Appreciating the First Lady (VI)

Every household and every person needs help to get things done. I agree with the statement that

A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do, but he needs his wife to help him,

but it’s only a part of the story. It’s also been said that

A woman’s work is never done,

and this is just as relevant.

Where am I going with this?

Men need the help of their wife, but busy women may need the help of their husband too, to get their tasks completed. Marriage is a two–way street, whereby each assists the other.

We’re having visitors for lunch today, and I’ve got things I want to do, in terms of some writing. I think these are important, and I need to do these. So far, so good.

But what about what my wife needs to do, too? Is she able to cope with the house and food preparations, by herself?

Let’s be practical. Sue works part-time with me, and this can be between 2 and 5 days a week. When its 5, there is lots to be done to ensure the household tasks get done, and nothing gets omitted, so she needs my help.

I think a man ought to be willing to help his wife in her tasks, and never think it is somehow beneath him: that’s pride, not godliness. Yes, he has a role to lead and direct his home, but her work sometimes needs his assistance to take a load off her, so that she isn’t floundering.

Many years ago, a friend of mine claimed that he didn’t believe in doing “women’s work,” whatever that is. He never did marry, though he had an opportunity. Was there a connection?

Christianity is highly service oriented. Jesus washed the feet of His disciples, and later went and died for them all. Paul instructed us, “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil.2:5). So, wise husbands (like all good leaders) lead through service.

With our guests due in 15 minutes, preparations needed to be commenced a while ago. So, over an hour ago I got out the ironing board and ironed the table cloth, set the table, washed the dishes that had been used for the food preparation, and put juice in the freezer to be consumed over lunch.

Two hours earlier, we went food shopping, and while Sue was getting fruit and vegetables, I bought the meat. When we got home, I got everything out of the car, helped put it all away, and helped her weigh out the meat into freezer bags, prior to it going in the freezer for storage.

Yesterday, I spent hours helping her cleaning out the kitchen cupboards, which meant it got done in the time. She would have really struggled by herself. Then there is the regular vacuuming, cleaning windows and bathrooms, mopping the floor tiles, food preparation and washing up. It all needs to be done by someone.

None of this is really profound, but it should indicate this much: the smooth functioning of  any household requires the participation of every member, to get things done efficiently. I don’t think of myself as superior to her, as though all help should be directed to me, only. That’s how tyrants and abusers operate, and I don’t want to be in that company.

She is not to be my slave or door-mat, but all of us need to bear in mind the Biblical command,

…through love serve another (Gal.5:13).