Several years ago, my children were joyously playing out in the yard. The weather was simply beautiful. My two oldest daughters decided to play, “Princess”. Anastasia was “Belle” and Catherine was “Cinderella”. They were playing out of my sight, just behind their rather extensive collection of outdoor play houses, slides, and toys. It was amazing how long they played happily without fussing or bickering.
That should have been my prompting to immediately investigate! However, I allowed them to continue their happy play. Eventually they emerged. I had not realized they went out to play with so much clothing on! They were both wearing their formal princess gloves, ready to go to the ball! They had made their own beautiful long gloves that extended from fingertips to the upper arm by PAINTING them on with dark brown MUD!
My daughters were very proud as they explained how hard they had worked and that they were finally dressed properly for dancing with Prince Charming at the Ball! Not a speck of their natural skin color was observable on their arms; they had indeed worked hard preparing for the ball!
How many of us wives still prepare ourselves for time with our husband as we did when we were dating / courting? In those days we spent considerable time being sure we exhibited perfectly smoothly shaven legs, flawless make-up, near-professional arrangement of hair, and just the right stylish or weather-appropriate clothing (that we had picked out the night before) for the expected outing of the day. Do we still put in that devoted effort? Do we still prepare to see our husband with the care for detail needed to go to a ball?
I am the first to admit failure to this. First, I see my husband every day now, so spending days planning outfits and hours preparing my hair and make-up is just not realistic. Second, we have 6 children: 5 at home (that are all under age 12). I am EXHAUSTED by the end of the day.
And, honestly, I used to feel that looking exhausted was inevitable and possibly even helpful in showing indisputable proof to my husband of how hard I was working for him. I don’t know exactly when it happened, but I no longer prioritized the habit of making myself “irresistible” for him.
Then, an article started circulating the internet. It was an ancient, 1950’s, “Good Housekeeping” article about how wives should prepare for Dad’s return home from work. Eventually a copy was sent to me by a sister-in-law who thought it was good cause for laughter, as SHE would NEVER act in such a manner. She was appalled that women would have ever taken the article seriously. However, her comments only served to make me want to read to find out why she found it so offensive.
I read the article. The content actually had tons of great suggestions (though being of a very logical and analytical mind, I do not believe the list can be accomplished in the 30 minutes to 1 hour they allot). So, with my own abilities, limitations, and time-frame in mind, I made changes.
No, I am afraid I still do not shave every day. No, I do not even wash my hair every day. But I am making a definite effort to look at our children and in a mirror about 30 minutes before my husband returns from work or class and then tend to the basics, at the least. The kids are scraped down off the ceiling and little ones forced to climb out of pajamas into day-clothes, I place a new layer of deodorant on and, perhaps, even a quick spray of perfume makes it to my wrists and neck. I re-brush my hair, make sure my mascara has not rubbed off (or put some on, since I usually don’t get a chance to in the morning), brush my teeth, and make sure I have a clean attractive shirt on.
Wonderfully, my husband now verbally appreciates the work I do more (since I try to make light of it) than before [when I wanted to bring up the topic myself (verbally and/or non-verbally)].
Yes, naturally, the Bible says something about this too! GOD is right AGAIN!! Just remember that these verses can easily apply to any work we do that leaves a change in our appearance or demeanor, not just fasting.
First, let’s look in Matthew 6: 16-18
16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
Now, turn to Proverbs 31: 22 to regard to wisdom of a Queen instructing her son of the qualities to look for in a virtuous woman (wife):
22 “She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.”
So, strive to look fresh and be dressed attractively at the end of a hard day! Your husband will love it!
I challenge you. Commit yourself to applying these practical preparations, starting TODAY (and tweak it where necessary to make it work for you). You will surely be rewarded for your efforts. Remember, when tempted to make your hard day apparent to all, that when you don’t, “thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly”.