I recall an informal poll I saw once that showed how many people thought the saying “cleanliness is next to godliness” was in the Bible. I don’t remember the exact percentage, but it was the vast majority, something like 80 percent.
For the record, it’s not in Scripture. But the fact that so many people think it is reveals a deeper issue, I think.
There are a lot of expectations placed on Christian women today to keep a household running smoothly. That can be tough when they’re working full-time, taking care of the kids, and striving to be a good wife.
We had one listener share this with us on Facebook: “I sometimes feel so discouraged. I work full time and then come home to cook, get my kids down to sleep, and spend another two hours cleaning and doing laundry, only to wake up the next day and start it all over again.”
I suppose some women are type-A individuals who thrive on organization and order. But what about those women who don’t? Many of them struggle with guilt. Maybe their friends’ homes are immaculate and – from an outsider’s point of view, at least – seem to run like a well-oiled machine. It can leave a woman wondering if she’s the only one who doesn’t have that part of her life together.
Author Sheila Gregoire says many women get married believing they’re signing up for a relationship. But a few years into their marriage, they feel like they’ve signed up for a job.
On today’s program, we want to talk about how women can go about changing that. It starts with re-centering themselves regarding their primary calling to their husbands and children.
Many women have been taught that their main purpose ought to be to create a comfortable home for their families. But that’s really secondary. God is much more interested in women having enough time and energy to influence their families toward Christ.
How do you create that margin on a practical level? Well, it’s helpful to recognize the difference between an organized home and a spotless one.
Also, it’s a good idea to pull the family together and talk about all the work that goes into running a household. Children often don’t realize what’s involved. So draw it up on a piece of paper or write it on a white board. Whatever it takes.
Then divide up the responsibilities, so everyone is involved in making the home run as smoothly as possible.
That will take a little organization, of course (don’t worry all of you non type-A folks. There are solutions for you, too). But remember, you’re not raising kids; you’re raising future adults. The responsibilities we give our children today will help determine the kind of adults they’ll turn into. Do we want to raise sons and daughters who don’t recognize when they’re making a mess or when they’re inconveniencing someone else? Or do we want to raise adults who are going to be considerate of others and think about how they can make others’ lives easier?
Today, we welcome Sheila Gregoire to our studios for a conversation about this topic I think you’ll enjoy. We’ve also asked Eva Daniel, one of the producers of our daily broadcast, to join us as well. She is living in this stage of life right now, and she’ll give us her perspective.
As always, you can hear the broadcast, “Sharing the Responsibility for Household Chores,” on your local radio station or tune in online or via our free, downloadable mobile phone app.