I talk a lot about simple ways to make managing your home easier. But why does it matter?
Every home is managed, either well or poorly (or somewhere in between). It matters because how well we managed our homes (or how poorly we manage our homes) spills over into the rest of life. It matters because it is our witness.
EXTREME MOM #1
I’m the mom that prioritizes fun activities with my kids. My home is in a constant state of disarray with toys all over the floor, sticky spots and crumbs and the yard looks like I run a daycare center. When we leave the house (daily), my kids and I are dressed in (mostly) clean (mostly) matching clothes but we look rumpled…like I’d pulled the clothes out of a pile of clean laundry that never got put away (maybe because I did!).
After a fun afternoon at the park and a trip to the library, we race home and toss frozen pizzas in the over (because we need to eat and who has time to cook!) Then Hubby and I chase kids around with baths and books and bedtime and then collapse on the couch with some ice cream and a show, too tired to do anything but toss the toys off the couch and onto the floor.
My kids and I are always a bit tired and frazzled and we’re slightly plump from all the convenience foods and snacks on the go. I’d like to be able to invite a friend and her kids over for a play date or have my in-laws over for dinner, but it would take too much time and energy to get the house back under control…and what would I cook!
EXTREME MOM #2
I’m the mom that takes pride in in the fact that my home is perfectly decorated and spotless. You can eat off the floor and a white glove test won’t reveal a speck of dust.
When my kids and I leave the house (which is rarely, there is just so much to do at home!), we are perfectly matched and pressed. Oh yeah, and we often color-coordinate with each other — I want those pictures of these (few) fun activities to look amazing!
At 4pm every afternoon I begin working on supper. I make each meal completely from scratch and it always looks and tastes amazing. It is full of fresh fruits and vegetables and lean protein because I have a figure to maintain and I don’t want my kids to be teased about being chubby. But, I tend to get grumpy with my kids during this time because I can’t make a gourmet meal with so many interruptions!
When Hubby gets home we have a (stressed) delightful dinner then get the kids ready for bed. Once the kids are in bed I get down to the business of cleaning the kitchen, prepping food for the next day, wiping down the furniture and sweeping the floor so we can start the next day fresh. I collapse into bed each night tired and dreading doing it all over tomorrow.
I offer to host the small group Bible study at our home each week because I like to interact with other adults… and I like people to see my perfectly maintained home. But adds stress to my life. I need to serve a yummy, yet healthy treat each week and then the added cleaning time…
THESE EXTREMES DON’T WORK!
Living in one of these two extremes doesn’t work. The motivation is wrong, there is no joy, family suffers, our witness suffers.
I choose to manage my home well so I can bless my family, with clean clothes, healthy meals (and bodies) and a comfortable (and clean) environment.
I manage my home well so I can bless others through sharing our home (and lives) with them, either in our home or outside of it.
I manage my home efficiently so I have the time and energy to invest in relationships, first with my husband, then with my children, and then with others.
I manage my home well so I bring glory to God:
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. (1 Peter 2:12)
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
What is your motivation for managing your home? Do you see your home as having an eternal impact?