First, a confession. My house is not up to standard right now. I could make excuses, but I won’t. However, I’m working hard to get it there today.
You may be asking, “What is the standard?” Well, several years ago my husband and I realized that we had different standards of how the house should look. My standards were at the basic sanitary, survival level. His standards were very high (or so I thought). The house has been an area of contention for us since the beginning of our marriage. if we had a fight, there was a 90% chance that it was about the condition of the house.
I was not very receptive to his “input”. If he pointed out an area that needed improvement, I got defensive. If he tried to help, I became very angry. If he looked at the dirty floor funny, he was likely to get his head bit off. If he asked why he didn’t have matching socks, World War 3 was on the verge of starting!
During one of our heated discussions, we got friends involved. One friend suggested that we come up with a agreed upon “standard”. I needed to raise my standards, and, as it turned out, he didn’t need to lower his all that much. My perception of his standards was wrong.
Coming up with standard was easy, but it took a while (long while) for my heart to change. I simply did not want to be called up to his standards. I felt like I could not do it. I was too busy. I didn’t have enough “me” time. I was tired. I have five children. I homeschool. I was full of excuses. Things were actually better and my husband wasn’t complaining, but my heart was not in a good place.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend! It took a friend calling me out that really caused me to take a look at my heart. I got on my knees before God and begged him to reveal my heart to me and to change me. I decided that I was going to be like Jacob. I was going to wrestle with God until he touched me and made a permanent change in me. At the end of that process I realized something. I realized that I was lazy! If anyone would have told me that I was lazy before that moment, I probably would have punched them. But, I am so glad that God revealed that to me and I am a different person now. It was an issue that had permeated every area of my life!
As I said earlier, my house hasn’t been up to standard. I have to ask myself, is it laziness or something else? I think it is related to a very busy past few weeks. But, I always have to be aware of my tendencies.
Anyway, I have an idea. At our church building we have pictures in each room of what that room should look like. After each group uses that room, they look at the picture as a reference, to get the room back up to standard. I think it is very helpful! So I am not going to do that in my house. (Although, maybe I should.) I am going to put pictures of the up to standard rooms here on my blog. It’s for me to reference, and just maybe it will help you as well. There is only one room there right now! So, up first is the mudroom.