Stephanie Pearce: Love is next to godliness
I read a quote from Ann Voskamp that said, “Cleanliness isn’t next to godliness. Love is.” What a heart- and eye-opening statement. She went on to talk about how having a perfectly clean house isn’t going to matter as much to your family in the long run as much as being close with them will be.
I have not been the best when it comes to keeping a clean house. I have several reasons to not have a spotless house. I work a full-time job and write my columns. My husband and I are always taking our daughter ton some activity or class. I live on a ranch with no asphalt, so mud and dust always are gathering in the house. I have four dogs that we let in the house to eat, one at a time so they don’t fight. We homeschool our daughter. I could go on and on with a list of excuses of why my house isn’t spotless.
When I think about the things that are important to me, a perfectly clean house just isn’t at the top of my list. My family is. Everything I do is for my family. I want them to know, without a doubt, how much I love them. Through that love, they will see God.
I work to provide for my family, and that takes 10 hours each day when you count my drive. I appreciate my job, don’t get me wrong. Because I spend so much of my waking hours at work, several of my co-workers are beginning to feel like family.
I enjoy writing every night as well to come up with ideas for these columns. It is a great outlet for creativity as well as functioning as a stress reliever. Writing about the things that matter to me has been such a blessing. I get to spread my love for family and friends through the topics I write about.
Taking my daughter to her classes and activities is near the top of my list because more than anything, I want her to succeed. She knows this. Giving of our time and skills to homeschool her has been one of the best decisions I ever have made. She knows that anything that has her best interests at heart will take priority over cleaning the house.
Where we live, it’s all dirt roads. The closest asphalt is 2 miles away. The dust seems to find its way into the house often. We also burn coal, so in the winter, the coal dust covers everything. When we let the dogs in to eat, they always seem to bring in bucket loads of dirt as wherever they land to eat, they leave behind an outline of dirt.
In all the things that are important to me, cleaning is definitely not at the top of my list. My family comes first. If there is anything left for me to give or another person I can show love to, I will gladly do it. I would much rather live by Ann’s quote. So remember, “Cleanliness is not next to godliness; love is.”