His job is to make money. Her job is to cook, clean and care for the children. This delineation of tasks, and resulting resentments are more a function of culture than the Word of God. In our society, making money is valued above everything. Second to that is being the “boss” and asserting one’s individuality. So, it’s easy for husbands to get into a mindset that they are superior and advancing in their careers is more important than anything else.
It’s also easy for homemaking wives to feel inferior or that they’ve lost themselves, especially if they do not make any money “of their own” and all they do is “take care of everyone else”. In fact, the “new” stay-at-home mom must also run a business (or three!) along with housekeeping and homeschooling. No wonder we’re all so unsatisfied and stressed out! And the children often get shortchanged in all of this. But that’s another post or series of posts. All that to say, we should let our understanding of roles and our pursuits be directed by God and His Word, and not by societal norms or expectations.
In Ephesians, we are instructed to submit ourselves to each other in fear of God (Ephesians 5:21). The point here is that EVERYONE is called to submission. In marriage and family, each person regardless of role is called to submit. What this means is that we should see ourselves as a unit – a team. We should shed our individualistic and selfish way of thinking. Each family is like a unit in God’s army, carrying out His mission. Yes, there is rank, which keeps order, but all of us are equally important in presenting the image of family as God designed, which ultimately points to the Gospel. His mission, not our own. God’s rule, not the husband’s.
So, what does this practically look like? It means the husband should think first about how to make his wife’s life easier. You may agree that meals are the wife’s primary responsibility, but it may help her a great deal if the husband would pick up the grocery order on the way home or even cook dinner if he perceives she’s had rough day. It means the homemaking wife can display good “husbandry” by being frugal and a good manager of finances, not thinking first about what will make her life comfortable or easy but thinking first on what’s best for the entire family. Both parties are serving each other out of respect and reverence for God, losing themselves not to each other but rather to God’s mission. And there’s nothing more satisfying than pleasing God.
Love, The Nesbitt’s