In Praise Of Every Homes Unsung Hero

One of the most common of human frailties is taking for granted the gifts we’ve become accustomed to.

As a husband of nearly 21 years, and a father of just over 16, one such gift, perhaps my most precious, is my wife. But if taking her for granted was a crime, I’d have to plead guilty at every turn. Yesterday, the extent of my guilt was made very clear…

One of my Saturday morning chores is vacuuming the carpets. As usual, I began with the entrance hall and study downstairs. Vintage U2 blared across my headphones, helping to make the task a little more enjoyable. Having completed phase one, I moved upstairs. Passing the entrance to the kitchen, I found myself a little irritated. There at the kitchen table was my wife, and you wouldn’t believe what she was doing: She was sitting down!

Something inside me said: “There’s something not quite right about this picture. Vacuuming is not the man’s responsibility.” Forgive me, there’s no reason why vacuuming shouldn’t be a man’s responsibility, but in that moment I went back 30 years in my thinking. That nasty little guy inside my soul began to curse and begrudge. Like a hidden Rumplestiltskin who couldn’t get his way, I was stomping and stamping.

How thankful I am for grace, grace that acts upon me and not from within me. Believe you me, I rely on grace as a divine intervention and not as a personal attribute. And that grace waved upon my soul and shut that raving, nasty little brute in his tracks and begged me consider the question: Just how often do you see her sitting down?

Mmmmh!

She’s usually…making the bed, washing the kitchen floor, washing the clothes, washing the dishes, doing the ironing, preparing the meals, making school lunches, picking clothes up off the floor, cleaning the bathroom, waking the girls with a hot drink, making the girls beds when they haven’t been made, doing the grocery shopping, buying school clothes, buying school stationary, fixing the school clothes, fetching from school, taking to school, fetching from friends, taking to friends, mediating between bickering sisters…and there’s more that could go on the list.

Suddenly my 45 minute vacuuming responsibility on a Saturday morning seemed a very small task. How incredibly spoiled I am, and yet, how quickly I have forgotten. It makes my attraction and subsequent fantasising over a pretty colleague at work seem criminal, my frustration at the smallest (or biggest) of requests completely unreasonable, thinking that flowers are too expensive to spoil her, bizarre, and my personal ambitions at the expense of her, selfish.

And yet, selfish is what I am!

But that’s not a resignation, but a declaration…a declaration of war! A war that fights against every inclination within me to take the bride of my youth for granted. She may have lost those marble-like features that first drew my attention, she may carry more weight than she did when she walked down the aisle all those years ago, the lines of commitment may have creased her brow, and her hands may bear the shape of encroaching arthritis, but I call upon all that grace can rain down upon me to cherish my most precious gift.

Oh, by the way…she was sitting down to work on some assessments she had to complete on the other children in her life, those in the nursery where she teaches to bring in much needed income into our home!

Today is not mothers day, but perhaps it should be. Perhaps one day a week ought to be set a side to celebrate those who should be recognised as national treasures. They are the unsung heroes of homes across the world. They are our wives and our mothers. They should be praised, and so too, Him who has given them to us!

 

 

 

 

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