“I can’t get my husband to do anything around the house!”
“All my husband does is sit around watching TV while I work in the kitchen or try to help the kids with their homework.”
“I work, too, you know. Why don’t you ever help me with the work that has to be done in the house?”
“My husband leaves all of his clothes lying around the house and never puts them in the laundry basket.”
Do any of these statements sound familiar? I have heard these and many more in my office. Most of the time, the husband wants the wife to quit nagging about his behavior. He often will state that he doesn’t need a momma telling him what to do. This argument has been going on for decades since WWII when women really started working outside of the home in the factories.
Now this is not a blog on whether the wife should work outside of the home or not. That totally depends on the needs of the family.
I am addressing the issue of the man living a respectable life. You see, the woman is told in the Bible to “respect” her husband. (Eph. 5:33) When I bring that up, I hear often that he doesn’t do anything for me to respect him.
Men, is that true? Are you respectable? Too many times that statement is true. We think that since we work outside of the home and do most of the yard work, we shouldn’t have to do anything inside the house. We want our wives to pick up after us and watch “those” kids. We are tired from our day and need a break.
Even typing this is difficult. The selfishness. The Narcissism. The Male Chauvinism. All the negative characteristics that can be seen in men are riddled through that paragraph.
How can we act as men in order to be respected by our wives?
- Be engaged in the family. Every day when you get home, pay attention to what is going on with each person. Ask your wife how you can help her. One author called the time when everyone gets home for the evening The Pit Hour. Don’t be selfish and get engaged.
- Listen to your wife. Too many times, we listen for what we want to hear. Or we might listen so that we can “solve” the problem. I don’t know about you, but my wife solves problems often in her job. She is a teacher in a high school where she teaches students Physics. (I do not want her job at all!) Our wives want to be heard. If they want our solution, they will ask for it. Until then, LISTEN.
- Do what you say you are going to do. If you tell your wife that you are going to wash a load of clothes, do it. If you tell her that you will pay the bills, do it. In the same vein, if you tell her that you will be home by a certain time, be there. If you can’t, text her to let her know. All of this comes down to being a Man of Integrity.
- Don’t expect someone else (your wife) to pick up after you. Yes, sometimes she might serve your plate or even pick it up after dinner. Just, DON’T expect it. A lot of women have the natural tendency to take care of things, including their husbands. They might find fulfillment in serving. Don’t exploit that in her; rather help her by serving her at times.
- Be the leader. As a Biblical Counselor, I believe the husband is the leader of the home. Sometimes, his leadership style is lacking and is not leading very well. But he is still the leader. As men, we need to step up and lead. That leadership isn’t a dictatorship or a monarchy. It is a leadership that comes out of our relationship with God that influences our relationship with our wives and our children.
I am not saying here that we can’t watch a ballgame or go hunting or go outside and work in our shop. What I am asking is, “Are you living a life that is respectable?” We desire respect more than anything else. Therefore, we must live in such a way that gives our wives something to respect.
There are many other ways a man can be respectable; what comes to your mind? I would love to read your thoughts in the comment section.