“The heart of her husband trusts in her…she looks well to the ways of her household” (Proverbs 31:11 a; Proverbs 31:27 a).
Although they are separated by many other verses, I believe these two verses from Proverbs 31 can complement each other beautifully in our role as wives. Our husbands should be able to trust in us when it comes to our responsibilities in the home.
I am a stay-at-home wife and mom, and my husband, Andrew, is working part-time, in school full-time, and involved in ministry. My schedule allows me to take on most of the administrative tasks involved in running our household. Andrew often affectionately refers to me as his secretary (this is not a demeaning term, but an appreciative one). He is grateful when I deal with the little details of life that have to be seen to for our family to function efficiently. You know, things like following up on insurance bills, picking up a suit from the dry cleaner, and scheduling dental appointments. If I look well to the ways of our household, Andrew can trust me to be faithful in carrying out what I say I will do.
When Andrew asks me if I can deal with something, it is a burden off his mind to know that it will be done. Conversely, if I tell him I will take care of it and then he finds out a week later that I never did, it creates stress for him, and adds one more unnecessary item to his already full plate.
We’ve been married for over four years, and I’m still learning how to look well to the ways of my household and give Andrew good reason to trust in me in this realm. It is very important that when I (hopefully cheerfully) take on a task for my husband, he can be confident that it will be completed when it needs to be.
Here are a few tips for ensuring we follow through for our husbands:
1. Do it immediately.
This is a habit I am still trying to establish. If I’m not in the middle of something important when Andrew asks me to arrange an appointment or follow up on mail we received, I stop right then and there and do it. This also shows him that I value being his helper and that his needs are a priority to me.
2. Write it down.
I have a lot of little plates spinning these days, as every wife does, and if I rely on my “mental checklist” to store everything, it is certain I will forget important details. If I can’t see to an item right when Andrew mentions it, I like to use Apple Reminders or Wunderlist to keep track of it. Again, I try to add the request to one of my lists immediately, before I have time to forget.
3. Prioritize your husband’s concerns.
If I told my friend I would send her that wonderful chocolate cake recipe and I promised Andrew I would look into getting his slacks altered, I should probably start with looking well to the ways of my own household by checking Yelp for a tailor before I locate the cake recipe.
4. Be honest and realistic.
Sometimes what Andrew asks me to do may not fit into my schedule within the time frame it needs to be done. It doesn’t help our husbands if we say we will do something that is simply not going to happen. If I know that, realistically, I am unlikely to be able to take care of something before it is due, I might explain to Andrew what I have going on so that we can explore shuffling my other plans or find a way for Andrew to accomplish it with his limited availability.
There are many ways in which our husbands should be able to trust in us; just one of them is in the realm of seeing well to the ways of our households. How do you “look well to the ways of your household,” and what can you do better?