Summary: An excerpt abou the role of the wife is taken out of a 1950s home economics textbook and used to make an illustration.
HOW TO BE A GOOD WIFE
The following excerpt is taken from a 1950s High School home economics textbook. I thought you may find it amusing:
“Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal—on time. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal is part of the warm welcome needed….Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives, gathering up school books, toys, paper, etc. Then run a dust cloth over the tables. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too.”
But the textbook is not finished, it continues…
“Some don’ts: Don’t greet him with problems or complaints. Don’t complain if he’s late for dinner. Count this as minor compared with what he might have gone through that day. Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or suggest he lies down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soft, soothing and pleasant voice.”
If you can pull yourself back to the realm of reality for a second, it is painfully obvious to realize that people lived much simpler lives over a half century ago. Can you imagine what a home economics textbook would say today on giving advice on how to be a good wife? In an age that has Wilma Flintstone dropping off Pebbles to day care before going to work, is it even possible to print a politically correct textbook for teaching high school girls on how to be a good homemaker? Probably not. But, the key message this week is NOT really to compare parenting styles of what once was to what is now. The key message this week IS to make a vote of confidence for living a more simple life.
Psalm 46:10 states, “Be still, and know that I am God.” The command phrase, “be still,” comes from the word “rapha” which could be clearly translated as “cause yourselves to let go” or even “let yourselves become weak.” In some poetic versions, the meaning can take on a whole new life by suggesting to “go down to the place of the dead.” That’s unbelievable.
Herein lies the question. How can we as Christian believers “let go” or “become weak” or “humble ourselves to the point of death,” if we are too busy maintaining the hectic schedules we place on our lives? In America, and I know that you will agree with me on this, we work and work and work and work and work and work, only to play and play and play and play and play, then find our worship of God to be out of convenience rather than as a first priority. Maybe if we weren’t so busy being busy, we really could plan family meals, spend time making our spouses comfortable, and be still and know that God is God. I mean, if Jesus Christ had to escape from the hustle of society to meet in the wilderness to convene with God, should we not also schedule our lives to follow that example? Of course we should. And maybe just maybe, the simplicities of a yesteryear where family was the priority and worshipping God was an assumed normality will begin to fall back on household after household in this nation. I pray it does.