Caught up in the romance and excitement of wedding plans, many couples are unable to envision what their relationship will be like on a routine basis. Both spouses enter marriage with a set of expectations, most of which will be quite different from the other. Every individual has an assumption about the roles which they will play. The woman may expect that she will have a career, and the household chores will be shared equally with her husband. The man, on the other hand, may be somewhat traditional and believe that cooking and cleaning is the woman's responsibility. He will, therefore, be expecting his wife to play that part. Since roles and expectations are not as clear cut as they once were, it is important to take time to discover what these expectations are. Some are realistic and achievable while others may be idealistic and unachievable.
We cannot be ignorant of the fact that the world is changing rapidly and the traditional roles and responsibilities of men and women continue to evolve. Culture is influenced by modernization and the marriage setting is not the same as it used to be in the days of our parents and grandparents. Many individuals bring into the relationship their own experiences and influences from their parents' relationships. Their observation of how their parents lived as well as specific teaching of faith, values and traditions and practices.
In order to minimise conflict and build fruitful, healthy lasting relationships, it is important that both men and women have a clear understanding of how they should relate. First things first, the importance of choosing your partner well cannot be over emphasized. Remember to take into consideration their faith, values and culture. They should be individuals of integrity, good family history and a good standing in society. Marriage is serious business and should not be entered into lightly. Once you are ready and are confident then marry and live by the rules of the game.
Wives endeavour to;
1. Be a helper to your husband
2. Respect honour and appreciate him
3. Love him unconditionally
4. Submit to the leadership of your husband
5. Be a good home maker
6. Looks matter, take care of yourself and your self-image
7. Stay faithful and give your husband no reason to doubt your fidelity
8. Work diligently for the wellbeing of the home
9. Aspire to meet his needs
10. Be his confidant
Husbands endeavour to;
1. Love your wife unconditionally and be committed to her
2. Serve your wife diligently
3. Provide for her adequately
4. Protect her with your life
5. Listen to her attentively
6. Be generous with your time
7. Proactively determine her needs and aspire to meet them
8. Honour and respect her
9. Understand her language of love
10. Be her confidant
God's intentions and original plan was for husband to provide leadership in marriage. In the beginning, God created Adam and in seeing that he needed companionship, He created Eve as his helper from the man's ribs, bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. "The LORD God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him'. Genesis 2.8
Marriage is beautiful, however, each of the partners have to play their part and be totally committed to the relationship if it is to work. It is a sometimes unspoken and recognition of roles and responsibilities is clearly defined. Roles continue to evolve and what matters is who is better at what. Gifts and abilities are not gender sensitive and when you a couple recognises this then partners allow one another to exercise their gifting. After all what matters is the bottom line. It's not about who is the head of the household, it's about servant leadership, one willing to lead without a title and desiring to lead a team called family.
Live love and thrive because you deserve it!
The writer is a Relationship Coach and Author, |Marriage Built to Last. You can reach her on; www.jenniekarina.co.ke