Paul, in Ephesians 5:23 wrote, "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body." Unfortunately, most people associate the head with greater honor and assume that the wife will be trampled under the husband's feet if he is actually her head. Balancing Ephesians 5:23 with 1 Peter 3:7 really sheds some light on this subject, though. Peter wrote, "Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered."
Christ does not trample His church under His feet, but gives honor to His church and will present her as beautiful bride without any spot or blemish (remnant of sin) in the life to come. Paul, in Ephesians, commands that husbands love their wives just as Christ loves the church -- Christ's love for His church is an AMAZING love!
If husbands should honor their wives, that probably means that they shouldn't offload all of the duties in the house onto their wives right? Just as the CO of a ship or unit is ultimately responsible for the actions of that ship or unit (that CO is the head), so also the husband is ultimately responsible for what happens (or doesn't happen) in his family. It is, therefore, the husband's responsibility to ensure that clothes are washed, meals prepared, and children brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Not the Wife's Responsibility
Understanding ultimate responsibility is crucial. While a husband may delegate the authority for certain things, he may never delegate his responsibility before God.
Men, this is huge! When I was first married, I saw the domestic duties in our house as my wife's responsibility. Thankfully, the Lord showed me quickly that they weren't her responsibility -- they were mine. My working outside of the home usually prevents me from being able to complete the domestic duties of my house. One reason why Franicia is such a huge blessing to me, though, it because she, as the help meet for my needs provided to me by God, helps me to ensure that household items are completed each day.
When I came to the realization that I am ultimately responsible for the maintenance and care of my family and communicated that to Franicia, it was like a huge weight was lifted off of Franicia's shoulders. She was then able to enjoy working in the home and has continued to blossom in creativity ever since.
No Stroll in the Park
I tell people often, though, that Franicia works much harder than I do when I'm at work. Many times, going to work is like a stroll in the park for me compared to what Franicia experiences every day. I am SO thankful for all that Franicia does for my children and me. Her time at home is rarely relaxing. She doesn't lounge around the house all day while I'm at work.
Change in Expectations
Acknowledging that I am the head of my family as appointed by God, I also must change my expectations of my wife and children. Since everything is MY responsibility, everything that they do to contribute to the economy of my home is a contribution that I no longer have to make personally. I've written more about expectations in the following blog post: Expectations & Perfection: What I Learned from Jim Bob Duggar.
This outline from Trinity Baptist Church is another helpful read on this subject.
Do you agree with my assessment that the husband is the head of his wife and family? How does this affect the way you interact as a family?