Pass the rags and where’s the dustpan?

Published 6:15 am Wednesday, December 6, 2023

By Les Ferguson, Jr.,

As I write this, I’m taking a short break from helping clean around our home, along with a final bit of Christmas decorating. We have a whole house of company coming this evening — our lives are filled with friends and blessings, and for that, I am thankful.

And, of course, it is championship weekend, which means college football is monopolizing the television. With one eye on the vacuum and the other on the TV, I am progressing well in my assigned chores. 

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Can I confess? I’ve never understood the Neanderthal idea that housework is just for women. At our house, we are a team, and chores are done based on needs and availability. 

Let me hasten to add that I can swab the decks with the best after six years in Uncle Sam’s Navy. For all you landlubbers, I am well accomplished at mopping the floors. I will admit, though, to an unhealthy hatred about vacuuming. But even that is a part of my repertoire, as well as cleaning toilets, wiping down sinks, dusting, and whatever else is needed. 

I’m a regular Renaissance man, mind you, but just in case you get some funny ideas, I’m not for hire, thank you very much. 

Additionally, none of this is about bragging. Seriously, what is there to brag about? I’m just participating in the sacred marriage partnership, even if it is with a dust rag in hand. 

What have I learned from being a happily married man? As it turns out, I’ve learned a lot. Most importantly, I understand my happiness stems from actively participating in every aspect of our married lives. 

If you are a man and reading this, you may think I’m telling you to grab a broom and get to work. That may be precisely what you need to do. But more importantly, I am saying to both men and women: “Don’t let your marriage be hindered by outdated stereotypes — especially those that create unnecessary burdens and confusion.”

Be a true partner to your spouse. Let your children see a marriage that is not a fifty-fifty partnership but one where both give a hundred percent. Let them see you happily picking up the slack in any needed area. It just might be the best Christmas present you could ever give them! 

Smile, and remember the wisdom of Solomon:

“Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up. Also, if two lie down together, they can keep warm; but how can one person alone keep warm?” 

“And if someone overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9–12 CSB17)

Merry Christmas — and a hint: there are 19 shopping days left!