Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Husband’s Duties in the Home

“The Husband’s Duties in the Home” April 15, 1942 In married life, the man is the head of the woman and ordinarily excels her in strength and vigor. This distinction, however, does not humiliate her spirit, for however often she undertakes apparently slight tasks, in reality her attainments are great and powerful because of her responsibility in creating a happy family life, thus meriting her husband’s gratitude. Nevertheless, however cordial this gratitude may be, you men can and must do more. Your dominance as head of the family does not consist alone in performing the activities required by your profession. You also have an active role to play in the home itself which is the proper domain of your wife…You will be sharing responsibilities with your wife who is often overladen with work and worry. …What could be more deplorable or repugnant to Catholic sensibilities than to meet in a Christian environment anything even remotely resembling a once too familiar sight among peoples not yet illumined and softened by the divine mystery of Nazareth: a wife bent under a heavy load like a beast of burden, walking ahead of her husband who follows her and watches, smoking tranquilly! …Hard times come to every family, times that mingle joy and sorrow, difficulties and disappointments, misfortunes and tears; times of birth, sickness, and struggle…Then the woman cannot possibly cope with her manifold duties, now more burdensome and urgent. Then everyone at home must do his best, even the young ones; but the first work must be done by the father, the head of the family, who in critical moments will have to set the example, through his help, knowledge and foresight, giving of himself promptly and without reserve. (Dear Newlyweds, p. 174-176) My friends reflections on this: Oftentimes, modern women feel slighted when the husband is referred to as the “head of the household”. This is, however, the traditional understanding of the paternal role, and it is not necessarily for the purpose of bestowing greater honor on the man than the woman, but to instill in the man a sense of his grave responsibility in providing for his family’s spiritual and physical needs. For the Christian, authority implies service. The roles of the husband and wife are equal in dignity even if they support different functions of the family.


I enjoyed reading this post. A man is the head of the family and the household and the woman is the heart. I don't mind it a bit because my dh loves me as Christ loves the Church. When that factor is absent from a marital relationship, a man is no longer head of the household and a woman should not submit to him. She can be kind and loving to him and a good example to him in her behavior, but he is not to be submissive or obedient to him, especially if he is telling her to do things that are incompatible with her religious beliefs or her morals or if he abusive. That is why it is important that couples enter into a marriage equally yoked and spiritually at the same level or at least with the same beliefs.

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