Life as a MRS: Learning about Grace and the Laundromat

“…for some reason your clothes have holes in them…” Michael informed me after spending the morning at our neighborhood laundromat.

I’ve washed clothes my entire life and never encountered this problem, so as to be expected, I had some questions. .

My questions led to an interesting discovery: my husband always washes everything he owns in HOT WATER {and washed my clothes with his}. Jeans, bright colors, dry fit workout shirts, black sweatpants-you name it-he throws them all in together into the steamy hot water. And has since college. (Disclaimer: This washing style was not taught by his mom and can say with certainty she taught him the proper way to wash clothes…).

“You know that pink ruffly shirt you wore home from our honeymoon?” Michael asked.                                                                                                                                               “Yeah?”                                                                                                                                     “Well, it has holes.”

I could feel frustration rising up inside me and I really wanted to say, “YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME?! You ruined my clothes! You honestly wash ALL your clothes in hot water?”

But just for a second, I paused and asked myself, “What are his intentions? Is this worth getting upset about?”

The point was my  husband really wanted to do something nice for me, saw I had an enormous pile of dirty laundry, and he spent his morning at the Laundromat around the corner.

Ruined clothes is probably a reason to get mad and Michael probably should have known that the ‘hot water-whites’ setting is, well… just for whites. I might have even been able to justify getting upset.

But I remembered a piece of advice my friend Chelsey gave me. She told me Michael is going to screw up and do things that drive me crazy, make me crazy, and just want to scream – and I will follow suite. He isn’t perfect, and I’m not perfect. However, she told me the most important thing she’s learned in marriage is to give grace. Over and over and over again. Because our marriage won’t work without grace, just as life doesn’t work without grace. We are two imperfect people trying to figure out what it means to be partners for life. We came into marriage with different pasts, upbringings, families, and a whole host of other differences and now we are one (see Ephesians 5). We are called to live as one and strive to honor God in all aspects of our marriage-including the ways we speak to each other when we are frustrated.

I have to believe if we strive to give each other an extra helping of grace everyday with the small things – then we will be able to give grace when bigger issues come up down the road.

Our words can be used to destroy and tear down or build up and encourage. I recently heard a pastor say that the most important thing a wife can do for her husband is praise him, build him up, and SPEAK LIFE. He said he would never be the pastor of a church of over 10,000 people if his wife had not encouraged him along the way.

My clothes went in the trashcan that night, but I paused considering the definition of grace: an undeserved gift. The next day, I spilled nail polish on our floor {which stains-badly} and I could tell Michael was in the same dilemma: give grace or tell me how idiotic it is to paint my toenails without a towel under me (which is true). He chose grace and helped me clean it up. I also left my phone at home, left a mess in the kitchen, and was 30 minutes late to dinner with our neighbors that day. And he gave me nothing but grace.

Challenge yourself with this question: “Is this really important to get upset about? How can I exemplify what Christ has done for me {poured out His life for mine} in this situation?”       Because let’s be honest: how many piles of ruined clothes has God forgiven us of?

Life as an MRS is simply wonderful.

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4 Responses to “Life as a MRS: Learning about Grace and the Laundromat”
  1. Miriam Rose Baker says:

    Ruth! Same problem with our “industrial strength” dryers in the basement of our apartment. I need to investigate this further BUT it may be the dryer that is the culprit (though i’m sure the hot water is an accomplice).

    Excellent message on giving grace that applies in ALL relationships! Important to remember that giving grace does not mean ignoring the problems as if they do not exist but instead means acknowledging them and making a conscious choice…You reminded me of Phil and Marsha there when they used to tell us to live intentionally. : )


    Come to NY! we have beds! (well, aerobeds)

    • ruthie00 says:

      Miriam! So good to hear from you! Yes, always important to address big issues when necessary but as people say, “speak the truth in love”. I’m going to blog about that as well at some point. If we’re ever in NY, we’ll definitely come visit!

  2. waw, your pink dress…. I love it! But good to see you learn and also show us how to say words to build up people instead of tear down… Love to see your post, like a fresh air to me. Keep up writing, you are so gifted! So glad to see you and Michael are growing in love and grace. love you!

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