Contemplating my sanctification while washing dishes

July 9, 2012 · 2 comments

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by Elizabeth Bass

The other night, like many nights, I was in the kitchen by myself washing the dishes after dinner.

The house was strangely quiet and still. Our home becomes a different place after bedtime. My rowdy boys and chatty little girl become quiet and serene after the stroke of 7:30.

My husband had headed up the stairs to his office after putting the kiddos to bed. And in a rare moment, I was alone and it was quiet. I watched my hand swirl the dishrag over a skillet in the soapy water and Ephesians 5:26 came to mind “he will wash me in the water of the word” (my paraphrase).

I was struck by the weight of responsibility my husband has to love me with Christ-like love.

Husbands love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no such spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. Ephesians 5:22-27

What a tremendous – beyond words – broad shouldered – big deal calling our husbands have been given to love their wives as Christ loved the church! Wow!

So, in the midst of the quiet, in the lull of the swirling about of dirty dishwater bubbles, I prayed for my husband. I prayed for his Spirit-empowered good deeds, for his endurance in the faith, and that his affections would increase for Christ Jesus. I prayed for my husband as he faithfully shepherds me and seeks to “wash me in the water of the word” by ministering the gospel to me through word and through deed. I asked the Lord to give my husband endurance and wisdom as he seeks to emulate Christ.

I then prayed for myself. I prayed that I would be a delight to shepherd. I prayed that I would honor my calling and “respect my husband” (Ephesians 5:33).

Oh, that I would take more opportunities, in the midst of the mundane to contemplate Christ! While scrubbing pots I want to be a woman that will break out in thanksgiving and praise for the ways in which God has blessed me in Christ Jesus, my Lord who is the One that has “cleansed me from all unrighteousness” so that “no blot or blemish remain.”

Elizabeth hails from Kentucky, though has lived in New England since 2007. She and her husband, Derek, transitioned from Vermont, after being mentored at the NETS Institute for Church Planting to plant a gospel-driven church in the greater Providence area. Derek and Elizabeth have been married for 6 years and enjoy their 3 boys and one lovely, very well protected, daughter.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Betsy July 9, 2012 at 4:39 pm

What a lovely reminder. I share your desire to turn my thoughts to God as I do mundane household tasks. Just yesterday while cleaning my house in preparation for house church, I decided that rather than complain about having to work in the heat, I would pray that my home would be a place of peace for my guests.

I wish I would do this always! Often I just fall into complaining!


2 Aimee Byrd July 10, 2012 at 8:08 pm

Great reflection, Elizabeth. I’ve also been contemplating the weight of responsibility our husbands carry in loving headship. I’m actually posting a related article on Friday. Love your illustration.


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