Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Old Fashioned Roles.

The title makes me think of those big, yummy yeast rolls we used to eat in school back in the day. But alas... I'm talking about roles. Not rolls.

I'm pretty old-fashioned. Now, don't get me wrong. There are some new school things that I wouldn't want to live without... Like air conditioning, my iPhone, memory foam, humongous earrings and rings, conditioner, and mini-vans. My life is quite full of technology and comforts, so before you think I live in a Laura Ingalls cabin with lanterns and that I harvest my own crops, know that I frequent Publix, and I live in a house with three bathrooms in it.

But really, at the heart of my family, there are old fashioned ways of doing things. Some of them I adopted from my own upbringing. Some from the fact that it just makes sense. And some from, *gasp*, the BIBLE.

Uh oh. I said the B word. The Bible. The long lost book of parenting. That few of us look to anymore for guidance. That's been around for thousands of years and has a 100% accuracy record.

Moving right along.

Anyway, recently, Abi was famished at dinner time. She was scooting her stool up to the counter to start fixing her plate. Now, this just happened to be on a day when I was home with her and Rod had been working all day and had just gotten home- keep that in mind. So, as she is getting ready to scoop her piece of chicken up, I said, "Abi, let's let Daddy go first." Abi said, "Why? I'm STARVING!" I said, "When you love someone, like your daddy or your husband, it's a show of love and respect to let him eat first. It's like you're thanking him for being such a good man." She moved her stool and waited until Rod was done.

Then, I noticed something special happening. She brought Rod a napkin. She went and got the hot sauce for him. She brought him water.

In essence, she got it.

Last night, we were sitting down to eat, and Rod was last to come to the table. I had Abi wait until he was seated before she started to eat. Why? Because he is her daddy and my husband, and the man we love most. It's a show of respect for him.

When Rod and I got married, I made a commitment to him of three things.

1. His house would always be clean and comfortable to come home to.
2. He would always have a nice meal at the end of a work day.
3. If I was at home and he was working, I would be working in our home.

Now, did he ask this of me? Absolutely not. But to me, it was the LEAST I could do for all of the work he did so I could stay home with our baby as much as I did. How deflating must it feel to work all day and come home to a wife who has sat on her rear end all day and watched TV?

Oh, but ladies, before you get all riled up on me, believe me... Rod has his role, too.

I will not do yard work. Not now or fifteen years from now. Period. I have never, ever seen my mom on a lawn mower.
I do not repair things. In any shape, form, or fashion.
I do not touch things that are greasy, covered in cobwebs, or in attics.
I do not take the car to get the oil changed, do not kill large insects, and do not shop at Home Depot for anything other than decor items.

Have I ever demanded these things of Rod? Absolutely not.

Bottom line: we defined our roles early on, and we stuck to them.

All you women's libbers, settle down. I'm not saying that women can't repair things. I'm raising a little girl to believe she can do anything, for crying outloud. What I am saying is that as with any successful team, families need clearly defined roles. Plain and simple.

Rod and I are equal partners. He is the head of our household, but like the old saying goes, I am the neck that turns the head. See, old fashioned roles go back to the Bible. In Ephesians, Paul tells us that the husband is to be the head of the wife. He continues by telling the husband to go all out in his love for his wife, and to protect her and cherish her... not bulldozer over her. He is to treat his wife as if she were the weaker vessel.

For a single man, Paul was pretty stinkin' smart.

See, if a woman feels protected, valued, and cherished, she will have no problem letting her man be THE man. I'm a pretty head-strong woman. I know there's plenty of men who look at my tempermant, shake their heads, and say, "I could NEVER be married to that woman." (Don't worry, men. I say the same thing about some of you.)But let me tell you this. I married a man who values my work, values my parenting, values my heart... and as a result, I have absolutely NO problem submitting to his leadership and trusting him with my whole being. Take away my safety and value, and... well, let's just say it wouldn't be a pretty picture. At all.

On a regular basis, I pray for Abi's husband. He's somewhere on this planet right now. He'll have to be a manly man, that's for sure. She can't step on a bug to save her life. She has little to no technical abilities. Logic is not her strong suit. But let me tell you... the girl will romance him for the rest of his life. She will praise him, value him, and believe in him to the exclusion of everything else. (which, incidentally are a man's primary needs... to be respected and affirmed.) I pray for that young man, that his parents will begin grooming him, like we are grooming his wife, so that when the time is right, they will establish their roles and fit together like the puzzle pieces that they are.

In the meantime, am I a trophy wife who does it all right, 100% of the time? Nope. But I am looking for every chance I can get to wife well in front of Abi. I'm her number one role model right now. I'm setting the tempo for her marriage in the little things I do, everyday.

That's heavy. I need a cup of coffee.


  1. That is wonderful Jill. Thanks for the post. This is what best sellers are made of.

  2. When is your book coming out???