As I talk to Christian men about their home lives, I get the impression that many of us think the command to “love [our] wives as Christ loved the church” ceases to have application as soon as the lights go out and our heads hit the pillow (Ephesians 5:25). So, when it comes to parenting in the middle of the night, we think we’re off duty. Crying babies, nightmares, midnight potty emergencies, and pacifier retrievals are the wife’s responsibility again because we have to be on our game when we show up to work the next day. Though we won’t say it to our wives like this, we think that if we’re bringing home the bacon, then we get to sleep and they get the kids.
But do our wives have to be any less on their game than we do? Certainly not less, but most likely more. Not only do our wives have to care for the children physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, but they must also maintain your house (continuously making it a home), run errands for you, and all this without giving into the desire to throw things or scream into a pillow.
When we really think about it, guys, our perspective breaks down. Our wives have had the kids by themselves for most of the day, and so our mindset should be one that says, “I’m going to put out the fires in my house after the lights are off.” I understand that there are some things you can’t take care of by yourself, like a nursing baby, but you sure can go get the baby and bring him/her to your wife. Meeting the needs of your children in the middle of the night communicates a significant amount of sacrifice because it requires a significant amount of sacrifice, especially if you’re working hard during the day. But let’s remember that Jesus “gave himself up for [the church]”, which includes you, and that God desires for you to sacrifice for your wife, so he will give you the energy and strength you need to get up the next morning when you choose to take the night shift with the kids (Ephesians 5:25).