This week, Liz Giertz is excited to share with you some lessons God has been teaching her about gaining a heavenly perspective on housework. It hasn’t been easy but it has been worth it.
4 Ways to Gain a Heavenly Perspective on Housework
by Liz Giertz
When I took off the uniform (You can read Kristin’s great post on that same topic HERE.) after nearly 10 years of active duty service to my country, I had a rude awakening regarding work.
I had always done work that seemed to matter. Moving heavy equipment off closing bases as we consolidated operations in Bosnia. Managing the maintenance for a Battalion’s worth of equipment. Operating a military airfield for Soldiers returning from war in Germany. Tracking transportation and logistics in Iraq. My superiors frequently commended me and their praise not only fed my ego but if fueled my drive to continue performing at ever-increasing levels.
Then, overnight, I went from briefing generals to bagging garbage, from giving orders to short-order cook, from commanding troops to cleaning commodes.
And it was hard.
I had been doing work the world noticed and valued. And then I wasn’t.
Doing work that only gets noticed if you forget to do it isn’t very rewarding. There are no medals for toilet cleaning, sweeping, grocery shopping, or laundry folding.
And the reality is nothing is ever really finished.
The toilets are one use away from needing another good scrub. Between the dog and the kids there are crumbs and fur on the floor before I get the mop hung back up in the closet. With two growing boys under our roof, we are usually only one bowl of cereal away from an empty box. And the clothes I wear while folding will need to be washed tomorrow.
Popular culture sends the not so subtle message that housework is beneath us women or that we are cheating ourselves by scrubbing floors and stocking the pantry. The world whispers that we could be making a huge impact, doing work that really matters, and that we deserve to be noticed and recognized for our contributions. Those messages only ever lead to bitterness and hostility in my home. So when the enemy tries to make me believe that by doing housework my education and military experience are going down the drain like dirty mop water, I need a new perspective.
I have to remind myself of how God views the work I now do.
How to Gain a Heavenly Perspective on Housework
- God sees my work. Hagar, Sara’s handmaid, got the honor of naming God – El Roi, The God Who Sees. She recognized that God saw her, her heart, and the hardship she was enduring. Even when the work we do behind the scenes goes unnoticed by the world, God’s Word assures us he sees us.
- God values my work. The Bible doesn’t actually say, “Cleanliness is next to godliness,” but many of the commands outlined in the books of Exodus, Deuteronomy, Leviticus, and Numbers correlate to best practices for maintaining good health and cleanliness in the home and community. Nobody can do anything if a lack of cleanliness makes them sick. Proper hygiene keeps us healthy and keeping my people healthy is important to both me and God.
- God strengthens me for my work. When my arms quiver under the weight of the laundry basket or there are more dishes piled in the sink than hours in the day to wash them, I remember that God is the One who gives me my strength. God provides the hours in the day, the muscles in my arms and legs, the air in my lungs, and the will to go on when I’d rather give up.
- God honors my work. Jesus was very clear about the life he came to earth to live. He was committed to serving others for his Father’s glory. God honors the humble, and it doesn’t get much more humble than scrubbing toilets and floors on your hands and knees, except maybe the king of the universe dying on a cross for me. When my work humbles me, literally brings me to my knees, I remember how Jesus humbled himself for me and how God raised him up and seated him at his right hand. God honors the humble.
Seeing Housework from God’s Perspective
When we do work we’d rather not do simply for the good of others, we sacrifice for them. We posture our hearts to humbly honor others above ourselves. Jesus sacrificed himself for us. He endured indescribable torture culminating in a criminal’s death on the cross to fulfill God’s just punishment for the sins of all mankind.
His sacrifice secured our salvation. When we sacrifice our dreams and desires to do unglamorous, yet necessary, work for another, for a greater cause, we become more like Jesus. Following Jesus’ example, I learn to see the value in doing all my work for his glory. I gain a heavenly perspective on housework.
When we remember that God sees, values, strengthens, and honors the humble we discover that we can flourish doing whatever we find to do—even housework.
Dear Heavenly Father, help me to remember that you not only see and value the work I do, but you also strengthen me to serve others in my home and you honor the humble. Give me a heavenly perspective on housework. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Verses to Ponder:
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9 ES)V
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. (Colossians 3:23 ESV)
One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor. (Proverbs 29:23)