Yesterday, we looked at a wife's letter in which she made the comment, regarding her husband, that "all he has done is go to work." I mentioned how common this dismissive attitude is among women who do not work outside the home. Let's think about this.

This is a problem primarily with wives who do not work outside the home, because women who have jobs understand that "going to work" is not for fun. 

When you speak to older women (women in their 70's or older), they understand this. They were raised understanding that making a living is a job. They understood that going to work was not fun but was, well, work. They knew that working meant working and that a man who keeps a job and supports his family deserves a lot of credit for doing so. 

But when you speak to women in the 50's or younger, you almost never hear the same view. Why? Well, I think it has to do with the whole feminist idea from the 1950's and since that time. For some reason, in order to get women out of their homes, it became popular to suggest that men who "got to go to work" were lucky and that women, who "had to" stay home with their children, were suffering. Even women who rejected feminist ideas seem to have incorporated this attitude. They really think their husbands "go to work" and spend the day just having fun. They don't. That's why it's called work. 

So, think about what going to work means for your husband. What is his job? Do you even know what he does? If I told you I am an attorney, what does that communicate to you? What if I told you I am a bus driver or a welder or a human resources manager? Surprisingly, most stay at home wives have no real understanding of what their husband does. 

So find out. Don't ask him (he won't tell you), just research it. You are online, so spend some time researching your husband's job. Find out what it is like to be whatever your husband is. Have you ever worked in an industrial environment? Find a video or audio about the noise in the workplace. Find a video or an article about what it means to do what he does. 

Think about other issues. Who is his boss? Is his boss a nice guy or a jerk? Are his co-workers great people or, more likely, normal people who are sometimes really annoying? You think he spends his day "talking to adults," but you have no idea who those people are. Most workers do not spend their day standing around talking to nice people about interesting things. They work. And they work with people chosen by their bosses, not by them.

Women were told to believe that staying home with their children (whom they control and train) is somehow "worse" than spending all day with a bunch of people you did not choose to hire in a high-pressure setting where everyone is trying to keep their job. You think he works with great people? Really? Not if he works in any commercial setting I know. He works with normal people. You spend your day with children you love and can command. He spends his day with people he cannot control, who are often first-class jerks, who do not do their jobs, and who want his job.

He worries about his job and the future. He makes mistakes and gets chewed out. He does everything right but is fired anyway. He is threatened. His best friend is laid off. His office is taken away and he is put into an open area for no reason other than costs. Every day, his life (and your livelihood) is in the hands of people he barely knows.  

If you think "going to work" is nothing, then you are wrong. If you do not appreciate, every day, what he does for you by going to work, then you are wrong. Men who "go to work" and make enough to let their wives stay home to take care of the family ought to be heroes. People in the family ought to thank God for such a steady, faithful man. 

The same is true for wives who go to work, who have to deal with the same world. Maybe what we need in our churches is a class for stay at home moms, taught by working moms, about what it means that their husbands "go to work" every day. 

Or, maybe, we need to have some profit-driven boss come to her home and boss her around all day. Doesn't sound like fun, does it? It's not. It's work.

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