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?

Husbands need the help of their wife, but busy wives 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 more to be done to ensure the household tasks get done, and nothing gets omitted, so she needs my help.

We’re instructed,

Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. Each of us is to please his neighbour for his good, to his edification. For even Christ did not please Himself… (Ro.15:1-3).

A husband’s nearest “neighbour,” is his wife.

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.

Thirty 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 Christ is called “My servant…” by God (Isa.42:1). 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).

Then Peter tells us that “as each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (I Pet.4:10). So, wise husbands (like all good leaders) are happy to lead through service. Serving is normal for them.

Conclusion:

The smooth functioning of any household requires the participation of every member to get things done efficiently, and there will frequently be an overlap of responsibility. I don’t think of myself as superior to Sue, as though all help should be directed to me, only. That’s how tyrants and abusers operate, and I don’t want to be numbered 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).

My fellow husband, is that what you do, too? It’s the servants who get things done in the kingdom of God. And more importantly, God honours them.

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