This Dead Horse Needs a Beating


Trying to compare your contributions to your husband's will only lead to conflict.

I hate it when I’m right. Oh, who am I kidding? Usually I love it when I am right, but in this case, I kind of hate it.

You see, as a writer it’s my job to sound smart, wise, funny, and with it. So…sometimes I write stuff in an effort to impress you that I’m not fully living out myself. It’s not that I’m a fraud exactly, but sometimes I write words that my heart has to catch up with.

That’s what just happened. I wrote a post about acknowledging all that our men do. The essence was that even when our husbands don’t do everything we like them to do, or do things our way; they are still a valuable asset to our homes and our children. Our best response is gratitude instead of bitterness, resentment, or keeping score.

That all sounded so Hallmark-like until I found myself surrounded by laundry (again), dishes (again), and meals to cook (again times three). I started to do my little internal measuring act where I put all of the stuff I do on one side of the scale and all the stuff my hubby does on the other and see who’s contributing more (hint: me!).

But then I had this crazy thought. What if the things my husband contributes to our home, to our marriage, and to our children won’t even fit on my scale?!

How do you measure stability, safety, provision, steadfastness, patience, strength? How do you measure optimism? How do you measure what our husbands accomplish in prayer? How do you measure hard work?

You don’t.

Certainly not in the same way you can measure dishes, laundry, and clean floors. You can count stacks of laundry. You can count dirty dishes (and clean ones, too). You can count how many times you sent your toddler to time out. But not everything our husbands offer can be counted. That doesn’t mean they aren’t contributing. Maybe the things that they are doing are just too big to fit on the scale.

So, I know that you know that you should prioritize your marriage. I also know that is tough. I’m not trying to heap on guilt by beating a dead horse. But allow this pot to call out your black kettle and encourage you to love your man well, even while you mother.

Maybe date nights and romantic vacations aren’t possible for you in these years, but choosing to acknowledge what your husband does always is, regardless of schedules, finances, or interruptions.

There is no scale that could ever perfectly balance the contributions that wives and husbands make. With that in mind, there is only one good solution. Let’s ditch the scale altogether. Let’s stop trying to get our husbands to pass an invisible checklist and stop treating our marriages like a relay race to see who can do the most for the family by the end of the day.  

Choose instead to see the things your husbands (and kids) do that could never be measured and simply thank them for it.

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