Housekeeping: How Clean is Your House?
Dirty dishes, rings around the tub, piles of laundry, and sticky kitchen floors! Five years ago, the idea that my house would look like this would be enough to make me want to move rather than clean it all up! Today I have learned to accept that my house will look lived in, and I am okay with it!
We have all heard that, “cleanliness is next to Godliness,” but at some point we must realize that having a clean heart is more important than sweeping cobwebs off the front porch. Over and over in the Bible we read ways to be more like Jesus, ways to be perfect. But does God expect us to really be perfect? God asks us to live our lives without sin. I am fairly sure the Bible doesn’t specify that leaving dirty dishes in the sink overnight or not sweeping your floors daily is sinful.
What can we do to lead more perfect lives? Let go of our need to be perfect. God’s love should set us free, not bind us up in a need to be right all the time or be perfect housekeepers. In fact, we won’t be perfect parent either, despite our best efforts. God simply wants us to love one another, including our children and spouse.
Now, putting off cleaning entirely is not the answer either. Instead, you need a system. Raising children is hard enough, don’t complicate the system! If your children are old enough, enlist their help. If you spouse in willing, enlist spousal help as well. If you are left to do it all yourself, try hard to not feel defeated or resentful toward those who are not helping. Instead, understand that housework is simply managing your blessings. Realize that cleaning your home is a way to bless those who live there. You may not get kudos from those around you, but rewards are given freely in Heaven! If you do it cheerfully, perhaps others will join in!
As for that system, create one that works for you. Perhaps you do best if you block off three hours a week in one big chunk. Maybe your spouse could watch the kids while you clean like a maniac for those three hours. If that doesn’t work, break down your chore list into six parts. Tackle one part each day, and on the seventh day, reward yourself. Even God rested after working hard the first six days!
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