Friday, March 7, 2008

Another Good Argument for Mutual Submission in Marriage

My father was apparently one sexy fellow.

OK, I have never written a sentence that made me feel weirder than that one.

Thankfully, I cannot testify to the romantic habits of my parents. Given that they left this lovely orb thirty years ago, I can’t question them about such things, either. I wouldn’t if I could, of course. I reckon my existence is evidence of something, isn’t it?

So, why do I choke back my embarrassment and say that my dad was one sexy dude?

I do so because of all the times that I saw him standing, apron tied around his waist, in front of the stove cooking supper or in front of the sink washing dishes. It’s one of the vivid images from my childhood: my parents sharing the burden around the house.

I never heard them quote it, but I think that they understood Paul’s admonition that we should, in our marriage relationships and in all of our Christian relationships, “submit ourselves to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Such mutual submission in Christ is the right thing to do because it’s the loving, caring, and grace-filled thing to do.

We men should need no other reason.

But now we learn that there is another, very good reason. It seems, as a recent Associated Press headline rather indelicately put it, that “Men who do housework may get more sex.”

According to a report issued by the Council on Contemporary Families, the contribution of men to the doing of housework has doubled or tripled, depending on which study you go by, over the past 40 years.

Joshua Coleman, a psychologist and author of The Lazy Husband: How to Get Men to Do More Parenting and Housework (now if that’s not a bestseller it ought to be!) is quoted in the AP article saying, “"If a guy does housework, it looks to the woman like he really cares about her — he's not treating her like a servant. And if a woman feels stressed out because the house is a mess and the guy's sitting on the couch while she's vacuuming, that's not going to put her in the mood."

When I talk with couples who are preparing to get married, I always tell them that each one of them ought to be more concerned with meeting the needs of the other than with having their own needs met. I furthermore tell them that if both of them will live that way each of them will have the joy of making the other happy. A natural benefit of that is that everybody will be having their needs met and so everyone will be happy!

It’s a great system. That Bible really knows what it’s talking about!

So, guys, my advice to you is to do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do. Put your wife’s needs ahead of your own. Love your bride with the love of Christ. Give yourself up for her in every way that you can.

And be romantic. Give her flowers, take her to a nice dinner, and go on long walks with her. And by all means, put on that apron and wash those dishes!

Do if for her.

Apparently it will work out ok for you, too.

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