A man contacted me on Instagram yesterday, ” I saw your profile pictures and thought you were beautiful, would you like to have a relationship?” Oh, how this would have flattered me many years ago…
Somedays, I just want to curl up, stay in bed and sleep in. Okay, that’s a big lie. Ever since I was a child, I was up at the crack of dawn…a morning person. You know, one of those really annoying people you want to slap as you roll over and hug your pillow.
A few months before Vance and I were to be married, in preparation ahead of time, I had to go on birth control. It really should be called the madness medicine, because that’s what it did to me, I became mad and cranky. I felt grouchy and tired and couldn’t seem to get out of bed in the morning. Unfortunately, I didn’t drink coffee at the time, so I had nothing to perk me up and get me going.
Vance had this annoying habit of turning on the TV each morning, while I was sound asleep, and of course, the volume was on a high when it came on. The TV was in our bedroom, and every morning, I wanted to kill him…literally, seriously, no joke!
I was furious, and I told him so, but he didn’t care, he kept doing it repeatedly day after day. I would threaten to burn his breakfast or something like that, but I think he just liked annoying me and snickered at my empty threats. He was like the big brother from your worst nightmare.
One morning I had had enough! I threw back the covers, stomped across our waterbed parting the red sea, jumped down, picked up the massive TV and dumped it on the living room floor with a bang. I think he may have made a comment that I was overreacting…
That went over well!
Most mornings we would get up for breakfast, and he would sit at the table waiting for me to make his meal. When I brought him his toast which I had buttered and slathered with peanut butter, he would complain the peanut butter didn’t touch the crust. Back to the kitchen I would go and spread the PB to reach the edge of the bread. I delivered his altered toast to him, and he’d look at it and tell me it was supposed to be cut into four pieces.
By now I was thinking about smashing his plate over his head or how I could lace his peanut butter with arsenic. I figured since I was his wife, I was responsible for his happiness 100% of the time, and he agreed wholeheartedly that this was also my role. I could never seem to accomplish this goal and was always feeling like a less than perfect wife.
What Vance had done previously, was misunderstood his mother’s servant heart and took it as the law. His mother Marsha loved to serve her family. Her husband Barry owned a logging company and worked long hours in the forest. She was a full-time homemaker and was able to accomplish all the home’s tasks before Barry came home each day. Because one of her love languages was acts of service, Vance assumed this was also mine.
Lucky for Vance, I was June from Leave it to Beaver: you know the wife waiting at the door with a plate of warm cookies, perfect hair, a frilly apron and a kiss for my knight in crisp blue-collar-armour.
My new husband didn’t know what to make of his young, sassy, argumentative, foot stomping wife.
Vance wanted a mother, he didn’t actually want a wife.
I did the same with our kids, spoiling them, cooking their favourite foods, serving with love and a dose of, “I can do that for you my little darling.” But it came to backfire on me.
When two of our children, Devyn and Aryanna, moved out in May and rented an apartment together, they had a “BIG” world problem: who was now going to do Mom’s chores in their new home?
Our kids all helped out with dishes, cleaning bathrooms, and doing their own laundry. The boys put out the garbage every Friday, and the girls liked to help me in the kitchen. I know, some of you are already getting mad just thinking about how these roles are sexist.
It took Devyn and Aryanna many months to get this all figured out, and a few fights had broken out over these tasks. In the end, they both learned to serve the other and tried not to get too stuck in his or her roles, and we were proud of them.
How you split the needs in your home, between you as a couple, is really your own individualized choice in your marriage and no one can tell you what is the right or wrong to make that division. Nowhere in the Bible does it say women do dishes and men take out the garbage. We may have seen our parents do these tasks this way, but that doesn’t mean it was right: it just says it was a family’s choice.
Unfortunately, many women today are burdened with the task of coming home from work at the end of the day and unlike their husbands, they are expected to do all the household chores while hubby may be sitting with his feet up and the remote in his hands. What a man is really saying to his children and wife is, “I only do work if I’m paid, I don’t serve since I am above it.”
Here is another perspective:
In the same way, you husbands must give honour to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.
1 Peter 3:7 NLT
Hubby putting his tootsies up while his wife is on her feet the rest of the evening doesn’t quite fit the “honour your wife” phrase in this verse. Pretty soon his wife may be reading Harlequin Romances and dreaming of Prince Charming coming to rescue her from her chains of slavery to Archie Bunker. If you were born in the 60’s or 70’s, you might remember this Lazy Boy recliner, TV watching, racist, and grouchy husband.
When you go to bed, and your wife turns her back to you, think of how your day went:
Did you treat your bride like your personal maid: or a lovely maiden?
If you come home and help your wife accomplish all the tasks your home requires to run smoothly, you’re giving your sons and daughters the impression that you are a loving, unselfish husband and father. You are honouring your wife by helping her meet your family’s needs, instead of expecting her to do it alone. You are cherishing her.
When you cherish a woman, respect usually shows up. Not a guarantee in every relationship, but often a good possibility.
I have been a full-time homemaker for twenty-nine years. Because Vance worked twelve hour days, I was able to get most of our family’s needs met while he was working. But we soon realized our kids saw this as separate roles for women and men instead of a family working together.
Two of our kids on different occasions had said, “Mom, you don’t work, Dad works.” Vance and I had concerns that the kids saw it this way. Even though I went non-stop from morning to night and barely ever sat to eat, they viewed my role as serving and Vance’s as working.
They put the value where the money was made.
Vance had had a transformation and long gone were the days of correctly, peanut-buttered toast cut in four. I had begged God for many years to change my husband. Okay, I may have threatened God with,
“I’m going to kill him if you don’t do something NOW!”
After Vance had a complete heart transformation, he started helping me with many of the household chores when he had some extra time. He wanted to show our children that there was value in a father serving one’s family and that helping was just as important as working for money.
Not only did he set an excellent example for our kids, but I also began to see him in a different light, and a new respect began to build between us. We were partners in this journey called marriage and parenting, and we were working together on common goals.
Yesterday, Instagram- man contacting me, wanting to have an affair, might have peaked my curiosity years ago. But now? Are you kidding me, why would I give up a man who loves me and serves me to go have an affair with some dude- from who knows where??? What I have, has taken twenty-nine years to build. We’ve been through hurricane Katrina and back in our marriage. I’m not throwing that away for a roll in the sack with a stranger!
Women, please don’t think I am telling you to leave your man if he is not helpful. There is hope for every marriage and working on the one you’re presently in is always the best choice unless it’s abusive, then you need to seek help.
I want to encourage wives to pray for your husband, that he will find his servant’s heart and to also support your children in the pursuit of serving also.
Men, do you want to keep the wife you have or would you like to lose her to some guy on Instagram or at work? If your thinking that will never happen: think again. You may come home one day to an empty house, it’s happened to many men before you. She may pick the Instagram affair over her Insta-selfish husband instead.
We are living in a competitive world. The world is competing for your wife’s attention, and you need to get up early every day and determine to step up your game. Come home after work and do everything in your power to make her feel like a princess instead of your property.
Men, you were fortunate enough to be given a wife and how you treat her will determine how long you get to keep her. Don’t waste this opportunity or you may not get a second chance.
Be the husband you want your sons to grow up to be and the one you want your daughters to marry. Your wife and kids will love you for it.
A family that serves together: tends to stay together💗
In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. And we are members of his body. As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Ephesians 5:28-31 NLT
Hoping and believing,
Cindy Seaton 💗
* All the violent thoughts were not carried out in this story, although some were true in my head they never appeared in real life.