I found another awesome post by Lindsay.
The post starts explaining how a woman supports a man in his role as spiritual leader of the home. I always talk about the responsibilities of a husband/father in the home being protecting, providing and leading on moral and spiritual issues. Most young, unmarried women I know are thoroughly indocrinated in radical feminism, and reject these roles.
Lindsay is fine with men leading in all 3 of those roles, but this is the part of her post that I really liked:
Once children arrive, it becomes pretty much impossible for her to work outside the home and still fulfill her duties at home. The funny thing about children is that they need constant care. One cannot care for children and work outside the home too. The choice once children come along is whether to outsource the care of the children to someone else or to do it yourself. I firmly believe that God entrusts children to a husband and wife because he wants them to be the primary influences in their children’s lives. That doesn’t happen if the children spend a majority of their waking hours in the care of someone else.
Children don’t just need food and shelter provided to them, they need love, teaching, discipline, a sense of security, and examples of how they are to live. All of those things are best done when the child spends time primarily with his or her parents. Daycare workers, school teachers, and even grandparents simply cannot provide them in the same way parents can. No one loves a child like his own parents do. No one has such a vested interest in ensuring that he grows up with the proper spiritual and moral training. Even if others care about the child, the responsibility for the training of a child belongs to his parents. Daycare workers and teachers and grandparents won’t answer to God for the soul of that child. His parents will.
So, given the needs of children, I am convinced that women are called to be with their children, training and caring for them as their primary caregiver. Does that mean a mother can’t have any job outside the home? In theory, no. In practice, yes. A woman’s priority must be her own family. If she can have her children with her or leave them for only a short time each day, she may still be able to provide the necessary training and care they need from their mother and earn some income. But in doing that, she needs to be sure she is not neglecting her husband’s needs either. Theoretically, a woman can have it all – keeping a job and caring for her family too. The problem is that it is a very rare woman who has the energy to keep up with the constant needs of her children for care, training, discipline, and love and those of her husband for companionship, sex, and a partner in life as well as the logistics of running a household and still have something left for even a part-time job.
What usually happens when a woman has an outside job is that her family simply suffers the lack. Either her children spend a lot of time with other caregivers or teachers or her husband does without the companionship and marital intimacy he needs or some of the household chores descend on the husband, taking away some of his time and energy to train his children spiritually and impact the world for Christ. Often it’s a combination of these. A woman simply cannot meet all the needs of her family when she is spread that thin and, as a result, something important gets left undone.
I wish I could find women who had definite ideas about what they wanted to do with their children, but thinking back over previous relationships, what I usually hear is that they want to go on mission trips, do pro-life protests, have careers, etc. No one looks at these little kids with any sort of plan to grow them into anything. I just think it’s depressing that kids are not part of most women’s plans. If there is any plan at all it’s that there should be no plan, and the kids can just do anything they want.
How depressing for the man to think about when he has to pay all the bills to raise kids who are aiming at nothing, and will surely hit it. What kind of man is excited about having children when his wife is not on board with making them into anything special? The worst of all is when the women who are thoroughly indoctrinated in radical feminism actually reject men who are good at the three roles, and make excuses for more “fun” men who are lousy at all three roles! The world is going backwards.
One thought on “Do husbands and wives have specific responsibilities in a marriage?”
I’m looking to the old ways, as outlined in Proverbs 31, ancient Chinese recommendations and even medieval house-running guides, all combined with modern understandings about infant health and parent psychology, to build an idea on how to balance production and family in a natural way:
1: Have children young. Before 35 a woman’s body is flexible enough to “bounce back” from pregnancy, perhaps not spectacularly, but to at least be attractive and healthy a year after birth. Under 35 she also has more energy and a greater capacity to pull all-nighters, spend periods of time without exercising, survive on naps and handle dietary choices that are not ideal for her. This is exemplified by both young mothers and the club generation.
2: Study. When you are tired, running after two toddlers and a child, working properly can be hard. But there will still be brief periods of repose between childcare, housework and the husband getting home. Studying a subject you love that has future applications is much easier than doing unpleasant or stressful work, does not have deadlines or restrictions, and adds to your future. Plus, kids may be soothed by reading or able to learn from simpler topics. I find myself reading German, teaching work and psychology out loud to soothe the baby inside me right now, and s/he calms down as I read.
3: Have three under seven, then more. Studies and my own observations have found that, without additional carers, a woman can comfortably handle three children under seven 24/7. The fourth is the point where the house gets messy, the husband is neglected and the other kids become unruly. There will be exceptions, but this rule is a strong trend. However, once the eldest is seven and can help with housework, the pressures are lesser and more children are possible.
4: Work from home. As has been observed since the beginning of recorded history, a woman with a baby is a single item, not two people, but a unit. Wherever she goes, the baby must go for both to be happy and healthy. Thus, all work for young women through history has involved close contact with her children. Working from home, whether it’s at saving money, growing produce or earning a paycheck, is encouraged by most societies so she can produce whilst watching and nurturing her babies.
5: Work at something your children can be present in and learn from. Tied into the last one, most women’s work in most societies is tied to the lessons the children need to learn anyway. Women in hunter-gatherer and farming communities expose their children to labour, handling animals, weather changes and identifying food. Women in early societies cared for the elderly and the orphans and worked in education of young children. If your work can transfer virtues, skills and values onto your children, then it has added benefits beyond the money.
6: Schedule work around family. Family comes first always. In every society, the family of a woman is her primary duty. If her husband is out working 8-6, her children can be with her and it takes three hours to put the house straight, then she has seven hours a day in which she can schedule some work. This means freelance or set-your-own-hours work from home, which may pay a little less daily, but it’s something and if it benefits her children to be present and learn from it, then it’s definitely worthwhile.
7: Consider a career only once the youngest is 8-10. Starting a high-stress, high-pressure career in your 20s when you have all that energy may seem sensible. But in reality, it is after 50 when a woman’s career potential shines. Her children are either all grown, or the youngest is old enough that they can survive on their own as she works. If anything, now she has too much time and may be feeling bored and restless. She may be looking for something to make her life more active and interesting again, so she can keep up conversation with her husband and not feel like a recluse alone at home most of the day. She is losing her fertility and with the loss of those fluctuations comes a mental focus that can be harnessed into stressful work similarly to a man’s. She has decades of education behind her. She has an expected thirty years of further life, during which she will be healthier, mentally and physically, than most of her male peers. This is the best time for a woman to start a business or look at building a career in one of the many fields she could have educated herself in during these past thirty years.
Anyway, those are the viable methods of managing family and work that I have found based on old advice, modern psychology and personal observation. If determined to, a woman can do everything and historically it was even the norm to “have it all”, but definitely not all at once and definitely not in the way most women are advised to pursue it.