1. I don’t care much for being cute.
I’m a Christian wife, mother and a writer, but believe me, I don’t look like Lisa Bevere. I have several tattoos, long, blonde dreadlocks and I wear size 14. I found out that American clothes size numbers are smaller than Australian ones, so I’m trying to get my husband to move us to Portland, Oregon (in the US) so I can email everyone back home in Australia and tell them I have instantly become a size 10. Having dreadlocks means I save a heap on shampoo, styling product and haircuts, and I plan to spend what I save on those for the move to Portland. I hear they’re real big on things like tattoos and dreadlocks there.
2. I never make my husbands lunches.
We married on a sunny February morning, on a Saturday. I made my husbands first lunch to take to work on the Monday following our return from our honeymoon. On Friday of the same week, my husband came home from work and said he didn’t like what I was giving him for lunch. That was in 1989, and he started making his own sandwiches about 30 seconds later. So that, my friend, is how you get back fifteen minutes of your day and avoid a hell of a lot of shouting.
3. I hate to cook.
For some reason, Christian women are supposed to like cooking, and are supposed to cook a variety of nutritious tasty food for their families and provide same for sick members of the church community and the occasional pot luck dinner. I’ve given it a red hot try over the years, believe me, but I’m still just not into it. All that time and energy, for something that will be devoured in under a minute. And that’s if they *like* it. Heaven forbid you should throw in something new every once in a while. Totally discouraged in the end by my family’s resistance to all experimentation mainly designed to try and keep up my own motivation, I resorted to cooking the same five things in rotation. After eating this menu for years, our older kids are now physically allergic to tuna casserole. I believe my spaghetti bolognese is probably responsible for my adult sons suspected coeliac disease.
On the upside, my husband and kids have decided that there are other ways to get interesting and tasty food. Make it themselves, or order it in. My evil plan is working.
Large groups of just women – and Christian women particularly – make me very, very nervous. It could be just me, but it feels like there’s just way too much intuition in the room. You can never know what two, let alone two thousand, Spirit-filled women in a room might do. Literally. You also never know what they might say. They seldom stick to the script, the notes, or the program, even if the script, the notes and the program are their own creation. Women at a women’s conference love an itinerary. It makes great confetti. But there’s something else about women’s conferences. It’s not just the crowds, the noise and the unallocated seating that brings me out in a sweat. It’s the distinct lack of men. I like men, and I feel uncomfortable when I can’t find one, because I think the presence of men serves to remind women that the world and everything in it is made completely of dirt. I would prefer to stay home with my man and practice on my own marriage than sit a big room and listen to the pastors wife – or worse, the pastors wife’s husband – talk about theirs. You can read more about why I don’t go to Christian Women’s Conferences here.
5) I’m not bothered by my husbands sexual needs.
Most of the books I’ve read for Christian women on the subject of sex make the assumption that there will be problems in the marriage because he is going to want so much of it. Maybe there is something wrong, because my husbands needs have never been a problem for me. Oh yes, I’m a bad Christian wife.
6) I don’t like to entertain.
I think this is mostly because I am afraid of being judged, because I am not a very good housekeeper. You’re not even at my house, and you’re judging me now because of what I just told you, I know it. You really want to be in the house, eating the cupcakes and sipping the tea of someone with so many neurosis? Of course not. I realise this, and so I have mercifully spared us both the embarrassment. Not entertaining is good for my marriage because my husband likes me better when my neurosis are not aggravated. That will work.
7) I swear. A lot.
Clearly this makes it difficult for me to be a Really Good Christian Wife. I could be a really good bowery sea captain, however. My tattoos, I believe, help signficantly. My penchant for coarse language benefits our marriage because my husband need have no fear I will be stolen away by another man, at least not a tender-hearted one. I wouldn’t stand for being stolen away anyway. I’m also a bit of a shin-kicker.
I’m not really that bad of a Christian wife, my husband says, but he also said that these seven things are probably only funny if you don’t have to live them. That was right before I told him to shut up and eat his tuna casserole.
Ps: If you punch “good Christian wife” into Google images, funnily enough you get a whole lot of pictures of Christian Bale, who coincidentally looks remarkably like my husband Ben, and on whom I have a very famous crush. How serendipitous 🙂