I’ve known it all my life, but only recently begun to practically achieve it:
A woman’s primary function is caring for her family, which care includes creating a loving home.
My father was largely absentee. He was a long-distance truck-driver and spent most of each week on the road, driving up and down the Eastern seaboard for a major textile company. When he was home, he was rarely home. He’d get in his pickup and come out to the homeplace to visit his sister and her family, visit with neighbors, go to town before bed and drink coffee with the locals and catch up on local news and gossip. My mother resented his absenteeism enormously and complained about it frequently —
But she gave him nothing to come home to. Our home was in a constant state of chaos. Dishes sat on the counter, dirty and unwashed, until the cabinet was empty and it was wash dishes or do without a meal. Laundry sat in piles — dirty on the floor by the washer and dryer, clean on the picnic table that served as the folding table where the ironing board was set up (and rarely used). I’m ashamed to say it but my dad’s room (he and Mother had separate rooms) stank. Mom didn’t change his sheets or make his bed or air the room or collect his dirty clothes — when I got to be old enough I tried to take care of him but it was more than I could manage. He didn’t complain much, he just put up with a lot that no man ought ever to have to put up with.
If my mother had put forth even minimal effort to signal to my dad, her husband, that he was important and respected and appreciated, he would have thought he’d died and gone to Heaven. Instead, he went where his stories were enjoyed and his generosity toward others was appreciated. Never “another woman.” He was very old-fashioned and principled. But he occupied himself away from home as much as he could. Our house was not a home for him. Or for me: I couldn’t wait to escape.
Nowadays, we talk about our rights as women, and men sharing in the drudgery of keeping a house in order. I suppose it’s not unreasonable when both spouses have full-time jobs, but oh! what a cost!
The idea of women, especially mothers, working outside the home is another issue. But let’s think about this:
You know of the idea of love languages? That people have different ways of experiencing, demonstrating and receiving, love. Quality time, physical touch, words of affirmation,gifts, acts of service — one or maybe two of these convey love in ways the other methods don’t. My two big ones are physical touch (hand on the shoulder, one-armed hugs, hand-squeezes. . . ) and quality time. I have a friend who goes all mushy in the stomach and brain when a man gives her a nice gift. I like getting gifts, am downright childish about it, in fact; but I don’t miss it or feel any deficiency when I don’t. But I’ve never met a man for whom acts of service didn’t rank HIGH on his love language list. He goes out to work, to provide for his family, to fight dragons in the public square so his wife and children, his loved ones, can be safe. “Of course I love you – I work to make a home for you, don’t I? To give you nice things –” etc.
But too many women don’t recognize acts of service as Love. They don’t realize that, when they demand their husbands help with the laundry and the dishwashing, they’re demeaning his acts of service already rendered. They’re nonverbally conveying that they don’t love him so very much. We think men just want sex? Men want respect and appreciation. They want to be loved in ways that they can interpret as Love. Daddy sometimes complained, “I don’t bust my butt driving up and down the Eastern seaboard to live in a mess like this. Can’t you even see that I have clean clothes to wear to work?”
He showed his love for his family by working; he needed to be loved back in a similar way. She could have done it, too.
This is an idea that very decidedly goes against the grain, against modern feminism. Women have protested for generations that they are good for more than scrubbing toilets. Women have fought for generations for the right to use their God-given gifts and abilities alongside men. Women serve the world as doctors, lawyers, educators, business executives . . . and I admit that I’m not saying this is necessarily a bad thing for society as a whole, and certainly not for the woman, herself. After all, I know from personal experience how frustrating it is to have no outlet for one’s gifts and abilities, to have them bottled up inside with no visible hope of an outlet.
But the fact is that we’ve paid a high price for our so-called equality. Children raised in commercial daycare don’t, can’t, have the same emotional and moral grounding achieved by children raised in the family. We have a generation of young adults who cannot function with any degree of maturity; they are demanding, whiny, quick to violence when they don’t get their way. This is behavior learned in commercial child care, where the undesirable behaviors get attention, and good ones are not rewarded as vigorously (attention is the sought-after reward).
We are seeing men emotionally emasculated by women’s demands and ascension to power. All this talk about “toxic masculinity” — what nonsense! Toxic feminism, yes! The demand for the “right” to self-fulfillment, even at the cost of the destruction of one’s own children is a curse upon our nation. Toxic loss of authentic masculinity, yes! as men, influenced by infusions of female hormones into the environment and even more by a deliberate suppression of masculine energy and drive, by this toxic feminist culture, become more and more insipid, uncertain, indecisive, and immature.
Society is collapsing, and at the root of this collapse is the loss of a strong sense of family and the home.
The only way to save ourselves is to restore a sense of proper order. Let women be willing to recognize that we are not inferior to men, only different in function. A woman’s innate instinct is to protect her children and to serve her Beloved; this is the very heart of Home. And we are the heart of home and family! Men, by nature, are dragon-slayers. Individual women might wield a sword well enough, but it takes a grave toll on us, emotionally and spiritually, when we have to wield it again and again and again. When we don’t have to, but choose to wield it, we can become warped. Distorted.
I teach piano, and several of my students are from military families. I’ve observed that the military wife serves the Nation as surely as her husband does; by providing a solid place of Home — of refuge and rest — for her soldier husband, she helps make it possible for him to better do his job in the field. Usually, she’s not really aware of those wider-reaching influences she exerts, though; she’s just thinking about being sure things don’t fall apart while her husband is on deployment. But, when he returns, she usually helps him find a restored balance to daily life at home.
We are engaged in an even greater battle for souls. The Church is called the Church Militant because of this battle. I call it the Great Battle. And in the past few years it’s heated up to an alarming fierceness. Women need to raise their own children — and frankly, to be directly engaged in their education — in order to help protect them from diabolical influences. Yes, I advocate for home schooling. Best students I’ve ever had were home schooled — and the most mature, overall.
Our men also are engaged in these serious battles. Men have to deal with a lot of nonsense in the public square. Having unpopular opinions can result in repercussions with a man’s career. They might enjoy the battle to some degree, but when they are done for the day, they want (and deserve) to be able to lay their sword down when they walk in the door of their own home. They ought not to have to be competing with their wives for dominance, or having to fight her for a sense of sanctuary in that home. It’s not fun scrubbing toilets or folding laundry, but by golly! These are the chores that help to create an atmosphere of calm, peace, and order in a home. They are tangible ways of saying “I love you,” to our families.