Today seems like a perfect day to answer this question that has been posed to me numerous times. Why is today a perfect day? Because I spent several hours this morning ironing the preacher’s shirts. Does that answer the question? 😊
Now, let me start by explaining that this is not a dissertation on the virtue of ironing. Nor is it a how-to discussion. It is simply an answer and an explanation as to why I do this.
The blatant and most obvious reason I iron is that the clothes are wrinkly! So I press the wrinkles out with a heated iron. I’m not a pioneer woman who heats a heavy iron over a hot stove. I am not a ’50s woman that uses an obnoxiously large steam press. (I did have the job as a young girl of using mom’s old steam press to press the pillow cases and hankies. I thought it was pretty nifty until I got too close to the rollers! It was a major ordeal when my mother pulled that big machine out for an afternoon of pressing clothes. It makes good memories now, but I am ever so grateful I am not obligated to such a monster when I need to chase wrinkles away these days!) I am an ordinary woman with a smallish, electric iron. Our dryer is an older version and makes no claim to take care of this task for me. So, I iron the preacher’s shirts, and his pants, and his hankies.
Another reason I iron his clothes is that I take pride in keeping my husband presentable. As a pastor, he is regularly in public view with an important message to deliver. I consider wrinkles to be gremlins that want to be noticed. Wrinkles can single-handedly take the focus of the eyes and mind away from the person and the message. Notice I said “can.” Some folks would never notice a wrinkle, let alone be distracted by one. Others may notice wrinkles but consider them to be merely a fact of life. But there are others that can make a big issue out of one wrinkle. Those people are one of the reasons I iron. I want my husband to be viewed as a man of integrity and discipline. I want nothing to detract from his character or his message. Armed with my iron, I can do my part to make that possible. In that way, I believe my ironing is an important part of my ministry. I can help make the pastor presentable and worthy of being listened to. Will a wrinkle send a soul to hell? Obviously not! But, as silly as it may sound, it could be a distraction to my husband’s ministry. After all, haven’t we all sat in an audience of some kind and wished the speaker would take a moment to turn his collar point down so he stops looking like the Flying Nun? Or straightened his tie? Or gotten that raveling off her skirt? Or removed his trouser leg from his sock? It happens. I just want to do my part in removing gremlins!
But there is one more very important reason I take the time and energy to iron. My husband likes it. A freshly pressed shirt makes him feel sharp. It makes him happy! And my little iron and I can make that happen. I iron for the same reason I give him the curled up potato chips. He likes them. I iron as an act of love. Can you think of a better motivation? And to be honest, a happier husband is a gift you can give yourself. I cannot take away his burdens. I cannot add extra hours to his day. I may not be able to fix any of life’s issues for him. But, praise The Lord, I can iron his shirts to let him know I love him, I value him, I’m on his team, and I want him to be happy!
But a spouse is not the only one we can honor with acts of love. The Word of God clearly delineates what I can do to please The Lord Jesus. It was His love for me, for each of us, that desired my eternal happiness. This great love moved Him to give His life for mine on the cross of Calvary. And this love motivates my desire to serve Him, to please and honor Him. II Corinthians 5:14 clearly states that the love of Christ compels me. I can never come close to repaying the debt I owe to Him, but I can demonstrate my gratitude to and love for Him by seeking to do the things that please Him in every area of my life. In doing so, I can prove my love to a Him.
One last question might be lingering in your mind. Do I enjoy ironing? Well, let’s go ahead and clear that up while we’re at it. There are other tasks I like less than ironing. I never look at my basket of ironing with absolute glee, but it’s not something I totally despise either. My husband has laughingly pointed out to me that I should let the iron do the work instead of my arm. I guess I may be guilty of working out my frustrations with my iron. Perhaps it could be deemed therapy in that respect. And there is the immediate gratification of watching those naughty little wrinkles chased away with my iron as my weapon. But I truly believe a major reason I don’t mind ironing so much is that I know, without fail, I will hear my husband say those gratifying words: “Thanks for ironing my shirts, Honey!” Ahhhh, sweet words of gratitude! I don’t as regularly hear those words spoken in appreciation for doing the dishes or cleaning the bathroom, though I know he’s grateful and does express it at times. But I always hear them after I’ve done the ironing. So, for as long as I am able, I will keep ironing those shirts. He likes it! That’s good enough for me! (And, yes, he’s already thanked me today!) 😉