Posts tagged home life

Desperate househusbands



Does helping with housework help your sex life?

Sex Begins in the Kitchen, Dr. Kevin Lehman’s 1981 book, tells men that a wife’s responsiveness in the bedroom at night is the cumulative effect of the attention she receives during the day through things like conversation and helping with housework.

desperate househusbands

from Homemaker’s Encyclopedia, 1954

Research seems to confirm that very notion. In 2008, the University of Kentucky found that “the happier a wife is with her husband’s participation in housework, the more sex she has with him.” The research was done for the book by Neil Chethik, VoiceMaleand was the first to officially link housework with sex.

But hold everything!

Last year, a broader study seemed to contradict the idea that when a man does more housework it meant more sex. “Egalitarianism, Housework and Sexual Frequency in Marriage” actually showed that husbands who did more of what is usually considered women’s work had less sex.

Are the study findings contradictory? Is one set of research findings flawed? I don’t think so. I believe it just shows what’s really in play here.

The 2008 Kentucky study had to do with a wife’s satisfaction with the amount of chores her husband did, while the more recent study tried to equate the amount of chores with the amount of sex.

The 2008 study revealed that a husband doesn’t necessarily have to do half the housework, just enough that his wife felt supported and appreciated. The 2013 study found that husbands who consistently reported more sex were those whose contribution included tasks that are generally considered more manly, like yard work and taking out the trash, versus tasks that many think of as more womanly, like cooking and cleaning.

Marriage involves cooperation and complementarity. A man and woman, husband and wife, mother and father all offer something unique to the family that benefits the others. But it isn’t just about doing what comes naturally and intuitively.

We husbands need to be reminded that wives want to be both appreciated and desired. A woman may want the home to be a pleasant place and often approaches chores with that as the end goal. A husband who recognizes this and joins with his wife in that common purpose earns her appreciation.

A woman rarely appreciates a man who takes it easy while she’s taking on more responsibility than she feels she can handle. Not only can shouldering all the work make her resentful, it also tires her out and makes her less energized for intimacy. Men are wired to compartmentalize parts of their lives like sex and work, but women process things much more holistically.

Here’s a funny story that illustrates this. It’s from a psychotherapist writing about the 2013 study findings in the New York Times, and comparing them to her own experience counseling couples.

A couple in therapy had been working on making their marriage more egalitarian. Things were going very well, but the husband noticed that they were having less intimacy. He wondered aloud in their session if she no longer found him attractive. She assured him that she did, especially when he came in from working out at the gym and she could see his muscles when he got undressed to take a shower.

He then reminded her that the very same scenario had happened the day before, but that rather than desiring intimacy, she criticized him for throwing his clothes on the floor. She saw his point, but it didn’t change the way she felt.

As men, we have a hard time understanding these types of seeming inconsistencies in women. We desperate househusbands think that because we treat our wives with honor and chip in around the house without being asked or nagged, our wives should appreciate us back with intimacy. In fact, one of the theories about the recent findings was that the men who did the most around the house may have reported the lowest satisfaction with the amount of sex because they were expecting more sex for their contribution.

However long you’ve been married to the woman in your life, you probably have come to realize that there are some things about her (maybe even most things) that you’ll never understand. I don’t think it’s just a coincidence that of all the admonitions Scripture has for husbands, being sensitive to our wives makes the short list.

Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life... – 1 Peter 3:7a, ESV

Being understanding doesn’t mean being able to make sense of everything your wife says and does. It’s anticipating her needs and putting her first above all people, including yourself. Scripture also challenges wives to be sensitive to their husbands’ need for connection through sexual intimacy, but that’s not the focus of this blog. The truth is that both my wife and I need to selflessly offer our bodies and our lives to each other, but the only one I have control over is myself, so I’ll work on that.

When we treat our wives with the honor they deserve as joint heirs of the grace of life, when we love them sacrificially as Christ loves the church, they’re more likely to take notice of that grace and are more likely to feel the security to offer themselves to us unconditionally.

Did you do something of value today?



Just one day can make the difference in a life wasted and one that leaves a legacy that will outlive us all.

Driving home one night after work I switched on the radio to catch the news. In an uncharacteristic moment of sincerity, the disc jockey made a statement that sliced through the fog of fatigue I felt from the day: “I hope you did something of value today. You wasted a whole day if you didn’t.”

His statement struck me abruptly. Maybe it was because I had just spent most of the day solving some of the problems of a growing ministry. Fortunately that day, I felt pretty good about how I had invested my time.

Or perhaps it was because of where I was heading. In 10 minutes I would be home where one lovely lady and six pairs of beady little eyes would want and need my attention.

Would I do something of value with them tonight?

It’s just one night, and besides, I’m exhausted, I thought. Then I pondered how one night added to another, 365 times, adds up to a year. The nights and the years seem to be passing with an increasing velocity.

“I hope you did something of value today. You wasted a whole day if you didn’t.” It echoed in my thoughts as I drove through the darkness.

Five minutes more and I’d be home.

I’ll bet there are other men like me who are really tired right now, I thought. I wondered how they would respond to the question if they heard it.

A moment of pride struck me. I bet I do better than average with my kids, I smugly concluded.

Another thought lingered in my mind: Did God call me to be merely a better-than-average husband and father? Or to be obedient and to excel?

Living above average

To be better than average, all you have to do is beat the masses — a step ahead of the herd, so to speak. Not much challenge there.

But to be obedient and to excel, well, that means I’ve got to be a disciple … deny myself … take up my cross … and obey … even when I’m tired and whipped by the day’s draining events.

Is my audience man or God? Where do I want the applause? Heaven or earth?

One night. What will I accomplish? Will I waste it spending all evening in front of the television?

It’s just one night. Another night to build a legacy. What will my legacy be?

I struggled over the lure of “just” one evening of selfishness — to do my own thing. But what if Barbara had a similar attitude? Then who would carry the baton?

What kind of heritage and legacy would I impart? Selfishness? Or selflessness?

One minute, and I’ll be home.

Just one night, Lord. It’s just one night. And then the same angel that wrestled Jacob to the ground pinned me with a half nelson as I drove into the garage.

Okay, okay. I give. You’ve got me. Being a Christian parent is not always easy in this narcissistic culture.

Just one night

As the kids surrounded my car like a band of banshees whooping and screaming, “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy,” I was glad on this night I had made the right choice.

At supper, rather than just grazing our way through the groceries, we spent a few moments on nostalgia. All of us answered the question: What was the favorite thing we did as a family this past year?

And after supper I gave the kids three choices of what kind of memory they would like to make for that night:

1. Play Monopoly together as a family,

2. Read a good book together quietly, or

3. Wrestle on the living room floor together.

Which do you think they chose?

Three little sumo wrestlers grabbed my legs as they began to drag me into the living room. Dad was pinned by the kids. Mom was tickled by Dad. And kids went flying through the air (literally) for the next hour. Our 10-month-old even got in on the act by bouncing on me after she had observed the other kids in action.

Do my kids remember that night? Maybe, but I doubt it. We didn’t break anything to make it memorable.

Did they know I had struggled in the car? No.

Did I do something of value that night? You bet!

I did my best that night and on the many nights that followed while my kids were growing up to leave, with God’s help, a legacy that counts. A legacy that will outlive me.

If you struggle with priorities as I do, then you might want to commit these verses from Ephesians to memory: “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (5:15-17). I’m convinced none of us intends to become the fool Paul wrote about. It just happens.

“I hope you did something of value today. You wasted a whole day if you didn’t.”

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