Today I want to speak to married men, primarily, married men with children in the home. Men, I’m sure that there are many important moments scattered throughout your day, but consider with me the importance of the first moments upon getting home from work each day. Actually, let’s consider the first hour after you walk in the door.
No doubt, your day is challenging to one degree or another. It may be that you’ve got an ever-present stack of paperwork on your desk that you can’t seem to put a dent in or a boss that micromanages everything you do as he watches you like a hawk. These things aren’t easy to deal with, and I’m sure there’s a part of you that wants to get home and fall face-first onto the couch. But there’s a Scripture text that should determine the choices you make upon walking in the door from work, and its implications are many: “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel…” (1 Peter 3:7).
Men, we are to live with our wives in an understanding way. In order to do this we have to understand them, and in this particular instance, understanding what kind of day they have had previous to us gracing the welcome mat. In our context, the practice of 1 peter 3:7 starts on the drive home every day. Take some time to turn off talk radio and anticipate what your wife has gone through in the last 8 to 10 hours while you’ve been away. In doing this, it’s a good idea to assume your wife has had a harder day than you. Cleaning your house, getting the kids dressed, breaking up sibling cage matches, helping with homework, potty catastrophes, disciplining the kids, cooking your dinner, and generally being a multitasking beast are things that characterize a typical day for the average house wife. I think this assumption is well-founded. After a little anticipation, spend a few minutes asking God to help you hit the door serving and leading.
When you get home, the privilege of emulating Christ in your home begins. As soon as you walk in the door, take your phone out of your pocket and put it in a place where you won’t be tempted to look at it every five minutes, find your wife first, give her a kiss and say “hello” (this communicates to everyone who your first priority is), then look for the way you can relieve your wife the most (i.e. take the crying baby off her hip, take the older kids in the backyard for some dodge ball, set the table).
After these initial minutes, the temptation will be to think you’ve done your part, but remember that you are to be Christ to your wife, and Christ isn’t a “do just enough to keep the wife from nagging me” kinda guy. Jesus did everything necessary to bring us from enemy of God to son of God, so lean on his grace and keep it up – this job is more important than the one you just came from.