Kate says . . .
I hope all you wives out there are enjoying the 10-Day Challenge! I hope that you are finding joy and closeness with your hubby as you make time for one another!
Brad and I have been writing a great deal about time and where your priorities are. As Brad challenges the husbands to consider where this “time” you are finding for one another is coming from (The Case of The Extra Time), I want to challenge all you ladies to look at your time too.
We all have things that must be done every day but then there are things that don’t have to get done. Yet we still put them high on the priority list, even above our husbands! Perhaps for some of you it is TV, books, or the internet (yes, this includes Facebook!)
Yet while these things can be a distraction and take up our free time, I think for many wives out there the biggest hurtle to get over is . . . housework! The ever increasing pile of dirty laundry, the dishes in the sink, the dirty bathroom, the sheets that need changes, etc. etc. etc.! The list goes on and on and we, as wives feel the pressure to keep our house clean, tidy and in order. If you are a stay-at-home mom, I think there is a need to keep the place you spend most of your time in order! It makes us feel like we in control and for all appearances makes our lives look put together! For all of the working mom’s out there, it is the same need to feel in control, because coming home to a mess after a long day of work can be overwhelming!
I have never been one of the extreme clean, nothing out of place wives. But for many years, having control over my house made me feel in control and gave me a sense of accomplishment! A year ago when my uncle was living with us, my free time became very limited. When Brad and I were “clinging” to one another and spending our evenings together, I found I had a lot less time to do housework then I felt necessary! It was then that I decided I had a choice to make. Finish the housework every night after the kids were in bed, or spend the evening with Brad.
When I made the conscious choice to choose Brad over the few things that just “had” to be done, I had a happy husband! Not only did I have a happy husband, but I was much more relaxed and filled with joy too! Does this mean that we never do laundry, mop the floors or clean the bathrooms?? No! It just means I get it done before Brad gets home from work, or . . . it waits until tomorrow!!!! Now I know all of you are thinking, “We are not going to go over to their house for fear that the bathroom, ‘had to wait until tomorrow’!” But, I have truly come to realize that this life we have been given by God is a gift. It is a gift of relationships, not control, not cleanness or housework.
I look at my house now, when it seems a bit messy and the panic is starting to rise in me and say to myself, “The time I am spending with Brad and our kids, is so much more important than the housework will ever be! God designed us to be relational, not maids! Do we still have to do that horrid housework? Yes we do, but it should never, ever, take precedence over our spouse!
I know I have said this before, but when my life is coming to a close and my days here on earth are few. I will look back on my life, and even if I have done a great job at the relationships in my life, I am sure I will ache for one more night in the arms of my amazing husband, one more roll around on the floor-laugh till you cry afternoon with my kids, one more ladies night out with my sisters in Christ. I can say with great certainty that I will not wish I had spent more time cleaning my house!
We are built for relationships! A relationship with Jesus, foremost! Then, husband, children, family and friends!
So ladies, I want to you to stop and think, “Am I over the top about having everything clean and just so?” I know for some of you it is in your personality to be perfectly clean and organized. But do you take it so far that you cannot fathom time with your hubby until XYZ is done? What are some things that you could let go until the next morning? Show your husband he is the priority, above all else in the house. Once the kids are in bed, allow yourself a half an hour to finish up what you can! What gets done, great! What doesn’t will have to wait! I would encourage you also, to ask your husband to help you out!
Brad has worked really hard at being more helpful around the house and appreciates it when I ask him to help me, instead of expecting him to know what I need him to do! We also use that time to chat about what our days were like! It is a great prelude to more intimate time together! (For more on this check out the discussion in the comments of Tip #2)
As you are thinking and praying about how much housework rules your life, remember that God made us to focus on relationships! Keeping things in order and neat is important, but things don’t have to be perfect! And sometimes it is OK, to leave a few things for the next day!