I’m in a particularly quiet season of life right now. Darling girl has settled in to a good schedule and we are loving this slow pace. It’s given me a chance to reflect more on the purpose behind “keeping the home” and how it relates to the way God sets the chaos of our hearts to order, peace, and rest.
When God created the world, He took empty darkness and turned it into life.
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters… And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” Genesis 1:1-2, 31
“You made everything out of nothing, imposed order on chaos, gave birth to beauty and called it good.”
-Ann Spangler, Praying the Names of God
And when He sent his son to die to pay for our sins and be raised to life, he took brokenness and made it whole, beautiful, and new. He made a way for fullness and peace in our hearts.
“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace…” Ephesians 2:13-14
The gospel speaks into every part of our life, even (or perhaps especially) in the way we tend our homes. Our homes can be a reflection of that beauty, peace, order, and rest.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll continue to preach it. Ladies, we have a unique opportunity to set the tone for the atmosphere of our homes. In our attitude and actions, as well as in how we clean, arrange, and keep our homes. Perhaps I risk sounding old fashioned for saying this. But I’m not talking about what lifestyle you’ve chosen or even what season you’re in. Whether you work outside the home or in the home, whether you have a young family or are an empty nester, or how you “split” the chores with your spouse and kids.
I’m simply saying, you have an opportunity to influence your people with the way in which you set about tending to your space.
Consider, this: there’s that often dreaded act of walking through the house and tidying up every night. Everyone else is already tucked in bed, and you’re bone tired and weary. This is an opportunity re-set your space for the next day and gift your home and family with order out of chaos.
The dusting of your shelf is an opportunity to dust off the cobwebs of discontent in your thoughts and count your blessings… As the hymn goes, name them one by one. Go ahead, whisper them out loud. See how it transforms the mundane task into a full blown worship session between you and the Lord.
That bending low to pick up the same toy day after day is a chance to posture your heart towards bending low in joyful humility.
Scrubbing those dishes after a meal gone by too quick is an opportunity to quiet your heart and pause to pray for your people as they wrestle and play in the next room.
It’s hard to feel secure and at rest in a space that’s un-kept. It’s hard to focus on relationships when you’re bombarded with clutter all around you. When we can joyfully keep our home in a way that points to God’s beauty and order, God is glorified and your family is settled and secure.
But it’s also about balancing the desire for beauty and order with grace.
You may be in a season where you can’t have that vase of fresh flowers on your coffee table. Even though it would remind those in your home of God’s beauty in creation, little hands that can reach breakable things simply don’t mix.
Or maybe the budget’s tight and your mismatched furniture from the thrift store isn’t at all what you had imagined for your home. But in this season you steward what God has gifted you by arranging it as best you can. And the effort you put in to the homemade wall decor is a delight to your husband and kids. No matter that it’s not pottery barn perfect.
And then there’s the life with a newborn and it’s all you can do to stumble in bed each night even though the sink is full of dishes. It’ll keep for a bit. Give yourself some grace and get some rest. The goal isn’t perfection for your home, it’s peace.
And can I remind you that even the cleanest home is no substitute for a chaotic heart? Where sin abides, chaos reigns. First seek the Lord and set your heart on Him.
Then you can tend your home to make it a haven of rest and order for your people. Find joy in this. And call it good.