Guys That Help Around The House Are Just Being Biblical Men
This time of year, the housework goes into high gear – cooking, cleaning, and all that, getting ready for the holiday rush. If your home is like ours, the cry for “All hands on deck!” is deep, often, and heartfelt in November and December!
When we were a boys-only family, though, a friend with daughters chided Melanie for expecting our sons to help with household chores — that was “women’s work,” in her opinion. We’d like to suggest the opposite — it’s just work work, not unmanly at all. In fact, guys who help around the house are just being Biblical!
Cooking is singled out as a “womanly” task, yet Hosea 7:4 describes men as bakers, Abraham’s cook was a young man, and Isaac instructed his son to cook dinner before receiving his blessing. (Genesis 18:7, 27:4) The Levites cooked for their brethren in the Temple service so their duties could proceed uninterrupted.(2 Chronicles 35:14–15) The disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover.(Matthew 26:19)
(The Food Network has probably helped our cultural attitude on this, since it turned cooking into a competitive sport complete with trash-talking superstars and cheering fans.)
Clothing and Laundry: There are numerous commandments for men to wash their own clothing, and the Greek word for “launderer” is a masculine noun (note). God specifically commissioned two men, Bezelel the son of Uri and Aholiab the son of Ahisamach, to sew the elaborate priests’ garments. (Exodus 39)
Decorating: The same two craftsmen were assigned to design, teach, and do the work of weaving, engraving, and making embroidered tapestry and fine linen for the tabernacle.(Exodus 35:30–35; 38:22-23) Paul and Aquila both sewed tents by profession. (Acts 18:2–3)
Even caring for the baby is fair game for a guy. Moses complained to God, “Have I begotten this people, that thou shouldst say unto me, ‘Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth the suckling child … ’” The Lord uses the same term, speaking through Isaiah of the restoration of Israel, saying, “Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles … and they shall bring thy sons on their arms and thy daughters upon their shoulders, and kings shall be thy nursing fathers … ” (Numbers 11:12, Isaiah 49:22–23 (KJV – note)
Even In Our Culture
There are plenty of examples within our own culture; in fact, the military provides prime examples. The thought of a young man stirring a pot being “less than manly” doesn’t stand up to KP duty in the military; “Cookie” serving in the chow line is almost always portrayed as a sweating bruiser of a man. Sailors were called “swabbies” because mopping the deck was their daily task. Does it make a difference that the sailor wore white bell–bottoms and a square collar? Maybe if we provide our sons with a business–like canvas apron rather than one of Mom’s, we could see kitchen duty in a different light at home, too. In civilian life, men are tailors and dry cleaners, too, and the most famous chefs are men. So why would we balk at asking our sons to do similar tasks for the family?
Hal and Melanie
On laundry duty: Numbers 8:21 refers to the purification of the Levites for service in the Tabernacle; they were all adult men. There are dozens of references to a man washing his clothing for ritual impurity. Mark 9:3 is the only use of the term gnafeus for a fuller (KJV) or launderer (NKJV), but it appears in the Greek Old Testament (the Septuagent) in 2 Kings 18:17 and Isaiah 7:3 and 36:2.
On “nursing fathers”: Newer translations render the term “guardian” or “foster father”, which basically means the same thing; a foster mother of an infant at that time would be expected to nurse the child, after all.
This is excerpted from our book, Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys. We find that when you look at the whole sweep of Scripture, the life of a godly man includes not just courage, boldness, and strength, but compassion, courtesy, and yes, household chores, too! We need more of all these things in the church and the culture …
… and if you’d like some ideas for making these Biblical principles a practical reality with your son, [ CLICK HERE! ]