Joe’s parents believe women should work only at home, so his father worked long hours at his job while his mother did all the housework. Susan’s parents shared housekeeping tasks because they both worked outside the home much of her growing-up years. Susan thought it normal that husbands do a fair share of work at home.
After their wedding, Susan sought a job to help with college loans and a down payment on their house. Recognizing their need for the money, Joe did not complain. But when he came home from work, he assumed his wife would do all the house work just as his mother had. Susan, however, believed that a husband who really loved his wife would not just “bring home the bacon” but would also “help fry it.”
Having seen these patterns all their lives, Joe and Susan each felt their way was right. Joe felt indignant that Susan expected him to do “women’s work”; Susan felt frustrated at being asked to carry a disproportionate load at home.
As their friend, you must help mediate the quarrel. What moral principles should Joe and Susan consider in resolving this dilemma and to what extent is this a cultural problem? What should they expect from each other? Is either one using a biblical model of gender relationships?
** The author is doing research on this subject so would appreciate comments from a variety of sources and hopefully different countries.