That may sound strange coming from a SAHM who strongly believes the Bible teaches that married women are to be “keepers at home.” But many times I have chafed against this part of my job description.
Oh, I love to eat and I like good food prepared well. I just don’t particularly enjoy the process of doing it myself. There are any number of things I enjoy more, and I sometimes resent that I have to lay aside those things in order to go make dinner.
Yet, even if we were in a situation where I could hire a cook, I can’t foresee that I ever would, unless I wasn’t physically able to cook. It just wouldn’t seem right, and I don’t know if I could ever show someone else how to make things the way I like them (and I am particular about how my food tastes!) It would be easier and less stressful to do it myself.
On one Christian message board I was on, one of my most-commented on posts was something along the lines of “What do you cook when you don’t feel like cooking?” A lot of ladies said something like, “I am so glad to know someone else shares these feelings!”
Yet, cooking is part of my job and one my family probably appreciates and depends on the most. (By the way, I do know that in the Bible men cooked sometimes, but in our household division of duties, cooking is my lot. My husband works 50+ hours a week and I wouldn’t ask him to take this on, too [though he does grill the main dish on Sundays frequently.] I would rather stay home and make dinner than have to work outside the home.)
It does help if I remember everyone has to do things they don’t feel like doing. My husband probably doesn’t feel like going to work every weekday or having to cut the grass and make repairs on weekends.
It also helps if I actually do plan ahead for it: though I enjoy planning and shopping probably even less than cooking, if I do have some basic menu plans in mind it makes meal preparation much smoother and therefore less frustrating and time-consuming.
It also helps if I “get into it” more. When I am thumbing through recipe magazines I can get excited about trying new things.
But it helps most of all to remember that it is an act of service. There are many examples of preparing and serving food in the Bible. The virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 “riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens” (verse 15). Sarah prepared food for Abraham’s unusual visitors (Gen. 18). Even the Lord Jesus prepared food for some of His disciples (at least, fish were being cooked when they came to Him in John 22:9). There is a larger sense in which He prepares and provides for us spiritually, calling Himself the bread of life (John 6:35, 48). Food provides strength; it is part of hospitality, which we’re commanded to; serving in His name brings promise of reward; giving food and drink to His brethren is as serving Him.
Lord of all pots and pans and things
Since I’ve no time to be
A saint by doing lovely things
Or watching late with Thee
Or dreaming in the sweet dawn light
Or storming Heaven’s gates,
Make me a saint by getting meals
And washing up the plates.
Although I must have Martha’s hands,
I have a Mary mind,
And when I black the boots and shoes,
Thy sandals, Lord, I find.
I think of how they trod the earth,
What time I scrub the floor:
Accept this meditation, Lord.
I haven’t time for more.
Warm all the kitchen with Thy love
And light it with Thy peace;
Forgive me all my worrying,
And make all grumbling cease.
Thou who didst love to give men food,
In room or by the sea,
Accept this service that I do–
I do it unto Thee.
~ Author unknown
(Graphic from Creative Ladies Ministries)