I read an article a while ago called ‘I do not help my wife’. I harmonized with this article which essentially described marriage equality and I recently had a similar experience with some friends of ours.
So these friends of ours came over for breakfast a few weeks ago. I took the lead and started cooking in our kitchen, a variety of cooked breakfast items.
John (not his real name), the husband, came to me while cooking and asked why I was doing all the work?
I identify he is so-called ‘traditional’ in a lot of his values. He sternly stated I should go and sit with him and the girls should finish up—after all I had been working all week.
I thought about this for a moment.
Now I do not mind cooking, in fact I do quite a lot of cooking in our home. I took the lead at the time for the simple fact I was available to do it and had the energy to do so.
What he did not know was my wife was up most of the night with our youngest and as such, she was quite tired and needed to rest. Although he could not see the big picture, I knew I was fairly sharing the general household load.
I also consider running three kids around to school, appointments and playgroups (not to mention all the satellite tasks surrounding these), to have a similar work load to many full time jobs anyhow.
After quickly thinking, I just smiled and replied, 'It’s ok, I am just sharing the load.'
To which he looked confused, almost insulted, and walked away.
Sharing the load
My wife and I do not 'help' each other in the day to day running of the house. We both live here, we both share the same children, washing, and responsibilities.
It would not be fair for my wife to take on the entire load and for me to simply do as I pleased and 'help' when her workload was overloaded—and then expect thanks everytime I unloaded the washing machine!
I will be honest here, I have overheard many baby group discussions between new mums over the years—surprisingly many husbands still do so.
It takes a conscious and selfless effort.
Leading is serving
I have heard time and time again that men should be the leader in their homes, and before I was married, I pondered the question regularly—how should a leader lead?
Many leaders in various roles I have met over the years have varied in their styles to delegating tasks in a controlling and selfish manner, to being completely involved and in-distinguishable from those they serve.
I feel the principle of serving is as such when two people serve each other in a fair and giving manner. It creates the perfect environment of balance—no one is missing out and both persons give out of selflessness, yet still have their needs met.
Many times I notice people seem to forget the part about being a leader is the requirement to serve.
And serving requires you to do exactly that—and it requires effort.
As God ordained men to be leaders of our families, (Ephesians chapter 5 verse 23,) we serve our families by taking part in the day to day running of the household—giving in sacrifice of our own needs and desires and not by the propagating of the selfish desires of our fallen nature
So I do not help my wife. We are part of a team with an equal responsibility.
Michael Dahlenburg is an electronics engineer currently working in the ATM industry. He is non-denominational and has previously been involved in church plants and assisting those in ministry. His interests include; enjoying family, home DIY, gardening, most things tech-related and driving his wife crazy with a constant stream of inventions! You can view his blog site here: www.mickdahl.weebly.com
He lives with his wife Michelle and three children in God’s own land of Southern Adelaide, Australia.
Michael Dahlenburg’s previous articles may be viewed at