During my single days, there was one place in our house that you’ll never find me in – the kitchen. I loved the dining place but not the kitchen. I loved food but not the preparation. I loved to eat but not to cook. And yes, not even the cleaning up. Despite all these, I am very good in cooking rice even without a rice cooker (wink wink).
When I got engaged with my husband whose Mom happens to be a superb cook, I remember my own mother warning Vincent about my weakness. But praise God, Vincent was kind enough to still accept me for who I am and marry me anyway. Haha!
Please don’t judge me but during our first few months of marriage, Vincent had to really be patient with me. I only prepared food from the nearest carenderia I could find and it was served on paper plates because I didn’t like to wash dishes at all. I always had the best excuse, I was pregnant with our first child. I could just imagine how relieved Vincent was every time my mother-in-law would visit the house to deliver her home-cooked meals or when our stay out helper would be around to cook.
I never heard my husband complain.
I knew in my heart, this is not the wife or mother God wants me to be. I could not be lazy to even try to cook at my own comfort. I cannot imagine myself cooking but instead I could imagine hiring a cook. But cooking wasn’t the issue, my heart was. God made me see that I was self-serving. God did not design marriage that way. It is not self serving. It is serving others – serving my husband, serving my children, and serving even our househelp (if we had one). I needed to die to myself so that others can eat – literally.
If there was one big rebuke that really made me start cooking and washing the dishes was the verse Mark 10:45. Even the Son of Man, Jesus Christ didn’t come here on earth to be served but to serve. He served His disciples. He served the crowd. He served by washing His disciples feet. He served the needs of the people – be it food, healing, protection, and so on. Most importantly, He served by giving His life as a ransom for many.
So who am I not to serve my own family through cooking?
I am thankful to God for my husband who has been nothing but patient and loving. On my first steps to cooking, he was very supportive in buying the ingredients with me. He was patient with how much time I needed to cook. You have to understand, I didn’t even know how to use a knife. I didn’t know how to peel with it. It was really like learning how to walk. He was generous in giving me compliments when my cooking is really good and when it needs improvement, he was gracious enough to break it to me gently.
From learning to peel fruit to being able to cook Japanese food is nothing but the work of grace in my life. Cooking is just one of the areas that the Lord had to deal with me as a wife and mother. There is still so much more grace I need in my everyday roles.
But after this, there are things that I have learned more than just cooking.
First, God will not leave us as we are. He continually seeks to make us more and more like Him. He desires that we become the kind of wife and mother that He designed us to be – A Proverbs 31 kind of wife and mother. 2 Corinthians 3:18 “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
Second, when God calls us, He equips us and will enable us. I believe that being a wife and a mother is a calling. He didn’t make us marry and bear children to just let us figure it out. He will supply what we need and when we need it.
Cooking may not be exactly what you need to improve as a wife and mother. It may not be a household chore. It may not be something tangible but intangible. It could be patience with our rowdy children, faith that God will provide through our husbands, wisdom in how to organize our house, or even struggles with our house help. Whatever that may be, know this dear wife and dear mother – God will not leave us as we are. He is passionate to make us more and more like Him. He has provided His Word, the Holy Spirit, and even our fellow wives and moms.
In line with this, I will be humbly sharing some of the recipes I have learned. It may not be “chef-like”but it is cooked with love.