Do you ever find there are household tasks you don’t enjoy? Or you’re just glad that someone else is willing to step in when you don’t want to? For me, this is a common occurrence in my household, especially on home maintenance and repairs.
One afternoon, my husband was sharing with me some updates on the maintenance of our minivan. He described that the tread in my tires was going down and that it needed new axle boots and my brake rotors and pads need replacing. I proceeded to listen to his vast knowledge about tread and wheel bearings, and all the while could only take in half of what he was saying. Partly because it wasn’t something I was familiar with, but also because I honestly wasn’t interested.
“What the heck is tread?” I thought. Yet I could see that my husband was very interested. He was good at troubleshooting problems on my car or repairing devices in our home. If he didn’t know how to fix something he would research “DIY’s “ and determine what part it needed. I, on the other hand, found the whole process to be mind-boggling and uninteresting. Now, I’m not saying women can’t do home repairs or this is a “men can do and women can’t do thing.” This is more of a “this is not my area of interest and someone is better at it than I am” thing.
I get major anxiety trying to figure out how to fix or repair things around the house. My skills came in other areas: cooking, calling the doctor’s office when our kids are sick, handling family get-togethers, keeping track of schedules, remembering random history facts for homework, dressing our family, and planning Mass schedules, to name a few. I’m fortunate that my husband enjoys home repairs or we’d be in a worse state.
But if you asked him what is his role in our marriage, his simple response would be, “I’m just trying to take care of my family.” He wouldn’t go into a complete list of house responsibilities, (car repairs, landscaping, barbecuing, telling our girls stories and teaching them life lessons, paying bills, or being a loyal husband and father.) He would say that’s just what he’s supposed to do. Yet the talents he brings to our marriage are things that are valuable to everyone. He doesn’t seek praise for them. He does all these things out of love.
And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (Colossians 3:14)
In the sacrament of marriage, God utilizes our gifts to support each other. So when my husband talks about tread and I’m not interested, what I do realize is that’s what makes the role of marriage so special. God created us equal but different. We are not meant to be the same, yet we have the likeness to complement each other.
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. (Ecclesiastes 4:9)
My husband and I are a team. What I lack, he makes up in his God-given abilities; what he lacks, I provide to supplement, and when both fall short, we work it out together. I’ve learned, in our sixteen years of marriage, that relying on that partnership has made me more of an effective partner and parent. I’m sure that I could do a lot on my own without the support of my husband and he without me, but relying on each other allows us to grow together and create that bond that we are in this ride together.
I trust my husband will take care of those responsibilities and he trust that I will provide the gifts I put forth. So while I don’t enjoy car repairs, I respect and admire my husband for the many talents he has — because he does them all out of love for me. It’s in these simple acts that he tells me he cares for me and cares for our family.
(And by the way, tread is the thickness of the tires.)
What do you and your spouse contribute in your marriage to complement each other?
Copyright 2019 Andrea Bear