The Husband as King of His Castle

Recently, Debbie and I have been arguing over who should do the grocery shopping, laundry, dishes, and other routine stuff.

The Husband As King of His Castle
“So what”, you may be thinking.  “Lot’s of couples argue over shared responsibilities.”  You’re right…they do.  But we argue because…

…she insists on doing it,…not the other way around.  I’m being totally serious, here.  We argue because I want to help and she won’t allow it.

The truth is, my wife serves me a lot.  I don’t ask her to.  I don’t demand it from her.  She just does it, and never begrudgingly.  She gets uncomfortable when I do the laundry, for example, because she sees it as one of the ways she loves me.  She seeks to make my life more comfortable by serving me in a variety of ways; and in so doing, she sets the bar very high.

I know, I know.  What a great problem to have, right?  Well, the temptation is (if I’m not careful) learning to like it a little too much and losing sight of my true calling – to give myself up for her just as Christ did for the church.

The answer, however, isn’t to prevent her from serving me.  And it certainly isn’t to allow it to create conflict between us.  The answer is (due the high quality of her self-sacrifice) to make sure I’m not only matching her efforts in my own way, but also exceeding it – or at least trying to.

What I’m saying is this:

A good marriage is the combination of giving and receiving, and consists of two people trying to out-serve one another.

Consider these words:

Holy matrimony, like other holy orders, was never intended as a comfort station for lazy people. On the contrary, it is a systematic program of deliberate and thoroughgoing self-sacrifice. A man’s home is not his castle so much as his monastery, and if he happens to be treated like a king there, then it is only so that he might better be enabled to become a servant. For marriage is intended to be an environment in which he will be lovingly yet persistently confronted with the plainest and ugliest evidence of his sinfulness, and thus encouraged on a daily basis to repent and to change.

-Mike Mason in his book, The Mystery of Marriage

When I approach my home as my monastery (and by monastery, I mean a place where I’m serving God and serving my wife) rather than my castle, then a few shifts occur that we should all consider:

1.  Resist laziness.  Don’t get me wrong, my home is restful and comfortable.  I definitely have my fair share of creature comforts to go along with my service-minded wife.  I love coming home, and I never want that to change, nor do I think it should.  But as a husband, “home” is not only the place where I go to get comfortable, rest, and recharge,…but its also the place where I become uncomfortable by putting my wife’s needs before my own.

2.  Become a servant.  There’s a reason God gave me such a giving wife; so that I could learn, within the confines of my own home, how to become a servant myself.  I’ve learned that if I’m not a servant at home, then I’m not really a servant at all.

3.  Embrace repentance and change.  Debbie may not know this, but her sacrificial love towards me actually brings me face-t0-face with my own selfishness.  It brings me to a point of repentance, which is after all, a change of mind and behavior.  And repentance and change are a continual part of the life-long marriage journey.

    Stephen has been blogging since 2014, and he enjoys writing honestly and openly about married life. He and Debbie are high school sweethearts and have been married for 20 years. They love a meaningful conversation, a rich cup of coffee, an inspiring movie, a perfectly prepared meal, and planning their next vacation.

    Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    4 thoughts on “The Husband as King of His Castle

    1. Putting your wifes needs before your own should not make you uncomfortable! It should make you feel like your catching on. Nothing more attractive than a man with a dust rag in one hand & a vacume cleaner in the other. Or if cleaning isn’t your bag has the oil in her car been changed,tires rotated, fluids checked? I’m just saying ?????????? Works both ways

      • Hi Laura. Thanks for reading my post, and for commenting.
        Let me try to clarify. In context, I was using the words “comfortable” and “uncomfortable” as a play on words. A pun, if you will. And like any pun, I was hinting at more than one meaning of a particular word. I was using “uncomfortable” in a positive sense, not a negative sense.
        I definitely think there is a negative connotation to the word “uncomfortable”, however. For example, if I were to begrudgingly do the laundry out of fear – fear of being criticized and nagged if I don’t; or if I roll my eyes and pout the entire time like a child because I’m “uncomfortable.”
        The positive connotation is this: because I love her, I’m willing to become physically uncomfortable, as apposed to sitting on the couch watching sports. In the moment, I choose the harder road instead of the easier one, because that’s what love does. And as a human being, sometimes we feel like doing the right thing, and frankly, sometimes we don’t.
        I think anytime we’re trying to make positive changes in our lives, there is going to be some level of discomfort (at least in the beginning before it becomes habit); and that doesn’t make it any less genuine. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how we “feel” about doing the right things for our spouse, it only matters that we actually do the right things.
        I hope that clarifies it, Laura. I appreciate your comment. It made me think through what I was trying to say a little bit more.

    2. That “problem” exist here as well. Its not one upmanship-its love-pitching in so the chores are done and then we can spend time together. Mary has made it very clear not to tread on her “turf”. After fourteen years I finally get it as she has such a good way of explaining things.