As his wife and comrade, caring for my husband around the house is what I do everyday. And I love it. It is the job I have chosen as my career – aside from partnering with him in raising our children – and I wouldn’t want to be working for/under anyone else. It’s a blessing and a privilege.
I’m not perfect at it. Tim and I both know that housekeeping has never come naturally to me, especially since I was never taught such life basics growing up. At almost ten years of marriage, I’m still a work-in-progress.
There is one job that I have never enjoyed, however. In our early years of marriage, when Tim worked in an office, it felt like the bane of my existence. And I had to do it twice a week. It always took forever and I was terrible at it.
What was that job?
Thankfully, I am now a better iron-woman…the two times I generally do it every year.
Friends, about six years ago, I took a stand and I stopped ironing. Unless I really, really, really had to. And my version of had to was different to my husband’s version. Thus, on several occasions – including leading church services – my poor, dear, faithful, long-suffering husband would stand up the front of several hundred people in a quite crinkled shirt.
Yes, it may have been checked and therefore, in my defensive mind, you could hardly see that it wasn’t ironed. But facts are the facts, I didn’t iron a shirt for him.
I believe the few times I have ironed shirts in the last few years have been because of weddings. And the last wedding Tim went to was to sing at in…2012??
But God has been working on me, people. And, as always, it’s never about the ironing. In many ways,God couldn’t care less that Tim wears an un-ironed shirt to church when he’s leading.
But God cares very, very much about the heart of the un-ironed man’s wife.
You see, I blamed my hating ironing in those early days from lack of experience…or from the frequency of having to iron…and the fact that it’s boring! But, in all honesty, my stand against ironing really was my heart saying this: I don’t want to do this for you. If you aren’t going to iron your shirts when I don’t, then don’t wear any. I’m not your slave!
It fills me with shame when I think of the hidden thoughts of my heart were laid so bare before the Lord. And it fills me with shame when I think of how I have spent so many years with that attitude towards the man that I love.
The world may tell me that I did the right thing. I stood up for myself, I didn’t let myself “come under” my husband, I fought for my rights. But what balloney. All I was doing was being selfish, hard-hearted, and rebellious.
Remember, it’s not about the ironing. This could have been about making his lunches, or folding his socks, or picking up his dirty laundry from the bathroom. It could have been about buying a birthday present for him! What matters is that my heart has not pursued genuine love in this matter. It has tried to love it’s own desires.
So if you have taken a stand too, dear sister, forget about what you have stopped doing or that which you resent. Look at your heart. Why are you rebelling? What is making you so huffy-puffy? Is what you’re doing true love or is it more about you?
“Love one another deeply, from the heart [always unselfishly seeking the best for one another].” 1 Peter 1:22