Housekeeping Is Not Just About Housekeeping
Last week in the story of Mary and Martha we looked at having a heart of welcome. As we live in Jesus and allow Him to be at work in us and through us, keeping our hearts in tune with His presence, and sharing His presence with those He brings us, there is another reality that becomes clear. Sometimes we just need to clean our house.
When I was growing up we always had a housekeeper. I didn’t even have to make my own bed till I went away to college. Because I was clueless, housekeeping has always been a challenge for me. For such a long time I had no understanding that doing “everything as unto the Lord” included housekeeping! But it does. Sadly, I didn’t even know it mattered.
Jesus said in John 14:23, ““All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.” After Katy Beth shared this verse in the Zoom study, she asked if we “kept house as if Jesus lived there in person.,” My mind flashed back to all the years the house was a mess. All. The. Time. Yes, I was home schooling four children in a small house and life happens. But there was also no plan or routine for getting things done well or dealing with the detritus of an active family. I read book after book on housekeeping and organizing. I was trying to find the right book that would tell me what I needed to do. But I was reading, not cleaning! I was not keeping house as if Jesus lived here in person.
Some may argue that the passage from John 14 applies to our heart-home. It does, but we can also apply it to our physical homes. How we keep our homes is practical evidence of how we are living in Jesus. If I truly want my home to be a place where people are welcomed into the presence of Jesus, the house needs to be clean and welcoming. It doesn’t need to be Pinterest-worthy but rather a place that says “come in and let’s share our lives together.”
If this is an area of struggle for you, especially if you are in the season of small ones, ask Jesus what routines and systems need to be established so that your home is a home that welcomes people in. Talk to Him while you get down to the nitty-gritty of cleaning and ask Him to give you His joy in the work. He will give far beyond what you can ask or think. And when it gets overwhelming, do as Katy Beth suggested, take a little time out and talk to Jesus over a cup of tea. Just as He met Martha in her complaint, He will meet you too, and He will be enough.