“Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.” Song of Songs 2:15
Warning: this is a PG blog…if for some odd reason you’re reading this aloud to your young one…or if you’re at all squeamish or a bit obsessive in the cleanliness area…stop now! Don’t scroll down!
You couldn’t help yourself, could you? Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
I was cleaning my bedroom yesterday, and I confess, it’s been too long. Ask anyone and they’ll tell you I’m a fairly “tidy” woman. Even with four babies, toddlers, boys, young men, I have kept our “cozy” house comfortable and clean. I’ve even been known to secretly re-clean after the boys did their chores (not that they ever knew…until now). But our bedroom seems to always be the “when I get time” room. It used to be the storage area for things I didn’t know yet what to do with; the place I shoved the clean clothes until I got them folded and picked up by children; the place my husband puts his box of coaching stuff each soccer season because I hate it out in the living area. Maybe you have a room like that too?
I just couldn’t take it anymore. I honestly don’t think I’ve dusted or swept our bedroom since last spring…I know…confession is good for the soul, right? Not that I actually had time to do it yesterday. I left a pile of papers to be graded and had a promise from my son that he was going to make dinner (didn’t happen, but that was the plan when I began the bedroom adventure). Anyway…this is what I found…
I know…shocking! Those dust bunnies had procreated like nobody’s business…under the bed, the dressers, the side tables. It wasn’t pretty.
As I swept up the bunnies and dusted the surfaces I was reminded of something an older friend of mine told me before I got married. She said that a couple’s bedroom should always be a sanctuary. A place of refuge and peace for you and your husband. It should be the one room in the house that is always clean, always beautiful, always comfortable and safe…just like your love for each other.
I thought about our 24 years of marriage…the ups and downs…the times I focused on making our bedroom a sanctuary and how it slowly but surely ended up as the “catch all” room again and again. The room that wasn’t cleaned on a weekly basis like the rest of the house. Not a good feeling.
Then I got defensive with myself (you have to remember that I’m all by myself in the house). What about my husband? Why doesn’t he make our bedroom a sanctuary? He’s a responsible adult just like me. I’m the one that likes things clean and beautiful, why doesn’t he serve me by cleaning the bedroom? He could care less…obviously he doesn’t care about me or our bedroom. He’s more concerned with soccer practice and football season. He wouldn’t even notice if I never cleaned up this pile of dust bunnies!
I’m sure I’m probably the only woman in history to get irritated with herself and then turn it on her husband…LOL!
It is so easy to deal with the big bunnies and forget the quiet, small bunnies (or “little foxes” according to Solomon) that hide under the bed! We are so busy putting out fires, dealing with a crisis here and a hassle there, working hard, being responsible, that we seldom have time to be together in our sanctuary, much less make a sanctuary! Its easiest to let the most important things take a back seat to the most pressing things. I believe the most important things are first, my relationship with God and second, my relationship with my husband. But do I act on that belief?
Another confession: I didn’t make daily Bible reading a habit until I was forty years old. I spent the first twenty years of my walk with Jesus not making the time to get to know him. What a waste! Looking back, I realize that I could have saved myself so much grief by getting closer to Jesus and learning through His Word to trust God; and by asking the Holy Spirit to teach me and open my eyes to God’s love and purpose for me I wouldn’t have wasted time on those things that in the bigger picture, really weren’t important for God’s purpose.
So now I am faced with the “foxes” in the bedroom. How does God want me to build that relationship with my husband? Probably the same way I am building my relationship with Him. Spending quality time with him. Shutting out the daily hassles and responsibilities and building a sanctuary for us that’s safe and comfortable. A sanctuary that is filled with love and grace; a relationship that accepts faults and failures. The tasks will never end. The needs and demands of others will always pull at both of us. But we need to make the time to be together in this most holy of relationships as husband and wife. Easier said than done…but that’s where grace comes in.
Lord, fill me with a love like yours; bind my husband and I together with Christ as a “chord of three strands is not easily broken” (Eccl 4:12). Build our relationship with each other so that it is a sanctuary, no matter the room we occupy. Help us keep those small bunnies swept up so they don’t take precedence over our relationship with each other and with You. In Christ’s Name, Amen.