This image from a British newspaper (link) has been making the rounds and stirring the pot on FezBook for a few weeks:
You should be able to click on it and embiggen it but here it is in a nutshell:
It is (supposedly) an extract from a 1950’s text book on “how to look after your husband” and includes recommendations like:
- Have dinner ready
- Make yourself look good
- Clean up the house and the kids
- Reduce noise levels
- Make him comfortable
- Listen to him
- Don’t greet him with complaints
An awful lot of women and some men spent an awful lot of time taking potshots at this article and exclaiming how “they would never do anything like this” or “how horrible these suggestions were.” The reactions actually made me a little sad and defensive but I wasn’t really sure why. So, I stayed out of the conversations.
I finally realized why other people’s reactions bothered me so much.
I do a lot of these things for Wonderful Wife.
In today’s world single income families are the exception rather than the rule. We are not one of the exceptions. Wonderful Wife and her income represents our disposable income (spending money) while my income covers the bills, retirement planning and such. She works longer hours than I do and does not get to work from home like I do (most of the time). Because of the nature of her work it is very stressful and her decisions/actions can literally mean life and death for the folks in the facility she manages.
Even more importantly, as a Christian the Bible teaches me to love my wife as Christ loved His followers:
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church…
What does that mean to me?
Well, for a start I would give my life for her. I have willingly stood between her and danger on many occasions and will continue to do so as long as I have breath in my body. I make a practice of being her “bodyguard.” That is a huge part of the reason I carry a firearm and train with one; to protect her (as well as other loved ones).
But it also means that I should “serve” her. Jesus washed his disciples feet before the last supper. He fed the masses on two separate occasions. On just about every single day of his life in public ministry he was there comforting those who were suffering, healing the sick, leading them, teaching them and forgiving sins.
While I can’t forgive sins or heal illness but I can sure take care of Wonderful Wife when she isn’t feeling well, I can work hard to provide for her and can comfort her in any way I can.
By having dinner ready when she gets home. I love to cook. I get off work earlier than she does (I don’t have a commute and I start my workday earlier) so I try and make her life a little better by having a nice dinner ready when she gets home. I listen to her and let her vent a little to de-stress from work. Sometimes I need to do that too and she is there for me but I try not to burden her with my challenges because she has enough of her own. If I know that she has had a particularly bad day she will frequently walk in to soft lights, and a hot bath with her favorite additives ready and waiting for her. I try and pick up around the house, do some laundry and the dishes so she doesn’t have to deal with those things. I take care of the budget and the bills for the same reason, to reduce her stress level.
I do these things because I can and because I love her. When she was a “stay at home mom” she did those things for me; because we love each other. We want to serve and help each other because not only are we partners but we are more than that. We are one flesh in the eyes of the Lord:
“This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
And I am to love her as I love myself:
In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies.
Just as I am to love my neighbors:
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. ’The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
There is absolutely nothing wrong with serving the needs of your spouse. The language and tone of the article are out of date as is the assumption that the man will be the (only) one heading off to work but that doesn’t take a way from the fact that we should be looking for every opportunity to serve and comfort each other…
Take care and God bless.