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Confession time:

I’ve always been a little bit messy (if my parents are reading this, they’re thinking: A little bit?!?). But I’m just not one of those people who thinks that everything has a place and that the house isn’t clean until everything is in its place.

As such, when I was a teenager, my room could be a pretty scary place. My parents tried to impress upon me the importance of having things neat and tidy, but I just thought they were too perfectionistic.

As I got older, I slowly began to realize that there is a connection between chaos in the home and chaos in the family. It’s really difficult to relax and feel content when everything around you is a mess. But something still seemed to be missing in my understanding of homemaking.

Once I left my full time job to be a full time stay at home wife and mom, I started to consider more deeply the impact I could have on my family through my job as a homemaker.

And no, I didn’t realize that keeping the house spotless all day, everyday was the key to happiness (sorry mom and dad, I’m still a little messy!).

But what I did realize is that, while keeping a tidy home is important, there is so much more to homemaking than just that.

I realized that homemaking is a ministry to my family.

(The book A Wife After God’s Own Heart: 12 Things that Really Matter in Your Marriage by Elizabeth George played a huge part in this realization for me. If you need some encouragement and practical ways to minister to your husband and children, I highly recommend getting this book!)

Through the work that we do as homemakers, we are able to demonstrate God’s love to our families and everyone else who enters our homes.

Homemaking is about creating a peaceful, loving, Christ-centered environment where your family can come to get away from the everyday pressures and stresses of this world.

You can have the cleanest home in the world and still be creating an environment for your family that is as unhealthy and toxic as it would be if your home were filled with squalor.

If you find yourself cleaning all day, with no time to relax, working yourself into a lather because you feel unappreciated and overworked, then what kind of environment are your husband and kids coming home to? (or if your kids are still home during the day, what kind of environment are they in all day long?) What kind of wife and mom are they coming home to?

If you can’t sit down to spend time with your family because the chores aren’t complete, are you really using your time wisely?

Yes, the house will be clean. But what about you and your family?

Proverbs 14:1 reminds us that:

“A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish one tears it down with her own hands.”

Which of these options are you sowing in your home?The Ministry of Homemaking

Find time to clean, sure, but even more importantly find ways to fill your home with Christ’s love.

Do you and your family talk openly and often about Scripture?

Do you read the Bible and Bible stories with your husband and children?

Do you pray for and with your family on a regular (daily) basis?

Do you strive to fill your home with warmth and laughter?

As homemakers, we have the incredible opportunity to create an environment where Christ’s presence is sensed. Doing these things may mean putting a few chores on the back-burner so that you can greet your family with a smile and hugs and kisses. So that you can make a hot meal and gather your family around a table for good food and great conversation. So that you can read a Bible story and pray before bed.

Think of the example of sisters Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42). Martha invited Jesus to their home for a meal, which she busily prepared while Mary sat at Jesus’ feet, listening to His teaching.

Martha decided she would complain to Jesus: “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”

But Jesus wasn’t having it. He replies:

“My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”

There is only one thing worth being concerned about. And that one thing is Jesus.

And for those of you who are thinking: Without Martha, Jesus wouldn’t have had a meal to eat that night! I say: A little multitasking goes a long way. As you work through your chores during the day, pray for your family. As you make dinner, put on some upbeat Christian music. Talk with your kids about Jesus as you give them their nightly baths. Instead of Dr. Seuss, read a Bible story before bed.

Make Christ the center of everything you do.

A somewhat messy, Christ-filled home will always be better than an incredibly clean home that is devoid of Jesus’ presence.

Fill your home with the love of Christ. View your homemaking as a ministry, a demonstration of His love, and an example of His service.The Ministry of Homemaking

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17 Comments

  1. I have to admit that I clean a lot during the day. With 5 children and my husband the house can be a disaster in a matter of minutes. I find that I just can not think clearly when the dirt and clutter is piling up. But I also know that there will always be messes to clean and my kids won’t always be here so I am learning to prioritize my cleaning and not obsess about it. I don’t want my kids to always remember me getting on them about everything. Creating a Christ centered home is ultimately the most important element of our home. Like you said we can clean and also be praying or talking about Jesus with our family while we are doing it. What great truths you have shared here!

    • Bree

      It’s amazing how quickly the house can get messy, even with just my husband and I here, so I can only imagine the challenges with a family of 7! It sounds like you’re working to find a good balance, which is great! And thankfully we have God to help us because we definitely can’t do it on our own. Thank you for the encouraging comment 🙂

  2. I too am guilty of being a bit messy. And my room is often a place where things go and are never heard or seen of again. 😛 Not quite that bad, but I’m sure you get the picture.
    Though I am still single and living at home I am beginning to understand this very same principle. Homemaking is a ministry and it is important. Thank you so much for sharing this!
    ~Haley

    • Bree

      Haha! I definitely know what you mean! I think it’s great that you’re learning about this ministry while you’re single (I wish I had learned it sooner!) as your home can still be a place filled with Jesus’ presence, where you can minister to others. Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

  3. Great post, definitely sharing. I think when we shift our focus to ministry in homemaking versus just cleaning and cooking than we are more able to serve those in our home well.

    • Bree

      I agree! Mindset and attitude make such a difference. God gives us an amazing opportunity each day to bless those around us, I don’t want to waste that! Thank you for the comment!

  4. This was such a good reminder as to the ministry we have at home, even when it feels mundane and tedious. Thank you for the reminder to focus on Jesus in our homes than all of the to-do lists and cleaning. Such an important message!

    • Bree

      It’s so easy to just focus on the mundane, day to day things. It takes much more effort to constantly focus our hearts on Him. Thankfully, we have Him to help us. I know I can’t do it on my own! Thank you for the comment! 🙂

  5. Perfectly said! Thank you for sharing this week on the Art of Home-Making Mondays at Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth!

    • Bree

      Thank you, Jes! I appreciate you stopping by, and I really enjoyed sharing on the Art of Home-Making Mondays!

  6. This was a wonderful reminder!!! Thank you so much for this.

  7. Yes, yes, yes. This is such a struggle for women. We want the house to look good in case someone were to stop by, but we also need to prioritize our family. Your post reminds me of Brother Lawrence’s ministry (the long ago monk who wanted to be more than a cook). He has a beautiful prayer he prayed while washing dishes and preparing food. A friend of mine framed the poem for my kitchen.

    It is no coincidence that I “stumbled” upon your blog today. God ordains everything for a reason. Thank you for your many uplifting posts.

    • Bree

      Erin, thank you!! Your kind words are much appreciated! Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I need to find that prayer you mentioned! That sounds like a perfect poem to hang on the kitchen wall! It’s been a joy reading your comments today! 🙂

  8. Thank you for sharing with women. . . It helps us define our daily goals in terms of everlasting values. Love in Christ.

  9. I enjoyed reading your blog. I have done all of the suggestions you listed and slacked up recently. However, I have refocused and have continued with doing what is desired of me from God as a mother. It is just me and my little boy and God led me to get my doctorates degree. I have been told that my place is only at home and what I did was wrong in seeking higher education to take care of my son. For the woman who is not or never was married I don’t have the luxury to stay at home, but I still consider myself the woman God has created me to be. I hope to be married someday soon, but for now I do my best in keeps my home in order spiritually and domestically as much as I can. Do you feel education is wrong for a wife, mother, woman when it’s to help her family, community and God led, and not for boasting purposes?

  10. Anastasia

    I agree!
    As a teenager and growing up until 3 years before I got married., I was already away from my parents for pursuing education in the US… No one really dictated me how to clean and why I have to be clean. My aunt, the person I lived with at that time practically just let my room be the only thing that’s out of place (since that’s the only room I was incharge of).. But at that time (or up till now actually), I liked to observe people or couples or family and their houses. I look at the way they treat each other, how they do things in the morning, how the husband help the wives and so the other way, how they disciplin their children when they do not do things they are not supposed to do.. Basically since I did that since I was fifteen and I am 27 now, I had a long list of the good and the bad thing that I can now apply in my new family (just got married last year ^^). and with this blog, I learned new things and can add it up to my lists 🙂