Photo by Jonathan Francisca on Unsplash

I was on a Zoom call recently with several other wives who’s husbands are in ministry and one of the ladies asked, “How many of you are making your husband’s lunches with this ‘stay at home order’?”  Before I could shut the door to my mouth an audible scoffing grunt flew out, and it happen to be at the exact time several ladies cheerfully chimed in with, “Oh yes! It’s been wonderful.”  Truthfully, it never crossed my self-sacrificing Christian mind to make my husband, who is working diligently from home, a sandwich!  What is the matter with me?  Come to find out, there’s plenty the matter with me, however, not making my husband a sandwich was not one of the things.  Here’s why: we are a house divided.  I rarely think about food until I am hungry, and my repertoire is limited.  I’m the worst meal planner; if I won a million dollars hands down, I would hire a personal chef.  My husband knows this about me and thankfully he loves cooking!

Regardless of your stage of marriage learning to communicate about your distribution of labor around the house is essential.  As life shifts and changes, so do our conversations about it!  The house responsibilities as a young married couple living in a one-bedroom apartment are vastly different from where we are as mid-lifers with four children in a house with a sizable backyard.  Jumping from a family of two to a family of six should scream for the need to negotiate responsibilities.  The essential point is to discuss the roles together and agree upon a plan that you can both be excited about.  Set aside a time, with limited distractions, to create a plan.  If you have children, discuss what age appropriate tasks they should be contributing to and set it into motion.

Men vs. Women, we must address the traditional elephant in the room.  Whether you’re a traditionalist, a feminist, a whatever-ist, the bottom line is a dignified respect for the contributions of the other.  My closest friend and her husband lean very far on the traditional side of their roles and responsibilities but they each fill those roles with love and appreciate the work of the other.  No one is being demeaned or abusive in their approach, rather they are exalted and cherished.  Our home functions very differently, with an “all hands on deck” mentality.  The distribution of labor is a melding of our strengths and weaknesses.  My husband is capable of completing every task assigned to me and when I am overwhelmed, he steps right in.  As our children grow, so does their ownership of responsibility.  For an example, I’m thankful two of our four children do their own laundry, but I wash, fold, and put away the others.

Wherever you call home, in a tiny house or on a sprawling ranch, how it is managed, and run is an act of service and stewardship.  Philippians 2:3-4 reminds us to “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”  Our homes should be our safe place to fall; where we serve and are served.  God is the giver of good gifts, your spouse, your children, your home, the things that fill it…these are all good gifts from your Father so steward them well.  Tend to the people and your possessions in a manner of thankfulness and gratitude with a humble heart.