Clean House, Clean Heart
So have you done any spring cleaning? Last week we tackled my boys’ room. There are four boys. In. One. Big. Room.
Politely put, they are not neat freaks. They are … boys!
Confession: due to the demands of large family and special child needs, either I failed to teach my children how to put an item away in its place, or the lesson just didn’t take. Cleaning, apparently, doesn’t come naturally to them.
Cleaning doesn’t come very naturally to me, either. Oh, I can vacuum with the best of them, sprint through the laundry, and even scrub a few toilets on a good day.
But it’s my heart that gets dusty, with clingy cobwebs drifting across it. Spiritual furniture I don’t want to move might be hiding something ugly. And don’t open certain drawers – the contents were stowed out of sight for a reason. If I don’t faithfully do the maintenance cleaning, this heart starts to look like – forgive me – my boys’ room.
I’ve come to accept that my whole house will never all be clean at the same time (big sigh), but if I do a little every day, it makes a difference.
And it’s the same with my heart. This side of heaven, there will always be some lingering yuck (a.k.a. sin) in my heart, but if I will tend it each day, God does the cleaning! Over time, I see progress.
First I pray, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” (Psalm 139:23-24 ESV).
When God shows me the dirt, I have to honestly agree with Him that it looks pretty bad. “God, you are so right. I have been using words that tear down my husband and children, not build them up. I am so sorry, and I don’t want to do that anymore. Help me to use encouraging and gentle words instead.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
The power of God’s word and His truth allows me to embrace my new shining heart!
When I make a mess of my heart, again, God is always there to forgive, wipe it up, and let me try again with His help.
At last, with a clean heart, I head off to clean … the boys’ room. Again!