Dealing With Domestic Servants-Christian Attitude

07 Nov

Question text:  I am a born-again in Christ. I live in India and I have a 10 month old daughter as well. We have a system of many maid-servants working in our homes for domestic chores here. i have employed 3-4 of such maids in my house to help combat the terrible amount of dust, cooking and other home-making chores. Well, my question now is that I treat them really very nice and special, thinking that since life`s not kind to them on account of their poverty and hardships, then maybe i should make up in some way by providing financial and material help as well by way of lending advance money, clothes, etc. I behave very friendly and cordial towards them. In fact i give instructions and orders as well with a hesitant and requesting tone on my voice.  But I`ve realized the hard and painful way that they end up taking mean & undue advantage of me by not doing my housework dedicatedly enough and turning lazy and slack. Even the maids who are in Christ!!!! It comes to a point where my temper soars and I have to yell and try enforcing discipline….. too late with the result that they turn hostile due to seeing this unexpectedly hot-tempered side of me. ultimately it is just chaos, indiscipline and household out of gear.  i am totally confused about what kind of tone of voice should i order them and discipline them in, etc and how much `being nice` is really convenient and bearable for all? i am in awe of my friends who really boss around in a big way and their servants really freeze in total submission. I wish to do the balancing act. Help!

Answer Text:  Thank you for sending us your question.  You are not the only one who has this problem in life.  It is very important to have a golden mean as you deal with people who help you out, especially with your domestic work.  You are being tender and kind to them because of the Lord.  Tragically some people take advantage of the situation. 


Practically I will tell you what my wife does with people who come to help us with our domestic work.  She has a Bible reading and prayer session with them daily. All of them sit together on a mat and have a small song, a portion of scripture with two or three sentences of explanation as to what the Lord expects them from that passage. Closes with prayer.  Scripture reading time each one is given a verse or two to read.  After this is over my wife would tell before all what each is expected to do with a FIRM but a gentle voice so that every one would know what is expected from each one.  This is followed by a gentle warning. She would say some thing like this: “I wish to see that every thing is done in proper shape and if any thing goes wrong any where, I will be upset. Please do not let me be angry.  If any one gets a shout from me, it is SIMPLY because the work is not done properly.  I DO NOT want to do it”.  I find my wife gets all her work done neatly with out ever shouting at the servants at all.  You need to be FIRM but gentle with the house hold servants.


One other thing I must tell you is, as a born again child of God you must NEVER keep grudge or anger in your heart.  If you know that your words indeed did hurt them, please do not hesitate to apologize to them.  Once or twice I had to apologize to my own children when they were teens.  When I apologize to them, it is harder for them to take it than taking my shouts!!  So my children would behave themselves fearing that.  This I learned from my great grandfather who was a first generation Bible believer from the Traditional Thomas Church of India.  I knew him when he was in his late eighties as a well built and a strong man.  Then I was a kid. I remember him once going right in to the kitchen to apologize to his daughter-in-law for shouting at her a while ago.  If you knew the role of a great grandfather in an Indian joined family, some thing like that would be beyond any man’s imagination. But he did that. And we enjoyed the peace of God at home because every one wanted to honor God in their lives.  These are just two tips.  May be you could try them out for yourself.


I am sure you are familiar with the Scripture verses addressed to masters and servants.

Here are some of them. .(Eph 6:9)  “Masters, behave in the same way toward your slaves and stop using threats. Remember that you and your slaves belong to the same Master in heaven, who judges everyone by the same standard”. (Col 3:22)  “Slaves, obey your human masters in all things, not only when they are watching you because you want to gain their approval; but do it with a sincere heart because of your reverence for the Lord”.  Read also Eph.6:4-9;  Col.4:1, 1Ti 6:1, 2., Tit. 2:9.   The next verse comes form Solomon’s great wisdom.(Pro 29:21)  “If you give your servants everything they want from childhood on, some day they will take over everything you own”.  Literally that verse means if a servant is pampered from childhood, grief will be caused later. My vernacular puts it that way and I checked the Hebrew to confirm the meaning. Ok. Then.  May the Lord give you the right insight to handle your situation for His glory. When you do it prayerfully every thing will fall in its right place.   May all praise be His.  Amen.

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Posted by on November 7, 2008 in Christian life, Uncategorized


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