Keeping the Home-fires Burning
The home should be a place of harmony and organization. Keeping the home fires burning will also keep your love burning!
Since Adam and Eve were cursed in the garden, it has fallen man’s lot to toil all the days of his life despite thorns and thistles, by the sweat of his face (Genesis 3:18-19). While women have not always stayed at home, they are the ones who give birth to the babies and are largely tasked with seeing to the baby’s needs, especially when the baby is little. Men almost always work outside the home. That forces the management of the home onto the shoulders of the wife. If the wife works too, then the management of the home must be more evenly distributed.
If you read the description of the “virtuous wife” in Proverbs 31, you see that the woman whose children and husband praise her (vs. 28) is someone who manages well the household. She sees to the children’s needs as well as her husband’s needs. She also has a unique ability, due to her nature, to oversee the household itself: cooking, cleaning, organizing, etc. Speaking in general, men love to have wives who can manage their households well.
In Titus 2:3-5, Paul told Titus that older women should teach younger women to “love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed” (see also 1 Timothy 5:14). The word “homemaker” is a compound word that means “home-worker.” The word in 1 Timothy 5:14 is different but also a compound word that means “home-master.” She works in the home and she manages the home.
Among the needs that men, in general, have is for the home to be run and overseen as efficiently and economically as possible. Men enjoy coming home to peace and quiet and not having to worry about conflict at home. Certainly, if the wife works outside the home, she too wants to come home to a house that is peaceful and quiet and void of conflict!
If you are a stay at home mom, keep in mind how important this is for your husband. Disorganization and clutter are signs of chaos and are too similar to what he sees and experiences at work. To meet this important need of your husband, do your best to keep the house at the level of organization and efficiency that meets his expectations. If his expectations are unreachable, then you must communicate! If you are not a stay at home mom, or if you work part-time outside the home, then the two of you have to communicate even more.
Either way, you need to identify those responsibilities around the house that have to be met. How frequently does it need to be done? How important is it that it be done? Here, it might be beneficial to have a scale (0-5) so that you can ask your husband, “How important is it that the kitchen be clean when you come home from work?” He might give you a “1” or he might give you a “5.” That gives you an idea of how important that job is to him.
Take oversight of some of those tasks. Assign some age-appropriate tasks to your children. Husbands also might need to assume the completion of some jobs. If you need help in a task, feel free to ask for it. If you enjoy his company/help while washing dishes, let him know. Showing and expressing appreciation go a long way in strengthening the relationship.
Keeping the home fires burning will also keep your love burning bright!