Our secular world has a very superficial idea of what ‘home’ should look like. Lines of tidy shoes sit in the hallway. A welcome mat that has never been used before. Spotless counters, tables, floors, chairs, and every other surface. Cute little beds are made perfectly. A gleaming, well-stocked kitchen, with not a bit of clutter sitting anywhere. You have everything you need, and nothing more. The children have just a few toys and yet are perfectly content with taking them out and putting them away immediately. Peace and harmony.
Anyone who has ever lived in a home knows that’s not the reality of what home is. It’s just a perfect idea that everyone seems to strive for, and everyone feels ashamed when they haven’t reached. Well, I’ll tell you something. Nobody has that. Nobody ever had a home where there was nothing out, and everything was clean, and there were never any problems. You know that cute little model home you walk through when looking for a new house? It isn’t real. It’s completely fake.
I assure you that if you bought that house, and you moved in, your clutter and life would come with you, and that house would become yet another imperfect home. You would never actually achieve that perfect look. Many people spend their whole lives trying to perfect it, and yet they somehow never achieve what they’re looking for. (Don’t leave! We’re getting to the good stuff!)
So, what do you do? Do you want to spend your whole life chasing perfection, looking for a perfect home where you can live and your life will be perfect? Well, that decision is up to you. But I offer an alternative to striving for perfection which is not just giving up and letting your life and home spin out of control. I offer another idea to you.
Who picks what perfection is? Think about it. The set designers who shape the homes on TV? The authors who pretend that life is great inside that book? Maybe it’s the magazines that show the perfect home and try to get you to buy stuff to make your home that way. Or maybe it’s just you being tough on your home and constantly try to improve. Well, the right answer is… no one. No one but the LORD can truly define perfection.
I believe that I can think better and communicate with God better when I don’t have a cluttered mess of things to do. I believe that my mind is clearer when my room is tidy, and that I’m less distracted when I don’t have other things to do, other tasks to accomplish. But I also know that if I spend my whole life striving for perfection in the sinful world around me, I’ll be so exhausted that I’ll push aside my spiritual tasks, leaving me with an imperfect relationship with God.
That’s why I encourage you to strive less for materialistic perfection, and more for spiritual perfection. When you start living your days and working for Jesus, you will find that you will have a more perfect home. Pray for the imperfections in your home. Instead of buying a shelving unit for your books, maybe you should pray and ask God if you need to keep all those books. Maybe there are some that you don’t need, or that are distracting you from the LORD. If so, get rid of them. The world may tell us that we should strive for perfection in our home, but maybe perfection isn’t something that can be measured by how much clutter you have in your room. Maybe perfection is something that can only be measured by the love and praise that comes into and from your home.
Don’t be discouraged because you feel you’re never going to reach the world’s standards for perfection. God never said you have to. God says that you need to reach perfection with Him, and that’s what you need to concentrate. Perfection will unfold when you have a strong relationship with God. Maybe that perfection won’t look exactly the way you thought it should. Maybe it’ll be a little more messy than you thought. But maybe the messiness will be the perfection you were looking for all along.
-A Christian Girl