As most of you know, I was working through the ebook 31 Days to Clean and participated in the related challenge over at Joyful Mothering. I decided I needed to set that aside for yardwork season ~ I just can't deep-clean my house right now! Our Canadian prairie summers are so stinkin' short that I want to be outside enjoying them ~ but the Mary challenge from Day 15 has haunted me since I first read through the study for that day.
The assignment was to come up with a lesson plan (I'm guessing not necessarily a LITERAL lesson plan, but at least a general idea) for teaching our children why keeping an orderly home is important. WHY is it important for them to keep their rooms tidy? WHY is it important to be organized and efficient? Sarah Mae's suggestion was to also find some supporting Scripture verses to add to the plan.
I thought about it and thought about it, but just couldn't even really figure out a philosophy, let alone articulate it into something I might be able to teach my daughters. And I sure didn't know where to start looking in my Bible either. So, at a complete loss, I turned to one of my most trusted resources: Revive Our Hearts Radio (bet that didn't surprise anyone, eh?!) I found the answers and inspiration I was looking for in an archived broadcast called The True Value of Your Home. Host Nancy Leigh DeMoss says:
Being home keepers, homemakers, reflects God’s heart for the home. God is somebody who loves home. Psalm 68:5-6 tells us, “A Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation. God settles the solitary in a home.”
God is a homemaker, and we reflect His heart for home when we cultivate homes where people can grow and be nurtured and nourished.
When you bring order out of chaos in your home... you are reflecting to the people in that home the One who created the world when the earth was formless and void and dark. You’re incarnating the Creator God in a sense, giving people a glimpse of Him.
When you cook nutritious, tasty meals for your family, you are pointing them to the One who feeds the hungry and who satisfies thirsty souls with Himself. You’re giving them an appetite for Him.
When you go to the time and effort to be sure that your husband and your kids have adequate clothing that fits, you are pointing them toward the One who clothes us with His righteousness.
When you learn how to decorate your home tastefully, you’re giving your family and guests in your home a glimpse of the One whose handiwork and artistry are reflected in creation. The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork.
When you maintain a clean home, an orderly home, you’re creating an atmosphere where your family can appreciate the value of being spiritually clean, cleansed from sin, and of having lives that are spiritually ordered. You’re teaching; you’re training not just to be clean and orderly because that is not a supreme, ultimate eternal virtue. It’s pointing them to virtues that are supreme and eternal. As you are homemaking what you are doing is creating a taste for our ultimate home in heaven.
Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms . . . I am going there to prepare a place for you” (John 14:1-2, NIV). So Jesus is a homemaker. His purpose is not Himself. “I’m going there to prepare a place for you.”
The thought of what Jesus is doing in preparing a place for us in heaven is supposed to keep our hearts from being troubled. It’s supposed to bring us peace as we wait and anticipate that home.
So our ultimate focus is on our eternal heavenly home and our homes here on earth are supposed to point people to Christ and to give them a taste for their home in heaven. They’re supposed to be glimpses of heaven here on earth, places where hearts are encouraged, not troubled, where hearts are at peace.
As we prepare a place for our families, for those that we invite into our homes, we are demonstrating to them the way that Christ is serving us and preparing a place for us in His Father’s house. (bold, same-colour emphasis in original; different-colour emphasis was added by me. Clicking the picture at right will take to the beginning of the ROH series, God's Beautiful Design for Women.)
That's my lesson plan. That's what I want to keep in mind when I feel like I'm tidying up the same mess for the bajillionth time. That's what I want to remember when I'm tired and the girls want me to jump on the trampoline, or when they want a picnic even though it's so much simpler to eat inside. That's what I want to remember when I'm feeling taken for granted, and figuring I need more recognition than I'm getting. It's what I want to teach and model for my girls.
My home can have significant eternal value depending on what it is used for. I have been blessed with a home so I can use it to be a blessing to others ~ my husband, my children, our guests. I want to care for it like I understand and believe that.
And I want to teach and model that to my daughters so they will understand the value and importance of their future homes as well.