The home is the place where we are all real with each other, it is the place where we relax and enjoy being ourselves. Your home is to be a place of peace and rest both for the Lord and for everyone in your home. There are homes where conflicts arise between husbands and wives over cleanliness. As the woman of the house, you are responsible for the cleanliness of your home, I am not saying your husband should not and cannot help, but primarily it is your responsibility, and you are the one to mobilise those in your home in the art of cleaning the home.
The cleanliness of your home will play a huge role in the life and wellbeing of those who live within it.
One well-known saying is “cleanliness is next to godliness”. God Himself is a holy God, and when you look through Leviticus for example, you will see the many instructions for cleanliness that He introduced to the Israelites. If God takes the matter of cleanliness seriously, how can we, His children not make our home environment a clean place?
Why keep a clean home?
To honour the Lord: Our home environment speaks a lot about us, and if God the Maker of the universe dwells in your home, you want to make sure that your home is clean for Him, it is a service to render first to Him who is holy.
To honour everyone within your home: Keeping your home clean must not be something done because you will be having a visitor, but it is for each and everyone in your home to enjoy first, and that includes you. When you see the cleanliness of your home in this manner, you will not feel stressed to keep your home in order because a visitor is coming, rather, your home is first what it is because of those who live here, and as result, visitors come in to enjoy what you and your household are already enjoying, as it becomes a matter of lifestyle and not just practice.
To keep you in good health: When a home environment is clean, it keeps germs and bacteria away as much as possible, and this helps to improve the well-being of those in your home environment.
To beautify your home: With no shadow of a doubt, the cleanliness of your home has a way of adding beauty to it, and so also is the opposite, a house unkempt makes the house look ugly.
If the cleanliness of your home is of high importance as discussed above, the matter we want to look at now is how do you do this?
Sweeping: Sweep your home daily or two to three days intervals, this is because your home automatically accumulates dirt.
Dusting: Dust accumulates every now and then within your home, therefore, make effort to dust surfaces like the T.V, lintels, banisters etc.
Fresh air: Leave your room window open for some minutes daily, and particularly during winter months.
Empty your bin: Make sure you empty your bin regularly and dispose of rotten and expired items that cause bad odour in your home.
As you make effort to keep your home in clean order, bring your children in too, so that they can assist you. If possible discuss chores with your husband and see if he is willing to take on any of them after both of you sit and pray about what needs to be done around the house and agree on a plan.
Let’s be real, women live as busy lives now as men, what happens when you both work full time and you have responsibility for the children and all the meals as the mummy, even when you do not work full time, the responsibility of running the home can be quite overwhelming. If you struggle to find time to keep on top of your cleaning then here are some options. Employ someone, formal or informal, ask friends and loved ones to help out, have prompts e.g. no breakfast until the kitchen is clean! Etc
There are online self-help guides on how to keep a clean house, one of them includes having a 15 mins declutter daily regime. Do some research and pray to the Lord for His wisdom as you seek to make your home a haven. Don’t be condemned if you are doing your best and it’s not good enough. Keep pressing in, do not be discouraged.
One of the best gifts God gave us as Christians after the death of His Son, is the gift of our quietness in His presence; a time when you reflect upon His Word, and a time to meditate and pray.
Your ability to function well and be productive both in your behaviour and day to day running of your home as a woman will be hugely impacted as you spend time in the presence of God.
Unfortunately, another gift, the gift of mobile phones has also come to be the main ruin of our quiet times with the Lord. I want us to briefly look at the pros and cons of mobile phones during your quiet time with the Lord?
It can be a means of setting time for your duration in His presence. The danger to this is that your quiet time can become dogmatic, not allowing the Holy Spirit to control your time in God’s presence.
It can be a means of researching words, ideas and places. This again can divert your attention away from the Lord and be carried away by the many sites suggestions unless you are well disciplined.
It can help to write quick notes. However, in trying to write your notes, messages and chats might come in which may take you away from the presence of God. You can turn on your flight mode to disable the internet and calls.
Mobile calls can be a hindrance to you paying full attention in the presence of God.
Your quiet time ought to be an enjoyable time in God’s presence, and therefore, if your mobile phone will be an obstacle, you must get rid of it while having your quiet moment in God’s presence.
And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. Matt5:29-30
Our homes are filled with various screens; the television screen, our mobile phones, our iPad and the likes. The more time we spend on these screens the more time we spend apart from each other. Sit down and calculate how many minutes, hours you spend daily on your phone or television screen?
As an example, I spend time writing, recording, answering and responding to all sorts of issues. And there are some of you out there whose vocation/profession involves the screen, and if you are not careful you will find yourself engaged with the same at home. And you know that too much time on screen affects your eyesight, too much time sitting down at the front of the screen has an effect on your back, too much time sitting down by the screen steals your time!
And I am sure there will be many more side-effects of too much screen time. How then can you introduce a screen time free to your home? It is possible to introduce screen-free time into your home.
You may have a rule of no T.V before a certain time in your home.
You may have a rule of a certain amount of time on all technology that has screens in your home.
You may have a particular time of the day, where everybody submits their phones, iPad to a certain place, and the T.V off for up to two hours while people go and take a siesta, or spend time listening to God, read their Bible, books or do something fun together as a family. Particularly when you have little ones, having story time helps a time when you pick two or three books to read to everybody and encourage the older ones to read out for the younger ones to listen and thereafter take questions and responses.
In order to make this a fun time, you may provide a little snack and make it interactive so that the children long for a screen-free time in the home.
May the Lord who gave you the gift of your home, also help you to know how to make sure screen time is not causing a huge disruption in your family relationship.
There are several practical steps laid out in this article and my suggestion is that you would take a notebook, write down the ideas you have gleaned from them and get praying. Ask the Lord to help you prioritise, adapt and live out the instructions He has given. May the Lord be your guide as you press in to become the godly wife and mother that brings glory and honour to His name in Jesus’ name.
Our generation has advanced beyond belief when it comes to technology. If the woman in the home is not careful, she will experience overcrowding caused by technology in her relationship with her husband and her children.
While technology is a great tool, it can also be an instrument that can destroy your family relationships in your home with your husbands and your children. To disallow technology from bringing division between you and those in your household, let us reflect on:
1. Motherhood and technology: there is a growing proportion of children, including toddlers abandoned to the parenting hands of technology, children as young as a few months old can operate technology. Meanwhile, there are basics of life that mothers are to inculcate into their children as they play, touch, sing and do activities together with them. Unfortunately, sibling’s time together is also invaded by technology, they spend more time with technology than with each other. It is rather unfortunate that the advent and the advancement of technology appear to be pushing against the privilege that mothers ought to have in their children’s lives through spending good and quality time with their children. Thereby instilling in them the basics of life, and this also affects siblings spending good and quality time together.
How do you combat this challenge? You must recognise that technology is meant to be your servant; it is to serve you. It is not for you or your child to become the servant of technology. Therefore, put a definition to your motherhood and technology in your home.
In your own home, what is technology? Is it the one mothering and substituting for you in your child’s life? How can you use technology wisely as a mother? Sit down to make a note of the role technology plays in your children’s lives and the effect of the same, and then, seek God in prayer to put things in the right perspective.
2. Do not give your husband’s place to technology: the strength of a marital relationship depends so much on the time couples spend in talking and interacting together as they relate with the Lord. Unfortunately, the advancement of technology has caused many couples to replace each other with one form of technology or another. Many husbands are left to themselves while wives engage with technology.
Some husbands pour the love and the affection they have for their wives into technology. Some of our bedrooms or bedtimes are interrupted by mobile phones. While couples retire to bed and both still continue to interact with mobile phones. This ought not to be so.
What usually happens between you and your husband when you have gone to bed? Is your husband by himself on the bed or on the phone or watching television in the bedroom? Are you engrossed with messages on your phone, catching up with messages you couldn’t read because of business at work, or your tight schedule? Do you then use bedtime as an opportunity to ignore your husband, and engage with your phone or catch up with a programme on your bedroom T.V?
One rule I had to subject myself to is that I will not take my mobile phone to my bedside or my room when I go to bed. I believe it is an honour, I owe my husband.
Technology as good and useful as it is must not come between you and your husband. If it is already coming between you, then, you need to make amendment as soon as possible.
So, did something meant to be good become death to me Roman7:13a