Housework is one of those tasks that just never go away – there is always something more to do.  The number of people living in your house multiplies the amount of work, and if there are little people living with you then you can multiply it again by five!!  Cleaning house seems to be an endless task with there often seeming to be very little difference even when we spend hours working.

 

Why do I do housework?

Have you ever asked yourself – why do I do housework?  I think it is a good question to ask – when we know our ‘why’ we find the motivation to push through the hard times.  When we ask ‘why’ we set ourselves down a path of being intentional.

 

So why do I do housework?

 

This question changes when we put the emphasis on the different words.  I’m not asking “Why do I do housework?” – that is another question altogether, and addresses the issue of who does the work – afterall someone’s gotta do it and I’m okay with doing it.  Instead I’m asking “Why do the housework?”  Why does housework have to happen?

 

When I have a clean, tidy and welcoming home it shows:

  • God that I am thankful for his provision
  • My family that I care for their physical well-being as the home is clean
  • My family that I care for their emotional well-being as the home is orderly
  • My family that I care for their spiritual well-being as the home is peaceful
  • My friends and acquaintances that God is present because the home is welcoming and offers a retreat

 

When I look at this list I see purpose far beyond just cleanliness and tidiness, beyond co-ordinated colour schemes and fancy knickknacks.  I see people.  I keep house because my house is a point of contact, and care for people.  And I need to take a special note – the first and most significant people God has brought across my path is my family.

 

When is the best time to clean house?

Over the years I’ve had many different cleaning schedules, some meant doing the deeper cleaning a little every day, others meant having a big cleaning day once a week.  There have been seasons when the big weekly clean doesn’t even happen.  Once we know why we clean house though it gives us direction to when to clean the house.

 

If our purpose in cleaning house is to bless our family, and the people who may visit our home then we need to clean house in preparation for those relationship times.  This isn’t a people pleasing thing, a keeping up with the Joneses etc, but rather a matter of meeting the needs of the people we love and are spending time with.   The other aspect is about freeing ourselves up from one responsibility in order to be free to focus on another responsibility.  If my house is clean and tidy (one responsibility) I can focus on my family and friends (in a sense, my other responsibility).

 

I have changed my housecleaning times to focus on the weekend – I now clean house to prepare for the weekend rather than cleaning house to recover from the weekend.  With this new attitude I find purpose in the mundane.  I must admit though we often have to clean up a bit extra on Monday but we don’t have to do the deep stuff (that was done Friday afternoon or Saturday morning).

 

So when you look at when you do your housework, check to see that this time slot in your week serves your purposes.   We aren’t cleaning house just for the sake of cleaning house – we are cleaning it to create a haven for the people we love.

 

Quote: it doesn't matter who does the housework but rather why the housework needs to be done

What happens when the Housework isn’t done on time

So to summarise – we clean house

  • to create a retreat for family and friends
  • in time for relationship time with family and friends

 

But what happens if I just don’t get there? What happens if Friday night comes and the house is still a mess?  What happens if people pop over and the house is in disarray or even chaos?

 

I think this was Martha’s issue :  Jesus arrived and she had a preconceived idea of what needed to happen when visitors called.  She intended to create a feast and everything around her was to shine.  Jesus was important to her.  But Jesus said she was distracted with many things.  Not just distracted but distracted with much.  I don’t believe that a feast is a bad idea – we all love a party – but this wasn’t the time for it.  A simple meal would have made Jesus happy.  To have her at peace in his presence would have made him happy.

 

The lesson for us is to not put our expectations – our excessive expectations – ahead of people.  It is the people that matter , not the food, not the clutter, not the dust  – the people.

 

We can be distracted by our needs (to have house clean, tidy, organised, perfect) or we can be focused on the needs of the people around us, whether that be our family or visitors.  So ultimately it is an attitude issue:  we need to lay aside our pride, for it is pride that puts our stuff before people.

 

I’m reminded of that song  Cats in the Cradle – what a sad song that is!  It is all about wrong priorities – and how children see the wrong priorities and eventually copy our example – it makes me cry every time I hear it.  Let us show our children that we value relationships, we value them, more than our reputation, and more than our stuff.

 

One way we do that is by putting housework into its right perspective, by not letting housework be more important than relationships, and by not letting our standard for cleanliness and tidiness get in the way of heart issues.

 

My challenge to you this week is to take a personal assessment – watch yourself – watch your heart – are you getting stressed because things aren’t tidy?  Are you getting frustrated because chores haven’t been done on time?  Don’t get me wrong – our kids may need training in these areas, but we can teach and train but not because we are frustrated!  One last question – Are you reluctant to invite people into your life because your house is not how you would like it?

 

 

Do you know why housework needs to be done?

Do you need help in your Family?

Hi! I’m Belinda

About Me

Belinda and her husband, Peter, live in the far north-west of Australia on a small farm. They have four adult children whom they homeschooled from prep-year 12. Over this time Belinda has taught and supported women both face to face and online. Her heart is to encourage families to be intentional, relational and heart focused in all areas of family living. She continues to do this in her new season of life – as her kids leave home one by one leaving her with more time.

Certified Life Coach
Quote: When we do the housework we create a retreat for our family and friends

Further Reading:

It’s not all about my Housework: Finding the Right Perspective:  Having the right perspective with my housework will help me find balance with all the spheres of my life. Housework isn’t my main priority. Is it yours?

Blending Housework and Homeschooling:  When we look at housework and homeschooling from a whole life perspective there is no conflict but rather an opportunity to train our kids.

Double Check your Routine – Is it Helping You?  We need to double check our routine that we have made time for the important things, not just good things.

As a Busy Mum you Need to Stop Trying to do all the Things: A busy mum tries to do all the things and finds she can’t. Follow these 5 principles and find balance so you can focus on what is important.

Title: Why housework is Important
Title: Why housework is Important

Over to you:

Do you struggle to put aside housework for relationships?  Do you think focusing on a WHY would help you?

3 Comments

  1. Crystal Twaddell

    Belinda, I so agree with putting our heart into keeping our home, and it matters! And the balance of not putting it ahead of people…perfect!

    Reply
  2. Jani

    Thank you so much for this God- honouring approach! I was just looking at the sink full of dishes and the supper I should start making and sighing away… in fact- eating away at a peanut butter sandwhich… Praise the Lord that He is good and that we can worship Him even in the small things.

    Reply
  3. Coralie

    Thank you for your many posts i only found this through someone I met last week- your posts have really encouraged me- my struggle with housework is not enough storage and trying to declutter other members of the family stuff- I too easily become discouraged and feel like I just spend time looking after “stuff’ than living life. In saying this Im always looking to do things better and it’s not only looking after the house, but working on the 5 acre block/ garden- overwhelmed – feel like it’s a bit too much to manage, but am thankful to have it and my heart is to be a good steward of what God’s given.

    Reply

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