I took cupcakes up to Joel's work today. That may not seem like a big deal to some of you, but it means a lot to the guys he works with. Several of them are single and don't get anything homemade ever. I take (or send) a lot of goodies to that shop. And I won't lie: I have ulterior motives for taking them. I have always pictured it as a "cup of cold water" (Matthew 10:42) kind of thing.
But then as I was talking to Joel the other day, he mentioned that some of the guys don't believe that I really say and do some of the things he tells them about (good things, like how carefully I do his laundry, and bringing him little trays with dessert and milk). I think it surprises them that I really do care about him-what he likes, and how he feels.
I think they have been brought up to see all women as feminists-only looking out to further their own interests. And while I would never claim to be the model wife, I do really try to be a servant to Joel. And to me, that is not a negative thing.
"Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything." (Ephesians 5:22-24)
I was raised to take these verses seriously. To me, they imply that as the Church serves Christ, humbly, selflessly, with a strong desire to please Him, that I am called to do the same. And yes, I view it as a calling.
However, I have long thought that it was mostly commanded in the Word so that we would have a God-honoring marriage that was free from strife. But I am beginning to realize that it is a big part of my witness to the unsaved world. It is how we show the world we are different and broadcast Who brought about that change.
When the guys that Joel works and goes to school with hear about how I care for him, and take care of him, they are getting a picture of what Christlike service looks like. I am, albeit indirectly, witnessing to them! They can see that Christ has made my life different, and that Joel and I love each other in a way that far surpasses the cheap imitation they have been accustomed to.
I stay at home. I homeschool, I go to Bible study, I work at church. I am constantly surrounded by believers. And right now, that is where I am supposed to be. However, just as I give money to various evangelistic organizations, and I donate food, clothes and shoeboxes, I see being a great wife to Joel as part of my ministry and testimony, not just to him, but to those he comes in contact with. I think it kind of falls under that whole "the two shall become one" (Mark 10:8) thing.
I am not only freeing him to focus on what he needs to do, but hopefully, through seeing what a happy husband he is, and how much I respect him and desire to serve him, they will also see what real Christ-followers looks like. Hopefully, it ignites a tiny flame of desire to have that in their own lives. That is a pretty big order for a little batch of cupcakes, but I just think of it as a long-term evangelism plan that is all part of the "Ministry of Being Mrs." It is a role I am privileged to fill.