I have had many adventures since leaving Ottawa, and dearly wish to share with you about them and the musings that they have produced. And, as per Dunning’s request, I shall also post my last Evensong sermon for your perusal (and critique)–and then those of you who sadly missed it can ponder what I said. My many adventures have been the source of the nothingness on this blog. I have half an hour, so I shall post about the most exciting and most excellent of those adventures, one which I began on October 6th at St. Alban the Martyr Anglican Church in Ottawa.
I am now wed to Jennifer.
So, here are some thoughts about being a husband (knowing full well that I have very limited experience, since we are two days shy of having been married for one month) . . .
I would like to start off to talk about laundry. One week after we got married, to the day, I was doing laundry at the laundromat just a block from where we live. I filled up three washing machines with sheets, lights, and darks. And then I prayed a little bit, read a little bit, and did Latin throughout the rest of my time there. One of the washers leaked a little, but everything came out clean, and it had an ample supply of water inside, so I pretended it wasn’t leaking.
Anyway, once the stuff was all done being washed, I transported it to ONE dryer. These were the largest dryers I have ever used. Even the dryers are bigger in Toronto! I fit all the stuff in it (barring the list of things of Jennifer’s that don’t go in the dryer–those I put on hangers to bring home), and there was still room for more! Hugemongous, I tell you! How awesome is that! Anyway, I was very excited by the big dryers. And I went to do Latin while things dried.
Following this, I emptied the dryer. And while emptying the dryer, I removed more panties than I even knew existed. They just kept on coming out! It was a truly amazing event. I never knew a person could own that much underwear.
After this, I carted everything back to our apartment and put away what I could, made neat piles of what I couldn’t, and hung up what was still wet. It didn’t really take very much time out of my day, and I was able to even do a little schoolwork while I was over there.
I realise that barring the ginormosity of the dryers and the excessive amount of panties (seriously, I’d reach in, and pull out another pair–they seemed endless!!), the above is a pretty innocuous and mundane story. Shall I tell you why I did laundry?
Because I’m madly in love with my wife.
This is true. My priestly brother Jonathan posted on his blog in June about love as an ethic, that love, Christian love, is based upon what we do, not merely upon how we feel, if we’re warm and fuzzy inside, or passionate, or whatever. Luv is a verb.
In The Christian Family, Larry Christenson says that any husband, when asked, would declare that of course he loves his wife. But love, Christenson reminds us, is about what we do, how we relate to the other person. And Christian love, agape, is about loving unconditionally. Most importantly, he tells us, the love of a husband is to be the same kind of love that Christ has for the church.
Such love as that is sacrificial.
Love that dies for the beloved. A love that is willing to give up all else in order that the other may live and be whole and be holy. Husbands, we are to love our wives with that kind of love. We have to be willing to give up our Saturday mornings to do laundry if it shows love to our wives. We have to be willing to help out with dishes. We have to sacrifice the bachelor lifestyle of going wherever we please whenever we please. Instead, if we have no great reason to be away, no business, no plans with friends, we shouldn’t meander for fun when we’re out, but rush home to the arms of our wives.
Furthermore, by doing laundry, this meant that my wife, who was at work, wouldn’t have to do laundry when she got home. This meant that on Friday and Saturday evening, we were able to spend time together. One night we watched a movie (Pride and Prejudice, in fact). If I hadn’t offered to do the laundry, she would have had to do the laundry, and we would have missed spending some quality time and romance together as a result. Every husband should be rushing to do laundry if it means a quiet night spent in rest with his wife!
This is the laundry ethic–the little sacrifices, the little ways of blessing your wife. These are the things that matter, the things that help keep your wife’s stress levels down and keep the love alive in a relationship.
I would venture that if more husbands demonstrated the laundry ethic on a regular basis, if more men did things solely for the purpose of helping their wives and loving their wives, if more men regarded laundry and dishes as opportunities to serve and love their wives rather than the “wife’s duties”–perhaps fewer marriages would have trouble.
I know I speak as someone who’s been married for less than a month.
And I also know that human relationships are much more nuanced than simply doing laundry. But if every husband (self included) were to apply the rationale of self-sacrifice to his dealings with his wife, I think many marriages would be firmer, stronger, more loving, more passionate.