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UNLEASHING THE K.I.S.S. MARRIAGE – Lunch Boxes and Roles

Posted: November 6, 2011

I had a fascinating encounter with one of my colleagues last week. As I walked by his work area I saw him pulling items out of his lunch cooler and describing each item to a customer.  The encounter looked so intriguing that I was curious to see what all the fuss was about. I went up to his counter and say, “So Colin (not his real name), what’s going on here?”  His face lit up and he could hardly wait to show me his lunch. “Look at these barbecued ribs, a salad with homemade dressing on the side and real bacon bits. And look, here are roasted potatoes, a drink, cutlery, salt and pepper and a little dessert.” My mouth hung open and I said, “Wow, you go to a lot of trouble with your lunches.” “Oh no”, he responded, “My wife always packs my lunch. She’s amazing!”

Now my mouth hung open even further. Then I told him, “Do you know how lucky you are, because if you were married to me, I would not be packing your lunches. My husband and I pack our own lunches.” Then he continued to inform me that his wife does not work; he is the breadwinner. He in fact, brings home the bacon and she cooks it.  Then he sealed the conversation with these rich words, “I treat her like a queen and she loves doing things for me. I tell her every day how much I love and appreciate everything she does for me. I love what I do, and she loves what she does.”

I walked away with a smile on my face because I just heard the story of a husband and wife who felt fulfilled in their respective roles.  I saw the absolute joy in my friend’s life as he talked about his wife; his love for her was radiantly obvious.  This was not a newly married couple; they have been married for years and have several children, and yet throughout their journey, they have been able to forge out their necessary roles. They made a sacrificial choice for his wife to stay home to raise the children. They obviously honored each other in their respective situations.

I’m not staying this is the perfect template or module for families. This works for their family. Each family has to define their roles, and then to honor and respect each other in those roles.

©      I know several families where the decision has been made for the dad to be the stay-at-home parent while the children are growing up. One of my sons-in-laws did this for several years and helped to raise phenomenal boys.

©      When both husband and wife work, decisions have to be made where the responsibilities are split so that each member of the family feels fulfilled but not overwhelmed.

©      When my children were little, I did not feel fulfilled being at home every day with my little ones. After my husband agreed that I could take on a part time job; those few hours out of the house stimulated my mind enough to make my days at home with the children a joy and a privilege.

We all need encouragement in our roles, because most days many of us are weary. If we do not feel fulfilled; we will build up resentment and we will not do things for each other with the joy that I saw in my friend’s eyes. 

If you and your spouse feel weary, resentful or angry about “all the things you have to do” and you don’t get any help; it’s time to start some serious conversations about defining your roles.

God designed marriage to be GOOD, and I pray that none of you settle for less.

Posted in: Balancing life, Beauty from the Inside Out, Communication, Control, Encouragement, Expectations, Finding Truth, Forgiveness, Freedom, Freedom from Busyness, Good Marriage, Hope, Intimacy, Kindness, Life of Jesus, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Struggles, Patience, Resentment, Respect, Understanding each other, Valued

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