About fifteen years ago, Daniel had bronchitis, so I got out and cut the grass. We had been leading worship at youth camps all summer, and the grass had gotten pretty high. As I (Bonnie) was picking up the last bag of clippings, two of our neighbors ran over to help me finish before it started raining. Daniel came out just in time for one of the guys to say, “Making your wife do yard work! That’s like wife abuse!” He was teasing Daniel, who was obviously sick. But, much to my chagrin, that put an end to my yard working days indefinitely.
You see, I LOVE yard work. Call me crazy, but there’s just something that feels so good about getting outside, working hard, and seeing something from start to finish. There’s nothing like that shower to wash all the dirt off and the satisfaction of sitting back and seeing a finished project afterward. After being cooped up for months during quarantine, I begged Daniel to swallow his man-pride and lift the yard work ban. After a pretty in-depth conversation, he reluctantly relented. I’m remembering just how much cutting the grass clears my head, and I’m loving it!
There’s no right or wrong way for a couple to handle household chores and responsibilities. Some couples may agree that it’s best to hire a lawn or cleaning service. If that fits into their budget, we are ALL for it! Some families work best when they follow the traditional model they watched growing up. The wife takes care of inside chores, and the husband handles the yard. Some may take an equalitarian approach, dividing both inside and outside tasks equally. Others may find that one spouse works full time, and the other has more time to take care of the majority of the chores. The right way to handle this is the way you decide you are both happy with.
How you divide work around the house isn’t really the issue. Galatians 5:13 provides sound instruction for marriages in this area. “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” In other words, there are no rules for who does what. You are free to do what you want. Just don’t use your freedom to take advantage of and overload your spouse. Instead, serve each other because you love each other. A clean house and perfectly manicured lawn are far less important than loving and serving your spouse well.
Maybe you agreed long ago who would do what in your home and it’s working well for both of you. That’s great! Carry on. But, if you haven’t talked about it in a while and you’re feeling a bit overloaded or would like to try some different tasks, carve out some time for a heart to heart. Seasons of life, interests, available time, and resources change. Just don’t ignore a conversation that could prevent resentment in your marriage. Who knows? Your spouse may be dying to get out and do pressure washing!
Enjoying the Adventure,
Daniel & Bonnie