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Rewards of Marriage: Fresh Cut Grass and Laundry

Rewards of Marriage: Fresh Cut Grass and Laundry

1 Corinthians 1:31: “…whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

I love doing laundry.  Most people hate this chore, but for some reason I find it very relaxing.  It is even better in warmer weather when I can hang it on the line during the day and save money on electricity.  It also gives me a little extra time to myself since my children seem to scatter when the subject of laundry comes up.  One thing about laundry, though, is it’s never done.  There is never a time when the hamper is completely empty and that feeling of satisfaction sinks in.  

I also enjoy mowing the lawn.  Not only is it good exercise and gets me outside in the fresh air, but it’s a job I can do that stays that way for at least a few days, if not a week, depending on how much rain we get.  I can look outside and feel good about completing a task that stays finished for longer than a few hours.  

Isn’t marriage a lot like laundry and mowing the lawn?  Both jobs are time consuming, but only one gives a return immediately while the other never seems to give a lasting return at all.  

In order to have a good marriage, a lot of time needs to be invested.  During the dating stage, it is a lot like mowing the lawn.  Both people are appreciative of the little things done for the other, each is putting their best foot forward to impress one another, quirks are thought of as cute, and misunderstandings are forgiven immediately.  The time and effort put in is looked forward to. 

Then comes happily ever after.  The wedding is over, the honeymoon is slowly fading from memory, and reality sets in.  Kids come, repairs need to be made which require money that might not be saved yet, and energy weakens.  Now life is more like laundry.  The same amount of effort is still required, but the rewards are not as long lasting.  Maybe each spouse is exhausted from lack of sleep and hectic schedules, maybe grudges are being held over big and small issues, the cute quirks of the past are becoming annoyances, and neither person wants to get up from the couch during their favorite television show to clean up the flood in the bathroom from their child’s version of Titanic.  

However, as I said above, I love mowing the lawn and doing laundry.  I loved the dating years where everything was new and exciting, but I also love the sometimes ordinary and mundane aspects of married life as well.  The rewards might not be as apparent as fresh cut grass, but they are still there and sometimes they are more appreciated for just that reason.  There is the shoulder rub followed by a lingering kiss from the man of my dreams as he walks by when I’ve been working for hours or his decision to take time off work so I don’t have to go to the doctor alone.  He will get up during his favorite TV show to stop the remake of the Titanic in our bathroom before its final scene.  There is also the shared laughter at private jokes during dinner while our kids look at us as if we are crazy and sometimes me choosing to let go of my pride to work out a disagreement before it escalates into a full-blown argument.  

So which do you like better - mowing the grass or doing laundry?  If you look hard enough, pleasure can be found in both.   

Cheri Swalwell is a Christ follower first and foremost, wife, mother, and avid reader. She has been blessed to guest blog at various sites including here at Crosswalk and If you want to hear more about the heart she has for marriage, parenting, and relationships from a Christian perspective, feel free to visit her blog or like her on facebook.

Publication date: August 20, 2012