Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Taking Care of things at Home

Sometimes, I think all us guys need a swift kick on the side of head every month or so, just to wake us up. I know, I know, I’m a guy too, and I’m supposed to defend us, right? Well, I’ll have to say, in all honesty, that there are some times when we don’t deserve to be defended.

Don’t get me wrong here; I’m not of that camp which says that we are supposed to become more like our wives. In fact, the way I read Ephesians, chapter 5, part of the “wives submit to your husbands” means that they are to “adapt themselves to” us. Psychology tells us to “get in touch with our feelings” and learn how to talk about them; but the Bible doesn’t say that.

No, what I’m talking about is how insensitive we can be to the things that matter to our wives. It seems to me that loving someone includes taking an interest in what interests them. Don’t we all love it when a woman asks us about our jobs? Why? Because we tend to identify ourselves with our professions, so to us, asking about our work is asking us about who we are and what makes us tick.

Of course, our wives aren’t the same. They don’t identify themselves by their work, but by their family, their relationships, even by their home. So, to take an interest in them, means to take an interest in family, relationships and the home.

I realize that might not be easy; in fact, it’s rather unnatural for us. The only way that a guy can really take that sort of interest is to make a point of doing so. There are so many things that we naturally overlook; but many of those things are important to our wives.

Take the house for example. As guys, we can live anywhere, in anything, and be just about as content as if we were living in a palace. Often, we’re more concerned about how our car looks than how our house looks; but our wives are concerned about the house. This can cause a lot of opportunity for disagreements and fights if we let it. On the other hand, it can provide us with the opportunity to show our wives how much we care, if we utilize it.

How many things are there around your house that need to be repaired? Not sure? You know, every one of those things can become a sore point for your wife. Worse than that, they can make her feel bad about herself. That can have serious consequences.

All too often, when faced with a broken window or a sagging porch, we do something to make it useable, “till we have the time to repair it.” The problem is, that time never arrives, unless we make a point of making it arrive. Waiting for it to show up on its own doesn’t work. But, when we do make a point of noticing those things, and do something about them, we make our wives feel like their concerns are our concerns; that we are interested in what they are interested in, and that we care.

Let’s take this idea one step further. I don’t know about you, but I’m a consummate do-it-yourselfer. When I look at my home, I’m seeing all sorts of projects that I can do to make it better. Granted, not all of those projects are practical from a financial point of view, but at least some of them are. Even if you can’t do them yourself, you could always hire someone else to do them.

Investing money in upgrading your house is always worthwhile. Not only does it make your house more enjoyable to live in, it also makes your property value go up. In the world of real estate they call this “sweat equity.” It’s the equity (value) you have in your home, which comes from the work you’ve done on it. But, there’s another value that goes along with that; it’s the value of positive feelings that you put into your wife’s heart. By improving your home, you make her feel as if you’re investing in her.

One last detail I want to mention about this. Women like to feel pretty; which is very good planning on God’s part, since we like them to be pretty as well. Doing the minimum necessary to fix or upgrade something is one thing; but if you really want to gain ground, go above and beyond.

What do I mean by that? Simple; if you’re going to paint the exterior of your house, find a way to make the paint job extraordinary. Let’s take a brick house for example; instead of painting the trim one color, make it two tone; one for the soffits and the other for the trim. That dresses up a house a lot; or you could say “makes it prettier.” Another simple example is to add crown molding in the living areas of your house, especially if you are about to paint. It adds a lot of elegance to the rooms, without an enormous cost.

Why spend the time and money for these extras? Because they will make your wife feel good. That, in and of itself, makes it worthwhile.

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