“…to my husband, having a well-kept orderly house matters a lot…I really want to please him and make our house a pleasant place, but I can’t live up to it, and it makes him unhappy. He does help a lot when I’m behind on house-keeping, dishes, etc, but…it makes me feel like I’m a failure, like he has to pitch in because I haven’t done my job well… and so the guilt continues…What encouragement is there for those of us who have husbands who aren’t as “relaxed” as what posts like this encourage us to be?”
I completely relate with the feelings of the reader who left that question on my blog.
My husband needs a home that, for the most part, stays clean or he becomes very stressed out. This doesn’t bode well with my uncanny ability get overwhelmed and then not do anything, thus leaving a messier than desired home. However, we’re learning how to listen to each other and find ways that make it work (so that neither of us drive the other one crazy).
But this question, in my opinion, has less to do with the mechanics of the home and more to do with the heart.
I remember a time not too long ago that I felt like such a failure because I wasn’t a natural cleaning type. The guilt and shame was heavy, and I always said things like, “my husband would be so much happier if he was married to someone who was great at cleaning…if only I was like so and so.” You see, I was beginning to place my identity in being good at something, and if I wasn’t, then I was worthless. My spirit hurt deeply.
One night, crying, I shared these feelings with a close friend and she reminded me that my worth is not in what I can or can’t do, but that my worth was in Jesus. And no one, not even my husband, had the authority to tell me who I was (whether intentionally or not). Only God sits on that throne of grace, and only He can tell us who we are. God doesn’t look at our cleaning abilities (or lack-thereof) and decide if we are worthy or not. We are worthy because we are intertwined with His spirit; we are also perfect for all of eternity.
My friend also encouraged me to ask the Lord if there was a lie I was believing, because lies have a way of smudging our perspective.
The gal who left that question above may have to struggle with cleaning and how to do it well because her husband finds peace in a well-kept home, but the heaviness of failure and guilt to do not have to accompany the struggle. As with any struggle, we can grow if we stay before the Lord and His grace. Remember,
“…suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, andhope does not put us to shame, because God’s lovehas been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Bold mine) Romans 5:3-5
I would also say there are times to let our husbands know when we feel like we are drowning. And we can pray that God would intervene on our behalf to help us.
I encourage anyone who is feeling the heaviness of guilt, shame, and/or failure to believe your God, who loves you so much that He died for you. When you’re His, He loves you in the mess, just as He loves you when you’re not. His love is sealed in you, forever.
Core Lies (it’s free).
31 Days to Clean (50% off the PDF this week with code: hopeinthemess)
Sealed with His love forever – Ephesians 1:13,14
Perfect for eternity – Hebrews 10:14
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Photo Credit: Failure