Is your motivation for maintaing your home to please yourself or to care for others?
It’s an extremely convicting statement, and immediately threw a glaring flash of light onto my own selfishness. I was listening to a free audio download by Carolyn Mahaney, half-listening I should say, as I attempted to get a few other things done. But I had to stop. I had to write the statement down and think about it.
Immediately, re-runs of the last few days played through my mind, the selfish frustration I’d felt when all my housecleaning collapsed in a serious of accidents and spills. That’s not selfless sacrifice coming through in those moments. And I realized, I ought to maintain my home not for my comfort and pleasure, not for my satisfaction, but for the needs of my family. The day’s efforts are not about highlighting my home or my skills, or even creating a place of calm for me, but creating a place of service, a medium for ministry.
Practically, that means that I don’t tidy up the clutter merely because it bugs me to have it sitting on the counter; I clean it to make my husbands life easier when he’s looking for something. I schedule our day not to relieve my stress, but to help the kids learn how to accomplish as much as possible in a day. I don’t slave away for a spotless home in which to entertain (placing the focus on me and my accomplishments), but strive for a neat, ordered home prepared for hospitality (placing the focus on the needs of those who come through our doors).
In the end, the lesson is that my home is not my home; and the spilled milk is truly nothing to cry about in the realm of eternity.