What is it about us men? But maybe I am just talking to myself here. So sorry for bringing you into it.
I have always had this attitude. It’s called ‘separation of duties’. Sort of like saying to my wife, “You do your job and I will do mine”.
My wife only worked for the first three years of our marriage and so we tried to share home duties a bit more. But unfortunately I never did pick up the ‘knack’ of doing the washing up, the cooking, the cleaning and the ever incessant laundry. In fact, if the truth be told, I avoided those sorts of jobs like the plague because I wanted to concentrate on the important stuff like bringing the money in. Part of that avoidance was laziness and self-absorption, but don’t tell anybody.
I am glad to say that my sons as husbands put me to shame. My third son cooks regularly and the other sons are generally a lot more helpful around the home than I was. This is good news for their wives, but no matter what, we all have to fight the vice of taking one another for granted.
Sometimes the best way to learn is to laugh. Troy Kinnie, an Australian comedian, has produced a video that sums up the challenges faced with a very funny YouTube. In fact, it is the most popular clip he has ever done with almost 1.2 million views in 2 months and several million on Facebook. He calls it the Mystery Basket. Others have called it the Magic Coffee Table. Either way, the humour of the story in it won’t be a mystery to you if you are anything like me.
Does that feel better? It is always good to know you are not alone. Speaking about being alone, I am still much in need of help in this area. Let me explain:
A few weeks ago I cleaned up the rumpus room where a lot of our musical equipment is stored. As soon as I had finished, my wife vacuumed the carpet, making the area look even better. Secretly proud of the cleaning up I had done, every time we would come home, I would walk through the rumpus room and say to my wife, “What a great job you did vacuuming this room!” Unfortunately, my wife uncovered the deceptive nature of my male ego.
“You are just trying to get brownie points for your cleaning up. You only rave about the vacuuming so that I will rave about your tidying up.” Don’t you hate it when your wife springs your ulterior motives. I do! I just wish she didn’t know how bad we men really are sometimes. Our self-absorption has no limits.
Actually, we are all self-absorbed, both men and women, we just express it in different ways. Women are more self- absorbed with appearance and clothes. That is why it is so important for men to take a positive and active interest in your wife’s appearance.
When my wife would come home from the hairdresser I used to take one look and say, “Which hair did you get cut?” or “I hope you got a discount because it doesn’t look any different to before you went.”
Such sayings should be put out of your mind immediately and you must learn to say something nice like, “Honey, that looks great” or “Wow, I can feel business time coming on!” Well, maybe not that line, but hey, you get the picture.
I was at an event last week in the central west of New South Wales and was thinking about the best marriage advice that I could give to a couple. I would say, just be nice to your wife. It will pay big dividends. Every time that magic basket appears, and the washing is neatly folded, say, “Honey, that washing was fantastic.” Even if you have to say it a million times in your lifetime, it will never be enough.
The good news is, if you do, the mystery of the basket will never be a mystery to you!
That’s right, be nice to your wife. Be nice to your kids.
You’ve heard it said, “You have to be honest about how you feel all the time”. What about trying to find the positive things to say instead of the negative things.
Now that I am older I realise my grandmother was right. If you cannot find anything nice to say to someone, don’t say anything at all!
Yours for the mystery of the washing basket
PS. The Instagram Competition judging has been going well. We hope to have the winner announced in the next few weeks. Thank you for your patience.
We continue to pray and fast for marriage and families all over Australia throughout the month of October. You can sign up to get daily devotions here if you wish. The devotions you missed can be found here.