Okay, this is a quiz for the guys. We talk a lot about loving our spouse sexually, from the altar even lately, but how about on a practical level? (Sex is easy; respect is what’s tough!) Here are a few complaints I keep hearing from women no matter which side of the theological fence they say they reside. I devised a quiz based on the most prominent complaints I am privileged to hear to make this easy. Let’s see how you do. And remember, it’s not about a fair and equitable splitting of the household chores; it’s about love. If you respect what she does for you, show it through your actions!
So, 5= 100%, 4= 75%, 3=50%, 2=25% and 1=closer to never (0%) (For questions that do not apply because you, the husband, do the task, not her, give yourself a 5!)
1. How much of your laundry actually makes it into the hamper?
2. How often do you leave cups and/or dishes around the house instead of walking them to the sink, or better, putting them in the dishwasher? (If you have agreed that each person will clean up after themself, grade yourself on how often you clean yours, or leave it for her.)
3. How often are your socks left on the floor?
4. How often do you put your shoes away?
5. How often do you ‘fix’ things, then leave her the dust and other mess for her to clean up?
6. When a package arrives at the house, how often do you throw all of the packing materials away and put the scissors etc back in their proper place? (Their actual proper place, not piled somewhere to take care of later.)
7. When her friends come over, do you offer to clear the table and do the dishes so she can talk and relax?
8. When she is sick, how much of the cooking, cleaning and child-care do you take over doing?
9. Are spaces that are clearly ‘yours’ (a desk, hobby area etc) that are in plain sight, kept as well organized as the rest of the house, or does she occasionally have to ‘tidy’ your stuff too? (The garage or places where the door is usually shut- and you usually shut it- do not count. If you leave the door open, and it is a mess, then score yourself appropriately.)
10. Do you tell her when you finished the last of something so that she can remember to pick it up at the store? (Or do you leave it as a ‘surprise’ for her to discover when she gets back from shopping with your toddlers, and realizes she really doesn’t have everything she needs…)
11. When you take stuff out, do you put it back where it goes?
12. How long do the chores that are ‘yours’ go undone? (Putting out the garbage, mowing, doing dishes, fixing the sink etc. Don’t make her nag, or live ‘making do’ until you get around to it. Chances are, she doesn’t do that to you.)
All 5s= Very Good. Now go ask your wife if she agrees. There may be some things that are very important to her that you don’t do, that I left off the list. Allow this to be a ‘safe’ time for her to let you know what you can do to make her life run more smoothly.
Mainly 4= Still okay. No one’s perfect. Talk to your wife about how important the things you do not do are to her, and work to improve the things she cares about first.
Almost all 3s= Well, you’re ‘average.’ Is that really good enough for you? Was your goal to treat your wife ‘so-so’? Really? Go watch the movie Courageous and try to improve.
Mostly 2s= Well at least you have proved you can do some things occasionally. But we both know that’s really not enough. It’s almost better if you let her think you were a total moron who just could not figure any of this out by himself… At 25% you occasionally got her hopes up, and then failed. Ouch!
Almost all 1s= That’s right, you’re a toddler. Mommy still needs to pick up after you and clean up all of your messes. You will make your children clean their rooms and pick up their toys when they are old enough, but never see how these rules apply to you. Just remember, ‘Mommy’s’ don’t have amorous thoughts about the children they take care of. If you want your wife to treat you like a man, act like one and take care of the little things when you can.
Remember, like it or not, many of the women who come over will judge your wife based on how her house looks. Totally unfair, but true. And being a ‘good, Christian woman’ your wife is not allowed to use ‘that kind of language’ to tell these women off, so she is stuck. And few of these women ‘oh-so-nice’ ladies will be discussing your wife’s ‘short-comings’ at church (In short, ‘Christian appropriate’ comments, of course). While the women are mean, and there is no excuse for them, knowing that they are there and that you have left your wife open to their barbs is also cruel. Remember that.
Further, by leaving messes for your wife to clean up you are forcing her to treat you like a toddler. You expect your three-year-old to start to help cleaning up his toys, but not his father!?!?! This makes no sense, and sends and sets an awful example for your children (Why do you think you have a hard time getting them to clean up? They are just trying to be like Dad!). It also does not leave your woman thinking amorous thoughts about you all day. Think about what would be going through your mind if you were the one cleaning yet another unnecessary mess left by her while she was away. Yeah, it’s not the best…
Women, feel free to add a category in the comments if I missed anything. And men- It’s time for us to see your list! Blog it, and feel free to link to it in your comments to me.