By Sarah Mae
I know I should clean the kitchen because there is an unpleasant smell coming from there that is starting to make me feel ill. Maybe milk at the bottom of a cereal bowl that was left out? Why does milk have to smell so bad when it goes sour?
Why does milk even go sour? And why is my body so tired? I got enough sleep last night. I think I’m eating somewhat healthily. If I only had more energy, my house would be clean.
And then there’s dust. I think dust is part of the Curse.
I know that weeds are part of it because “cursed is the ground,” but what about our homes? Are we fighting aspects of the Curse there, too? We battle our sin nature, which includes laziness and selfishness, but could the Fall also have to do with the fact that we just get so tired that our bodies break down and we ache, and we don’t have boundless energy?
Yes, I’m convinced that dust and our clothes wearing out and things breaking down are all part of the Curse.
When sin entered the world, God pronounced judgement on the world and us, causing our domains to rebel against us just as we have rebelled against God. Our commands to rule, subdue, and be productive are all the harder to fulfil. I don’t understand what it all means and exactly how it all plays out, but I do know there is toil involved.
Characteristics of the Curse
“All of creation now tends toward death, decay, and disorder. Work is not the curse; unproductive work is the curse (destroys your labour). Pollution pictures sin. Evil is temporary and abnormal.”
So how do we overcome this? How do we use the Curse to motivate us?
We have to keep our eyes on the eternal value of our work. If we are in Christ, then everything we do not only has value here on earth, but also has value for eternity. We have work that was created by God for us to do, and we have the power, approval, and authority to carry it out. We also have to remember the Lord is using our domains and the struggles that come with them to perfect us in our worship and service to Him.
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4
How we take care of our homes is all about our response to God. He gave us our homes. We have the ability to give life to them. We have to decide what our response to Him will be. Will we respond grudgingly and feel hopeless because it’s just another rule to follow, or will we accept our tasks with joy, giving thanks for all the goodness and blessings we have been given? Remember, He knows our weaknesses, and He’s not looking for perfection. (He already sees us as saints if we are covered with the blood of Jesus.)
Taking care of our homes is a responsibility to take joy and honour in, and ultimately is a service that will lead us toward Christlike character and humility.
Sarah Mae is an influential blogger, founder of the popular Allume conference, and author of Having a Martha Home the Mary Way, Longing for Paris and Desperate (with Sally Clarkson). She celebrates life with her husband and three children in the beautiful Amish countryside of Pennsylvania, where she often ponders what life would be like if she actually finished all the laundry. Visit Sarah at www.sarahmae.com