By Contributing Writer, Kim Doebler
While thinking back over the many lessons I’ve learned to create a smoother running home, I realized three of my top tips have come from the mouth of my husband. Perhaps I remember them so well because I balked at the idea of each of them. Although I balked at first, in the end, honoring him helped me.
Use a Mop
After supper one evening, I was scrubbing the kitchen floor. As I wrung out my scrub rag, I wiped my brow, Cinderella style. My husband happened to be standing in the doorway and asked, “Why are you down on your knees scrubbing the floor?”
As I raised my tired eyes to meet his I answered, “Because it is dirty, and I didn’t have time to do it earlier.”
At that point, my mind was racing ahead expecting sympathy or even release from my task. But he came back with, “No, I mean, why don’t you use a mop?”
And so, the thought of purchasing a mop was planted in my head. I still struggled because I really didn’t think a floor could get clean without getting down and applying some elbow grease. While growing up we had always scrubbed floors on our hands and knees. Would using a mop be the equivalent of turning my back on family standards?
Yes, it was silly, but it took me about three weeks before I purchased a mop. Wow! Mops are wonderful! Thank you, husband, for loving me enough to bring mopping into my life.
Bath Towels in the Kitchen
One day, after cooking only a short time, I turned around to dry my rinsed hands only to grab an already soaked hand towel. Ewe! I threw it in the dirty clothes and hung out a new towel. This was a common occurrence in our home with so many people washing their hands.
A short time later my husband came through the kitchen to wash his hands. He reached for the towel, and after experiencing its wetness he declared, “Why don’t we have a big towel here? We need a bath towel in this kitchen.”
Rebellion rose up in me. Immediately I was embarrassed at the idea of having a bath towel hanging in my kitchen. Bath towels are for baths, and since we don’t take baths in the kitchen, I didn’t want one hanging there.
Although it hurt my pride, I hung a bath towel in the kitchen. Again I was amazed at what a difference this change made. The bath towel stayed dry much longer, even amidst company. It worked so beautifully that I switched the hand towel in the bathroom for a large towel too.
Another bonus: it hangs low, making it easier for young children to reach. No more hand towels on the floor from little people accidentally pulling them down while drying their hands.
Assigning a *Lead* for Kitchen Clean-Up
I was seeking my husband’s counsel in how supper clean-up could go more smoothly. One child was often trying to organize the time while the other children felt she was being too bossy. There was conflict, and I felt they should be able to clean up the kitchen without bickering.
Pulling from his business experience, my husband suggested having a lead for each day of the week. The lead is responsible for assigning tasks and saying when the job is done. Again, I was not eager to embrace his insight. I wanted heart change, not just another rule.
Silly me. Having a lead allowed the heart change. Now there was order to the clean-up. It wasn’t about who led, just that someone needed to lead. When the leader was defined, the others could submit to their direction. Rotating who is the lead allows everyone to experience the roles of leading as well as following. This one addition has revolutionized our kitchen clean up.
Perhaps these tips are nothing new for your house. The tips were actually the minor lesson here.
Recognizing the wisdom and guidance God has given me through my husband is the real point. I recognize the value of the man God has blessed me with, and these are just three examples of how honoring him—helps me.
“For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands.” (I Peter 3:5)