Monday, May 19, 2014

How to BE a Stay-at-home-Wife

I've talked about what I love and what I dislike about being a stay home wife. Today I'm going to talk about how to be one!

  • Humble Yourself.
When I married, my priorities changed. Instead of an individual, I was now a member of a partnership. I have another person who is joined to me in spiritual, emotional and even physical ways. I am responsible, in part, for my spouse, and he is responsible for me. Before I was only responsible for myself, but in marriage I have assumed a sort of shared responsibility--a mutual "togetherness" now exists between me and my husband. It is a difficult thing to explain.

I realized quickly that I needed to live my life in a different manner. My roles as a single individual are very different then my roles as a married individual. I realized that my God-given role as a married women in a non-abusive relationship is to honor and protect and nurture my husband and to come along side him and support him in any way he needs supporting. I believe this is the role of every woman in every Christian marriage.

Therefore instead of thinking:
  • What do I want to do with my life?
  • What can I do to further my own hopes and dreams?
  • How can I take care of my own needs?

I started thinking:
  • How can I support my husband in following his dreams?
  • How can I glorify God in my marriage, instead of trying to just glorify myself?
  • How can I make my husband's life easier? 
  • What does my husband need?

These questions are met thousands of different ways in thousands of different relationships. In mine, I quickly realized that what my husband needed was for someone to stay at home and figure out all the cooking and cleaning. This is not because my husband is a chauvinistic pig and cooking is beneath him because it's women's work. This is because my husband works 10 hours a day and many weekends and has no time to cook because he is mentally and physically exhausted by the time he gets home.

By applying these questions to my individual relationship, I best meet my husband's needs by serving him where he is lacking. This not only honors my husband, but honors God as well.

Before you get your feminist panties in a wad, let me tell you that my husband also meets my needs as I meet his. This is why a marriage is a mutual partnership. My husband answers questions like:

  • How can I support my wife in following her dreams?
  • How can I make my wife's life easier?
  • What does my wife need?

In this manner he serves me. Brian and I are extremely lucky that both of our wants, needs, and desires meet up pretty much perfectly. He works so much (and enjoys his work as well) and he needs someone to manage his diet, clean his clothes, and help him relax on the weekends. In return for that, Brain provides the finances to support our lifestyle as well as fund my creative endeavors and allows me to pursue my dreams of one day owning my own business. He supports me in my dreams while I support him. And I've never been happier or more content.

In order to find this place of mutual coexistence we both had to humble ourselves and stop putting what we want first. Before I quit my job I was trying to fund my creative endeavors with my part time job while being married and while trying to take care of my husband. I was unhappy and overworked and my husband was grumpy and largely left to fend for himself. We both had to stop thinking of what we individually wanted and start to think of each other.

  • Be okay with less
Both Brian and I had to be okay with living with less money. While he does make enough for us to live off of easily, we would definitely make a lot more if I was working. For this aspect I would say: make a budget. Stick to this budget. It's hard when I want something (total impulse buyer here) but I'm learning it is better to help others anyway then satisfy my own selfish need for more things. I really have enough things. Money isn't everything.

On another note, my husband is amazing at helping me see and manage my flaws. When I want something, he really helps me figure out if I love this item and could use it, or if I just am interested because it's shiny or a neat color. He does this in an way that is not condescending or judgmental as well. I also help my husband eat healthy, an area he needs to work on.

These are two key things I realized my husband and I talked though and struggled with on our journey towards me quitting my job. And it's wonderful we've found such a mutual balance! I hope you can find such a balance in your marriage.


Rachel G said...

I think a big part of marriage involves figuring out ways to help the other person in their not-so-strong spots, and using complementary skills and abilities. Angel is WAY better at making a living than I am--I'm better at actually managing a budget. And sure, we'd have more money if I worked, but since we can live within his income, we really appreciate the freedom of one work schedule!

Angela said...

Pure awesome post - just what I needed this morning! Thanks soooo much for sharing a piece of your heart with us, means a lot! Especially a struggling woman with how to make this change ... Why is it so scary? Blah! It's making me feel like I'm lacking in faith. This is about to turn into a novel! Enjoy your Tuesday!