Working Together

Friday afternoon I sent a text message to my husband: “Remember to have Lucy help you clean up before Sabbath.” Then I prayed, “Lord, help me not to notice the messiness of the house. It will be too close to the Sabbath when I get home; I won’t be able to clean. Help me to see only what they have done – not what they have not done.”

I prayed that prayer several times over the afternoon. I wanted no tension in the home and a messy house causes me stress! I prayed for blinders over my eyes and cheerfulness in my heart.

God heard my prayer; He honored my desire. I arrived home shortly before sundown and noticed nothing out of place or dirty until Sunday morning, when, as a family, we spent a couple of hours cheerfully cleaning house and putting things away.

By Wednesday morning, I was losing my grip on family peace. The house again needed to be picked up. As I felt the stress mounting, I heard my voice becoming tense. I started giving orders. Lucy ended up in her bedroom because she took too long to obey.

That’s when I stopped myself. Even though I still worked, I slowed myself down and began praying silently. After a few minutes, I stopped cleaning and went to my daughter’s room. Calmly, I held her while we talked about family responsibilities, each helping to keep the home orderly and clean.

Out-of-place items, dirty dishes, messy floors… and the resulting fast-paced frenzy all play a role in causing stress and confusion. However, “…God is not the author of confusion…” (1Corinthians 14:33). As a family, we must be purposeful in adding to the comfort, order and regularity of the home.

In the Bible, we are told that little Samuel, in his work at the temple with Priest Eli, “grew on, and was in favor both with the Lord, and also with men” (1Samuel 2:26). We are also told that Jesus “went down with them [Mary and Joseph], and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them… and Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (Luke2:51, 52).

In our home, we have studied Samuel quite a bit; we’ve studied about Jesus even more. The obvious questions follow: Do we want to be like Samuel and Jesus? Do we want our home to be peaceful and happy?

We can only be truly happy if we are obedient. That means we must all work together, doing what is right, being helpful, thoughtful, keeping our home in order and maintaining the peace in our home. We too can grow in wisdom and in stature. We too can grow in favor with God and man. Even though it might be difficult, let’s make that our goal. The family’s peace is worth it.

© 2010, C. Gillan Byrne


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White, E. G. (1954/1982). A Sacred Circle (Chapter Title). In E. G. White Publications (Eds.), Adventist Home. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association.


Complete Published writings of EGW

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