Work Shirts, Buttons, and Eve

Jesse work shirts

I pulled a load of Jesse’s work shirts out of the dryer this morning. I headed for the couch to toss them on, and go about my morning. Milliseconds before the load was to fly through the air, I acknowledged that if I did as planned, Jesse would be ironing the shirts later to get all the wrinkles out. I then had to decide if that knowledge would change my course of actions, after all, I had things to do. I sighed, and headed for the bedroom with an arm full of work shirts.

I hung each one, smoothing them out, buttoning only the second and third buttons to ensure the hubster could easily pull them off the hanger and they would all hang nicely together. My heart was merry, what a good wifey I was being :). At about the sixth shirt (only five work days in a week!!), something was wrong. It just didn’t hang right. It was crooked and loose and weird. I checked the size of the shirt… same as the others. I made sure I wasn’t using a child-size hanger… nope. I was so confused.

This happened minutes after I began reading, “Twelve Extraordinary Women”, by John MacArthur. He begins by describing women as worthy and designed to be honored and revered. He gives biblical example after biblical example. He also discusses how in the days of the Bible, any time a culture was converted, the status of their women was greatly elevated. In Pagan culture, women were considered possession, slaves, and often used as prostitutes. When the Roman empire was converted, new laws were created, giving women much more protection and increasing their rights as citizens. It seems nonbelievers often tout Christianity as sexist. I think lack of knowledge of scripture and history leads to this conclusion.

Proverbs 31 is often detested and coined as anti-woman, and unrealistic. On the contrary, this passage is all about the amazing, marvelous, and bold characteristics and abilities women are created with. It is empowering!

The first chapter in MacArthur’s book is naturally about Eve. He explains in detail how she was made as Adam’s equal, yet both Adam and Eve were created for different roles in the relationship.

Man is meant to be the leader and protector of the family. Women are meant to be the comforter, the nurturer, the helper. This statement is SO easy to get offended by. But when I look at what these words truly mean, I am honored to be that woman. To hold my husbands arms up when he is too tired or weak to hold them up himself. To hug my children and dry their tears. To demonstrate tangible grace and love, reflecting that which Christ extends to us so unconditional. Not to mention run the household and make life happen (See Proverbs 31!). Such a pleasure!

Matthew Henry, Puritan author, said it best, “The woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved”.

I’ll be honest, I still cringe at some of the Biblical wording regarding submission and what not. But I’m getting better at grasping the concept. Living these ideals out, serving my husband and family with a cheerful heart has brought me amazing and unexpected joy. Why would I expect anything different? God designed me that way.

So back to Jesse’s work shirts. I indeed hung up the shirt, and it would have stayed there until pulled down to wear, but something just wasn’t right. I finally noticed that the second button was in the third hole.

Life is the same as these shirts. I could have a marriage, even a happy one, without adhering to the God-designed roles, but in all reality, it just won’t hang on that hanger quite right.

Until we meet again…