Bucking The Trend

Steve Arterburn

The current trend in our society is that more and more wives and mothers are reentering the workplace. Different families have different needs. And many have decided this is what best serves them.

Yet at the same time, some families are bucking this societal trend. They’ve decided it’s not in their family’s best interest to have mom working outside the home. And while this is a great decision for many families, it’s not a decision that comes free from difficulties.

Anytime you buck a societal trend, there’s a price to pay. For mothers who stay home to raise their children, one price they pay is a drop in social status. This is sad because stay-at-home moms work so hard and sacrifice so much. Current characterizations of stay-at-home moms tend to be patronizing at best, and at worst, downright derogatory. 

As a result, guys, the choice to stay home with the kids can be hard on your wife’s self-esteem’even if it’s a decision she believes in and is thrilled about.

So if you and your wife have chosen to buck the trend, I encourage you to ask yourself the following three questions:

  • What can I do to lighten her load?
  • How can I encourage her and affirm the great value of what she’s doing?
  • What practical steps can I take to make staying home with our children less physically and emotionally draining on my wife?     

Building Her Prestige

Steve Arterburn

In Proverbs 31:29-31, the husband grants his wife her proper prestige with these words:

‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.’

Men, we’ll not only draw prestige from the success of our marriage relationship, but we must also be sure to build up the prestige of our wife. Of course, this begins in the home.

‘Building up’ begins with words, but must be verified and reinforced with actions. The Bible says in 1 Peter 3, ‘Husbands’be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as’heirs with you.’ Acknowledging that your wife is your fellow heir establishes that she’s entitled to the same honor and respect as you. By contrast, you have no right to rob her of what you ought to give, and what God promised she’d have. Oneness isn’t merely a feeling; it’s built on actions.

Moreover, building up the prestige of our wives doesn’t end in the home. What begins there must be carried out into the community. Here again, actions speak louder than words.

Gentlemen, can we justify placing our wives anywhere but in the highest place of prestige in our lives? We must set ourselves to the task of building up our wives’both inside and outside our homes.

Portrait Of A Son

Steve Arterburn

There once lived a wealthy widower who shared a passion for collecting art with his beloved son. Priceless works adorned the family estate.

Then war interrupted. The son enlisted, and after only a few weeks, the father’s worst fears were realized: his son was killed in action.

Months later the bereaved old man was awakened by a visitor. “I was a friend of your son,’ said the stranger at the door, ‘He was rescuing me when he died. I have something to show you.”

The package contained a portrait of the man’s son! It wasn’t a masterpiece, but precious nonetheless. The old man was overcome with emotion and gratitude.

When the old man died, his paintings were slated for auction. The event began with a painting that wasn’t on the docket, the painting of the man’s son.

Bidding opened at $100. Silence. ‘Who cares about that painting?’ someone cried, ‘Let’s get to the good stuff.” Voices clamored in agreement.

Finally, an elderly gentleman asked, “Will you take $10? That’s all I have but I know the lad and would love to have the portrait.” After more silence, the auctioneer said, “Going once, going twice. Gone.”

Then to everyone’s surprise, the auctioneer closed the auction! Stunned disbelief filled the room. “What do you mean?’ voices demanded, ‘There’s still millions of dollars of art here!”

The auctioneer replied, “Simple. According to the will of the father, whoever takes his son gets it all.’

Men, behold the glory of the gospel: whosoever takes the Son in faith receives all the Father’s benefits!