Part 2: Leaving Home

Whenever the husband learns that a change of his sort is going to occur, he needs to take stock of his situation. He needs to notice what sorts of things he does in and around the home so that when the time comes, he can pass these over to his wife to care for. If he needs to involve the elders or deacons of the church (maybe to help in child discipline, or to check on how things are going), he needs to think about how best to go about making those arrangements. Since the husband is the head of the home, he is responsible for how it runs, even when he is gone. This means that it is also part of his responsibility to prepare his wife for his departure and for his return.

Several months (if possible) before his departure date, the husband and wife should make a list of all the family related things for which he is responsible. Things should con-tinue to be added to the list as they come to mind to make as comprehensive a list as possible.

Then he and his wife need to make time to sit down and be sure she knows how he does those jobs around the house. If, for example, one of his responsibilities is to pay the household bills, he should take some time, well in advance of his departure, to familiarize his wife with his bill paying techniques and patterns. In that way, she will be able to step in and pay the bills in his absence. He must do so enough in advance that if his wife is uncomfortable with how he does it, he will have time to work with her to come up with a way in which she can do the job and feel like she will be able to accomplish the task. If it is his responsibility to mow the lawn, he will need to take some time and show her how to operate the mower and all the accompanying tools and gizmos he uses. He should also think about finding a few responsible college students who can come over and mow the lawn, chop the wood, and even help with the kids while he is gone.

Then, as far as it is possible, he ought to make sure everything she needs to use will be running until he returns home. He should take the car in for a check-up, make sure the mower will work for however long he will be gone, make sure the light bulbs in those high places are recently replaced, etc.

The point is that while he is gone, every responsibility he performs and undertakes in the home will need to be covered. And his wife needs to know that her husband is taking care of her as much as possible, even in his absence.

Then, in an official ceremony a day or two before he leaves, the husband needs to gather the family and have an official changing of the guard ceremony. He should go over the list of things he and his wife have come up with over the past several months and officially give them to his wife to do and take care of while he is gone.

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