However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
I hate to admit it, but I’m a bigger fan of historical fiction than I am of actual history books. I love to read about Tudor-era women fighting for better marriages and higher positions and more power… even the chance to be queen. But when they get to be queen, they’re still not happy: they know they’re not the king.
We Christian women are the queens of our households, and we love it—but we know we’re not the kings. Although our homes are our dominions, the Bible clearly says that our husbands are the leaders of them.
It’s a challenge to be in charge of the home and yet not be the leader of the family. (Even if you’re feeling skeptical here, please keep reading… it will be worth it.)
We all have a little spiritual clutter that tells us we’re not being the best wife we could be. We definitely have some spiritual clutter when it comes to our husbands’ differing views on home management. Our husbands don’t always put things away where we want them to go. They fail to follow the systems that we’ve set up… and we don’t always want to go along with theirs.
During the Q&A section of my home and family organization talks, I’m always asked about how to organize with husbands. After giving my two cents, I usually try to toss those questions back to the audience, seeking to hear other women’s ideas. I often hear these:
- I throw out my husbands’ stuff when he’s not looking and he never misses it. (This is bad.)
- I give him ultimatums like “Clean out this stuff or else.” (This is very bad.)
- I withhold sex until he does what I want. (This is very, very bad.)
These are obviously not Biblical solutions.
We don’t have to struggle against our husbands, making our own job as queen harder! Instead, we can use organization as a tool to bring some peace into our kingdoms. So here are some ways to rule your home alongside your husband:
1. Surrender some land. Surrender some areas in your home to your husband. Acknowledge that your husband needs to spread out his stuff and be who he is, and that you can’t keep those places neat and organized all the time. If you’re the messier one, you may need to surrender some places by keeping your stuff out of them, allowing him to have a completely neat and organized spaces!
In my home, these places are my husband’s nightstand, his dresser, the garage, the unfinished basement, and the home office. Even though our home office is right by our front door (it’s practically the first thing that guests see when they come in!), I’ve surrendered that room. That room is not my responsibility; it’s not my job to keep it neat. It’s his room and I’m not going to carry its state in my spirit. With this attitude, my heart is much more peaceful—and the room looks the same regardless!
2. Map out your territory. If your hubby’s stuff just seems to be everywhere, sit down with him and work together to specify what areas of your home will be used to store what items. I talk a lot about this in Building Your House, but suffice it to say that you want to keep your things as close to where you actually use them as possible. Ask if you can move his things to a more logical area, even if that means storing things in an unconventional way. He may have some really creative ideas!
3. Inventory your storerooms. Set logical boundaries about how much stuff you can realistically keep in your spaces. Research says that guys have great spatial awareness! Gently remind your gentleman that this is all the space you have. “This is the drawer where we keep your t-shirts, so will you please sort these so that your t-shirts will easily fit into this space?”
4. Address the court wisely. You don’t have to worry about being beheaded, but you don’t want to address your husband without the respect he deserves. Read that question about the t-shirts again. That’s much more loving and respectful than: “Look, this is all the space we have for all of your nasty, smelly, discolored t-shirts. You know, the ones that you’ve had for longer than the ages of all of our children combined?” If you have a lot of pent-up frustration about his stuff, take a moment to see it from his perspective. Then choose to be loving and positive! Logical requests are a strong foundation, but a great attitude builds the castle.
When we work to keep the peace in our kingdoms, we’re following God’s plan for our marriages and our families, Instead of waging a war against your husband, remember that you’re both servants working for the same ruler, our Heavenly King.
May your home be His dominion.
Want to read more about organizing your husband? (I mean, organizing with your husband!) Check out my newest book, Building Your House.
And, help other queens build their castles! Here’s a pin-friendly image:
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