Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

1950s Housewife?

You have probably seen the list of housewife's traits that supposedly appeared in a 1955 home economics book. Though the source and truth is actually undetermined (according to Snopes), when you read about that era (and prior), it doesn't seem too far fetched. In truth, many of the 1950s housewives' ways were more biblical than the habits of the majority of modern-day women. We would do well to "eat the meat and throw out the bones" and not "throw the baby out with the bath water."

One admonition that comes through numerous points on this list is the importance of attitude. So many women today have a complaining spirit that is entirely self-centered. We want to tell Husband all our woes of the day the minute he walks through the door, and we continue complaining about everything that needs to be fixed or male jobs he needs to do around the house all the way until bedtime.

Think about it. Put yourself in his shoes. Would you want to come home to that negativity every night after a long, hard workday? Imagine Little Miss Office Chic, who never has a hair out of place, always has her make-up and hair done, and flirtatiously admires him every day. Now think of your appearance and the tone of your home. If you were your husband, would you look forward to coming home at night?

Does this imply that I should always just "put on" an act of happiness and never approach my husband with anything negative? Of course not. This is dishonesty, which never pleases God. There are correct ways we should approach our husbands with issues. This keeps our relationships healthy.

However, we need to think about the tone we set in our homes. You know the phrase, "When Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!" Think about your own home. It's true! We mamas affect the mood of the entire household. We may not like it, but no matter how much we dislike it, it's still true.

I remember my mom getting us kids together and ready to shout, "My Daddy's the GREATEST!" when he came through the door. It was one of the greatest feelings I had as a kid, knowing that my parents loved each other and supported each other.

Scripture teaches that "All the days of the afflicted are evil..." (Proverbs 15:15). When you look on the bad side of things, that's all you will see and it's all you will talk about. Ever met a miserable woman? Every word out of her mouth is a complaint and all you can think about is how to get away from her and how to avoid her in the future? Yeah. Well, the rest of the verse says "...he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast." When your heart has made the choice to see the merry things of life, you have a continual flow of joy!

I have a friend from college who lives this so plainly. She has seven happy, contented children (ages 15 years down to eight months), she doesn't hide her adoration for her husband, and she herself radiates happiness! In her words, she "can't help but smile." And... her husband has been out of work for three months. She has made 50 pies already this week and will make 62 additional pies before the week is over, in order to help her husband from home! She is also working nights, full-time, as a front desk clerk at a hotel! And she's still oozing gratefulness!

Now, just picture her husband's response IF he came home to this...

She is on the couch watching TV or she's on the Internet... in her bathrobe... he steps over clutter... the entire house wreaks and it's a wreck... there is no dinner ready... kids are screaming and fighting...


He walks in the door... she is dressed and has fixed her hair and make-up... the children are clean and dressed... there is soft music playing... the smell of dinner is in the air... the house is neat and clean (at the least, clutter is cleared)... the children are playing contentedly... she rushes to greet him at the door, overjoyed to see him, taking his coat, asking him about his day...

I ask you: Which scene would make her husband look forward to coming home?

Check out Courtney's post on her grandmother, a real 1950s housewife, at Women Living Well: Comparing Myself to a Real 1950s Wife.
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