Friday, August 23, 2013

A Theology of Housekeeping

So I got into FlyLady. And she sends me umpteen e-mails a day and drives me batty, but my house is cleaner - so that's something. But I'm sorry, NO ONE is going to tell me to wear lace-up shoes in my own house. Ask me again when I'm 40 and my knees are worse than they already are.

Truthfully, I've been very pleased with the extra motivation of the Zones, Daily Missions, the "Hot Spot Fire Drill," "Declutter for 15 minutes" and "27-fling Boogie." Corny, but it works. My sink is shiny and my bathroom has been swished and swiped.

As I gaze around at this new, neater home, I wonder though... why. Why do we bother? What is the purpose of keeping our homes neat and tidy? So I pondered, and I came up with three reasons. So here it is, my tri-perspectival view of housekeeping (my theology nerd husband will be so proud of me).

1) GOD: Because God is not a God of disorder, but of peace [1 Cor. 14:33]. A disorderly home does not accurately reflect the image of God. Sure there are times and seasons when it gets out of hand a bit (that first trimester of pregnancy always does me in completely), but our goal should be to return our homes to order as an example of who God is.

2) OTHERS: We keep our homes neat to bless others. It's so much nicer to visit somebody when you aren't picking cheerios out from between your toes and moving half their worldly possessions so you can sit on the sofa.  A neat home is more welcoming to visitors, and God calls us to practice hospitality [Rom. 12:13].

3) OURSELVES: A neat and tidy home blesses the whole family. While it is mostly my job as the homemaker to keep things organized, the home is also the shared responsibility of everyone who lives there. Dad takes out the garbage, kids help Mom when she asks. How much nicer is it to go to make supper and open the cupboard to pull out the exact pot you need, already washed and put away? It makes Cory's life much easier when he goes to get dressed for work in the morning and finds his work clothes folded and in his drawer, instead of having to find them in the dryer or (yikes!) just wear the dirty ones from the day before (I can't promise that hasn't happened before... or won't happen again...). I like being able to walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night without stepping on sharp little plastic dinosaurs.

I could mention other things - the principle of good stewardship or the health benefits of less dirt and dust, but I think I'll leave it here for now. These are the reasons that run through my head as I toss in my one load of laundry a day or sweep my dining room floor, and they keep me going.

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