By contributing writer, Amy
I’ve been a wife and mom for a long time. I’ve been married to my “lucky” guy for nearly half my life, and I have two kids who are taller than me with a third one gaining fast. I am officially old.
Unfortunately, being old or experienced doesn’t make the job of homemaking magically easy.
This life of raising a family and keeping a house clean for more than two minutes is hard. Just folding a load of laundry or emptying the sink of dirty dishes can feel like a major, life-changing accomplishment. Keeping up with all the spinning plates can be downright overwhelming.
If you’ve been at this line of work for more than a couple of days, you’re probably raising your hands and shouting “Amen!” right about now.
But what’s even harder than conquering clutter or calming fussy kids is conquering and calming my selfish heart. A continual battle rages inside of me, a battle against my prideful self. It’s a war that makes serving my family and loving my husband a challenge.
The Good News
A few years ago, well into my journey of trying (and failing) to be a joyful homemaker, I finally heard the words I needed most. I heard a phrase I’d used all my life but had never fully grasped. I heard a truth that would change my life.
I heard about the gospel.
Now, I grew up in a Christian home, attended a Christian school, walked through the church doors every time they were open, and accepted Christ’s sacrifice for my sins when I was just a little girl. You would think I’d know all about this whole “living the gospel” thing, right?
I didn’t know I still needed the gospel.
I didn’t know it should affect every single thing I do.
I didn’t know it mattered past the moment of salvation.
After I heard phrases like “preach the gospel to yourself daily” or “live out the gospel,” I knew there was something missing in the life I was working so hard to keep from falling apart. I needed to ditch the idea that the gospel was something for newbie Christians and realize that the truth of the gospel was necessity for every moment of every day.
It has taken me years to even scratch the surface of what the gospel should mean in my life. I think it will take
a lifetime an eternity for me to come to a full realization of the depth of the gospel and the work that Jesus did for me on the cross.
Praise God that now the mission of my life is to have a heart for the gospel and a love for the home so the gospel will be displayed in all I do. I am so thankful God opened my eyes to my need for the gospel in my daily life.
For the Joy Set Before Me
Living out the gospel in my home means that I must continually be aware of my own sinfulness and my need for grace, then offer others the same grace Jesus showed me.
As a mother, it means learning the painful lessons of humility and loving my children because I am loved by God.
As a wife, it means laying down my own needs and looking for ways to selflessly minister to my husband.
As a home keeper, it means having a heart for my home, not just working for my own ambitions.
It also means I can find joy, even on the really difficult days. With the gospel in mind, I’m more likely to see the hand of God instead of only seeing the trials of life. It changes the way I view my home and my family.
The Gospel Changes Everything
Following God in the ordinary (and often frustrating) moments of our lives isn’t an easy path. Sometimes I get tired of “fighting the good fight,” and I’d rather run away than run the race set before me (Hebrews 12:1).
But God, with His steadfast love and faithfulness, draws me to Himself. He brings the difficulties necessary to break my self-centered pride. He gives me opportunities to step out of my comfort zone and into His will for my life.
- When I sinfully respond to my children with anger and frustration, the door swings open for me to teach them about repentance.
- When the mess and chaos get on my last nerve, I can display an unnatural lovingkindness and forgiveness to those who caused the destruction.
- When my kids disobey, I must tell them of what Jesus did on their behalf to wash away their sin.
- When my husband doesn’t meet my every unspoken wish, I should respond by looking for ways to serve him and meet his unspoken needs instead.
- When life is hard and I’m beyond weary, the gospel demands that I admit my weakness and submit myself to the grace of God.
An Intentional Gospel-Life
This kind of gospel living doesn’t happen by chance. It can only exist through prayer and spending time in the Word of God, meditating on the message of the gospel throughout each day. I must continually submit myself to the grace of God.
Still, it’s a struggle against my sin nature. It’s a fight against my will and desires.
Do I always succeed at living out the gospel? Umm…no.
Do I regularly fail? Umm…yes.
But that displays the gospel, too. My every failure is a reminder of my desperate need for the cross and the impossible work of grace. It is all part of God’s redemptive plan for my life and for my family, and that’s the “good news” of the gospel that I desperately need, too!