I have talked to several stay-at-home moms, as well as working moms, who desperately wish their husbands would help more around the house. Women, in no doubt, have a lot on their plate- we prepare healthy meals, clean ALL THE TIME, sort endless piles of laundry, quiz the Kiddos on their spelling words, and make the 30 cupcakes for the school party. We’re drained. We’re tired. We spend every waking hour (and even night hours) pouring into the lives of others constantly until we’re running on coffee fumes and sometimes we just need a little help.
One day, after Jesse had left for work and I already dropped Joanna off at school, I performed my usual morning tasks. I made the beds, did some general straightening, and prepared to start a load of laundry. As I entered our Master bedroom, something immediately caught my eye. I glanced over at our hamper. Much to my dismay, I found my husband’s dirty clothes sitting precisely on the floor, right in front of the hamper. I’m certain I don’t stand alone in this phenomenon. This is a typical occurrence in which I usually oblige, but today…today, I snapped.
“Really? Like opening the hamper and placing the clothes inside is too much work? Is it too much to ask?!!!” I quickly snatched up the clothes, opened the hamper and forcefully dunked them in like I was LeBron James, and slammed the lid shut.
I wrestled with resentful thoughts throughout the day. I just need a break. I feel like I’m doing everything and everyone expects me to be Superwoman. I just don’t feel like wearing the cape today. Where’s Superman? I need his help! I’m being defeated by little people and housework . But since Superman was up, up, and away at work, I decided to take a breath and talk to God.
It’s funny- when I approached God’s Throne, He always answers me, but usually in ways I was not anticipating. This time, He was very quick to remind me of a few things:
- The Lord God Said, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make him a helper suitable for him.” -Genesis 2:18
I am Jesse’s wife. I am the helpmate. God designed me specifically for this purpose- to help my husband. Me! I’m the helper, not my husband. The Bible doesn’t say “husbands, help your wives.” It’s not to say they can never help, but God called us to be the helpmate. If picking up my husband’s clothes and putting them into the hamper helps him in even that small way, I need to be willing to do so.
- “Older women…urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” -Titus 2: 4,5
Be busy at home. The context of this phrase is specifically charging women to not be idol at home throughout the day, but work to maintain the home. Again, this charge was given to women, not men. It’s not like men are forbidden to do housework, but in God’s original design of family, the men go to work to provide, while the women stay home and care for the house and children…sorry, Feminists- please don’t explode!
- “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” -Colossians 3: 17
Sometimes, it is easier for me to go about work when I think of working as unto the Lord. Not my children. Not my husband. But the Lord. The Lord deserves our devoted faithfulness and He desires for us to have a servant heart. Nothing is too trivial or too insignificant to be done in the name of the Lord. And yes, even picking up laundry (without grumbling) can be done in the name of the Lord. And what’s even better, He sees us and the work we do with our hands when we do it for Him! Even if your husband fails to recognize that you picked up his dirty laundry, the Lord- the one who really matters- sees you and your heart. So be mindful of the condition of your heart!
- “Love does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs…do everything in love.” -1 Corinthians 13: 5,14
I realized my attitude was not the reflection of love Christ desires for me. I allowed anger to stir up within me. I was recalling every time, picking up the same clothes in front of the hamper day after day after day. I had unknowingly been keeping a record of “wrongs.” I began to be self-seeking: “why can’t he help me? Why is everything left to me? Maybe I should just leave the clothes here for him to pick up. How do you like them apples?” I was not acting out of love.
- “Remember, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.” -Philippians 4:8
God reminded me to place my focus on what is admirable about my husband. He’s a hard-working provider, a loving partner, a dedicated father, and the most patient, resilient human being I have met on the face of the earth. He fearlessly leads our home and our family faithfully. He’s my most beloved blessing. He’s my best friend.
Suddenly, the clothes in front of the hamper didn’t appear to bother me as much as they did before. I no longer felt angry. I felt foolish. I felt humbled.
I have learned time and time again, when I come to God with a problem, the solution is not found in my husband, but in Him. And it often requires a change of heart in me. I was humbled, yet again, by God’s grace to work in MY heart. To refine me. To make me like Him. He grants me the strength to do my tasks faithfully. HE IS MY HELP. I can call on Him and He never hesitates to respond. I was reminded that I love my Superman, but I need my Savior.
God doesn’t call us to be Superwomen. He calls us to be the helpmate. Even when I tire of my role, His grace is sufficient in my weakness.
“Do not get weary in doing what is good, for after a while, you will reap a harvest of blessing, if you do not get discouraged and give up.” -Galatians 6:9
The Humble Homemaker