I have to tell you, one of my pet peeves in the world is “Godly wife” marriage bloggers, red pill gals, and Proverbs 31 wives. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m quite fond of Christian women in general, most of them anyway. What I’m not so fond of is the judgemental lady marriage bloggers who just have a special way of hissing and spitting their virtue all over you and getting it all wrong in the process. Religiosity, I don’t care for it much.
So, Lori Alexander at “Always Learning” has put a bee in my bonnet in a post called, “Should Women with No Children Be Keepers at Home?”
A woman without kids writes to her wanting to quit her job and stay home, but hubby is not in agreement. In the course of the letter the lady also reveals, “My husband does almost ALL of the cooking, dishes, grocery shopping, and his own laundry. … He views it as helping me out and doesn’t understand my resentment and discontent. But I view it as he is taking over my job as the housewife (and neglecting his job of being provider)…. I can see so many ways he is not doing things (housework) efficiently. He wastes things; he doesn’t get them clean enough, he doesn’t organize things well…”
Okay, right off the bat I can recognize several issues, because I have them within me too! First off hubby doesn’t agree with you about quitting your job, so let’s consult an expert blogger who knows better and will set him straight? That’s kind of funny, but it is not quite submission, or healthy communication, for that matter. Not really biblical either.
So why is submission so valuable, so helpful for wives? Because it provides us with focus. Freedom, not oppression. We submit to husbands, not to Lori Alexander, not to a Betty Crocker commercial, not to the opinions of our friends, not to other wives, not to a myriad of unrealistic expectations placed on women…..often by other women, or even by ourselves. Nobody’s expectations, opinions matter here, except your husband’s and your own. He’s the one you have to talk to.
So we have a hubby who is cooking, cleaning, doing laundry…and creating resentment and discontent. The existence of resentment and discontent speaks to the wife’s need for control, territorial issues, and competitiveness. Hubby is usurping her perceived authority. She then proceeds to run hubby down, he’s doing it all wrong. I could do it so much better. I so empathize there, “he’s doing it all wrong” is my line, but I always bite it back. That is all about me and my need for control. Anytime a husband is pitching in and you are feeling resentful, encroached upon, you are wrestling with control issues, self, ego. Rather than gratitude, appreciation, you’re mad. That’s pride.
Lori says none of these things. She says, “I encourage you to memorize 1 Peter 3:1-6. This is God’s prescription for women with disobedient husbands.”
Woah, hold up here! Disobedient husbands? Disobedient to whom? You can’t pig pile on a man you don’t even know, a man who is guilty of …doing the laundry! What the heck? In fact, you shouldn’t even be calling him disobedient, that’s not even your place. To make matters worse she says, “I believe all women should be keepers at home since there aren’t any career women in the Bible who left their homes all day long and God never commands women to be the providers.”
Lori, you seem to have forgotten about our Proverbs 31 wife or Lydia with the purple cloth. There are a myriad of women in the bible engaging in commerce. Paul, while building the early church is often meeting in women’s homes, women he met in the market place because they were merchants. The 1950’s western stereotype of the idle housewife is not representative of biblical times. Regardless, what YOU believe is completely irrelevant. What scripture says matters, what God says matters, and what that woman’s husband believes matters.
You simply cannot lecture women about submission, fail to address the wife’s own pride issues that are causing her distress, while labeling her husband disobedient and than proceeding to insist you know better. Just no.
Here’s the key to one problem, “Plus with him waiting on me hand and foot, it makes me view him as less of a man.” All hubby is really guilty of in this case is helping to kill attraction, attraction built on a narrative that wives actually write ourselves. You view him as less of a man…..because you are viewing him as less of a man.