January 15
Lord, help me keep my house in order
Jason Nelson

I got a warning from the laundry police. “Put your dirty clothes in the hamper and not in a pile next to the hamper.” I’m sorry. It was a momentary lapse in judgment. I promise it will never happen again. Please don’t send me to husband jail.

Actually, my wife and I are on the same page when it comes to the importance of a tidy house, and we share household duties well. We know our home is our launching pad for being civilized, organized, and effective people everywhere else. “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established” (Proverbs 24:3). It all starts on the home front.

It may seem archaic to voice this concern in the 21st century. But families living in squalor and neighborhoods with trash laying everywhere are still problems. I don’t want to be impolite, but people’s hygiene and housekeeping are windows into their state of mind. When addiction, depression, or socioeconomic backwardness disorganize people’s thinking and siphon away their ambition, it shows in telltale ways. Any social worker can report that helping people recover from behavioral health breakdowns and live productively necessitates monitoring their progress with these very basic tasks.

“Cleanliness is next to godliness” is not a Bible passage. But cleanliness is a Christian virtue and the outward evidence of a well-ordered inner life. With such a life God is very pleased.


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