There’s something beautiful in making the house a home -the sweet smell of a scented candle flickering on a table, a beautiful romantic setting for two at the dinner table, and pictures of sweet memories grazing the walls. It’s the quintessential picture every woman thinks will happen when they get married. It’s rather easy to maintain this picture when it’s just the two of you. I have memories of creating this very picture 13 years ago. I would come home from work an hour earlier than my husband, cook a homemade dinner, light the candles, put on John Coltrane in the background, and pick up the day’s scattered messes and put them away. He would come home from work and I would greet him at him door.
Three children later, I’m lucky if I can even light a match for a candle let alone greet him at the door. The day’s messes of home-schooled children means there is always something lingering where it shouldn’t be. Meals have to be made, there are kids to feed, and the table is set by the little ones and looks nothing like the catalog the dinnerware was bought from. That perfect vision of a peaceful and quiet dinner at home is now replaced with adoring girls trying to tell their father all the exciting moments they participated in while their father is just trying to make eye contact with his wife. It’s laughable at moments when we’re trying to set the stage for an evening of connecting and fun and at every turn get pulled away to responsibilities.
No matter the responsibilities, I try to honor the role I play. I am a wife. My domain is my home and how I rule over my domain will be asked of me by my Heavenly Father. Did I do the best I could? Or was I allowing my gifting, talent and skills to wallow? I am responsible for the feeling my husband has when he walks through the door. Is it inviting, warm and welcoming? Is it a place he can relax from the day’s hard work or will the environment cause him stress? All of these questions are thoughts I ponder when I stand at the stoop of my front door.
It’s our responsibility as wives to acknowledge the hard work our husbands do to provide for us, and to demonstrate gratitude.There are many ways to show gratitude but I believe one of them is by allowing him to find a peaceful place to rest when he arrives home. Isaiah 32:18 says, “My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.” While this is a promise from God to the Israelites, I believe it can also be a promise I give to my husband.
For example: Friday nights are pizza nights in our home. It’s a night for us to relax, have fun, and enjoy a family movie together. But it’s impossible for me or my husband to relax when there is dust on the shelves, dog hair on the Persian carpet, and scrap pieces of paper littering the living room from the girls’ latest creative endeavor. This means I have to be willing to do the hard work of lugging out the vacuum cleaner, tidying up the messes, and using the duster to make my home as relaxing as I can be. It’s not always the thing I want to do most, but it’s what I do to make our home a refuge – a place where calm rules rather than chaos. It doesn’t mean that my house is always spotless, but it does mean that I choose to think ahead about what I want from the evening, as well as what my husband needs, and be willing to address and put my effort into those areas.
I am fortunate that my husband and I share some of the household responsibilities – his rule is, “you cook, I clean.” So I do have help – and maybe, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, you need to be vulnerable and ask your husband for some help too.But even if you are alone in the duties of taking care of the household, I pray God’s strength over you. Our men long to know they are appreciated for their work and I can think of nothing better than for my husband to walk through that door and find himself in the magical setting of a peaceful,undisturbed and inviting home. It’s a small way of showing my appreciation. How can you show appreciation to your husband this week?
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