As a woman, your role is to clean the home, wash the dishes, do the laundry… wait a second! What? I was just kidding. But these were some of the ‘traditional roles’ I grew up believing as a young woman.
Nowadays, the shift in the socio-economic situations of an average family, and the progressive switch of labour demands from brawn to brains call for the re-definition of gender roles in a marriage.
I believe that every marriage is unique, so couples are free to decide what roles they want to take on. However, there are some fundamental roles that I think every woman should be responsible for in a marriage.
But first, what is “Marriage”?
I simply define marriage as a union of a man and a woman who have committed to building a life together. My keywords are: “a man and a woman”, “commitment”, and “building something together”.
Let me clearly state that before either of these parties can play their roles effectively, they have to be well-prepared. I mean, you wouldn’t hire a self-proclaimed architect who has no form of training to build you a beautiful house, right?
As a spouse or partner (a woman), you need to invest in yourself spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically so you can function at your fullest capacity and not get worn out. This is very important as you cannot give what you do not have.
Now let’s talk about a woman’s role in marriage.
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1. As a helper
The fundamental role of a woman is to help. A woman was designed to be of assistance in her home. Often, we mistake help to mean “taking charge only when necessary” or “helping your partner handle physical activities only, even if you can do more”. These notions are so wrong.
“Help” comes in different dimensions, and it depends on the need of your partner and your home at every point in time. For example, making the home a peaceful place, providing financial support, and being a dependable source for insights and ideas. Whatever you can do is what you should do to support your marriage.
"In my five years of marriage, I find it fulfilling to see things work in my home because I am involved. The process of building a family is one that requires a lot of effort."
2. To support authority
I know a lot of women cringe at the sound of submission, as the word has been used in different contexts, and has lost its true meaning. Hence, as a matter of convenience, I use the word “supporting authority”. A woman should support the leadership of her home.
“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority”
– Ken Blanchard
I love this quote because it empowers me (as a woman). It helped me to understand how valuable I am in my marriage. Every woman has a significant influence on her partner, which means she has indirect authority in her home as well.
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As a Christian, my faith mandates me to submit to my partner. Nevertheless, irrespective of your belief, we may agree on the fact that it is not a wise decision to have two people in the same position of authority in an organization. We can’t have two presidents in a country at the same time; there is a void when there is no vice president.
"Nowadays, the shift in the socio-economic situations of an average family, and the progressive switch of labour demands from brawn to brains call for the re-definition of gender roles in a marriage."
3. To build
In my five years of marriage, I find it fulfilling to see things work in my home because I am involved. The process of building a family is one that requires a lot of effort. That means making sure that everything is in the right order at a given time. As women, we have such a powerful instinct, and I am sure it is not by accident. It is, therefore, our responsibility to use this gift to pay attention to everything happening in our home in order to have a long-lasting and fulfilling marriage.
Building the home also mean raising the fruit of the marriage - children. Our society is where it is today because families are disintegrating probably due to the misunderstanding of gender roles. Of course, this inferably affect the morals and overall values of individuals in the society. We are to lovingly instil the family principles and values in the children so they can make a positive impact in our world.
I strongly believe that whatever you do in your marriage ultimately influences your personal growth. When a woman plays her roles in her home effectively, she gives room for everyone to thrive, and in turn, she becomes better in the long run. To ensure these roles don’t overwhelm her, she needs to be equipped and stay informed.
By way of encouraging women, I share personal stories and anecdotal lessons learned from my journey from a girl to a mom on my YouTube channel (Girl to Mom®). If you would like to listen to an elaborate view on a related topic, a good place to start is by watching this video, where we debunk some myths that limit women, especially African women.
Please leave a comment on what roles you find fulfilling in your home as a woman. Your opinion matters and we would love to read your thoughts on this theme. Also, stay on this space for more dazzling articles on family, relationships, and raising children. Keep dazzling!
Mrs. Opeyemi Ayodeji is a teacher, mother, content creator, and a personal growth enthusiast. She has a bachelor's degree in Economics Education. She is an advocate for the girl-child emancipation, and she is passionate about helping young women discover their purpose.