The Gospel in Homemaking: Cassie Pattillo
"Lord, where is the Gospel in my homemaking?"
This is a prayer I had whispered to the Lord countless times. I love being a (mostly) stay at home mom, but to be honest, the dishes, the laundry, the cleaning, all of it can become very mundane. And even if you work outside the home, I know that the work still has to be done, so I'm sure that it can feel mundane to you as well. As I faced a mound of laundry or pile of dishes, my joy began to slip away. To be honest, I just wanted to lay on the couch or roam the aisles of Target. But in this season, I know that dirty dishes are what I'm called to instead of a Target run more often than not. The Lord is teaching me that the Gospel affects everything in my life, and when He shows me the Gospel in even the everydayness of life, the everydayness becomes extraordinary and has purpose. So, my prayers changed from, "Lord, give me an ounce of motivation to get myself off of this couch" and "Lord, please let this coffee do its job today," to "Lord, where is the Gospel in my homemaking?"
It's funny how the Lord works, isn't it? Over the past few weeks He's been answering that prayer in many ways. One of those answers came on a day when my homemaking was all but a complete failure. I had decided to clean my oven, not realizing that my house was going to fill with smoke. I began opening up doors, which then led to chasing my kids outside and trying to keep my one year old from crawling off of the patio. Lunch had to be outside, which seems like a nice idea, until there's no where to contain the one year old. Needless to say, the oven cleaning came to a stop, and well, I will try that again on another day. I had another disastrous homemaking moment that day, but honestly, I can't even remember what that was right now. Anyway, it was in the middle of all of these failures when the Lord taught me that failure is a part of homemaking, and that's okay. When the Fall happened and sin entered the world, so did weaknesses and failures. Work wasn't supposed to be difficult; work was supposed to be a way that we joyfully fellowshipped with God. But, because of the Fall, sin entered, along with all of the other imperfections of the world. This means that I will never be able to keep a perfect house. I will never be able to perfectly stay on top of laundry. I will never be able to perfectly keep up with sorting my kids' clothes as the seasons change and they grow. Because of the Fall, I have weaknesses and moments of failures. That day, the Lord taught me that instead of letting these failures define who I am, I should allow these failures to bring me to worship Him. I might have moments of failure, but that's not who I am. I am a daughter of the King of kings; He has adopted me and sees me as righteous. My failures can remind me that, yes, I am weak, but Christ is strong. They can remind me that I have a Savior who died for those failures on the cross, and I am forgiven and restored. My failures can remind me that I can do nothing in my own power, but only in the power of Christ. Ultimately, they can be a reminder to me that yes, the Fall happened, but the Rescue also happened, and one day, the Restoration will happen when Jesus comes back for His Bride and we will be fully restored, no longer having the burden of the worries of this life.
Yes, the Fall changed everything, and not in a good way, but the Rescue happened when Jesus came, died, and was resurrected. The Rescue changed everything too, but for the better. The Rescue gives purpose to my homemaking. "And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him" Colossians 3:23 (ESV). Because Jesus has rescued me from my sin, I now serve Him in all that I do. This means that when I'm vacuuming, it should be an act of worship to Him. Or when I'm folding towels, that's an act of worship too. We must remember that work itself is not a bad thing; work was around before the Fall happened. God created us to work, and He created us to use our work, even the things that are the most mundane, to glorify Him.
Jesus coming to rescue us was the greatest act of service in all of mankind. "Even as the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many" Matthew 20:28 (ESV). Let's be honest- homemaking is not glamorous. There are days that I clean up more bodily fluids than I care to admit. But we aren't called to glamorous. Jesus served us by dying on the cross to save us from our sin, so we are now called to serve others. We are called to love our neighbors, including the "neighbors" living in our homes. So when we cook, or clean, or wipe bottoms, we're imaging our Savior. Jesus did the least glamorous work on the cross. His death was brutal. On the days when I feel like I can't clean up another spill or deal with another dirty diaper, I look to the cross. If Jesus can die a brutal death for me, then the least I can do is serve my family by cleaning up juice.
Jesus is still answering this prayer for me, and I don't live out my calling in my home perfectly every day. Those are the days that I'm reminded of my need of total dependence on the Lord. But, I am learning that what I do (and what you do) inside of the walls of our homes matter. When you mess up, you can point your kids to Jesus and our need for grace. When you work hard, you can teach your kids that it's important for them to do the same. When you cook a meal or serve your family in anyway, you're showing them the love of Christ. Because of Jesus and the Gospel, it all matters.
p.s. One way the Lord answered this prayer for me was through the book "Glory in the Ordinary" by Courtney Reissing. I highly recommend it!