Housework is every woman’s dreaded disease. I’ve never come across a woman who told me, “I just love my work at home – cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning – is what I was made for!” Seriously, if you stack that up against a brawn, slick, smart woman of the 21st century working her way through the world, it does make a homemaker look like a wimp.
I wish I could set that record straight, right now and make every homemaker feel there’s more to the home than dish-washing and cleaning, but I’ll save my say on that for a later post.
A couple of months ago, I felt like my homemaker days had just begun when i witnessed an almost paralyzing moment -our guests had left home at about 9 in the night, but their dishes just kept coming in, right into the sink. My helper was on a long break. I was alone. I rued over the smelly, slimy, sticky, yucky sink and mustered up my strength to begin a night long chore to clean up.
As I took up the scrub and began to rub, almost suddenly, something came to my mind about my husband, Venky. Thinking of it, I immediately became light-hearted and a beaming smile lit up my face and i went about my work almost joyously, that it made me appear like a Pril promoter.
Ok, let me let you in on that secret. You see, Venky, for all his Paul-like-leadership outside of home, is quite a humble servant at home. I’m not sure he’ll like what I let you in on, but you must know this about him: he loves to clean the home, especially the toilet. Ew! Leave alone the sink..!? When i quizzed him on this special enchantment he had, he simply replied with a child-like smile, “Because it reminds me of Jesus”. The words pierced my head and heart, at one shot.
Let’s look at Ephesians 5:26 and you’ll know where I’m heading with this. Christ, the Great Sanctifier, cleanses our hearts to make us spotless and blemishless. Think for a moment about yourself, how rotten you were in the depravity of your soul. You were like that stenchy, messy sink filled with the grime of sin.
Sin is worse than even human discharges -it rots and ruins us. And this is what we loved. We were like a pool of pigs playing around in dung, loving the stench, the grease and grime, each diseased and rubbing one another in the carousel of the flesh. Perhaps the most (humanly) disgusting picture God drew in His Law to help us comprehend sin’s yuckiness was the separation of those with bodily discharges and diseases such as leprosy (Lev 15:31-33). Paul Washer often makes the illustration of a leper to drive home the point of our futile cleansing acts to stand before a sinless, spotless, holy God. A man full of boils and bruises, smelling, rotting and bleeding in leprosy, presented himself before the King wearing a silk cloak to cover his filth. Soon the blood started oozing out of the cloak and his filth was visible to the King. How could such a God even welcome us into His Presence? How could He have His Majesty marred with the stain of sin?
Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! This Sanctifier looked upon us with compassion as a bruised reed (Isa 42:3), took us from a blood bath of sin, so rejected, despised and forsaken by a futile world (Ez 16:6) , baptized us with His Spirit, sprinkling on us the blood of atonement and continuing to wash us with the water of His word. Who is weary from cleaning vessels and He is not from cleansing our hearts? Who is covered with grease on their apron and He is not stained with sin on His body? Who sweats their gut out on finishing a routine chore and He does’t sweat blood on His brow to see us live every moment? Is it too hard O Hand-Maiden of God to do this petty thing? Is this disgraceful? Is this unworthy, lowly or inconsequential to God’s scheme of things? She who has a ear, let her hear.
Soch ka bhoj
My husband literally strives to identify with Christ in the Ephesians. He loves his chore, even though I never want him to do it (ever), because this is one more opportunity for him to remember His Bridegroom who cleans him perfect. His effort is measured, and you will see that in the completeness of his work – the toilet will be welcoming for anyone who comes home. Seeing him has encouraged me to never regard my housework as boring or mundane, but a delightful communion with my Sanctifier who uses the unclean and unpresentable things of my home to teach me about myself and His powerful work in me. I desire that every husband set such an example to their wives, not by merely cleaning parts of the home, but by causing her to be cleansed by Christ, by feeding and nourishing her with God’s word (Ephesians 5:29), caring for her soul as also for her body and my prayer is that every woman embraces this fruitful vocation of home-working, wherein she will discover the work that Christ performs in her, everyday.