how to love your kids. So, imagine how much more God loves you. And that is the picture of God’s heart that in His parenting of us that love for us that He knows what we need before we ask Him, and He wants to give good things. Sometimes, those good things aren’t the things that we ask for because they’re better for us than we knew.

Josh: Yeah. 

Phylicia: You know?

Josh: It reminds me of that verse that says, “He clothes the flowers more beautifully than the kings like just that for nature and He does so much more for us.”

Phylicia: Yeah, and I know that on Christmas day, when our kids open the presents that we’ve picked out for them, that’s like the highlight of my Christmas. I love getting presents from you, but I love watching them open their gifts, and my heart is rejoicing in giving good gifts to my children, and knowing that that’s the way God loves us that we are assured of His affection.

Josh: Especially for Eva. Some of them, the reactions are a little more rewarding.

Phylicia: Yeah, Eva is very expressive. 

[laughter]

Phylicia: But you know that makes me think that when we rejoice in God’s love for us, when we rest in God’s love, and we do express how much we love what He gives us how much joy that must bring Him when we worship Him in that way. So, I’m going to read this other verse real fast. 1 John 3:1 which says, “Look at how great a love the Father has given us that we should be called God’s children and we are.” That’s what we are. We’re God’s children. So, we’re parenting our children out of what a scholar that I just absolutely love. His name is escaping me at the moment. He wrote Delighting in the Trinity. He wrote another book on Fear the Lord and in that book, he called the fear of the Lord, the assurance of God’s affection. The assurance of His affection. 

Josh: That’s cool.

Phylicia: Yeah. I love that idea of you have this affection from God, His father, and it’s not going to leave you. It’s assured. It’s promised. And using the word affection instead of love because love is overused, I think that impacts me.

Josh: Yeah. It can mean so many things these days.

Phylicia: Yeah. So, okay, that’s the foundation of the love that we have to have received as parents in order to love our children effectively, and also, discipline which means teach and guide them into honor and respect. Before Josh and I talk about the marriage aspect of this, I want to give a quick shoutout to my other podcast, Raising Cross Formed Kids, which I cohost with my friend, Ryan Coatney of Cross Formed Kids. And this podcast is all about discipling little children. So, parenting and discipling kids ages 10 and under. So, if you want to hear more about parenting, specifically, this series is only covering it in one episode but that entire podcast is about it. So, you can head over to Raising Cross Formed Kids in iTunes or Spotify, if you want to listen to more of that. 

Okay, but my cohost today is Josh [crosstalk] So, back to you, Josh. Let’s talk about the generational wounds that we carry. I want to start with that actually because before we can talk about getting on the same page in parenting, we have to remember that both husband and wife are bringing a history from their family of origin and their own, maybe their scars, or their health, or their interest, their family traditions, how do you think our families of origin in general impact us when we’re raising little kids?

Josh: Well, I think, nobody’s perfect just like Jesus was saying. 

Phylicia: [laughs] 

Josh: We’re evil at times at least. There’re definitely tendencies to like, if you are super intentional, you can overcompensate, and just go away the other direction, and that can be super unhealthy as well, because it’s just extremes and it can look like legalism or it usually leaves something out that would bring it to equilibrium. So, I think, there’s also a tendency to just be kind of apathetic or unintentional in your parenting, and that’s when you begin to exhibit some of the same tendencies your parents had.

Phylicia: Yeah. 

Josh: Like you’re raised by them. So, you have kind of that habit, and that picture of what parenting looks like, whether it’s good or bad and it’s easy to exhibit that and just default to what you know when you aren’t trying to create your own path.

Phylicia: We all have said, “I’m never going to do what my mom did or I’m not going to be like my old man,” and then we do the exact thing that our mothers and fathers said or did. I think you made a great point that when you get unintentional or apathetic, you just default to sometimes the very negative behaviors that your parents exhibited, because yeah, they’re human and they raise you.

Josh: Because if there’s an absence of good, there’s going to be a presence of bad. 

Phylicia: If you’re not pursuing good.

Josh: Right. If you’re just trying to remove one bad habit, it’s going to be replaced with another bad habit, unless you intentionally replace it with a good habit.

Phylicia: Wow. That’s a good point, especially with parenting, because if you’re not actively shaping your heart after God’s Father heart, and actively replacing negative family patterns with goodness, you inevitably are going to repeat generational sins.

Josh: Where you could take the good aspects that you remember from your childhood and your upbringing, and hold on to those, and start those habits. Because there’s always something positive to be taken out of it.

Phylicia: Yeah. I was actually watching this clip from the movie about Mr. Rogers. I think it’s called Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood? Maybe, not. The one with Tom Hanks. 

Josh: Yeah.

Phylicia: Super good. You’ll cry your eyes out the whole time, at least I did. But in this clip, he’s talking to this very bitter reporter who’s been sent to interview him, and this reporter is very bitter and cynical because of his father, and how his father was just a really harsh and unloving man. Fred Rogers, Tom Hanks, says to him, “Your dad, he did a lot of things wrong, essentially.” I’m paraphrasing. “But he still, in some way, shaped the good parts of who you are. He loved you into being in the only way he knew how.” 

I think, when we understand that, now, I’m not talking about truly abusive parents, because I think there’s something really wrong and twisted there. But in most parents that were doing their best with what they had, they had not addressed their own wounding or their own sin. They had not matured in faith or maybe they weren’t Christians at all and so they–

Josh: They didn’t have any wisdom in their life from their peers or their-

Phylicia: Parents.

Josh: -mentors.

Phylicia: Yeah. So, I just thought Fred Rogers point was really powerful. He’s saying like, “There was a part of who your father was it that really did shape who you are, and if you can recognize the good, it may help you actually move into forgiveness and no longer being bound to this cynicism.” So, that’s a movies example, but I just think that’s a little bit helpful for us is, we can repeat the patterns of our parents or we can say, “Thanks, mom and dad for the good you did give me and I’m going to change some things,” but you’re not changing from a place of cynicism or bitterness, you’re changing from a place of peace and freedom. I think there’s a big difference there. 

Josh: Yeah. 

Phylicia: Having addressed that and I will add, for many people, it may take counseling or therapy. Some people call it therapy. I have a thing with the word ‘therapy.’ It’s not the word like the actual practice of therapy, but the actual word. You know how some people hate the word ‘moist?’ 

Josh: Yeah. 

Phylicia: I hate the word ‘therapy.’ So, I always say counseling. Is that weird? 

Josh: It reminds me of rehab.

Phylicia: What? Therapy? 

Josh: Yeah. 

Phylicia: Well, anyhoo, that’s a sidebar. 

[laughter] 

Phylicia: I can’t say the word ‘therapy,’ and I can’t walk into Home Depot or Dunkin Donuts because they’re orange, and orange makes me nauseous. So, fun facts about Phy. Okay, so, we’ve talked about the importance of maybe going to counseling in order to heal from these wounds, but I would also encourage, be in a church community, be in the Word of God, because therapy and counseling are very important and helpful. But Scripture speaks to these things too, and you cannot be a believing Christian who is giving too much weight to counseling and not enough weight to Scripture. The two have to be held side by side and use side by side as they shape you as a leader. 

 

With all of this said, let’s talk about how to get on the same parenting page, because I feel like we have had to go around this mountain several times, and it’s a process even for us. Well, what thoughts do you have– We can use examples. Maybe, that would be helpful to people to hear how we get on the same parenting page?

Josh: Yeah. Well, we just had a discussion about this recently.

Phylicia: A discussion is a nice way to put it.

[chuckles] 

Josh: In regard to supporting one another during getting the kids to bed, because what was happening was, I was the only one putting them to bed because Phy was beginning to dread it. As every time she tried to put them to bed, it like, all hell broke loose. [laughs] 

Phylicia: Yeah. It was like, they would listen to Josh and just go to bed quietly, but if I put them to bed, there was just so much willfulness and resistance, it was not pleasant, made me anxious and sick to my stomach to even have to put them to bed because it always resulted in this battle of the wills that I didn’t want to have happen at bedtime. So [crosstalk] 

Josh: What was happening was, she wanted me to support her, but whenever I went to support her, she would use me as the enforcer. So, I felt it was creating a bad role for each of us where like, “Yes, they’re not going to listen to her if she can’t enforce anything,” and then I’m principal–

Phylicia: Bad guy.

Josh: The tension and the guy that brings out the spanking rod.

Phylicia: Theoretically, symbolically. So, yeah, we had a bit of a miscommunication, because I was asking him to like, “Come on and come back me up. I need help. Do you not hear these children?” He was like, “Well, I don’t want to come up there because I don’t want to be brought in as this enforcer or bad guy.” So, we did have a discussion.

Josh: Yeah. Where, I guess, it was like had to be a give and take because my mentality was like, “Well, she has to kind of tough it out or else, they won’t be able to– she won’t be able to ever do it if she doesn’t stick it through.”

Phylicia: Yeah, and teach them to respect both parents. [crosstalk] 

Josh: Right. Have the follow through and all that. But we came to an agreement where like, I would reinforce her, but she would still have to follow through with what– the warnings that she gave and all that.

Phylicia: And even just his presence there, even if he’s not talking, just having him in the room to basically present a united front. Like dad knows that you guys are being disrespectful to mom at bedtime. He’s standing here watching, but I’m still the one who is following through on the instructions I’m giving. Like, “Okay, put on your nightgown now. Now, we’re going to get into bed and we’re going to sing and pray.” 

At first, we were really, Josh and I were both mad at each other because we felt really misunderstood, both of us. 

Josh: Used. 

Phylicia: Used.

Josh: Or, abandoned.

Phylicia: Or, abandoned, and then by having this discussion and just figuring out how we each felt in the situation, we were able to get on the same page. But I think if someone has an– If you don’t have a healthy conflict resolution in your marriage in general, it’s going to be really hard to get on the same parental page, wouldn’t you say?

Josh: Yeah. It wasn’t handled perfectly between the two of us because there were raised voices and all, but we continued talking until we saw the outcome that each of us hoped for. We saw like, each other’s mind’s eye of what they hoped the situation would be. So, we were able to find a compromise.

 

Phylicia: Yeah. In a way that allowed Josh to not appear like– [laughs] I’m picturing Vin Diesel like walking in a room. Is that correct?

[laughter] 

Josh: I’m glad that that you view me as someone like him.

 

Phylicia: [laughs] You have more hair than him which is a positive. But having like you come in as this enforcer, you didn’t want to be that to your kids. When he told me that that’s how he felt, I thought, “Oh, okay, that does make sense. I can see why he’d feel that way.” Then for me to also feel supported, and not like, “I’m completely alone at bedtime trying to deal with everything.” What would you say, Josh? I hear a lot from women, you know, doing what I do. A lot of women who say that their husbands, quite frankly are pretty checked out when it comes to parenting. They are in their chair, playing a video game, or reading a book, or watching a show, and the wife is handling everything, and it’s kind of like that scene in The Incredibles where she says, “Bob engage,” and he’s like, “Kids, listen to your mother.” 

[laughter] 

Josh: Yeah.

Phylicia: It’s like that’s not what I had in mind. 

Josh: [laughs] 

Phylicia: What would you say to these dads?

Josh: Well, it is unfortunate that is even like a problem. But I know that Phy has been frustrated at times when I have been playing an online game with some friends while the kids are just losing it upstairs, and I hear all the screams and the yelling and the chaos going on. But it wasn’t like, I was, “Oh, whatever.” But I was just like they need to get used to her putting them to bed. That was my mindset. It wasn’t like I was trying to strand her. But I think there is a real problem, “Oh, that’s not my responsibility.” So, she can suck it up.

Phylicia: Where do you think that comes from? Do you have any ideas? Like why would a husband feel that way if they’re his children?

Josh: I think that depending on what generation they are. There’s a lot of like how the baby boomers had the mentality of very distinguished roles. So, once the husband got home from work, he did his time, and so, then it was his time to just rest.

Phylicia: And you think like those fathers and grandfathers affected like our generation [crosstalk]?

Josh: Yeah. I think that’s a big part of it. Now, granted, there’s a whole new wave of complacency. Now with coming out COVID, there’s a lot of people who don’t even want to go to work and that’s the whole new thing. 

Phylicia: Anything that might affect a husband’s attitude in the home in some way?

Josh: I think so. Yeah. Like, going back to just serving your time and then, being very gender role focused, like the woman takes care of the kids and the meals, and it’s definitely not healthy outlook. But that’s like maybe what just a generational precedent that’s been instilled in them.

Phylicia: That’s a good point. We did talk about this in the gender role episode that like, when we look at Ephesians 5, the call is to selfless service. So, one of the things that we have found regarding division of labor in the home, and just stop me and correct me, Josh, if I’m saying this wrong, but I would get so irritated because Josh would not think of things. He would not think to do all the dishes, or to switch the laundry over, or to pick up the living room and I’d come home and it was like, “Welcome home, here are a bunch of tasks for you to do” or he’d come home after a work day and want to just relax and it’s like, “Hey, I worked all day, too. I worked all day watching kids.”

Josh: You’d want to be like you know tag team.

Phylicia: I’m out if here.

Josh: [crosstalk] It’s like, “They’re all yours” [crosstalk]

[laughter] 

Phylicia: Which I think is pretty typical of a lot of homes. But one of the things, we fought about this division of labor thing for quite some time in the middle years I’d say, and then in the last couple of years, I just finally got it through my head after enough conversations where Josh said, “If you want something from me, I need you to just ask because I don’t notice it. I don’t notice what you notice. I don’t see what you see. So, if you want something done, I’m happy to do it. Just I need you to ask and so I had to–” 

Josh: You always would say, “But I don’t want to be a nag.”

Phylicia: Yes, okay, but the women who are listening to this. I bet they’re all right now saying-

Josh: Amen. 

Phylicia: Amen. That’s me. I don’t want to be a nag, so I don’t ask, and then I’m resenting him because he’s not thinking of it.

Josh: Okay. 99% toned. 

Phylicia: Okay, tell us like what role does tone play and how we ask guys for help?

Josh: So, barring just the guy having a guilty conscience of knowing better. [laughs] 

Phylicia: Knowing he should be helping? 

Josh: Yeah. 

Phylicia: Okay.

Josh: And just like, not trying to turn a blind eye to it. Yeah, tone. You say you don’t want to sound like his mom. Well, don’t. 

Phylicia: Don’t sound like his mom. [laughs] 

Josh: There’re kind ways to ask for things with a tone that is not naggy, and I know tone in expressions are super hard because you’re overriding your inner feelings. But if you want help make it sound like you need his help as a partner and companion. As someone that is there to help you and maybe even rescue you. So, not that you have to cater to his like [crosstalk] a knight in shining armor mentality.

Phylicia: Right. You’re not a damsel in distress. 

Josh: Right. 

Phylicia: But there is an element in our marriage where you have said like, “You’re a very capable woman, Phylicia.” So, when you in a way desire my rescue, even though, you don’t truly need it, that makes me feel wanted and needed. That was something for me to express that “weakness was difficult,” but it was a way of our progress in this area.

Josh: Yeah. I would say like tone is a huge factor of word inflections.

[laughter] 

Phylicia: Can you do the dishes? 

Josh: [laughs] 

Phylicia: Do you know what I’m talking about?

Josh: Yes. 

[laughter] 

Phylicia: Okay. So, tone is what differentiates becoming his mother from being his wife, who is requesting help and not resenting. I would say to avoid resentment, ask early, not late.

Josh: Yeah. If you stew or you’re already getting stressed out over it, and then you ask for help, you’re not going to have positive tone. 

Phylicia: Right. You’re going to be frustrated, it’s going to come through.

Josh: It’s going to show one way or another. 

Phylicia: Right. So, instead of waiting until you’re in the middle of bathing the kids, and you can see the dishes still sitting there, and you know he’s sitting in the living room doing nothing, maybe when he gets home, and you’re at the dinner table, you say, “Hey, we need to bathe the kids, and we are going to need the dishes done. I need help with both of these, which would you prefer to do?”

Josh: I think also the mentality, it’s good to adopt a mentality that he’s not just doing nothing. Because you’re just assuming that he’s a deadbeat. 

Phylicia: But he isn’t. Well, that’s true. 

Josh: And you’re just saying like, “Oh, he’s over there doing nothing. That’s so selfish. He just wants to just zone out.” I think that is a narrative that takes place in your head when you’re starting to get overwhelmed. So, that only heats the pot some more.

Phylicia: Mm. That’s interesting.

Josh: Maybe respect that he maybe had plans or was doing something specific even if it doesn’t quite look like it. Obviously, sometimes, he is just doing nothing. 

Phylicia: [laughs] Yeah.

Josh: But maybe you look forward to doing what he’s doing all day and if you just barge in and say like, “You’ve got to do the dishes or whatever,” then he’s not going to want to help or he’s not going to have a positive attitude toward you for a little while.

Phylicia: And obviously, this goes both ways. I think in some homes, the husband is the one who may be is like, “Why does the house look like this or why–?”

Josh: If he gets home from work. 

Phylicia: Yeah. He’s like, “Why is this utter chaos?” I speak mostly to wives and women and I do think there’s an element of among millennials where it’s like, “All I have to do is survive my kids.” I just don’t buy that narrative. I just don’t. I won’t even say it. I won’t. Because I think that that’s literally the lowest denominator. It’s the bottom bar. There’s so much more for us as Christian parents, where we can actually thrive and enjoy being parents, but you can’t set the bar at survival. You have to set the bar at enjoyment to have something to move towards, and you have to work at your marriage, and work at your parenthood, and be intentional, so that, I mean, it’s been work, right? 

Josh: Yeah. 

Phylicia: It’s been hard work.

Josh: Yeah. It’s a daily decision.

Phylicia: Sometimes, we get in bed and we’re like, “Gosh, darn it. Why are we still having to do the same thing over and over and over and over again?” But that’s parenting.

Josh: Yeah. I always stay up till 11 just so that we can have some time to ourselves. 

Phylicia: [laughs] 

Josh: Then we’re exhausted the next day.

Phylicia: Yeah, it happens too. That happens too. But I think of the Lord going back to the Father heart of God like, how often does He do the same thing with us over and over and over until we grasp it, and we become more like Him? That’s He’s shaping us into who we’re supposed to be and that’s Christian parenting is on the Raising Cross Formed Kids Podcast, we say that Christian kids are always a miracle, but never an accident. You can’t have these beautiful little disciples of Christ coming out of a home where there was no intentionality whatsoever. Certainly, God can mercifully save people in their 20s, in their 30s. You were saved in your 20s. But if you want to do as much as possible to raise these kids to know Jesus, and that means living it out in front of them, and also parenting intentionally, even when it takes work and working at your marriage to give them that foundation. 

Josh: Yeah. 

Phylicia: Well, we’ve covered how to get on the same page, some things we’ve done for that. We’ve talked about reactive parenting, reacting against our parents and healing from those wounds. As we wrap this up, let’s talk about when your spouse is parenting in a way that you don’t agree with or maybe they sin against a child by yelling at them or being overly harsh with them? Can you think of anyways we’ve handled this when we both have sinned against a child or [crosstalk]?

Josh: Yeah, I know like, when you’ve gotten visibly irritated with them or getting worked up, I’ve suggested that you just like go down to the coffee shop or something. But in that moment, it’s hard to come across as positive or as an ally, because you have to be very tactful with your words. Because typically, when you sit against a child, you’re pretty worked up. So, you’re like in fight mode. So, the next person that tries to confront you is just possibly another child or just another thing that’s opposing you.

Phylicia: So, you can react even more and not receive what your spouse is trying to say.

Josh: Right. 

Phylicia: Yeah. 

Josh: So, I think, it takes tactile approach for sure. But they say soft words turn away-

Phylicia: Anger. 

Josh: -anger. Yeah. So, I think, you just have to be just slow down. You try to slow the other person down and just say like, “Hey, I know, you’re really worked up.” Offer to help in a way that can just lighten the load.

Phylicia: And take them aside and don’t correct them in front of the child [crosstalk] 

Josh: Yeah, definitely. I’ve been at fault for yelling at the kids and just getting angry when I’m confronting them about something. So, you’ve had to say, “Tell them you love them. Let them know that you still care about them and aren’t just mad at them,” because, you don’t want any scars to develop. 

Phylicia: Right. 

Josh: As they get older and just like they start develop in baggage really?

Phylicia: Yeah. We have full rights as husband and wife to speak into each other’s parenting. I think if there is one spouse, who is like, “No, you can’t tell me how to parent. I know the best way all the time.” There’s a problem there. Because I know, I can fall into that because I read more in general than Josh. I listen to more things than Josh. So, I can start to think that I just know better than Josh on how to parent our children in every single regard and that’s not true. Because he is following the Lord and he is their father, and I know he’s a good man. So, there are some things that he brings to the table that maybe he didn’t read in a book, but there’s still really true and good ways to parent. So, I think we have to make sure to check our pride at the door when it comes to being on the same page in parenting as well, and not just be like, “Well, this is the way we’re parenting now and I’m telling you what to do.” 

That’s not a conversation. That’s like, “I have adopted this framework, and this is what we’re doing, and you’re going to get on board with it.” That’s not teamwork. That’s top-down hierarchy. To be honest, I see that a lot with wives, where it’s like, “Well, this is what we’re doing now and you’re just going to get on board.” While I understand like– I understand that because I battle that. We’re dismantling a lot of this unhealthy marriage hierarchy from years past, and when we act that way in marriage, we’re actually setting that same unhealthy hierarchy right back up again, but without a name just in our behavior. So, I have to remind myself just because you read more books on this does not mean that you need to just officiate the entire transition to your parenting style. So, it’s an open conversation for Josh and I for sure. So, as the conclusion of this, Josh, we have read a couple parenting books or at least one parenting book together that we enjoyed, and the way we read it was we just read one chapter a week by ourselves, and then we discussed it. Isn’t that how we did it? 

Josh: Yeah. 

Phylicia: The book was How to Really Love Your Child. I wouldn’t say it’s super practical. Well, it does give some really good examples, I guess. 

Josh: Yeah, it does tell stories of how children act out in different ways and explains that they do that because of XYZ.

Phylicia: Mm-hmm.

Josh: But typically, it goes back every time to the child’s love tank not being full, and then just to different ways that can happen, and how they might be acting out due to that. So, that was super helpful to see that like, “Oh, maybe, it is just like a cry for attention.”

Phylicia: Yeah. 

Josh: Some kids, they just always want attention or get too much. But when a child feels deprived and potentially neglected in the department of love, they do act out in specific ways trying to communicate that even if they don’t realize it.

Phylicia: Yeah. So, that book was helpful to us for sure. 

Josh: Yeah. 

Phylicia: We’ve also talked to a lot of parents of adult children that we really admire, and we’ve asked for help and insight from friends of ours. We see their children, we meet their children, we think, “Wow, we really respect these kids. Let’s talk to these parents and ask them what do they do? What were their priorities?” And that’s been huge. I think what a lot of families are missing today is they’re not connected to a church community and in that church community, because they’re not connecting intergenerationally. With older families, older parents, they don’t have anyone to ask about this stuff, especially, if they didn’t grow up with Christian homes. But we don’t actually read that many– or excuse me, marriage or parenting books, I guess. We just do really ground ourselves in Scripture, connect ourselves to community and really ask the wise people in our lives, how they did it. 

Josh: Well, it’s true. 

Phylicia: All right. Well, you guys, thanks for hanging with us for this episode. I will put the resources that I’ve mentioned in the show notes on the blog at phyliciamasonheimer.com. I also have included a new resource that’s coming out December 1st from Jeannie Cunnion. It’s called Never Alone – Parenting in the Power of the Holy Spirit. I’m super excited to read it. I would love for you to read it with me, Josh.

Josh: Yeah.

Phylicia: FYI volunteering you. 

Josh: Book Club.

Phylicia: So, that’s coming out. Yeah, book club. Two-person Book Club. December 1st, and I’m going to link that in the show notes as well if you’re looking for an upcoming parenting resource. Thanks for hanging with us and we’ll be back next week with Episode 7. 

Thank you for joining us for today’s episode of Verity. You can connect with fellow listeners by following me on Instagram @phyliciamasonheimer or on our Facebook page by the same name. Also, visit phyliciamasonheimer.com for links to each episode and the show notes.