When we got married, I expected that my wife would keep a tidy house, and when she became a stay at home mom, I expected that our kids would be well behaved. But when I get home from work, I consistently disappointed by unmade beds and disobedient children. If I did this type of work at my job, I would be fired. Why can’t she just handle the children and the house, and I do my own work? What does the Bible say about this? Isn’t she supposed to be a good housewife?
Crazy at Home
Dear Crazy at Home,
The Bible does encourage women to be good caretakers of their homes; however, she is not the sole caretaker… even if it is her full time job! When Solomon described the exemplary woman in Proverbs 31, he definitely gives women an outline to strive towards as wives. He says things such as: “the heart of her husband trusts in her,” she “works with willing hands,” “she rises while it is yet night,” and “she makes bed coverings for herself.” It says, “She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her” (Proverbs 31:27-28). This passage describes Wonder Woman, and your wife probably knows this passage and works toward it, but it may be very daunting for her. Frankly, in our present day society the tasks have shifted, and business has increased in its own way. Wives are the kid’s chauffer and are expected to volunteer at school and church, nevertheless keep a tidy house. Proverbs 31 is meant to be an encouraging and empowering passage for wives, so that they feel they can continue becoming better women of God. Proverbs 31 was not meant to be a passage that you hold her standard too.
Also, just as you must appreciate your wife, she must appreciate you and all the work you do. But it is so important to recognize that raising children and running a household is a JOINT effort. While you may be justified in some of your frustrations with her, you must also acknowledge your own responsibility as a husband and father. Let’s take a look at some of these verses that describe an exemplary man of God:
“You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” Deuteronomy 6:7
“He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?” 1 Timothy 3:4-5
“Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well.” 1 Timothy 3:12
To answer your question, yes, the Bible encourages women to be good wives and caretakers, but the Bible also encourages men to be good husbands and caretakers. The Bible sets these standards so that we have something to work towards; however, God also makes it clear that we are supposed to respond in grace to one another when each other fails. Don’t allow bitterness to build. Instead, pray for God to give you the strength to deal with this annoyance, and assess your own role in the home. Are you living up to the standard that God has called you to?