The other day I was enlightened by the conversation I had with several other moms. We were sitting on a park bench watching our kids play, and chatting as most women do. We were talking about helping our kids learn to do chores and help around the house.
Our conversation led to the separation of roles in our homes- things our husbands did and things we, as wives and mothers, did. One mom mentioned how much she hated cooking and doing laundry, so her husband did most of the cooking and laundry in their home. One woman said she was better with money, so she handled all the finances and balanced the checkbook. Another mom said her husband usually got up at night with the baby. I shared how I generally take care of the housework. My husband often helps me with my tasks, and I enjoy helping him mow the lawn, working in our woodshop, and contributing to our family finances.
During our conversation I thought how strange our family rolls would seem to our ancestors. The role of husband and wife in our homes must look so much different than those of our predecessors. What would my great-grandmothers think about a husband doing laundry, or a wife working in the woodshop? What would they think of us swapping rolls with our husbands that have traditionally been very gender specific? I’m not sure if they would be proud and applaud us, or if they would cringe and wonder what went wrong in our society.
And then my thoughts turned to my Father in Heaven. What would He think about the role of husband and wife in our home? Did traditional gender rolls come from God, or from the society we were raised in? I took to the bible and I found some interesting insights.
Now, please remember that I am not a scholar or a scriptorian. I’m just a regular wife and mom who had a question, and who is seeking to do His will in all things. I wanted to know what the role of husband and wife looked like in a Christ-centered home.
In my studies, I found two scriptures that really stuck out to me. I feel like these, maybe more than any others I came across, are direct commandments from God for husbands and wives. For husbands, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” (Ephesians 5:25) and for wives, “…teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children” (Titus 2:4).
I know that there are plenty of other scriptures that describe the role of husband and wife. But these two really just said it all, I think. We are to love each other. And when we love each other, we will WANT to help each other. I feel like it’s as easy as that.
I couldn’t find any scriptures that told who should fold the laundry, balance the checkbook, get up with the baby in the night, or who should drive when you go on vacation. Because honestly, I don’t think our Father in Heaven cares how we separate daily tasks of who does what. But rather, I think He cares how we treat each other. (Ephesians 4:32)
I want to create a Christ-centered home for my family. That means we must treat each other as Christ would have. It means we will do everything we can to make each other happy. Marriage isn’t always easy, and raising a family is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But I know that it is important to my Father in Heaven. When we forgive each other of our shortcomings, and help each other to succeed in marriage and parenthood, we are doing His will.
Sometimes we do the daily tasks that we don’t love to do, because we love who we are doing it FOR. What we do, and how we treat other people (and ourselves) matters! As I’ve studied and prayed to know His will, I have come to know that as long as I’m doing my best to serve Him and love those around me, He is pleased.
When I think of it that way, I’m sure my grandmothers of generations past would be proud of me. Yes, the role of husband and wife in the home have changed. Maybe I’m not churning butter, hemming dresses, or fetching water. But I’m still serving and loving my family, the same way they did. And just like with my ancestors, the attitude I carry with me is more important to God than the actual tasks I’m performing.
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