When you view completing household chores as an act of worship, it also sets the example for the next generation to be hard workers and take responsibility for the things they must maintain to have a healthy, well-rounded life.
When two people marry, they take vows to love, honor, and cherish each other. When they buy a house, those same vows apply. Although they don't re-recite those vows in front of friends and family, they still commit to honor themselves and their relationship by being good stewards of what God has given them. We often think of worshipping God in large, generous acts. But sometimes, it's the small acts of service to our partner that also demonstrate our love for God. Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”
However, when stressful situations arise, it is easy to drop the ball on simple household tasks. If one partner tends to take the lead on completing household chores, it's easy for the other partner to sit back and watch them do it. However, this is an act of laziness and not maintaining the possessions God has given them. Most people dislike doing household chores, but they are a necessary part of life. They aren't only one person's responsibility, but the other spouse's as well.
Here are six reasons a couple should share household responsibilities:
1. There Are Not Gender-specific Chores
Gone are the days when women stayed in the kitchen and cared for the kids while the husband did outside chores and brought home the main paycheck. In today's society, both men and women work to bring home a paycheck as well as raise their children. Therefore, if both are working and equally distribute every other aspect of their lives, it's only fair that they equally distribute their chores. This not only helps both parties complete their tasks with ease but also promotes equality; each party has an equal share in labor. There's no reason a woman can't take out the trash and a man can't do a load of dishes. If everyone works together in an equal distribution of labor, the chores get done, and there's more time to spend with the people you love.
2. It’s a Way to Honor the Relationship
In the marriage vows, you committed yourselves to love, honor, and cherish each other within the relationship. One way to honor each other is to do the household chores. When one partner has a stressful week, it is comforting to know that the other partner has taken care of cooking the meals, doing the dishes, and cleaning the bathrooms. Although these may seem insignificant, the small acts may add up to significant acts of honor within your relationship. When you go the extra mile and do chores, especially without being asked or doing the other person's chores, it demonstrates you put your relationship above your pride.
Doing more than what is expected shows you honor your spouse and put them first above anything else. Matthew 5:38-42 says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.”
3. It’s an Act of Service
Dr. Gary Chapman, in the book The Five Love Languages, explains that each person gives and receives love differently. There are five ways people give and receive love: quality time, acts of service, physical touch, gifts, and words of affirmation. By doing what is expected, you demonstrate to your partner that you value your relationship. When you go above and beyond, it demonstrates an act of service that communicates great love to them. Even if they don't reciprocate by telling them how much they appreciated you, continuous little acts like this will demonstrate how much you love them.
4. No One Person Is Responsible for All the Mess
When one partner leaves the other to do all the chores, it communicates that it's their job. Even if the partner states they’re helping out around the house, it implies that it's the other person's job and that you are lowering yourself to help them in a time of need. But no one person is responsible for all the mess. While it sounds nice to have each person clean up after themselves, it is best to simply humble yourself and clean up on behalf of yourself and the other partner. This is a way to give 100 percent of yourself to your relationship.
5. It’s an Act of Worship
As Christians, we demonstrate our worship for God through regular church attendance, reading the Word, and prayer. But have you ever considered that doing chores is an act of worship? When you complete household tasks, you are being a good steward of what God has given you. Whether you rent an apartment or own a home, it demonstrates that you appreciate what God has given you. Everything is the Lord's, yet he is kind enough to provide the essentials and meet our every need. By keeping things clean, we demonstrate that we honor God and our possessions. When we do our best to maintain them and keep them in optimal shape, we actively thank God for his gifts. This not only means maintaining regular weekly chores but also keeping up with household repairs and completing home improvements as necessary. When we keep our home clean, we not only honor our relationship, but we also honor God in the process.
6. It Sets an Example
By doing household chores, it demonstrates to the other partner that you love and care for them. If the couple has children, this is even more important. Children live what they learn. If they see parents equally doing chores, it teaches them that there are not certain roles for each partner. Kids should be taught from a young age the concept of stewardship by completing household tasks as well. Brainstorm age-appropriate chores for your child to practice each week with the family. This helps them understand they need to care for the gifts God has given them. It also teaches them not to take things for granted and to develop healthy habits for cleanliness, hygiene, and self-respect. We need to be examples in every area of our lives, and this includes household chores. It may seem small or insignificant, but when the children become adults, they understand that to be a part of a household, the house needs to be maintained. This understanding will be an incredible benefit to their future spouse and children.
Household chores are not fun to complete but are a necessary part of life. They may be daunting to maintain, but each partner can sit back and enjoy the beauty of their home when they are done. When you view completing household chores as an act of worship, it also sets the example for the next generation to be hard workers and take responsibility for the things they must maintain to have a healthy, well-rounded life.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Nattakorn Maneerat
Michelle S. Lazurek is a multi-genre award-winning author, speaker, pastor's wife, and mother. She is a literary agent for Wordwise Media Services and a certified writing coach. Her new children’s book Who God Wants Me to Be encourages girls to discover God’s plan for their careers. When not working, she enjoys sipping a Starbucks latte, collecting 80s memorabilia, and spending time with her family and her crazy dog. For more info, please visit her website www.michellelazurek.