Podcast, Priorities

Should a Working Husband Help at Home?

man in black jacket and pants standing on stairs

This week we are answering a question from a viewer that many of you may have questioned too! Join us for this interesting conversation…

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Full Episode Transcript

Ryan: Selena, when I get home from a long day at work-

Selena: From working at home? [both laughs]

Ryan: Don’t ruin this for me. I put my keys on the counter, I put my jacket on the hook, and I just want a warm meal and just put my feet up. I don’t want to do anything. Is that right? Yes, I do work from home. [laughs]

Selena: Is what right?

Ryan: I don’t wear a jacket.

Selena: What? That you want that?

Ryan: I don’t want help at all.

Selena: Okay, there it is.

Ryan: You should do home stuff.

Selena: There’s the smugness.

Ryan: It’s not smugness. Okay. Is it, though? That’s all we’re trying to ask you today.

Selena: We’ll find out.

Ryan: On the other side.


Selena: Well, I look like I just came in from a long day’s work on the farm.

Ryan: You’re milking a little messy. [both laughs]

Selena: You know what? After having-

Ryan: I wish we had a milking cow, actually.

Selena: Well, I do, too. But then you said you didn’t want to milk it all the time, so.

Ryan: I’m not going to lie. I want all of the credit, none of the blame. I want all the milk and none of the milking.

Selena: And anyways, overalls are just really comfortable right now. [laughs]

Ryan: You could wear overalls every day. If you had a cow you can milk.

Selena: I could wear overalls every day without a cow.

Ryan: Raw milk bounce with nutrients.

Selena: We could be millionaires with a raw milk cow… or milk cow…

Ryan: I don’t know how many gallons you’re expecting this cow to produce.

Selena: Anyways, we are… He’s Ryan, I’m Selena. I’m supposed to say Ryan and Selena because t’s just how it flows. And we are all things fierce: Fierce Marriage, Fierce Parenting. And here we are today talking about a question that we got from a viewer, a YouTube subscriber.

Ryan: Yes, exactly. So thank you. So if you’re not subscribed on YouTube, make sure you go over there, smash the subscribe button as the youngan say and you’ll get notifications when we do these questions. We asked for topic ideas. This week we’re tackling a topic we got from one of our subscribers. We’re also doing that on the parenting side. We’ll tell you about that on the Fierce Parenting podcast. But yeah, what is this topic today?

Selena: Should working husbands help in the home? If you’re not working husband, then yeah. So should a husband who works outside the home… We should just read the question.

Ryan: Yeah, that’s good.

Selena: Because yeah, it’s a good one.

Ryan: All right, I’ll read it. “What are the roles of a working husband vs a stay at home mom? Meaning, how much can/does a husband help within the home while also working full time? My husband pretty much told me the other day that since he works and brings home a paycheck, I should be doing everything in the home without help from him. I homeschooled one daughter (one already graduated) and I worked a very small part-time job outside the home.”

So fair disclosure here. When Selena and I tackle content, we oftentimes will divide and conquer. I’ve been doing a lot of the parenting stuff lately. If you haven’t checked out the parenting side, we’re going down a lot of really deep rabbit holes over there. I love it. Because I’m writing a book to that end, and this helps. But on this one, you wrote the rundown. So I want to ask you upfront now, because I gave you some feedback into it. But is this strictly from a wife’s perspective or are we going to tackle it from…?

Selena: No. I think we’re going to talk about it for each of the roles. I mean, you can’t really talk-

Ryan: Biblical perspective as well.

Selena: Yes, always.

Ryan: Me passed the test. [both laughs] It wasn’t a test until I ask the question and realized I how [inaudible] it was.

Selena: Well, I mean, as you’re reading the question, you know, she says, “My husband pretty much told me…” So, you know, there’s some communication that is probably happening there. There’s things that maybe she’s assuming, but there’s also things that… like, in our own marriage, we assume that we’ve heard or we hear you saying and you’re not actually saying. But I think it’s safe to say that, you know, she’s hearing, “Hey, you’re at home, you should do all this stuff at home.” And she’s like, well, what does that mean? Like, I have to clean the roof? I have to, you know, do all the things that a man would probably do? That would be my question. I’d be like, “What do you mean like everything?” Right?

Ryan: Interesting. I didn’t think about that stuff at all. I was just thinking about the day to day from economic type of stuff.

Selena: Well, exactly. I think it can be that. But where are the tension points here? Because he’s saying, “I already work I provide I do my part.” So it’s kind of that whole the favorite thing that you love is the tit for tat. Like, you do this, and I’m gonna do this or whatever. Honestly, I think just the way she’s presenting the question, there’s a heart orientation that needs to be addressed for both of them.

Ryan: Can I just-

Selena: Go ahead.

Ryan: Can I just do what I do? I’ll interject. [laughs] This is how we roll.

Selena: Throw me under the bus. Throw my rundown under.

Ryan: There’s two kind of ends of the spectrum here. Okay, so I follow Samuel, say on Twitter. We met him in LA. Do you remember we did at the video shoot?

Selena: Yeah. Yeah.

Ryan: Great guy. Been following him for a while. He writes and he’s kind of on the forefront of tackling some of these ideas. He just recently got married. So he’s Canadian citizen, got married to an American woman, recently moved to America. He tweeted out, he’s like, “I’m so thankful for a wife who can cook because a homemade meal from my wife is such a blessing.” That’s all he said.

Selena: Fire bams.

Ryan: Oh my word, he got… I mean, he got… Everybody’s like, Well, you’re a misogynist. You just expect your wife to do this, that and the other. You are just, you know, blah, blah, blah.

Selena: So what am I if I’m like, I love you cooked?

Ryan: And his response was, “Listen, you guys don’t even know us basically. I cook like two meals a week,” is what he said. I like cooking for my wife, too. That’s also great. But he’s like, “As a man, it’s a gift your wife makes… Anyway. So there’s that end of the spectrum where you say something like that and people are like, You son of a…

Selena: I don’t think you can say anything on the internet that people are not going to tear up.

Ryan: That’s wisdom for the ages right there. And then I don’t know what’s on the other end of the spectrum. The other end of the spectrum, aside from what Samuel received is what I opened this podcast episode with which is like, Listen, I don’t want to touch a thing. Like I should just say, I want a clean underwear in the drawer, I want a hot meal on the table and-

Selena: Just the 50s husbands, right? Just coming home from work-

Ryan: Which we talked about Trad-wives – what? Two weeks ago?

Selena: Yes.

Ryan: And there’s a biblical way to look at this stuff. It’s funny because we were on this road trying to live biblically in marriage, and the road has ditches on either side. And oftentimes the wisdom is somewhere in the middle. And we’re not saying that there’s a… I don’t like third-way thinking. I think there’s a right way to do it. But it’s easy to fall into temptation on either side of that pathway.

Selena: We can’t make presumptions about everybody’s marriage and homes. The only thing we really can do is look to Scripture, right? And we can ask questions about what is your heart orientation towards these roles and responsibilities that God’s given you in your home if you’re married.

First of all, we are all called to submit the headship of Christ. We are all under His authority. And so it’s from that point that we can begin to have these conversations of, okay, if I’m submitted to Christ, I’m submitted to His Word, what does He say biblically? As a husband, Ephesians 5 talks about – what? You’re the head, you’re supposed to love as Christ loved us. I mean, in 1 Corinthians 11:3, “But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.” So-

Ryan: This is interesting because that passage, so Husbands love your wives-

Selena: As Christ loved the church.

Ryan: …by laying down your life for them basically, as Christ loved the church. There’s an exclusivity there that I think we gloss over. Christ loved His church.

Selena: Yes.

Ryan: Like I’m not called to fall on the sword for every woman that crosses my path.

Selena: No.

Ryan: But for you, there’s no limit to what I would do for you. There’s no limit to what you could ask of me. In fact, we were joking as we often do, and Selena goes… What did you say? You’re like, “I’m just gonna go…” If you’ve heard our episode where I’m talking about me almost dying, I have this password for… it’s like a master password.

Selena: And it is. I’m just kidding. [chuckles]

Ryan: And you were trying to watch The Office. So you were trying to log into Peacock. It’s the only reason we have this stupid subscription is because The Office is on there. $6 a month we’ll never get back or whatever cost. And I was like, to get the master password, I was like, “Selena, what’s my password?” And you got it right. And I was like, “That’s it? If you have that one password, you have access to everything you could ever want in terms of like…” It’s like the opposite of what people do is they hide their passwords. So I’m like, making sure you know the password. And then you’re like, “So I can get to take all your money… and you said “your” because that’s kind of a joke-

Selena: The money.

Ryan: “…all the money and run?” And I said, “Girl, you can have it all. Just please come back.” [both laughs] I don’t care. I just want you. I just want you. There’s nothing you could… There’s no overreach in terms of what… inside within biblical wisdom-

Selena: You’re not asking me to sin. You’re not asking me to do something that would go against God.

Ryan: And I think that’s because, and we’ve talked on this beforehand, generosity is the currency of love. I want to make sure you get that in there because you have a loving relationship… Well, the way that we love one another is by giving. First off, I give my covenantal love to you. I’ve said to you at the altar, “I do. I will. I will love you till death do us part.” I’m giving myself to you exclusively. Then within marriage, it’s like why would we hold ourselves back then all of a sudden? Why would we hold parts of ourselves back?

Selena: Well, our selfishness creeps in and we suddenly like are demystified by our perfect… I mean, we know our spouses are not perfect, but there is some sort of like awe and wonder when you get married of like, “Oh, I’m finally with this person that I love so much, and it’s beautiful and wonderful.” We’re all celebrating. And then we realize it’s sin and you know, lo and behold, there you are in all your sin, right?

Ryan: Yeah.

Selena: I think we come to this conclusion of like, it’s easy… we just fall back into our own habits, right? So if we are now in this marital covenant and we are committed to being generous with one another, again, that has to flow out of being submitted to God, being submitted to the authority of Christ.

Like your role, his role as a husband biblically speaking is two main things: to be the spiritual head and leader of our home and to be the provider. Now, it’s not saying that women can’t work or provide, you know, outside the home. Proverbs 31 talks about a woman in the home economics. And also like it’s not bad for a woman to have a job outside the home. I think the trouble comes when it starts creeping into the other priorities and roles that God has given you as a mother, as a wife, right, if you’re constantly away.

Ryan: [inaudible] those primary things.

Selena: Right, right. So being the spiritual head, you want to understand, you know, you want to lead us. And so this whole posture of I don’t want to do anything at home, because I already do that. Well, what is that stemming from? Where’s that coming from? That would be my question of… Is this a new thing? Or is this something that has always kind of been a point of tension in your home?

Because for us, if there’s something that we are struggling to figure out who does what or we’re arguing about, you know, who takes out the garbage, right? That’s his job. He knows that. That’s his job. And we’re slowly giving the girls more-

Ryan: I want to amend that because it is my job. But why? Because we’ve agreed on that.

Selena: Exactly, exactly.

Ryan: We have this understanding. So-

Selena: This is how-

Ryan: Okay, so to go back to this question, again, viewer, it’s hard to know exactly what you’re referring to here because of the way it was worded. You said “the other day.” He basically… what is he?

Selena: “My husband told me the other day that since he works in brings home a paycheck, I should be doing everything in the home without help from him.”

Ryan: So he wants kind of a blank check to say like, the agreement is that I don’t want to do anything I don’t want to do. I don’t think that’s in line with biblical love. I know it because that’s not coming from a place of generosity.

Selena: Right. And so that’s-

Ryan: Whereas there’s nothing that… It’s a one-way valve and here’s… generosity is one-way valve.

Selena: And that’s my question.

Ryan: Meaning that I will say to you—we’ll go on—there’s nothing you could ask me that I won’t. If I can give it I will. But I do not expect to be able to ask you of anything. Does that make sense? In other words, I will come to you trusting that you will be generous to me. Generosity has to go both ways, and it has a multiplying effect.

Now, as a husband, I believe there are biblical things I can ask from you biblically but I don’t hold the same… I don’t give myself a blank check on the things that I can ask you. But I give you a blank check. And I think that’s the spirit of generosity.

Selena: Right.

Ryan: I will always seek to outgive you. And I fail at that. And I think you could say the same thing. And that’s where we talk about things like, Okay, so say, I get home and… Normally, normally, here’s what happens, hypothetically. You get home, you know, I’ve got a number of chores, I take maybe young kids, so I’m gonna play with the kids kind of, you know, connect with them, but also give you a chance to do whatever you need to do, and have a break from the chaos and the wanting and the desires and all the requests.

But say I get home one evening or I finish work one evening and I say, “Hey, babe, I am wasted. I’ve had a really hard day, I’m very tired. Can I just go lay down for 30 minutes or whatever, just so I can regroup?” That’s where that’s off-script. In the spirit of generosity, I could come to you saying, “I know this is the expectation. I’m really tired. Will you give me a break?”

Selena: Right.

Ryan: And more often than not, you’ll say absolutely.

Selena: My opportunity for generosity is to say yes without stewing while he’s doing it, right? Like without “Oh, he just got home. I’ve been home all day. I’ve been doing all the things.” We’re so quick to account for everything that we’ve done but forget what our spouse has done so quickly and what they’ve been going through. I think that is just…

Again, where’s this coming from? That was my question is where’s this like, “Hey, this is yours, this is mine, and this is how I want it to be? It’s like, well, we can talk about things, right? We’re both submitted. We both need to come to agreement on… And that’s a big key word I think is just generosity and agreement when you’re divvying up roles, figuring out who does what in household.

Because again, our household looks different and many other households the responsibilities that are divvied out, it’s because maybe you have strength of personality or you just prefer doing certain things a certain way. And so hey, we’ve agreed that the girls and I we will do the laundry and we’ll do it to the best of our ability every couple days. The agreement is, you know, that you take the garbage out and I don’t have to ask you every Sunday, right? That should be your role. So I think finding those points of agreement.

And then it’s like, “Okay, well then when it comes to these moments of I’m really tired or he comes home and I’m like, “Man, I could use like, 20, 30 minutes…” It really doesn’t take hours, right? You just need a moment to breathe or do whatever. You have permission to say that because it’s generous. It’s not a constant habit. It’s not “I’m trying to get away from you. I’m trying to get me time.” It’s not the selfish scooping up of what I desire and what I want, because I haven’t had all day. It’s heart orientation.

Ryan: I do want to give the husband the benefit of the doubt-

Selena: For sure.

Ryan: Because it could…

Selena: For sure. For sure.

Ryan: Again, we don’t know your situation, listener. But it could be that the husband is feeling like there’s an inordinate amount of things expected of him when he comes home-

Selena: Sure. sure.

Ryan: …and this the pushback against that. Meaning like he comes home and it’s chaos. It’s not a home of peace, it’s a home of chaos. Maybe it’s dinnertime, and he’s just getting home, there’s no food to be found. Maybe the groceries need to be bought, maybe the food needs to be made, prepared, the table needs to be set, maybe the table needs to be cleaned from the previous night. Like nothing has been done. I’m just saying that’s a possibility.

Selena: And there are seasons too. Recognizing, like, hey, we have three under three or something like that. And this life is crazy, we’ve had a great day but I have not had time to do these things. So it’s conversations and peeling back the layers-

Ryan: Communication.

Selena: And yeah, communicating saying, “Hey, we’ve had a rough day, it’s been kind of crazy but here are the good things. Here are the good things. The kids and I have connected. They learned to do this really well. They’re so excited that you’re home. Again, the kind of the keywords that we would want you to walk away with are generosity, agreement, and then selflessness.

All of this kind of stem from this question of just, is your spouse coming from a heart of service or heart of selfishness, right? And what would that look like? If you were coming to me with a heart of service, but you’re tired, you want your own time, you’re struggling with just whatever it is, how can I serve you in that moment? But how can I even have the motivation to say, what do you need? How can I give it to you? I’m tired and worn out.

Ryan: That’s the difference between coming home to a roommate and coming home to a spouse, coming home to a servant or coming home to somebody who’s a partner in the life that you’re building together and saying, “Okay, I’m coming, I’m bringing myself to the equation right now and I’m telling you that I’m depleted. So as opposed to, I should never have to feel depleted or never feel like your demands are placed on me.

Selena: And I think that kind of the red flags of selfishness that you’re-

Ryan: On both sides.

Selena: On both sides. …is this the ultimatum. Like, this is how it’s going to be. The “me” time. I need time, I need to get away from these kids. I need my wind time. I need my screen time. I need me time. Right?

Ryan: Which that’s the thing, right, wind time?

Selena: I guess. I don’t know. But the thing is, is that yes, I think we’re human we need to rest and refuel. But the question is, how are we resting and refueling? Are we going to Scripture? Are we sitting at the feet of Jesus? We are taking a quiet moment to breathe and pray before we pick up our phone to just scroll the time away?

Ryan: Life hack. Life hack. In terms of marriage and parenting after dinner, I’ve found, if I’m able… I try to run it past you. But like if I’m able to go lay down for like 10… Because dinner puts you out. Because I feel like your stomach’s digesting food. I’m not like on my… You’re looking at me like I’m crazy.

Selena: I’m like, gosh, I feel like people eat and the kids are just like wooo.

Ryan: The kids have energy. But I feel like all my energy goes to digesting my food. I don’t do this all the time. But the times that I’ve said, “Hey, I need 10, 20 minutes, I have to come out after 20 min. I can’t make it an hour.

Selena: Well, and I trust that. That’s the thing is that we’ve built this trust. Like, okay, you say 10 to 20 minutes, I’m not stewing over here being like, Yeah, it’s gonna be like two hours, you know, because we built that trust. You gotta communicate. You gotta build the trust.

Ryan: Because you never need those little rests. What’s the deal? I feel like you’re superhuman.

Selena: I don’t know.

Ryan: Are you taking something [inaudible]?

Selena: I think I just crash hard at night sometimes.

Ryan: It’s true. I think you’re superhuman.

Selena: Okay, well. Anyway, I don’t know. I hope this conversation has helped a little bit because, you know, we hear yes, the wife needs to.. we need to submit to the husband, but that’s not the “Okay, well, he has this this request and ultimatum, so therefore, I submit.” No, that’s not a loving agreement. So as a godly wife, you know, we look at Proverbs 31 again, not as something to strive for out of our own strength, but something that pours… a type of person pours out of us because of the Holy Spirit’s work in us. Right? And these are the attributes of a godly wife. These are things that she already is and that are flowing out of her and her husband, you know, he trusts her. And there’s this generosity that you see that he’s out working, he’s in with the elders, he’s at the front gate, all these. He’s known by the city, the town or whatever. So someone like that. I mean, just even the small bits that they describe the-

Ryan: The husband?

Selena: Is it Solomon that wrote Proverbs 31?

Ryan: Yeah.

Selena: The small bits that describe the husband show that there’s a trustworthiness, that there’s a submission to a higher authority, and not just a husband submitting to his own desires and whatever he wants, right?

Ryan: Yeah.

Selena: We hope this has been helpful. Be generous with one another.

Ryan: Oh, I have this last note. I have a heart for seeing men take full circumspect responsibility for the home. In other words-

Selena: Yeah, you were saying this. The buck… Where does the buck-

Ryan: The buck stops with like… When Adam and Eve fell, Eve was the first one to transgress the law. Adam followed her. But who did God go to? He went to the man and said, “What have you done?” And he said, “It’s the woman that you gave me.” He blamed her and he blamed Him. Blamed everyone but himself. Okay, he was the first Adam, fallen. We are under that curse of sin that Adam gave us. Now we have the second Adam (Christ) who did the opposite. It was not His responsibility. Instead, He took it on Himself and bore the full weight. And we are called to love our wives in that way.

So like, in every way, I want to take responsibility. Now, if I am having to do that, then it’s going to take some time to… That’s another conversation. But it’s not going to be optimal because I’m not Christ. So I was given a helper fit for me. So we need to work together. That’s how you’re gonna get a strong marriage.

But anyway, if you’re hearing this, and all of this makes sense, and you have yet to really understand what it means to be under Christ’s headship-

Selena: Yeah, to know Christ.

Ryan: …to be under Christ’s-

Selena: Lordship.

Ryan: …Lordship, his sacrifice-

Selena: His loving authority.

Ryan: He’s taken the burden of your sin and borne the weight of it on the cross. We just celebrated Easter last weekend. And He didn’t just stay dead, but He resurrected today. He’s calling you to be resurrected to new life by placing your faith in Him. If you want to hear more about what that means, I encourage you to find a friend you know who’s a Christian, talk to them say, “I want to read my Bible. Can you help me read… how to read my Bible? I want to find a church. Can you help me find a church?” Talk to them. If you don’t know those people, go to the website, thenewisgood.com. We set that up for. You should get your step, get your foot, one step down that path.

Let’s pray. Our Father God, we thank you for the gift of marriage. Thank you that you’ve given us directions for it. You’ve given us the example in your own Son who was loved perfectly but you’ve also given us the example of your church universal for all, you know, past, present, and future, the bride of Christ to be submitted to that head and how beautiful that picture is. And it’s a mystery. It’s a profound mystery. That’s what Paul says. Thank you for that beautiful picture you’ve given us. Help us now to live in light of it. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Selena: Amen.

Ryan: Thanks for joining us. This episode of Fierce Marriage is—

Selena: In the can.

Ryan: We’ll see you again in seven days. Till next time—

Selena: Stay fierce.


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