comments 7

Know Your Role

I answered the phone because the caller ID said it was my husband. On the line though was a female voice, laughing and asking me if I wouldn’t mind confirming something Vinnie had told her. It was his coworker and they were apparently in a small circle chatting when Vinnie had made the offhand comment, in jest, that as his wife, “knows her role.”

Now, because our house is small and I am the mother of small children and it was the morning when I answered the call – I was in my pajama pants, barefoot and in the largest room with coffee to be had (the kitchen) with a baby on my hip.

Barefoot. Baby. Kitchen.

I am woman, hear me…know my role.

Of course, I’m making light of the comment and my husband knows me well enough to know that I would. He knows that I am a co-provider for our family, that I am his helper and partner and that while we do each fall into roles that may or may not be gender clichés, such labels are not what define us as people.

Thing is, I love many of the clichés of womanhood. I love cute aprons and baking and the satisfaction of a clean house and a bed made. I love greeting Vinnie at the door with a gaggle of kids who go running to him when he comes home in a suit after a day at work. I even love that I am soft and vulnerable and that Hallmark can reduce me to a confusing mess of tears of joy and sadness, nostalgia and hope, all in a thirty second spot for Mother’s Day cards.

If this is one of my roles – being a homemaker, mother, misty-eyed mush on the couch – so be it. Glad to have it.

But it’s only a small part of what makes me who I am. Each little role that I take on – the boo-boo kisser, the toast burner, the writer, the photographer – each one on its own is not enough to define me. And I know that the end of the day, a simple equation of:  Daily chores + Job + Family = Melanie – is just plain bad math.

My role, my purpose, is larger than any label can fit and it is more complex than any character in a script that any a pen could draft.

And yours is too.

This morning over coffee, I read Ephesians 4:1: “I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.”


The verse brought me back to the silly conversation I had with the coworker and the broader stroke of the word “role” seemed far more important than the kitchen-bound wife one we were joking about.

And the question: Do you know your role? splintered into a dozen more.

Do you know your purpose? Are you open to your talents, your blessings, to the ways you can be useful?

Are you designed for motherhood? God bless – be the best mother you can be. Are you designed to be a servant in a remote village in Eastern Europe? God bless – get your hands dirty for His glory. Are you designed for public speaking, worship leading, soup kitchen pot stirring?

Any or all of the above? God bless you in your willingness to play a part.

Are you worrying about shortcomings or areas where talents are lacking? You’re off key, you’re ineloquent, and you’re not smartest or the best at anything.

Stop worrying about the many roles you don’t fit and fulfill the one that you do. You don’t need to carry a tune or be the fastest or most eloquent; you just need to be yourself. (When did we get so fooled into thinking that’s not enough?)

The only thing you can’t do is nothing – because none of us are called to complacency.

Live a life worthy of the calling you have received.

How’s that for a challenge on a Wednesday?

I’m going to need more coffee.


  1. “Stop worrying about the many roles you don’t fit and fulfill the one that you do.” – Preach it, sister!

  2. Laura Lee Groves

    “When did we get fooled into thinking that’s not enough?” Love that!

    I was thinking of just this when I posted “Defined by…” last week!

  3. If one of my husband’s women friends from work called – giggling no less – and asked me to confirm a cliche like we are all in seventh grade, I would have been mortified. And pissed. The conversation might have gone something like “you are so funny to call! Yes, I am no stranger to my role in this family. I eat grass and shave my head and basically keep things as strange, messy, and uncomfortable as possible. Well, I gotta run. We are all self-applying hemp tattoos and my daughter is just bleeding all over the place. I’m going to have to grab the swiffer.”


    And then I would have suddenly developed plans that evening with girlfriends (requiring my husband to take over bath/bed routines). But that makes me sound spiteful and bitter. And here you are quoting Ephesians!

    This is why I need people like you in my life, to remind me that revenge is never a successful strategy.


    • Haha! You crack me up.

      Oh, I should have explained that his coworker is also a friend of mine and the whole conversation was just in fun. She was calling to get him in trouble. 😉

  4. Mel

    Love it! It’s refreshing to see women embracing our role. I love that other women exist that I may point out as godly examples to my daughter. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s