A relatively newly-wed young lady, recently told me that her husband had requested her to come to the door and greet him when he returns home from work. She, on the other hand, would always be busy, taking care of responsibilities in the home, or if the hour was late, she would be getting ready to go to sleep.
The Gemara (Ta'anith 23:) tells about the righteous wife of Abba Hilqiyah, who would leave her home and go out to greet her husband all dressed up and "made up" for him. (It is important to stress that she made a point of not walking in a crowded area).
Nowadays, it seems to me that there is excessive emphasis placed on looking attractive and presentable when leaving the house to be "seen by others". We dress up and make sure to look our best in the company of others. We remove our glasses and wear our contacts, spray ourselves with perfume (which other men are forbidden to smell), and examine ourselves in front of the mirror, from top to bottom.
Please do not misunderstand me, as I am not hinting that, G-d forbid, we should not look presentable and put together. On the contrary, we should! But up to a point. The question is, what happens in our home?
The clothes we wore throughout the entire day, while cleaning, cooking, washing, etc., are the exact same ones we wear when our husbands come home. Our glasses may be stained and need thorough cleaning (who ever thought of putting on our contact lenses for our husbands?) Instead of the pleasant scent of the perfume, our husbands are welcomed by the smell of the onions we fried that day... The make up is hidden away, ready to be used when we next go out of the house.
I haven't yet heard of a husband who does not want his wife to look pretty and attractive for him. One smart lady once told me: "It is our responsibility to look attractive in the eyes of our husbands, especially in this day and age. When the streets are overflowing with temptations, I should make every effort to help my husband look only at me!"
The righteous wife of Abba Hilqiyah, hundreds of years ago understood the importance of this matter, Shouldn't we?