Recently I got into a little tiff with my husband about ironing. Growing up, Michael's mom always ironed shirts for his dad. It was never a power struggle or bone of contention. It was just expected that she would iron the shirts. So, when Michael and I got married, I think he thought that I would end up doing the same thing. And why wouldn't he? That's what he had grown up thinking wives did.
But here's the dilemma...I don't do ironing. I don't even iron my own clothes. In my family, the ironing board was only brought out for special occasions like ironing the Easter or Christmas dress or possibly pressing a pair of slacks for church. But ironing shirts? On a regular basis? Who do I look like, June Cleaver?
As I was saying, a few months ago we got into an argument about Michael desiring that I iron his shirts. He rebutted my firm NO, I WON'T DO IT with the idea that it would really help him out in the mornings and that he would really appreciate it. But I didn't care. I was wrapped up in the idea that if I conceded to pressing his wrinkly shirts that I would be pigeonholed as a little housewife. I started to fear that he thought I needed to iron shirts because what else did I have to do all day now that I was staying at home with the baby? I didn’t want to be labeled…next thing you’d know, I’d be wearing “mom jeans.” I stood my ground, telling him that I was NOT his mother (not such a wise thing to tell your husband, ladies) and that he could iron his own dang shirts.
Now let's fast-forward 4 months. I was sorting laundry (something I absolutely loath doing) and began putting all of those wrinkly shirts on hangers, ready to shove them into the mess of a closet that we have in our bedroom. As I'm scrounging around for more plastic hangers (don't worry Joan Crawford, his shirts don't go on wire hangers), I realized how selfish I was being. I hadn't stopped to think that by ironing Michael's shirts for him I could not only save him time in the mornings, but I could also show him that I loved him. It was something simple that I could do to show him that I didn’t want to make his life harder but easier, and that I wanted to *gulp* serve him. Proverbs 31 talks about the Wife of Nobel Character. This is a woman that I’ve always wanted to be like, striving to match what she does to take care of her family. If this was my model, how was my egotistic attitude reaching this goal? Proverbs 31: 11-12 says this:
“Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.”
Was that what I was doing? When I stopped and meditated on this verse, I found that I needed to change my tune. So I stopped fussing about not having enough plastic hangers, went and got out the ironing board, and started pressing away. And you know what? It wasn’t that bad! I even got to watch an episode of the Biggest Loser. Definitely a win-win!
I’m still not the perfect wife by any stretch of the imagination, but little by little, I’m becoming a better wife. And at least now my husband will look a little cleaner cut when he goes to work.
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