I’m relatively new to the “Christian homemaker” scene. As a single lady, I taught full-time and found it extremely difficult to balance my work life with the demands of my “home life.” It seemed every week I had to choose between grading papers and cleaning my apartment, and I was always falling behind on one or the other.
So when my husband and I married, I decided to leave my career behind and work as a tutor a few hours a week instead. I’m so thankful that we were financially able to make this choice, because it has given me the opportunity to spend more time in the home: cleaning, running errands, and preparing meals.
But I soon discovered that the transition from working constantly to being home most of the time was not an easy one.
Sure, I was much less stressed than before (a change which greatly benefited both of us). Yet I also found myself a bit lost, struggling to discipline myself to stick to a schedule, and honestly, just plain bored with the household chores I spent hours completing each day.
Of course, I know that’s not a godly attitude to have about being a “worker at home.” So I’ve tried different strategies to cultivate joy in my heart–gladness to replace the dullness I’ve felt.
For one, I make sure I don’t spend all my time washing dishes and doing laundry–I spend time with the Lord, tutor, connect with friends, work on this blog, and pursue a few other enjoyable activities.
Another thing I do is constantly remind myself that by completing these “menial” tasks day by day, I’m actively loving my family and demonstrating my faithfulness to them. I also take pleasure in my husband’s response when he comes home to a (mostly) clean house, a (fairly) good dinner, and an (imperfectly) loving wife.
But I want to go deeper.
What if I could learn to see Christ in every errand, every duty I perform? What if each homemaking task could be a visual, experiential reminder of the Lord and what He’s done for me?
So I’ve been thinking about it, and I’ve come up with a list of sorts–five chores, each with its own particular, biblical way to meditate on Christ. I’m going to try my best to remind myself of each of these truths as I work at home, and any others that come to mind. Maybe you can join me?
Chore #1: Washing the dishes
Meditation on Christ: As you complete the unpleasant task of scraping sticky food off the plates, think about Jesus–scrubbing the dirt-clad feet of His disciples, the ones who would use those very feet to abandon Him in His time of need. As you see the soap and water transform stained dishes into bright, clean ones, meditate on how the blood of Christ makes us, dirty sinners, whiter than snow. When you tire of continually serving in this way, remember the humble Servant of all, who gave up the throne of glory to live a truly human life and to die on a wretched cross for us.
Chore #2: Grocery shopping
Meditation on Christ: When it’s time, yet again, to pile up your cart with food, direct your mind to Jesus–the Bread of life, who nourishes our souls even when our bodies are hungry and weak. It is He who has created in us a spring of everlasting Water, through the Holy Spirit, that replenishes and refreshes us as we rejoice in His truth. Remember that we don’t work for food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life. Be grateful for God’s provision every day. Fix your mind on the truths of the Bible, memorize verses, because man does not live by bread alone, by by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.
Chore #3: Doing laundry
Meditation on Christ: While you throw the stinky clothes into the basket and toss them into the washer, turn your thoughts toward the story in Zechariah 3, of Joshua, standing before the Lord in “filthy garments.” Reflect on the fact that Satan opposed and accused him, just as he accuses you and me of our unworthiness every day. Rejoice that God rebukes him on our behalf, takes away our sins and wickedness, and wraps us in the clean clothes of the perfection of Christ–so that when we stand before the Lord, we are justified. Pray for each member of your family as you throw their clothes in; pray that they would see the dirtiness of their sin and their need for His righteousness that comes by faith in the Son of God.
Chore #4: Preparing a meal
Meditation on Christ: If you’re like me, when you try and put together a new meal, you pull up a recipe and follow it almost to a tee because you’re afraid to experiment too much. Or if you’re not like me, you’re one of those master chefs who can whip up something delicious using your own creative powers. Either way, as you combine ingredients, preheat the oven, oil the pan, boil the pasta, or whatever you need to do, think about the importance of meals in Scripture. Remember the Passover of the Old Testament, eaten in haste because of the amazing deliverance God provided for His people in Egypt. Remember the Lord’s Supper that you partake in with your brothers and sisters at church, sharing in the memorial of Christ’s work of redemption, proclaiming His death until He comes. Remember the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, yet to be fulfilled, when we will be presented as His perfect Bride, when death and sin is vanquished forever and our eternal communion with the Lord in glory is begun.
Chore #5: Paying the bills
Meditation on Christ: None of us can escape from this necessity of life, and money is one thing I’m looking forward to no longer needing in glory! But as we write our checks and drop off payments, let’s remember that God’s Word often speaks of our salvation as a kind of business transaction. We owe a tremendous, unpayable debt to God because of our sin. Only Christ, the perfect, worthy Son, could settle that debt for us through His bloody, atoning death. When He rose from the dead, it proved the payment went through–we were justified in Him. Now we not only ask for forgiveness of our daily debts, but we forgive others who owe us by their sins against us. Praise the Lord for delivering us from being a slaving debtor–we are now free to serve Him as His children, bought at a price.
FAITH DEMONSTRATED THROUGH LOVE
Maybe you have even better meditations that you can connect to each of these and other chores. Great! (Tell me about them in the comments!)
But whatever we can do to help us, when we’re bogged down by all of our earthly responsibilities, to set our minds on things above–let’s pursue those things. It’s not a matter of having our heads in the clouds and forgetting the world around us. It’s about beholding Christ, worshiping Him and enjoying Him in our hearts, in our day-to-day lives.
Ultimately, we should be Christian homemakers who demonstrate faith through love–loving our families, our churches, our neighbors, and most of all, loving our God.
Sometimes love doesn’t look like a dramatic scene from a movie. Sometimes it looks like cleaning up after a spill, or bearing with someone’s quirks, or dying to yourself when your flesh tells you, “Let them serve you for once!”
But that’s exactly the kind of humble love that is the most beautiful–because through it, we look more and more like our beloved Christ.