I’m going to start with something somewhat controversial. First, I’m not a feminist, nor am I anti-feminist. However, I think that changes in society and the way we view men and women have affected men, their ability in school, work, and finding purpose. The scope of that idea is too broad for a blog post, and I am honestly still processing the information. However, I think the role of women in supporting men in recognizing their purpose, which includes their work, while always important, is now, more than ever, an imperative.
A husband’s role in marriage is to love his wife and family (Ephesian 5:29, 33), provide for his wife and family (1 Timothy 5:8), lead his wife and family spiritually (1 Corinthians 11:3), raise Godly children (Ephesians 6:4), and to give pleasure to his wife (1 Corinthians 7:1-5). While all these are important, work dominates most of our spouse’s days. Given the tenor of current society and the fact that many of us are also working to provide income for the household, honoring our husbands in their work may often be put to the side or even ridiculed by those outside the Christian faith. After all, you work just as hard as they do, right. However, through their work, the Bible calls men to provide for and sustain their spouse and family. Neglecting to honor our husband’s call to provide through his work not only dishonors him but God as well.
How are we to honor our husbands in his work? Here are just a few simple ways to respect and honor the way he loves and supports you and your family in his work.
Praise Him. Yes, he is an adult. Yes, he probably knows that he is good at his job. Praising him isn’t about stroking his ego. Praising him is really about honoring the good work that God has called him to do and his faithful service in fulfilling that call. In praising our spouse, we praise God’s work in him.
Thank Him for Providing. Too often, life gets busy, and we forget to verbalize our thanks. Yes, our spouse probably knows that we are thankful. However, taking the time to bring that to the conversation intentionally goes a long way in sustaining him during stress or overwork. Gratitude provides another way to express our love for each other.
Lighten His Load. Husbands and wives each have their roles within marriage. These roles may change, ebb, and flow as life creates different circumstances and hurdles, but one of the foundational roles of women is to be a helpmate. Being a helpmate does not mean that wives are chattel or slaves; that is a complete misreading of the biblical intent, as God values men and women equally (Galatians 3:28). However, together, as one flesh, men and women should help each other lessen the burden of life in the fallen world. As I have mentioned before, my husband operates a concrete business. To lighten his load, I often run errands, I complete research online for a variety of things, I make phone calls, and I make sure that our home runs as smoothly as it can.
Ask Him How You Can Pray for His Work. I cannot nor should I do my husband’s work for him, but I can pray for his work. I daily pray for his safety and his crew’s safety, abundance and fruitfulness in his work, and discernment and guidance from the Lord in the work he completes. However, sometimes there may be something specific for which he needs me to pray. I’ll be honest that I often forget this one, but I am trying to make an intentional effort to ask him weekly.
Provide Rest and Comfort. I’ll be honest in saying that I have to pray before I read Proverbs 31. I get about three verses in and feel complete and utter inadequacy. Ask my husband, I have never once risen in the night and started cooking! Despite my lack of nocturnal ambition, I still desire to provide a home in which my husband can rest and find comfort. My adult children often tell me that our house is very peaceful. I’m sure I could not receive a better compliment as peacefulness means rest and comfort can be found!
In this series, we have reviewed ways to honor your husband spiritually, in your relationships, and in his work. Your husband reciprocally expresses many of these ideas and practical ways to honor as he loves you as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25). However, first and foremost, we need to remember to honor God and make Christ the center of your marriage. The rest will follow.
Contributed by Liz Hunt
Sources currently influencing ideas about role of men and boys:
Farrell, W., & Gray, J. (2018). The boy crisis: Why our boys are struggling and what we can do about it. BenBella Books.
Sommers, C. H. (2001). The war against boys: How misguided feminism is harming our young men. Simon and Schuster.