Washing Dishes Builds Character

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Hi y’all! My  name is Amanda and I’m the creative mind behind Royal Daughter Designs. I’m a country girl, farming and ranching on 8 beautiful Texas acres. My husband, Mr. E., is a minister and a seminary professor and  I’m a small business owner and graduate student. I’m a has-been foster moma self-proclaimed animal lover, laundry procrastinator, sweet tea junkie, and high-heel hater. 

One thing I love about the Lord is how gentle He is when he’s teaching me an important lesson. I remember a night several years ago. Mr. E. was in seminary, pursuing his Ph.D. in theology. That night I made a deal with Mr. E. I offered to clean the kitchen (normally one of his duties) if I could have 30 extra minutes of snuggle time with him. I hadn’t seen much of him this week (or for the entire four years he was in school, for that matter) because he was busy with school and work. Since I’d been missing my hubby, I thought to myself, “If he doesn’t have to clean the kitchen, maybe he’ll have extra time to spend with me.” (It was a totally selfish offer, I must admit.)

But let me back up. In our home Mr. E. and I have a (mostly) mutual agreement that when I cook, he cleans the kitchen. His method of cleaning usually means putting away the food, loading the dishwasher, and rinsing all the pots and pans until they are needed, at which time I wash the pots and pans! (I’m not criticizing – I think he’s got the system figured out to his advantage.) All this to say that kitchen patrol is not a highly sought after duty in our family – we both avoid it when possible!
That night I selfishly offered to clean the kitchen and wash dishes (a.k.a. pots and pans.) By the way – I made a great dinner of chicken fajitas with queso and refried beans! It was yummy – but made quite a mess. 
While standing at the sink with my hands soaking in soapy water, I think to myself, “washing dishes must build character.” Did you ever read Calvin and Hobbes? Do you remember Calvin’s dad describing pretty much any unpleasant task as “building character”? I do, and evidently it stuck. So there I am, thinking about how washing dishes builds character, when I realize it does build character: service. It brought a small amount of comfort that by washing dishes, I was serving my husband!

Mr. E. and I will celebrate our seventh wedding anniversary this month. A large part of our wedding was devoted to explaining and displaying Christ-like servant leadership. Jesus Christ said in Mark 9:35, 
“So you want first place? Then take the last place. Be the servant of all.” 

And Paul said in Philippians 2:5-7, 

“You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave (servant.)” 

These verses have been foundational in our marriage, each of us serving one another as Christ served His disciples. It doesn’t always work out that way – but it is our goal.

That night, with my hands sudsy and pruny, I rediscovered a fundamental character of a Christ Follower: having a servant’s heart. An interesting lesson learned at the kitchen sink, I’d say.  And a lesson that has stuck with me through the years. The gentle nudging of a gracious Lord teaching His child. What love!
Now that y’all know a little bit about me, I’d love for you stop by my little blog and say hello. Consider this your official invitation to grab a cup of mojo, pull up a seat, and let’s get to know each other! You can find me on Twitter and Facebook too.

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  1. Thanks for having me, Virginia!

  2. Having a servant’s heart is so important in marriage…I really think that not being willing to serve can poison a marriage, this is definitely something to remember.

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