Men and Homemaking?

We do not usually associate the idea of homemaking with men. We tend to have less of a nesting instinct. I do not labor and brainstorm over interior decor the way my wife does. For my own part, I do not mind sleeping on a couch or stepping over socks on the way to the shower. 

But as man, I have my own way of homemaking, don’t I? Some people might call it kingdom-building. I like to surround myself with things that are comfortable for me. And I like to have  something to show for all my hard work. I want my skills to be recognized. Ultimately, I want people to value what I have and what I can do. 

Think about this example. I work for an internet company. There are at least two ways for my job to grow in value. The company can grow, thus increasing the worth of my position. Or I can grow within the company, acquiring new responsibilities and prestige. Both of these enhance my presentation of my work to other people. This boosts my identity and status when I speak about it to impress my friends. 

Now let me ask you this. What is the real difference between this example and my wife redecorating our home so she can post about it on Instagram? Is there any? Maybe outwardly, but the heart is the same. In these scenarios, we are both after identity. The problem is not in being promoted at work and telling people about it. The problem is not in redecorating the house and posting pictures about it. The problem is giving those things a place in our identity they have no right to have. 

I can easily question the motive behind redecorating and Instagram. But do I challenge myself? What is my motive behind playing volleyball with my friends? What fuels my drive to get a degree? What drives my conversations with people about my job? Now we can see the problem is not with just woman or just men. The breakdown is at the core of every human heart. We all want to be seen. We all need an identity. 

This need is not bad. No one can live without an identity. Identities give hope and structure, without which no one can function. But identities are not forged in kingdoms or homes. You can’t make them on the sports field or on Instagram. A stable and secure identity comes from only one place. God has a monopoly on true identity. As the creator, He is the only one who can truly say who we are. He supplies what we desperately need. 

What would it look like if we lived everything we did from this God-given identity? We would not be chasing identity, but displaying the one that He has established for us. We could stop trying to maintain our citizenship of this world and build our kingdom and our home in Him. This is what challenges me as a man. This is how I want to lead my family. My earthly kingdom is not preeminent; the heavenly one where I am going is the endgame. 

Only one life t’will soon be past, only what’s done for Christ shall last.” – C.T. Studd

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