If this post steps on your toes, know that I'm stomping on my own feet, too. If you've followed this blog at all, you know I love to talk about productivity, organization, and time management. I don't love to do it nearly as much as I love to talk about it, unfortunately.
This morning I had an aha moment about the way I do things at home in particular. I've spoken about this in so many words before, but apparently I needed the reminder. The principle is this: if I do things differently for people other than my family, I'm living as a phony.
When I was in private practice, I often saw Christian men and women (even some pastors) who treated their families in despicable ways yet outwardly looked squeaky clean. I was honestly repulsed by this and don't feel guilty for that reaction as it was shared by Jesus. Matthew 23:25 is one example: "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence."
The point is that we are living like hypocrites when we rush around making sure the house is just-so before company arrives, yet we couldn't care less if our family has to live in a sty. The same is true if we plan lovely homemade meals for guests, but only have time for frozen pizza for our families. We're being hypocrites if we're cheerful and complimentary when a friend calls, but we're angry and critical the rest of the time.
I have had the opportunity a couple of times to have my home and children profiled for TV. As I ran around making sure the house looked good and issuing threats to the children for saying the wrong thing, I knew I was being a phony. I just tried not to think about it too much. I told myself I needed to be able to be relaxed and real in my own home. That's true enough. I am not suggesting that there aren't times when it's okay for our homes to look lived in. I remember once someone barging into my bedroom when I was nursing my first newborn. She looked at the laundry in the room and said, "Don't feel bad." I thought, "I don't."
But all things being equal, aren't there times when our family deserves our best behavior that we often save for others? I think so. Some of you may be thinking, "My home is a mess no matter who's there and I don't care." Then I have another question for those of you who are Christians. Would you care if Jesus were a guest in your home? Would He be able to say, "Well done, good and faithful servant"? If not, it's time to get rid of the baloney and make some changes. Stop making excuses and make your home a haven for those you love most. I plan to.