2012 UPDATE: It is amazing how much response this post has elicited. I’d say about a third of the comments are from people who love it all, a third from the haters, & a middle third who like it with some tweaks. Hear my heart: I don’t agree with everything 100% either! But my point in sharing this guide is to see that perhaps there’s a better way to love & respect our husbands… Keep in mind this is ONLY part 1! If you really want to see what I believe, read parts 2 & 3 too! (Links are below). Here is my original post:
I came across a blog featuring a post entitled, “The Good Wife’s Guide” featuring an excerpted article from Housekeeping Monthly - May 13, 1955 (supposedly; see my note at the end of this post). I skipped ahead of what the woman had written beforehand, just to see what the Guide contained… and was impressed with how much of it Elizabeth George echoes in her book, “A Wife After God’s Own Heart.”
It wasn’t until I finished reading and scrolled back up that I realized this woman had written (in bold) “We’ve come a long way, baby!”
Here’s the original post
- Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have be thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favourite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.
- Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.
- Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.
- Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Run a dustcloth over the tables.
- Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
- Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Encourage the children to be quiet.
- Be happy to see him.
- Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.
- Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first - remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.
- Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.
- Your goal: To try and make sure your home is a place of peace, order, and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.
- Don’t greet him with complaints and problems.
- Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.
- Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.
- Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.
- A good wife always knows her place.
So, we’ve come a long way? And she’s proud of that? I thought those were pretty good pointers. Evidently, this woman (and her readers) disagree. Here’s an excerpt of the “modern” Good Wife’s guide, written by a reader of the woman’s blog. She thought she was very clever, too:
- Be sure he has good, easy to follow directions to the quality restaurants that deliver curbside. This way when he arrives home he’ll have exactly what he wants for dinner and it will be ready when he arrives and you get fed too. You can be a dear and call in the order. We know how he doesn’t like to do that.
- Prepare yourself…a good cocktail will work.
- Be a little gay (we now know this means happy) The cocktail will relax you and you’ll appear to be happy when he arrives
- Clear away clutter today this means turn the computer off and the tv on and kick stuff out of the way to make a straight path to the tv. That’s all he’ll notice.
Do I even need to continue? Doesn’t the love and respect for her husband just ooze out? Here’s a few more just to drive the point home…
- Be happy to see him.. This may take several cocktails.
- Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him….more cocktails.
- Listen to him. This should be getting easy now after several cocktails.
- He’s coming home with a great dinner and if he’s late make sure he knows how to use the microwave to reheat; if he really comes home late and without dinner have your dinner delivered and eat without him (just be sure he pays for your dinner when he does get home). No need to try to understand his world of strain, you were out there all day too.
It keeps going, too… She ends her anti-husband tirade with, “The opinions of this writer…are shared by millions…I’m sure!!”
I think the women of the 1950’s understood what it means to honor their husbands. Sure, some of those things we may balk at…. but I would not say that a single one of them is out of line. Obviously, the liberated women of today think otherwise. Mmm, let me rephrase that. The so-called liberated women…
I’m sorry, but I think I’m pretty liberated. I’m more than happy to let my husband be the authority, the bread-winner, and the head of the house. I happily relinquish that headship and gladly submit… that’s liberation! It frees me up to be a WIFE!
Am I wrong? Am I crazy? Am I the only one who thinks that this list from the 1950’s is something worth striving for? Leave your comments below and let me know your thoughts!!
(Side note - this is only part 1 of my rant…. as I was researching to see if this list is indeed for real or not [Snopes.com wasn't clear; at worst, it at least shows the proper ideals from the 1950's], I came across other disturbing views of women’s roles for today. I feel like I must share them, and defend the Biblical role of women and wives… because striving wives [myself included] need to be surrounded by and reminded of God’s Truth every day! Sorry for my rant…. stay tuned for more to come!)
However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.