Caring for our menfolk

A strong marriage rarely has two strong people at the same time. It is a husband and wife who takes turns being strong for each other in the moments when the other feels weak. (Ashley Willis)

We like to think of our menfolk as being strong, resilient, tough, able to fight off the dragons, protect their families and when they work long hard hours we assume they will be just fine.

Sadly, not all men aren't as tough as we like to think they are.

Men working long hours, often inflexible and non-family friendly are not doing themselves or their families any good. It slowly affects their health, not just physically, but emotionally and mentally. Have you ever wondered why more men die from heart attacks than women? It might sound noble for them to invest many hours in their careers (or undertake several jobs to meet the financial demands of the home) but it isn’t a wise thing to do and us wives need to look out for them. 

Not only do our menfolk have demanding hours at work (some with unpleasant bosses and work situations) they also have the stressors of bills and the mortgage to consider plus meeting all their home duties such as mowing the lawn and fixing a tap etc.. Wives need to be vigilant and help in anyway we can.  We can:
  • we can be frugal, reduce waste and be wise with the finances
  • we can make sure our husbands eat healthy home cooked meals
  • that they have a good nights rest
  • plenty of fresh air and exercise
  • make sure our homes are a place of comfort and retreat (not messy and noisy when our husband comes home)
  • not bombarding our husband's with demands and questions when he walks through the door
  • reduce arguments and unreasonableness in the home by guarding our hearts and tongues
  • offer encouragement, hugs ....
but sometimes the reality means that we need to do more. For some women there isn't any choice but to find some type of employment (hopefully at home) to help financially. There is nothing wrong in sharing the load, even in the short term, if it means reducing your husband's stress level and making sure he doesn't get sick.  

A more tragic consequence of men slaving away is suicide. The rate of suicide is highest among men in their 30's and 40's. They try so hard to prove themselves, to provide for their families and some find it far too hard in the end. We, as their wives, need to take care of our menfolk and not encourage them to work these long hours. We need to watch for increases in stress level, blood pressure rising, difficulty sleeping, not wanting to talk (bottling up their problems) or not  interacting with the family as they once did. We need to demonstrate to our husbands that we love them, that we believe in them, we stand by them no matter what happens, we need them to understand we have confidences in them, trust them and they are doing a wonderful job for they family. There are times when we need to be extra strong for our husbands. 

The other consideration of fathers working long hours is the integral part they play in their child's life, and if they are never home, that relationship will be damaged. Fathers do need to say no to their employer, many work far too long into the evenings (some bring their work home) for no extra pay whilst the employer reaps the benefits. I have noticed a growing trend amongst dads (especially those with younger children) saying no and its great news. They are eager to go home and kick a football with their sons (and we need our husbands getting sunshine and exercise as it is good for their health). It is a positive change in the right direction. 

Any man that is married needs to think of his marriage - if he is never home then how does a marriage work. We need to encourage our menfolk to be home at a suitable hour so they can spend quality time with their children and special time with their wives. That won't happen if he comes home exhausted from overwork.

And finally - wives pray for your husbands daily (even those who have unbelieving husbands) so they have the strength to do their work well, seek God's wisdom and remain in good health. 

I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine. 
Song of Solomon 6:3


  1. Dear Jo, very wise words! Our men have been feeling the effects of this stress in our lives and world! I always try to be the one and only leading lady and he knows how much I appreciate him! The saying goes, as a man was lying on his deathbed has one ever said, I wished I had worked more hours...
    Love, Roxy

    1. Our poor men are feeling the stresses for sure, especially now with the economic problems in many countries. My husband is now retired and he is far more relaxed and happy - no pressure or running around :) Life is much nicer for him.

      Have a lovely weekend:)

  2. So true, Jo. And the pressure of work is such a problem - they feel like they HAVE to work extra. It's not fair for employers to treat men in this way (or any family person, whether man or woman!)... It's all very well for single people to work long hours (not that I think that THAT is healthy, either), but it's especially not fair on those who are married and have children - they can't split themselves into pieces so they can do EVERYTHING for EVERYONE!
    Life is so short though, being career focused is just NOT worth it. For anyone, in my opinion. It proves nothing.

    1. I remember single people at work struggling to get time off work because all the mothers seemed to get first preferences. We aren't machines that can keep on working and now that people need to work until they are 70, most will have very little time for retirement before their health starts to fail,it all seems very depressing.

  3. I think GRACE is an essential ingredient to any successful marriage. Grace is that oil that helps us ignore the little jabs, and smooths the waters when our partner is tired, cranky, or stressed. And as you said in the beginning, sometimes the shoe is on the other foot!

    1. Completely agree:) Marriage is a partnership and we need to work together to pull through any of these hardships.

      Have a lovely weekend.

  4. As the mother of sons, I appreciate someone writing about taking care of "men". Lots is written about caring for the woman in a relationship (which is VERY important, but men need some TLC, too! Thanks

  5. As head of our household, my husband carries much on his shoulders. I am a firm believer in the wife joyfully, carefully, and wisely being a biblical helpmate to our husbands! It's so lovely to read when others feel the same! :)


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