By Jennifer Waddle, Crosswalk.com
I am messy by nature. House cleaning and organizing have never been my forte. As my poor mom can attest, my childhood bedroom was a disaster. And my college roommate had to deal with my piles of laundry spilling over to her side of the dorm room. But as I age, I recognize the value of a well-ordered home, not only for the sake of my sanity but for the sake of my spiritual walk as well.
Keeping a tidy home has benefits that go way beyond our physical surroundings. After all, the condition of our living spaces can affect our moods, emotions, and spiritual outlook. So, what could happen spiritually if we had well-ordered homes? I pray these insights will be both helpful and motivating as you consider the spiritual benefits of a well-ordered home:
1. It Could Promote a Heart of Gratefulness
What if getting our houses in order was less about cleanliness and more about gratitude? Viewing our homes in light of God’s faithful provision should encourage us to take good care of the blessings He’s given.
However, what happens when house cleaning is at the bottom of our to-do lists, overridden by other, more important responsibilities? Perhaps, changing our perspective will help. Instead of viewing chores as burdensome, we can view them as ways to show God how thankful we are.
Here are a few examples:
The stacks of dishes in the sink indicate an abundance of food to eat.
The piles of laundry in the hamper indicate an abundance of clothes to wear.
The accumulating bills on the counter indicate God’s provision of electricity, health care, transportation, and more.
Keeping a well-ordered home can promote a heart of gratefulness when viewed as a blessing instead of a burden. And it all starts with acknowledging the abundance we’ve been given. Remember, God is Jehovah-Jireh, our Provider, and taking good care of our homes is a sign of appreciation for all He’s done.
A prayer for gratefulness: Lord, please change my attitude regarding my home. Instead of being burdened by the clutter, help me see it as an overflow of Your divine favor. Fill my heart with so much gratitude that I will happily get my house in order and create a space that is honorable to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
2. It Could Provide a Mindset of Peace
To wake up each day to a home that is tidy can provide an extraordinary mindset of peace. Imagine walking into the kitchen to find an empty sink and clear counters. Envision opening your closet to hanging clothes and organized shoes. Picture going to the pantry and finding the exact item you’re looking for without knocking things over. What a way to start your day in peace!
The truth is, peace is something we all need more of these days, and having a well-ordered home is one way to cultivate it. The world around us is chaotic enough without having our personal space be chaotic as well.
Consider a few simple habits that can provide a mindset of peace:
Make your bed every day, even if the rest of the room is a mess.
Do the dishes before bed every night.
Have the family do a quick clean every evening before dinner.
Set out everything you need for the morning rush.
Make your home a peaceful, organized place where everyone works together to maintain order and contentment. Spiritually speaking, “The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace” (Psalm 29:11). Receive His blessing of peace and nurture it by living a well-ordered life.
A prayer for peace: Lord, please let our homes be places of peace and contentment. Help our families work together to implement good habits that keep things running smoothly. Let our homes be places of calmness and tranquility where each member feels relaxed. We pray for Your blessing of peace over us today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
3. It Could Cultivate an Atmosphere of Joy
Families who live in well-ordered homes, not perfect homes, are able to interact with one another and cultivate an atmosphere of joy. Without the stress of misplaced things and cluttered spaces, family-centered activities can fuel a sense of happiness and fun.
Spiritually speaking, the joy of the Lord is our strength. True joy is found in Him. And when our physical lives are free from unnecessary clutter, we are able to focus more on the joyous freedom we have in His presence. “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” (Psalm 16:11)
Here are a few ways to cultivate an atmosphere of joy in your home:
Have a family game night once a month.
Provide a safe and inviting place for your kids and their friends.
Schedule themed dinners and try new recipes.
Create lasting traditions your children will cherish.
Let joy reside in your well-ordered home through the presence of the Holy Spirit and a commitment to cultivate joy through meaningful interactions with those you love.
A prayer for joy: Lord, in a world where joy is hard to find, please fill our homes with the joy of Your strength. Let our families gather together for meals, discussions, and fun activities that build lasting memories for generations to come. We commit our homes to You, in Jesus’ holy name, Amen.
4. It Could Instigate a Desire for Hospitality
I once heard a pastor say, “True hospitality is inviting someone in, even when your house is a mess.” I’ve never forgotten his words, and try to remind myself that fellowship with others always trumps a perfectly clean house.
1 Peter 4:9 says, “Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.” This is a pretty clear principle to live by, yet, we’re more likely to grumble if we feel overwhelmed by our mess. Practically speaking, a good goal is to be able to get your house company-ready within an hour.
Here are a few quick tips to make your home more hospitable:
Keep your main areas clean. This includes living and dining rooms as well as the kitchen and bathroom.
Create a calm atmosphere with soft lighting, worship music, and lightly scented candles.
Even when your house is less than perfect, invite people over anyway. Chances are, your friends and family will appreciate your transparency and want to spend even more time in authentic fellowship.
A prayer for hospitality: Lord, please forgive me for allowing my home to be messy and disorganized. Help me implement a better routine so I will feel free to invite people over. Remind me that my relationships are more important than how clean my house is. Please remove all reservations about opening my home to others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
5. It Could Become a Haven of Rest
Do you find it difficult to take a day off if your house is messy? If everywhere you look there are dishes, papers, toys, and stuff, don’t you find it hard to relax? It was the fictional character, Winnie the Pooh, who said, “Home is the comfiest place to be.” And truly, our homes should be comfy, cozy havens instead of stressful, cluttered spaces.
From the very beginning, God gave us a pattern to follow. He worked hard to create the universe in six days but rested on the seventh. Imagine what could happen if we put His example into practice. If we worked hard to keep our homes clean six days of the week, we’d easily be able to take a day off without guilt.
I don’t know about you, but I want my home to be a haven of rest for all who enter. I want everyone who walks in the door to sense God’s peace and find an atmosphere of Joy. Most of all, I want to take good care of the things God has given me with a heart of gratitude.
A prayer for havens of rest: Lord, please let my home be a place where I can find rest in You. Let there be such a calm and peaceful atmosphere, my whole family can relax and enjoy a day off from time to time. Help us follow Your example and value a day of rest each week. Thank You for blessing us so abundantly. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Rawpixel
Jennifer Waddle is the author of several books, including Prayer WORRIER: Turning Every Worry into Powerful Prayer, and is a regular contributor for LifeWay, Crosswalk, Abide, and Christians Care International. Jennifer’s online ministry is EncouragementMama.com where you can find her books and sign up for her weekly post, Discouragement Doesn’t Win. She resides with her family near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains—her favorite place on earth.