June Cleaver and The Myth Of The Perfect Home

What do you think of when you hear the word “homemaking”?

June Cleaver vacuuming in heels? Pinterest-worthy craftiness? Martha Stewart-esque dinner parties?  A perfect home with a white picket fence, sculptured shrubbery and cobblestone driveway?

One of the wisest people I know is my sister-in-law, Lindsey. She writes two blogs: Little Hearth and Red Letters.  A few years ago, Lindsey wrote a post about homemaking on Little Hearth that blew me away. She has such a wonderful way with words and has a knack for really boiling things down to their very essence.

This particular post outlines what she calls Relational Homemaking — an approach toward building a home that transcends the style of chargers on your table, or the shade of throw cushions on your sofa.

She says:

” All of my homemaking efforts should be directed toward four main relationships, which are gifts from God. It is what I call Relational Homemaking.”

She lists the four relationships as God, Marriage, Children, and Hospitality. And then she asks four questions for each that help guage your homemaking.

I’ve printed out a copy and have it on my fridge — very often I will pause when passing by or while sipping coffee to read through the list of questions to see where my homemaking stands.

Here are a few examples:

How does our home nurture my and my family’s relationship with God?
How does our home point us to seek God’s kingdom first?

How does our home contribute to love and unity in our marriage?
How does our home bring us together in mutual activities and a shared vision?

How does our home provide opportunities for loving nurture?
How does our home provide order and wonder for my children?

How does our home enable me to offer hospitality to others?
How does our home point people to Christ?

Read the rest of the post here.

Lindsey has really drawn out what the purpose of our efforts should be.

Creating a welcoming living room or sitting area in my home is not just about decorating — it’s about enabling me to offer hospitality to others, providing a place for them to come in, feel welcomed, and feel like their presence is enjoyed.

Building a routine that includes bedtime stories and prayers, or evening meals without distractions provides opportunities for the loving nurture of my children, and taking time to plan family outings or work on projects together brings my husband and I together in mutual activites. And strategically placing framed verses, keeping Bibles easily accessible, and watching God-honouring videos with our kids nurtures our relationship with God.

These are things that decorating magazines and home reno shows won’t tell you about. Sure, your house will look great if you do what they say, but what should the purpose be, really?

I encourage you, whether you’re married, single, a parent or not, to print out these principles and implement as many as apply in your home. Because friends, this is what building a home should really be about.

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