Thursday, April 25, 2013
Theology of the Home
We all have our ideal home. And most of us have given up trying to make our home into that ideal. It's just too exhausting to even think about. Where do you even begin? How can everything that needs to be done possibly get done in the amount of time we have to do it -- on top of all of our other responsibilities? And so our ideal home serves only to haunt us and make us feel like we should be doing more than we already are. And we're already doing.so.much.
I'm not talking about your dream home -- I'm talking about how you wish your current home looks. Dishes all cleaned and put away; laundry washed, dried, neatly folded, and put away in precisely organized drawers. That never-shrinking pile of mail dealt with appropriately - all of the stuff that every available flat surface somehow seems to collect when you aren't looking, vanquished.
Or maybe it's just me.
And then you come home from and see everything a mess and get stressed because you only see even more work for you to do. Or maybe you're home most of the day keeping track of your children and juggling everyone's schedules and you also only see more work for you to do when you look around your home. It's not peaceful, it's stressful ... which doesn't naturally lend itself to keeping up a positive and upbeat attitude.
You get cross. Not because anyone has done anything wrong. But because there is so much to do. And you feel like it falls on you.
I totally understand. I'm there myself.
I was talking to my husband about everything that needed to be done and how overwhelmed I was and how I didn't know where to begin and ... well, rambling. Somewhere in there a light bulb went off that had flickered several years before.
My home was not glorifying to God.
Huh? My home, with all of its clutter, mess, disorganization, uncleaned up spills, and piles of "organized mess" was not honoring to God - it did not reflect his intended created order. Instead, my home emulated the order of the Devil, HaSatan, the Accuser (is it any wonder I never feel that enough is done? That I always have more to do? That I'm a sorry wife and mother because of all this?!).
Let me explain.
God is a God of order.
He created the world in an orderly fashion - 6 days, tackling like things on a given day. Untainted. Unmarred. It was perfect. When he was done, he pronounced it "very good."
Imperfection - disorder - entered the world upon man's sin.
God created an orderly world. Satan, in his opposition, created (and creates) disorder.
As Christians, we are supposed to reflect God and his intended order for the world. That means we should be orderly - that our homes should not be a chaotic mess, but should instead be clean, neat, and peaceful. If we do that, we are glorifying God.
I would argue, that if we do that, we are proclaiming the gospel. Why? Because redemption through Jesus brings our lives back under God's order. This redemption accomplished by the first coming of Jesus paves the way for his second coming when the world will be brought back under God's rule.
By modeling our homes to reflect God's intended created order, we are also proclaiming our redemption and the coming restoration of the world - the ultimate defeat of Satan and therefore also of disorder.
By defeating disorder in our homes now we are foreshadowing its ultimate defeat.
By ordering our homes, we are proclaiming God's victory.
I don't know about you, but that makes keeping my house clean seem a lot weightier - like something I ought to make a priority in my life...instead of being the thing that always gets pushed aside because I have so much else to do. We can't allow Satan to have any place in our home.
The disordered must made ordered.
So how do we begin? How do we go about changing our priorities so that the theology our homes ought to reflect is actually present?
Spend some time answering that for yourself and your family. Think about what I've said. Share your thoughts below.
I'll be sharing my thoughts on how to answer those questions in the next week or two.