Next to cleaning the bathroom (which is my husband's job, simply because I'm a wimp and he adores me anyway), cleaning out
I do have my reasons. In my head I'm very organized. Every little thing in its place. In reality, ehh, not so much. The fridge is old and needs to be replaced. And it will be. Eventually. So I shove everything in there from fresh produce to meat to leftovers... and then cringe when there is no more room and Weird Al is in my kitchen singing to me.
Well, this week I read Dare 13 of the Respect Dare. You can learn more about that by visiting Unbroken Woman. I'm at least a week behind everyone else but for now, that's okay with me. Anyway, part of the dare was to ask your husband to name one thing you can do for him that would help him out. My husband just happened to be out of town but I could pretty much guess what he would say: Clean the kitchen. So for the past two days (don't judge) I've been working on that. Today I tackled the dreaded fridge.
Hubby is home now. While I cleaned and organized the fridge and did dishes, he sat and played a computer game. Did that irk me? You bet! At first. You probably know some of the thoughts: Why am I the only one up cleaning? (He cooked breakfast) You'd think he'd feel some compunction to get up and clean some too. (He worked all night and this is the first day of his weekend). Blah blah blah.
But you know what? It's all okay. I'm sure an exasperated sigh (or ten, but who's counting?) came out of me today. But I didn't yell. I didn't disrespect him by berating him. I let him do his thing while I did mine. And he did help. He took care of part of the job while I sat and relaxed for a minute or two. And at the end, he thanked me and told me how much he appreciated me doing that.
The respect dare is not easy. There will be times you feel like giving up because it's not really making a difference. But if you get the book and read on your own or follow Unbroken Woman , I encourage you to see it through to the end. I intend to. It is worth it. Whether Hubby says anything or not, I'm seeing changes in my own spirit, and changes that I'd like to see happen. Not so much because they would make my husband happy, but because I feel that my attitude and my actions would be more pleasing to God. The respect dare isn't all about fetching the paper and his slippers each evening. It's about showing your partner in life the respect and love that he needs, and also (more importantly) respecting God's wishes.
While it helps that Hubby thanked me for cleaning the fridge, and that does help, believe me, it's not all about what do I get out of all this. I get a sense of accomplishment, I get less frustration in preparing meals and snacks. The important part is what I put into this relationship. Love. Honor. Respect.