"Big Four" Highlights


 

For More than Mother’s Day

Husbands, love your wives

By Philip Kosloski

May is the month of Mary and, appropriately, the time of Mother’s Day as well. Yes, it comes this Sunday, May 8. It is a great time to honor the moms in our lives by doing something special for them.

Often when a husband seeks to honor his wife on Mother’s Day, he tries to plan some sort of “mom’s day off,” and joins forces with the children to let mom rest while they do the chores.

This certainly is a great tradition that shows the love a husband has for his wife, but this type of treatment should occur not only on Mother’s Day. It should be a natural part of family life, when mom is the recipient of regular “nights out” and dad takes care of the home. Sure, we probably won’t do the same great job she does, but in this case it is the effort, and the love, that count.

Traditionally, men are seen as the “breadwinner” and women often choose to be the “homemaker.” This type of situation gives men many pursuits outside the home, while women focus on raising children and tending to the needs of the family.

While not necessarily a bad arrangement, there is a temptation for the husband to take for granted what his wife does all day and to forget her needs. A man may come home after a long day of work and either “clock out” or quickly turn around and go out the door to hang out with friends.

What husbands and fathers must not forget is that marriage and parenthood is a two-way street. More than a 50-50 percent bargain, it is a 100 percent covenant, with each giving his or her best. Women are not meant to be the only ones who raise the children or clean the house. A man’s sacrifice can never only be going to work every day. While that is certainly needed to provide for the family, sacrifice must continue when the husband walks through the front door.

For example, a mother who stays at home with the children typically has very few adult conversations. Sure, she talks to her 9-month-old daughter, but the conversation is one-sided and only revolves around food and diapers. Mothers in such a situation need to get out on a regular basis and have fruitful conversation with friends or have other social pursuits outside the home that don’t involve children. This means that husbands need to take responsibility of the home while she is away and change diapers or put children to bed.

A father taking care of his children should never think that he is “baby sitting.” Such a mindset does not imitate the sacrifice and love of our heavenly Father, who became involved in the lives of his children by sending Jesus, his Son, to become one with us.

I try my best to be as active as I can with our children and have changed my share of diapers. It does not mean that I am switching roles with my wife. Whenever I watch the kids or clean up a mess in the kitchen, I am simply fulfilling my marriage vows and trying to imitate Jesus Christ.

St. Paul’s famous words to the Ephesians have a strong message for husbands on marital sacrifice. He says, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25). That is the true example that all men are to imitate. It does not involve a one-sided “submission” of a wife to the husband’s every whim. Sacrifice should never be lopsided and a mother deserves a break more than once a year.

This principle applies to any family situation, regardless of who works and who stays home. No one should ever be a doormat for someone else. Let us look to Jesus and our heavenly Father for examples of authentic love that honor the other person through self-giving sacrifice.

Philip Kosloski is a writer, blogger and author. He lives in Wisconsin with his wife, Maggie, and their four children.