To Make Him Breakfast or Not?

Should a Christian wife make her husband breakfast?
Never fix him breakfast. You do it once and he’ll think it’s his right!”

Many years ago, an acquaintance told me this was her mother’s advice when she got married.  There couldn't have been a greater contrast between her mother's advice and some I later received from a Christian friend.

It was shortly after I accepted Christ, and I was eager to learn how to be a Christian wife. So a well-meaning Bible study sister told me a good Christian wife should fix her husband a hot breakfast each morning and warm up his car on cold days.

Dutifully the next morning, I woke up at 5am (my husband left for work at 6am). I was tired, and my active toddler and new baby would soon be demanding my full attention. But I wanted to please Christ and my husband. 

Bible Love Notes short sweet devotions
While my husband Michael was eating the toast I’d prepared (all he wanted for breakfast) I slipped into the cold morning darkness and started his car (we had no garage at the time). 

Michael wasn't annoyed with me, but neither was he pleased. He asked me not to get up with him again.

He wanted me to get that extra hour of sleep because he knew how exhausting mom-work was. 

These two examples of advice illustrate two extremes: 
1. No breakfast, no matter what = selfish and inflexible
2. Breakfast no matter what = unrealistic. 

God expects us to be sacrificial, but He doesn’t expect us to bear the whole load. It's counterproductive--it wears us out. And it could even promote selfishness or unrealistic expectations in our husbands. 

Marriages go through many stages…without children, with babies and toddlers…empty nest. What’s unrealistic at one stage may be realistic at another. 

And different things matter to different husbands...people have different love languages. What’s important to one spouse is not to another.

The Bible doesn’t give a list of duties for the perfect Christian wife. The important thing is that we seek the Lord and communicate with our spouse about expectations.

1 Corinthians 10:23-33 may not be a perfect fit for what I’m trying to convey, but I think there is a principle that applies. Each of us should decide what is best for our marriage without judging others or trying to live up to others' expectations. As long as we are striving to do all things for the glory of the Lord, and being sensitive to our husbands, God will guide us.

“So whether you [make your husband breakfast or not], do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31 my paraphrase

32 comments:

  1. Love this...my mother in law makes my father in law three meals a day, 7 days a week and sometimes subtly implies that she thinks all wives should do this. However, my husband doesn't care therefore, it isn't a blessing to him. It's only meaningful if it's meaningful to him. I remember when we first got married, I thought a good wife had to do every domestic task to perfection; I tried my best to keep up with ironing my husband's dress shirts. I refused to allow him to take them to a dry cleaner until one day he admitted that he preferred the way the dry cleaner took care of his shirts. So...I stopped doing it and we're all much happier!

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    1. I so agree that communication is the key and learning what's important to each other. thanks for sharing your story too.

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  2. Gail - YOU ARE RIGHT ON with this post!! It is so important to know the expectations of our spouse. Communication is Key!! Thanks for this post! Wonderful! Now I don't feel too bad I don't get up to give him his breakfast!! He says the same thing "sleep you need it!" God bless friend!
    Monica
    God's Most Precious Blog

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  3. To me, starting the car on a cold day is a "manly" thing to do...that's the kind of thing that my dad always did to serve my mom and I appreciate it when my husband does it for me, but I rarely do it for him, because I serve him in other ways. My husband doesn't really care one way or the other about my cooking him breakfast, and since I cook him lunch and dinner every single day, breakfast is usually reserved for the weekends.

    Blessings to you and your family!

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    1. Yes, Crystal, we're all such different couples/individuals. It's important to please our spouses,not fit stereotypes. Thanks for commenting.

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  4. Very insightful and true. Each hubby has their own needs just like us women :)

    A bouquet of flowers doesn't impress me like some other wives but a nice hardcover book would be a delight!

    Thanks for sharing. ~ JES

    P.S. My husband too would prefer an alert wife than to have a tired one but with a breakfast :)

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    1. I'm with you in regard to the book instead of flowers, JES : )

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  5. Hope you don't mind a man's perspective: In my opinion, context is key. For example us. The important thing is not whether or not she makes breakfast, the important thing is that by having breakfast together, we have a 30 minute mini-date without kids, before I go slug it out in the marketplace and she has to educate our kids. She happens to make breakfast because I have to dress professionally, so it works logistically. We strive for give and take. I'll do the dishes later that night, I'll grill out on the weekends. The principle is that we not look only after our own interests, but also the interests of others.

    How did I get here? My Darling Bride sent me a link to something, and I clicked through to somewhere else, then through to here.

    Best Regards,
    Jeff Hoots
    Indiana

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    1. Thanks so much, Jeff, for giving us this man's perspective and your points are great. Glad you somehow ended up here to make this comment.

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  6. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I can't say enough about this post. This was the very conversation of one of my Bible studies at church and quite frankly I can't get it all done. Our conclusion...at least make sure hubs has the resources to make his own breakfast if you do not make it for him (so he doesn't get frustrated from not having the groceries on hand). I hope you'll link this one up on Titus 2 Tuesday tomorrow on Cornerstone Confessions. Thanks again for the encouragement.

    Kathy

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    1. And thanks for your encouragement, Kathy. I've linked it to Titus 2 Tuesday.

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  7. Hi there found you through blog hop. This post caught my eye because I am coming up on 17 years marriage and from time to time I have tried to be "the good wife" in getting up and making my husband breakfast. When I do I also pack my hubby a lunch and he loves it. But I don't do it on a regular basis and it is always lingering in the back of my mind when I don't. I like this balanced take on this subject. Because I know his love language is acts of service I know I should do this a lot more. Anyway, this was a good reminder, so thank you.

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  8. The bible verse you added is one of my favorites :)

    New follow from the blog hop :) Hope you get a chance to stop by my blog :)

    xo, Jersey Girl

    hairsprayandhighheels.blogspot.com

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  9. My husband doesn't eat breakfast but I do boil the kettle for him so he can have his coffee . I certain make his dinner every night, healthy meals cooked from scratch. Love your blog:)

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    1. We're all individuals, aren't we? And we all do marriage and family a little bit differently.

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  10. I sooo enjoyed this post. :) Thank you for your wisdom. :) My husband prefers not to have breakfast, so instead I try to always have dinner ready when he gets home and his favorite snacks in the pantry. :) Great post!

    <>< Kristen
    www.createdtobehis31.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks, Kristen. Every husband is different...and we serve them in our own unique ways.

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  11. Unfortunately, I do see a lot of "you musts" and "you must nots" concerning how a wife is to treat her husband. The fact is, we are not all cookie cutter wives. Personally, I've always woken up before hubby and helped him prepare for going to work...usually making coffee, making his lunch, starting his truck, etc. There have been times of illness or pregnancy that have kept me in bed, but they're few and far between. It's just something I like doing for him.

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    1. Amen! So glad we are not cookie cutter wives.

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  12. When we stayed with our friends for two months, my friend was surprised that I made breakfast every morning. Her husband arose at 4:30 am and was completely content with what he could fix for himself. I explained that since we were both retired, it just made sense for us to have breakfast together and because Merrill's vision was so poor and in an unfamiliar kitchen, it was more helpful to him for me to fix breakfast, as well as our other meals. I think you are so right, that every situation is different and we go through different phases in our married life as well. Good point, Gail.

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  13. So funny your husband sounds like mine :-) I do prepare the coffee machine the night before and set it on a timer for having it ready before he wakes up ( Coffee is his love language lol)

    But now that our youngest is 2 I am less tired in the morning and fix him a breakfast each morning :-)

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  14. Wonderful post! New to your blog and I love it!

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  15. This is my first time reading your blog, but I will be reading more, for sure!

    My husband wakes up really early every morning to go to the gym and prefers not to eat the calories he worked so hard to burn with a big breakfast. I keep him stocked with granola bars and oatmeal packets, and he's perfectly fine with that!

    It's a heart issue - I love to serve my husband in various ways, but making breakfast for him just isn't high on his priority list!

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  16. I did the same thing! In 2006, I would wake up early and cook a hot breakfast for Jacob, and had a toddler and a baby. Jacob responded the same, understanding our "stage". :-)

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  17. What a refreshing post! I am fatigued with women who blog about what a Christian wife MUST do. My mom made my father a hot breakfast every single day, but my husband would just as soon have his raisin bran solo. Marriage responsibilities are something which each couple has to work out together, as you have said so well...thank you.

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  18. My husband only wants coffee and no food early in the morning. - And he does not like to be "chatted" at! One of his key love languages is acts of service, so I set the coffee maker the night before so that his coffee will be hot and ready when he gets up. That is enough for him to know that he is loved and a priority to me, but not too much to annoy him! *wink*

    Latisha
    confessionsofamartha.blogspot.com

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  19. Yes - we're each unique persons!

    When my sister had her first child, her Husband (who knew her well) got her a Dozen Red Roses : )

    Why I had my first child, my Husband (who knows me well), brought me hot Coffee & a plate of Baklava : )

    We're each happy not having what the other has!

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  20. Such sweet freedom to read this! It's true that when we do too much for our husbands in some areas, it may tempt them to give in to laziness or a feeling of entitlement (or to struggle with feelings of being usurped!) - my husband and I are suffering in this area now. My pride in being a "good wife" and trying to do everything whether he expected me to or not, which resulted in his acquired laissez-faire style of headship in our home.

    Thank you for the reminder and encouragement!! :)

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