Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins to deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Galatians 1:3-5
Some time ago, the United States federal government calculated that if you hired people to duplicate the work done by a stay-at-home wife and mother, it would cost $125,900 a year. As I say, that figure is an old one. If we were to compute the replacement cost for a "homemaker" today, the figure would need to be adjusted upward to account for both inflation and cost of living.
Armed with the figure mentioned above, I spent some time this week asking wives if their husbands were paying them the full amount or were trying to negotiate a lower figure. I asked, but I didn't get many answers. The ladies couldn't stop laughing long enough to give me a reply.
That's the way it is in America and Canada, but I think the results would be different if I were asking the same question in India.
Things would be different because the federal government of that country is considering a proposal that would demand every husband pay his wife a monthly salary for housekeeping.
Krishna Tirath, spokesman for the ministry which is behind the idea, says Indian women need to be compensated because they -- without modern appliances -- are putting in more hours than their counterparts in Western countries.
Personally, I think the idea is a great, albeit doomed one. The truth is most of us men don't make enough to pay our partners what they're worth.
Having read articles about the worth of a housewife, I began to ask what is the value of a Savior?
Think about it for a moment or two. Jesus spent 33 years, His entire life, in service for you. What is that worth? During that time He did things which you couldn't or wouldn't. How much is it worth to have someone resist every temptation, decline every invitation to sin?
Yes, Jesus lived for us, but He also suffered and died for us. He didn't defend Himself against those who lied about Him; He didn't destroy those who called for His death. No, without protest, He allowed Himself to be beaten, whipped, spit upon, and nailed to a cross. This He did for us, even as He was carrying our sin. How much should He be paid for His work of redemption?
Midas and Bill Gates don't have enough cash to make a dent in the debt we owe our Savior.
So, how should He be paid? Luther answered it rightly: "For all of which it is our duty to thank and praise, serve and obey Him."
This is most certainly true.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I have been blessed to know many people who are motivated by love. They expect no payment for the things they do. Having said that, I recognize Jesus is unique in the love He has shown and the sacrifice He has made for me. May I thank and praise, serve and obey Him always. In His Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries