Originally published April 22, 2014
Usually, when I think of the word “homemaking,” I think of Better Homes and Gardens. You know, having a spotless showplace with the most beautiful designer furniture, a lovely table set with fresh flowers, fine china, and cloth napkins, cuisine containing ingredients you have to special order at a froo froo food market. Oh, and candles. Lots of candles.
Listen, if you’re gifted in making spaces beautiful in that way, my hat is off to you. Way off. You are my heroine. And by the way, can I come over for dinner?
I’m not gifted in that area. My husband and I have five sons and one daughter, four of whom still live at home, two of whom I home school. My goal is to keep noticeable filth to a minimum while still maintaining some semblance of a life. Unexpected visitors who come to my door often hear the Lesley family motto, “Please excuse the mess, but we live here.”
That’s my homemaking.
I’m busy, I’m tired, and the boys keep using the candles as light sabers.
But, it’s a home. Our home.
And, since it’s ours, we all share in making it a home. Every member of our family has a stake in making our home a haven where each of us can relax, take a break from the outside world, and enjoy each other. From the youngest child all the way up to Dad, we each own part of the responsibility for making our house a home.
And the way we’re to do that is by serving each other.
Once upon a time, Jesus set the ultimate homemaking example. During supper one night—the last supper He would share with the disciples—Jesus summarized everything He had been teaching them for the last three years in one final lesson. Did he preach a sermon? Teach a Bible study? Lecture them?
No. He picked up a towel and did a common household chore. He washed their feet.
It was one of the lowliest chores, normally done by one of the lowliest servants. Certainly not one any of the disciples would deign to perform, and definitely beneath the dignity of their sovereign King.
But He did it anyway. He served His brothers.
Because it was something that needed to be done.
Yes, because their feet were dirty, but mainly because it taught them humility, servanthood, and love. I’m laying my life down for you, My friends. Now you lay down your lives for one another.
When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them,“Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.
I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. As Jesus put His dignity, His rights, and His own self interests aside, so, we lay these things aside in service to one another. And it starts with our families.
In our family, it’s the simple things: my husband putting gas in the car so I don’t have to, my putting his clean clothes away, my son getting a drink for his sister, my daughter picking up trash that she didn’t put down.
We follow Jesus’ example of washing another’s feet when we die to self, pick up a towel and serve our family members. Yes, because things need to be done, but mainly because it teaches all of us humility, servanthood, and love.
Candles or no candles, that’s how you make a home.