Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Be Quick to Lend a Hand

We all work hard and deserve a chance to rest when we get home; or, at least, that’s what we think. But, you know, our wives work just as hard as we do, and when they come home from work, they have to fix dinner, clean the house and do the laundry. Seems like the old saying about a woman’s work never being done is even more true today than it was when they came up with that line.

Our wives need a break just as much as we do. In fact, if we want them to have energy for us, we’d better make sure that they get a break, or by the end of the evening, all they can do is collapse.

How many times have you just sat there and watched your wife struggle with something that would be easy for you to do? It doesn’t matter if it’s a problem on the computer, carrying in the groceries or changing the air conditioning filter, we need to be aware of the struggles that our wives go through. Even more so, we need to do something about those struggles.

Let me give you a simple example. My wife gives classes in English as a Second Language. Some of those classes are given here in our home, while others are given in other locations. When she comes home from one of those classes, she’s got a mountain of stuff to bring in from the car. Now, I could easily say to myself, “I’m busy with my work. That’s her work; I’ll let her do it.” I could even justify that in my mind as being ok, since I wasn’t doing anything against her; but rather, just doing my work.

Okay, so I don’t help her. Well, after being on her feet for five hours, my wife is tired. The last thing she wants to do is to carry a bunch of stuff into the house. At the same time, leaving a computer and video projector in the car might be a good way to get it stolen.

So, by stopping my work for five minutes to go help my wife, I make things easier for her. Hey, we’re supposed to be the strong ones, let’s be strong. That box which is nothing for us to pick up can be really heavy to her. Taking those five minutes out from my work to help her out is a worthwhile investment in our relationship. She knows I’m doing it for her and she knows I care.

Of course, we can get out of such things really easy by just getting there a moment too late. But hey, you don’t get any points for good intentions, just for good actions.

Did you realize that something that simple is romantic? Women think it’s highly romantic for their husbands to help them. If she’s tired after dinner, you clear the table and wash the dishes. Once she’s over the shock, she’ll be thinking “what a great husband I have.” Or, she’s vacuuming the living room and trying to get the nozzle under the sofa; pick it up for her. Or, she’s trying to plant a rose bush by the front door using a little garden spade. Grab the shovel and dig her a real hole for it. These things are so simple for us to do, but hard for them.

The trick here is being aware of what she’s doing and what you can do to make it easier. That requires being constantly aware of what your wife is doing. My wife and I both work out of our home. So, I make it a habit to get up from my desk every once in a while, to see what she is doing. That way, I can keep in contact with her throughout the day, but I can also see when she needs my help.

The struggle for most of us is that we don’t want our activities interrupted to help them with theirs. It doesn’t matter if we’re doing work, watching the game or shooting some hoops, we don’t like to be interrupted. But, you know, ultimately it’s worth it.

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