What It Really Means To Our Husbands When We Manage Our Homes.

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When I accepted the task of homemaking, I knew it meant serving my family. Because one of my flaws is laziness, I knew that if I kept house for just me…well, my standard for cleanliness wouldn’t be very high. Messiness, not a problem. I don’t like messy. But that’s easy to clean up – just tidy. Yet, the hard, elbow-grease, well-oiled-machine organisation? Not my thing, in the natural sense.

 

Having been married for almost eight years {oh, how time flies…}, I have come a long way in my homemaking skills. And I mean, a long way. Now I actually clean the bathroom once a week {instead of once every month}, and mop the floor at least twice {instead of every six months}. I make the beds daily, dust regularly and make sure counters are de-cluttered. This is such a far cry from my beginner years, and becoming a mother has really been the making of me in many ways.

 

Of course, I am far from perfect. In fact, about two weeks ago, I cleaned all the outside windows for the first time in over a year and – oh my! – we can actually see outside. After gazing upon my awesome, sparkly windows for a little, I remembered all the times we have had company over in the last year and how every single person must have seen how horribly dirty our windows were. *Cringe*

 

So, even though I have come a long way, every now and then I make a sudden spurt of progress. Whether that is a new discipline, a new habit, or a new way of doing things, my skill and talent for this homemaking thing takes on a new dimension. And sometimes, very occasionally, I have a heart-change in my homemaking as well. It’s one of those enlightening, “ah-ha!” moments that turns the tide of my thoughts, actions and heart-attitude towards a more peaceful, Christ-centred way of serving.

 

Just recently, it dawned on me – and I can’t remember how or why – that homemaking isn’t just about serving my family so we are fed, cleaned and clothed. That, of course, is the fundamental reason, so that our family life doesn’t fall a part. But another reason that dawned on me was this:

 

It matters to my husband.

 

You see, some husbands don’t care too much about how the house is run. But mine does. He’s not a frenetic, OCD type – he just likes having a tidy, ordered, smooth-running household. It gives him peace. It gives him a space where the busyness, the chaos, and sometimes pain of his work-world is gone. This is his place as much as mine or the kids’; it’s his space to be him.

 

Not only that, I’ve been convicted of the truth that when I make the effort to keep the house in a way that brings out the best in him, it honours him. When I clean, take care of our things, get cars fixed, make sure gardens are weeded, that the electronics are protected by flailing toddler arms and legs, it says to him,

 

“I honour you. I honour your hard work, your sacrifice, your daily hard slog in life to provide us a home and the things in it that create joy in our family life.”

 

In times past, when laziness has ruled my work, I let things get run down, dirty and broken. As a homemaker, I only thought about me and my feelings towards these things and their relation to me: that they were just things, and we can buy new ones. In facing the truth in myself, I realised that I took our home and the things in it for granted. Because I didn’t go out and work for the money that paid for our home, there was less of an emotional connection with how these things were cared for.

 

But that’s not how my husband saw it.

 

Women may not get this naturally, but when we do, we can see that this makes sense: our homes are symbols of our husband’s work. Just like each day with children can blur into another and we feel like we having nothing to show for all our hard work, so too, can our husband’s jobs, to them, seem like an endless amount of thankless hours that provides for a home and things that aren’t given much thought too.

 

But when a wife, and her children if she teaches them, set great store of caring for, cleaning, managing, maintaining, and creating a home for her husband, what joy does this give her special man. How respected, how appreciated, how grateful will that husband feel from the actions of her work that she does for all that he has done.

 

Now, don’t get me wrong, the home isn’t all about the husband and I am not saying that the husband doesn’t do anything around the house to look after the things he has bought with his own money.
What I am saying is this:

 

Let us show our love for our husbands and give them the honour and respect of caring for the home they have paid for by their hours of work.Β There isn’t anything sexist in that {don’t we teach our children to take care of the things that they have been given?}. It is simple love and appreciation.

What about you? Has this ever occurred to you? Have you ever talked about this with your husband?

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30 Comments

  1. Although I don't have children and won't have any for a long time yet this post really caught my eye because I can relate so well to this. I am engaged to my boyfriend of 9 years and I think that I am going to be feeling a similar thing to you when I get married. I often get a little carried away with my creativity or what ever I am doing and I can let things get a little messy around me. But I know that my fiance really values a tidily kept place and so I know that when we are married I want to keep the house very tidy for him. Not because I want to do everything for him and hold him above myself, but because he is making a big sacrifice by working and letting me stay home and not work. So keeping the house tidy will be my way of thanking him. πŸ™‚

  2. What a great post. I relate to a lot of what you said. I was a terrible homemaker at first but have improved of the years. My husband regularly tells me how much he appreciates the work I do around the house, and I am happy to do it for him.

  3. Sarah, this is so well written and I can completely relate. When I was first married, I worked full time and wasn't that great at keeping on top of my home. We often went out for dinner, and I was always behind on the dishes and dusting. I really thought of homemaking as a chore or burden. But then I became a SAHM, and the Lord really worked in my heart. Now, I find joy in keeping up with the home and creating a place where my husband is happy to come home to.

  4. Homemaking is such a journey. We all come into marriage with different family backgrounds and tendencies, and I think when both spouses work, it is a helpful idea to share the load. I was mostly a stay-at-home wife so my struggle was even worse in that, I *had* time to do the work, but I just didn't know how, or really, want to. Now, I love it!

    PS: I popped by your blog the other day! I loved your post about slowing down – I completely agree.

  5. So good to see you here again on Tuesday Talk. I love this article and homemaking is a calling/blessing and one should be proud. I take care of the home, my husband works to provide for the home. Always has been that way and we both know our roles and are happy, after 29 years of marriage to keep those roles. Will be featuring on next week's Tuesday Talk for the theme I'm planning. Nice work!

  6. I agree with what you say but I also see it as a team effort. We work together to take care of o ur home each one in his/her own way.

  7. Thank you, Mary! It is a team effort – I cover the work at home, and he covers the bills πŸ˜‰ My husband mows the lawns, plays with the kids, builds things around the home and anything else I need a hand with. But the home is my primary sphere of work and I am so grateful that he doesn't have to worry about having to cook dinner or wash dishes when he's been building all day at work. It's the perfect team effort πŸ™‚

  8. Thank you for sharing your thought on this. I agree wholeheartedly with your conclusions. My husband knows I serve him not only because I honor him, but because I want to honor God. Even though I have not earned a paycheck for 17 of the 18 years we've been married, I work hard.
    My husband loves to share with others…”I had no idea what I was getting when I married my wife.” It is such an honor to be a blessing to him. Also it makes things more exciting in the bedroom when a man has a hard-working wife. πŸ˜‰

  9. I can really relate to this. I have improved a lot since the early days of our marriage, but even last night, I noticed I had still not put the mop away from when I had washed the floors last Saturday. When I asked my husband if he had noticed it, he said yes (with a big grin), whereas I had just tuned it out! He is naturally much more tidy than me, so I have to make a concerted effort to bless him in this area. Thankfully, he is also very helpful, and good at getting our children involved in housework too. Thank you for sharing this Sarah πŸ™‚

  10. Thank you for sharing this. I totally agree. I try to have a tidy, happy home for my husband when he gets home. With eight children we don't always quite manage, but that's the goal. πŸ™‚

  11. Good afternoon,
    I shared a similar journey and conclusion! Wonderful post ~ Thank you for sharing this on the Art of Home-Making Mondays! πŸ™‚

  12. So good Sarah! My husband isn't ocd either and gives me such grace when the house is a mess but he always thanks me for doing the best I can to stay on top of keeping the house clean, organized and even decorated. He might not notice the new picture or that I mopped the floor or dusted but when he comes home he senses it all and appreciates the refuge from the storm of life and work outside our home. What a great gift to our husbands and the Lord to care for the place he has given us to do life. I also have come a long way from my (lazy) days but still have a lot to work on;) Thanks as always for your heartfelt truth filled posts! Always excited to see when we are featured together:) (on grammie time)

  13. Hi, Sarah! Yes, I get this because I'm not the natural homemaker type, either. And it's interesting that the more I grown in Christ, the more I realize that my role in the home is important this way. It's extra challenging for me because my husband is more laid back than I am and doesn't really mind a little mess. πŸ™‚ But I want to train my children well, and I want to create an atmosphere of peace in our home, too. Above all, I want to serve the Lord in all that I do. Thanks for sharing this needed reminder over at Grace and Truth last week!
    Jen @ Being Confident of This

  14. It sounds like our husbands are similar in their desire for an orderly home. I've been a homemaker for almost 24 years with only a short stint of working outside the home in the early years. It has been a roller-coaster (especially once I started collecting kiddos) and even still, I need reminders like what you posted in this article. Thank you. I will be sharing this article with others and might I encourage you to print it off, put it in your planner or journal to remind yourself on those tough days. It is so easy at times to forget the wonderful things God has shown us about the plans and rive he has for us as Domestic Engineers!

  15. Thank you for sharing this! I'm not married or in a relationship yet, but I do have a father who was in the army, is v-e-r-y neat and organized, and loves a clean, well kept house. Now I know that God is using him to help me prepare for the time when I have to run my own house. I'm often a very rushed person, so I definitely need to work on this!
    Blessings! Abigail.

  16. Abi, you're so welcome! It sounds like you're learning great habits and disciplines for your life ahead. Having an army father with army habits would be a great, but hard, challenge!

  17. This is a great way to look at it! Thanks for the encouragement! I plan to work on this more! I've been married almost 7 years, and homemaking is a work in progress.

    -Hannah

  18. YES! I couldn't agree more! πŸ™‚ Beautifully said! I love that my husband provides for us and in turn, I care for him, the children and our home. πŸ™‚ I feel it is important for me to maintain a tidy and well-ordered home for my husband as well as to the glory of God! πŸ™‚

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