by Caitlin Meadows
I just abandoned my laundry basket. It’s over half-full of warm, clean clothes. The rest are folded on the couch. Normally I don’t leave chores half-finished. My perfectionism usually won’t allow it. But, the writer in me has the ability to usurp the perfectionist in me. When inspiration strikes, I drop what I’m doing and let the words pour out of my head, through my hands, and onto paper (or, in this case, computer screen). Right now is one of those moments.
Friday is laundry day in the Adam/Caitlin Meadows home. As I fold my husband’s clothes I often find myself inspecting them for wear and tear, making a mental shopping list of items he needs replaced soon. This morning I also found myself praying for him. It struck me how spoiled I am. He’s at work, carrying well his responsibility of providing for us. He left at 5:45 AM, as usual. Meanwhile, I’ve spent my morning cozy in our home cuddling with our sleepy puppy, enjoying my morning coffee, doing laundry, and “working” my at-home job that really doesn’t feel like work at all. I definitely seem to be getting the better end of this whole marriage deal.
Have you ever heard of false-guilt? Sometimes, like briefly this morning, I feel guilt over the blessing of working from home that my husband enables me to enjoy. Am I really carrying my load in our marriage (no pun intended) or am I putting too much on him?
Ministry through the mundane
I smiled at a reunited pair of Adam’s socks, silently offering prayers of thanks for the wonderful man God paired me with just over 3 years ago. I prayed for him, covering all the aspects of his needs. Praise flooded my heart for my King, who my husband unintentionally reflects to me each day. Then it hit me – pairing clean socks is ministry. Fighting for my husband in prayer as I go about the mundane of keeping our home is an important job that I have the privilege of working.
The routine of daily life can fool us into believing that we’re not serving God as vibrant Christians ought. And maybe that’s true sometimes. However, abiding in Christ and allowing Him to lead through us is not tied to our physical location or situation. We have the opportunity to be faithful to Him where He has us right now. Everyday Christian leadership begins and ends in the home. We encounter our spouses, children, families, and roommates first. And often most frequently. Practically, we serve those whom we live with by lovingly caring for their physical needs. Spiritually, we serve them through prayer and through being conduits of Christ’s love.
Still just doing your own laundry? Don’t feel left out.
I was single until I was 23 years old. At the time, it felt like a long time to be like an unpaired sock. I certainly experienced times of intense loneliness, praying for the man I trusted the Lord had hidden away for me. During those times of loneliness and wonder, the Holy Spirit beckoned me to be all His and find satisfaction in physical loneliness. Looking back, I remember that chapter of my life as refreshing and beautiful. My desire for marriage eventually was filed away as my desire for more of Jesus grew. So when the day came that Adam and I crossed paths, the relationship that developed was entirely unexpected and unimaginably sweet.
Marriage isn’t glamorous. It is humbling and revealing. It is also fun, enchanting, and strengthening. It’s doing each other’s laundry, working together to manage the money God allows you to earn, and setting aside your personal wants for the needs and wants of your spouse. And when both individuals are devoted to Christ and choosing unconditional love and respect, all of the above results in complete satisfaction, peace, and joy.
Singleness isn’t glamorous, either. It is humbling and revealing. It is also fun, enchanting, and strengthening. It’s learning personal responsibility while developing full dependence on the Lord. Often it’s seeking creative ways to serve others. And when devoted to Christ with total abandon, all of the above results in complete satisfaction, peace, and joy.
As Unto the Lord…
No matter whose laundry you might be folding these days, know that the monotonous tasks of life are all a part of the work we are to do for Christ’s glory. Pray as you fold, or whatever it is you do. Surrender to and abide in Him. Then look at the people He’s placed immediately around you. Serve them. Show Jesus to them. Let Him influence them through you, even amidst the mundane.
Serving Jesus isn’t wrapped up so much in what we’re doing, but in the attitude with which we do anything.
Now, back to that laundry basket.
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord, rather than for men.”
– Colossians 3:23