Okay, here we go....part four of Kristi's series! If you haven't read the first three, please see my archives and read them first! Here is part four:
This post was written entirely by my husband, and I’m so excited to be able to share it with you. He did a great job. He also speaks right to men, so feel free to grab your boyfriend, your husband, your uncle, your dad, your brother and your grandpa’s, nephew’s, uncle’s, brother.
She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. Proverbs 31:17
My bride outworks a good majority of the men I know. If I were being completely transparent, I would reluctantly admit that a lot of days my wife outworks me. For those of you who haven’t met me, I own a small business and for or a while now, the majority of my work is done in my home office. I’m not saying it’s an easy job, and trust me I work hard. It’s just that there’s hardly a day that goes by where I wonder which one of us is working harder. I say this for a few reasons: First, because I want you to know that I have some understanding and knowledge of what it takes to be a stay at home mom because I have the rare opportunity to be at home all day and see how much my wife accomplishes and how many tasks are on her plate every day. I am aware that sentence was too long. Second, I want to applaud loudly for my wife and share my appreciation for the amazing amount of work she gets done every week.
In our house, we have a 10 year old boy, a 7 year old boy and 4 year old triplet girls. In many ways it’s an awesome time in our lives. But I have to admit, this combination of ages makes for some hellish automobile rides. Our kids take after Kristi and I in that they aren’t the best at picking up after themselves. So every day is an all out battle against the evil dark forces of messiness. My wife fights valiantly. I help a tad in the evenings and from time to time get some extended hours with the kids by myself to fully understand the stakes in this bloody war.
It’s hard for me to imagine a world where my wife works significant hours during the week outside of the home. My bride happens to enjoy cooking, so our family is blessed almost every day with 6 star home cooked meals. Not only are they home cooked, the majority of them are wholesome, healthy and extremely tasty meals. I just started salivating a bit… What was I saying?…
I could go on about the fruits of her hard labor everyday, but I need to go deeper. I need to get to the heart of how her focus blesses our family. There is a peace at our house. A deep peace. In the midst of a crazy fast paced world, we have a Home where joy exists. My bride smiles. I occasionally hear her singing. After the fourth load of laundry and picking up after our five demolition experts (truly nothing compares to the destructive capacities of kids), Kristi is steadfast in her purpose, her mission, her calling and her focus. And she’s happy. I’m not saying that when I get off work there’s not a normal amount of “family of 7” chaos, but there is underlying peace. I can see in her eyes why she’s making dinner for me and the kids. I can hear in her tone the satisfaction of a hard day “at work”. I can see contentment and stability in our kids as they fight to avoid their homework or wrestle while laughing/screaming. Trust me, I’m not painting a Thomas Kincade serenity here, but I think you feel what I am saying. I know it’s different at our house. And I know why. My wife has chosen us. She’s chosen what culture values as garbage. She’s chosen what God values as gold.
I love you babe, thanks for making God central and putting a large priority on our family.
Now, turning to men. I realize this site is primarily for women, but I’m betting a few men are reading over their wives shoulders. I’m not going to go extremely deep in this post about our responsibilities (it’s coming later). But let me call us to action and point us in the direction where we can set our compasses. Please know I do this out of humility. If you’ve been following along, you know I have struggled in leading my home well. But I am compelled to now.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,
I don’t think we can feel any greater weight than that. How can we even begin to give ourselves up like Christ did? We’d have to give everything. We’d have to relinquish ownership of all we have; our time, “our” money, our dreams, our selves. Have you ever heard that kind of call in our culture? In any movie, any book, any song? There’s never been a greater call to love our wives than that verse. And if we’re honest, it’s humbling. So where do we set our compass?
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12: 1-2
The greatest weight. And yet the greatest goal. There is nowhere in this world where we are both called to such a high calling and also given such a perfect example. We are given the hope and reasons to stand up as men and serve. So let me end with this. More weight for your shoulders yes, but we know where to go to strengthen ourselves and set our compasses.
But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
1 Timothy 5:8
At my church this past year we learned a definition of a man:
Expects the Greater Reward
Let’s man up and serve our families, looking to the only Source that can begin to provide the strength. You have been called to lead, to follow after Christ and to lay down your life for your wife and family. Responsibility lies on your shoulders for what happens in your home. You bear the curse of “sweat and toil” in the ground from Genesis. Don’t share that curse with your wife. Provide and protect with every last ounce of strength you have been given.
Is it a sin to ask your wife to work outside the home? Again, the answer is not a black and white yes or no. But if you are being passive, not leading your family, ignoring your responsibility and focused on the temporary, you can be sure that you are sinning and not laying down your life as Christ did for us. Do you have toys worth more than what you have provided for your family? Do you have hobbies that have taken more time than your wife will end up working? Do you have addictions that undermine your character and push away the blessings of God? Sobering questions that I haven’t always been able to say no to. But sobering questions we all need to ask ourselves.