Sadly, our society is still a tad stereotypical where domestic work is concerned.
Alice was seething with fury as she tried to pacify her sleepy toddler on one hand while stirring a pot on the other. “I can't believe Mike won't offer to take Jason to bed. Why does he have to wait for me to ask him?” she huffed and puffed. Mike, her husband, was sprawled out on the couch watching a soccer match. Alice worked part-time in an insurance company and was always home before her husband who held a full-time job.
As such, she did all the house chores. Unless she asked him, Mike wouldn't touch any housework with a ten-foot pole. Later on in the night, knackered to the bone, she collapsed at the dining table, barely able to chow down her dinner. “Why the foul mood?” Mike asked. At that point, she wasn't sure what incensed her more - the fact that he didn't take on any house chores or that he couldn't figure out why she was upset.
Sadly, our society is still a tad stereotypical where domestic work is concerned. Multiple studies show that women spend more time smack dab in housework than their male counterparts. This is regardless of whether the women work within the home or outside the home. A study published in The Atlantic revealed that women performed more than twice the number of household tasks performed by men.
Granted, the same study noted that men’s involvement in housework and tending to children has nearly doubled in the last few decades in the US. That's something worth celebrating. But the question still stands - are men called to watch the kids and clean the house too? Here’s why the answer is a resounding YES!
1. It’s Enriches a Marriage
Surprising your wife with flowers is a great gesture alright. But. It will mean nothing to her if she is caving under the weight of housework while you are plonked down on the couch, glued to your phone. Women have deep-seated emotional needs and chief among them is their need for affection. Showing affection to your wife is simply letting her know that you care through physical gestures.
When a woman receives a healthy dose of affection from her husband, she feels loved, protected, comforted, and secure in her marriage. Any doubts that may have been gnawing at her disappear into thin air. Watching (your) kids and cleaning (your) house tells your wife that you care about her and will not allow her to break her back as you sit back and observe. On the other hand, leaving her to tackle all the chores and tend to the kids will only make her bitter and breed resentment. Want a sizzling marriage? Consider taking on your share of house chores and watch your marital ducks line up in a row.
2. We are Called to Serve One Another
“And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave, just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mathew 20:27-28, NKJV)
God asks us to put the needs of others above our own (Philippians 2:3-4). Jesus declared that He did not come to be served but to serve. His statement is nothing short of mind-blowing. The Son of God (who was equal with God) chose the nature of a servant. In the same breath, He asked those desiring to be first to become slaves. Here's the thing - many men thump their chests as they seek to stamp their authority in their homes. They want to be acknowledged as the leaders of their households. Christ, however, introduces us to a different way of achieving greatness - serving others.
In John 13, we see Jesus washing His disciples' feet, much to Simon Peter's bewilderment. He then instructs the disciples to uphold the same practice (John 13:14). Perhaps as a husband, you often feel like some tasks are too demeaning for you. You wouldn't be caught cleaning the dishes or changing a diaper. Guess what? If Jesus could scour away the dirt on His disciples' feet, you too can scrub that bathroom. Remember that no servant is greater than His master (John 13:16).
3. Husbands are Called to Love Their Wives Sacrificially
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.” (Ephesians 5:25, NKJV)
Jesus loved the church so deeply that He offered His life as the ultimate sacrifice by dying on the cross. In doing this, He left a blueprint for husbands on how they should love their wives - sacrificially. Loving your wife sacrificially means that you are willing to meet her needs even when you don't feel like it. It is putting her interests above yours. Does watching the kids and cleaning the house make her feel loved? Then knock yourself out and clean that house like your life depends on it. Does spending time with you float her boat? Then squeeze in time each week to revel in each other's company. Go out of your way to keep her enthused.
4. It Sets an Example for Your Kids
More often than not, our marriages tend to form the blueprint for our kids’ marriages. As a parent, you largely influence your kids’ worldview, and their view of marriage is no exception. Kids who grow up sensing happiness, love, and unity between their parents are more likely to replicate the same traits in their marriages. A boy who grows up seeing his dad participate in household chores will do the same in the future without batting an eye. A girl whose dad merrily took on household duties will hop into marriage with the notion that her husband is an equal partner where chores are concerned.
Which begs the question - which attitudes would you like your kids to haul into marriage? We are willing to bet that you would want your son to be a responsible dad who doesn't need to be cajoled to participate in chores. The only way to pass on this invaluable practice to your kids is to model it. Remember, kids will do what you do and not what you say. Be careful to set a good example for them.
“Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1, NKJV)
5. Husbands are Called to Dwell with Their Wives with Understanding
“Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.” (1 Peter 3:7, NKJV)
Let's face it - women juggle many balls. Taking care of the home and kids while tending to their careers is no mean feat. In the scripture above, Peter asks men to “handle their wives with care” seeing that they are the weaker vessel. And isn't that true in every sense of the word? Men are generally physically stronger than women, which calls them to use that masculine strength that God has endowed to make their wife’s life much easier. Relieve her of house chores as much as possible.
From the scripture above, we also note that husbands who do not dwell with their wives with understanding run the risk of having their prayers not answered. That's an awfully hefty price to pay.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Nattakorn Maneerat
Keren Kanyago is a freelance writer and blogger at Parenting Spring. As a wife and mom, she uses her blog to weigh in on pertinent issues around parenting, marriage, and the Christian Faith. She holds a degree in mass communication with a specialty in print media. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram and/or shoot her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.