Men don’t have a sixth sense

by Stephen Altrogge

Do you remember that movie The Sixth Sense?  It was the one about the kid who sees dead people.  It was also the one that had the twist at the end that made most people go, “Wait…who?…what?…hold on just a second.”  I’ve got to admit, the movie freaked me out pretty bad.  For days afterwards I was afraid that I was going to walk around a corner and suddenly come face to face with a dead person. 

I’m pretty sure that most women also have a sixth sense.  This additional sense allows them to communicate with each other without using words, or body language, or any other traditional means of communication.  To be honest; I’m not even sure how it works.  I think it might be sort of like a superpower, or telepathy, or something like that.  With nothing more than a look or a raised eyebrow, women can communicate vast amounts of information to each other, such as favorite recipes, current emotional state, and the best way to swaddle a baby.  It’s pretty incredible.  

Guys don’t have that sixth sense.  We need things to be spelled out in black and white.  We don’t pick up on subtle hints.  In fact, we don’t really pick up on hints at all. 

My wife, Jen, is an incredibly capable woman.  She gets things done.  A lot of things.  She keeps the house wonderfully clean.  She makes fantastic dinners.  She manages to keep our two little girls bathed, fed, and away from electrical outlets.  And Jen loves to bless me.  When I come home after work, she wants me to rest and relax.  Jen takes her biblical call to be a helper to me very seriously.

But the fact is, we have two little girls who like to run and rampage about the house, and there are times when Jen needs help.  When Jen is making dinner, she can’t also watch our girls.  When she is giving one of the girls a bath, she can’t also play with the other one.  I need to step up and serve my wife.  I can’t just sprawl on the couch and expect her to take care of everything. 

In the past I think there have been times when Jen has been hesitant to ask for help.  She felt bad asking me for help, as if, somehow, she wasn’t really fulfilling her job as my helper.  As if she should be the one taking care all things house related. 

And here’s the thing: I want to help Jen around the house.  Ephesians 5:25 says, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…”  I’m called to love Jen and lay my life down for her.  I want to serve her.  I want to help in any way I can. 

But even if I want to help, I’m not always aware of when Jen needs help.  I don’t have that sixth sense that starts tingling when trouble is afoot.  It usually takes something dramatic to get my attention, such as a child screaming or something catching on fire.  So what Jen and I have learned is that we both need to be in communication with each other.  I’ve learned that I need to regularly be asking, “How can I help?”  Jen has learned that she needs to be willing to ask me for help, and to get my attention when she needs help.  She can’t always expect me to see the need, and I need to be proactive in asking her how I can help.

So ladies, let me encourage you to ask your husbands for help.  Don’t feel like you’re not fulfilling your God-given role as a helper.  God has called your husband to lay his life down for you.  Help him do that!  Also, don’t assume that he knows the best way to serve.  In fact, it’s probably safe to assume that he is blissfully unaware of how he can serve you.  Let your husband clearly know how he can serve you. 

And if, for some odd reason, any men happen to be reading this article that is featured on a woman’s webzine, let me encourage you as well.  Ask your wife how you can serve her.  Make it easy for her to ask for help.  When she asks for help, don’t act like she just asked you to sacrifice your kidney.  By God’s grace, serve joyfully and excitedly. 

Ladies, you can’t do it all.  You can do a lot, but not everything.  Ask your husband for help.  God has called him to serve.  Help him do that.

Stephen Altrogge serves as a pastor at Sovereign Grace Church of Indiana, PA, where he oversees small groups and leads worship. He has written several worship songs for musical projects produced by Sovereign Grace Ministries and is the author of Game Day for the Glory of God.

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