Keeping a clean and tidy home [Why it matters - Part 2 of 4]

In the previous post, I shared with you about my journey when it comes to keeping a clean and tidy home.  Please note:  I'm still on it and will never fully "arrive"!  I've only gotten far enough down the road of repentance to see some changes and growth.  In fact, due to our current season of life my hands are literally so full of caring for children that housekeeping has taken a major backseat.  Even so, I'm still trying to take little chunks out of my day to tidy up where I can because I do think it's important for our family!  Here is part 2...
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[funny - but also a little convicting?!]
One thing that has equipped me and encouraged me on those days when I REALLY don't FEEL like doing my "chores" is the knowledge of WHY it is so important to keep the house clean and tidy.  I want to share some of those reasons with you, in hopes that they will encourage you as they have encouraged me...

1.  Because it reflects the character of God.
When I reflect on creation, I see things in order.  The world isn't just slopped together with everything falling out of place, but it is perfectly and systematically created with everything working together in harmony.  Of course since sin has entered the world, things are messy sometimes, but this was not God's intention.  When I reflect on biblical stories about the building of the temple or the tabernacle, I marvel and how precise and intentional God in his placement and instructions.  There is nothing out of place or without purpose.  I can imagine that a clean and orderly home reflects these same principles; order, harmony, and intentionality.

2.  Because our home is to be a place of refuge.
Do you like to seek refuge in a chaotic or dirty place?  Me neither.  I like the idea of a spa or somewhere calm and quiet.  As homemakers, with or without a husband or children, we are to create an environment of hospitality that makes others feel the welcoming love of Jesus.  When there is a family involved, it is the woman of the house who primarily sets the the mood of the home which impacts everyone else.  A tidy atmosphere can make others feel safe and relaxed.

3.  Because Jesus values hospitality.
Jesus was always hospitable to others, wanting to love and serve them (even when he was in other people's homes!).  When Martha was too busy paying attention to dinner and not her honored guest, Jesus noticed and gently rebuked her.  Hospitality is an important way that Christians evangelize and share with others.  It becomes more difficult to welcome people into your home if it is very messy or in a condition that makes you feel embarrassed to entertain.

4.  Because we should steward our possessions well.
Nothing that we have is really ours.  It belongs to God, and he lets us take care of it for a little while.  If you lend something to another person, do you hope that they keep track of it and maintain it well?  God doesn't give us things to waste and misuse.  Keeping possessions well maintained is a sign of a grateful heart for what God has provided.

5.  Because it decreases stress and increases freedom.
When my house is messy and out of sorts, I feel out of sorts (and I'm not even an A-type personality).  It is hard for me to feel free to accept invitations because I know that I really need to be cleaning up my out of control kitchen or bedroom.  I can't fully enjoy when I do accept invitations, because a tiny part of me feels guilty for choosing something I want to do over something I really need to do.  When my house is relatively tidy and clean, it's amazing...I'm not always cleaning.  It's like reverse psychology.  The more I keep it clean the less I have to clean it because it's already in good shape...which leaves more time to do what I wanted to do in the first place!

6.  Because it can help save money and stop waste.
As our stuff goes everywhere with no system in sight, and I can't figure out where things are, I end up compensating by adding more stuff.  Instead of using what we have (because I can locate it is and it's in working order), it becomes easier to just buy new.  When everything is put away in its correct place, I'm more likely to be resourceful instead of spending more time and money (and brining more "stuff" into the space).

These are just a few reasons why I think keeping a clean and tidy home is important.  There are many more that I haven't touched upon here, and I would love to hear your most motivating reasons in the comments!

I think one other thing to remember is that it's always easier to NOT do the righteous thing.  It's always easier to avoid the dishes and the laundry and the paperwork and the toys.  It's HARD to live a holy life and do things that give glory to God.  That's why we need the holy spirit...and even when he gives us the grace and strength...it's still HARD.  Being a Christian and following Jesus isn't about getting our way and doing what is most comfortable to us, but it's about laying down our comforts and agendas to do what he asks of us.  Even if it means putting away Pinterest or spending a few extra minutes during a coveted nap time to clean up.  It's worth it.

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