Earlier this year, I celebrated 10 years of marriage with my lovely wife. That does not make an expert, but I do sometimes offer advice to newly married or about to be married men. These tips include watching Pride and Prejudice without prejudice. Another tip is to, “Avoid leaving your beard hair on the sink.” Still, the sage advice I would like to focus on today involves the dishwasher. To be more specific, I suggest a husband fill, run and empty his dishwasher without being asked, and without his wife looking.
Before I go any further, let me back up and explain how I reached this line of thinking. In 2006, my wife and I bought a home in the suburbs of Birmingham, Alabama. It was a new home with new appliances, one of which was a dishwasher. If and when my wife ran errands on Saturdays, she would sometimes ask me to fill, run and empty the dishwasher while she was out. That’s where I ran into problems. Sometimes, I would fill and run the dishwasher, but I purposely waited until she was walking in the door to empty the dishwasher. Why? So she would see her man doing what she asked him to do, of course!
Surprisingly, I’m not entirely alone in this regard. I know someone who, battling insomnia, decided to clean and scrub his wife’s pots so that she would notice them first thing in the morning. My friend was like me and wanted to get his wife’s attention with his good works. By the way, his wife did not pay much attention to his work, and she only said it was “nice” after he brought it up – on the way to church.
How does any of this tie into scripture? Well, this is how we are with God. That’s the same God who inspired Paul to tell us that we are saved by our faith and not our works (Ephesians 2:8-9). You see, men like to be noticed. The same can be said for husbands. They like it when they are noticed for their hard work. When that happens, men often boast, which is exactly why we are not saved by our works. Go back and read Ephesians 2:8-9. If you read both verses, you will see that we are not saved by our works, lest any man should boast.
Is there an errand or project you purposely wait to complete in front of your wife? Are you expecting something in return? My advice is to avoid doing that and to instead do things without expecting anything in return. Remember, those are your dishes too. That’s also your dishwasher. So go ahead and run that dishwasher. Fill it with dirty dishes. Power that sucker on and empty it when she did not ask.
More importantly, do not wait until she is looking. I didn’t realize it at the time, but waiting until my wife arrived home from errands made it appear as though I did not do anything while she was gone (which was sometimes the case).