My grandmother could clean circles around me, even in her later years! Her floors always sparkled, she washed every glass and piece of silverware by hand, and I can still see her using her ringer-washer on laundry day when my sister and I would visit. Having a clean and orderly home was a way of life—one she’d learned from her own mother. My great-grandmother taught her well, as she had helped run a working farm, take care of the home, make her own butter and cheese to sell for extra money, and fashion all my grandmother’s clothing.
A trip to the grocer in those days did not include the “luxury” of shelves filled with cleaning products and laundry aids. Vinegar and water were used to clean and sanitize many surfaces and homemade soap was often used for every type of cleaning, including shampooing one’s hair.
What a dream it would have been in those early decades of the last century for a homemaker to throw dirty clothes in a large-capacity machine, add some liquid soap from a bottle, close the lid, and forget about laundry for 40 minutes! And what fun it would have been to rinse your family’s dirty dishes, add a pod, push a button, and wait for clean, dry dishes one hour later!
A clean life is important, and nowhere is it more important than in our inner being, because what we do on the outside is an indicator of what is going on inside. The Bible goes farther, stating that living a pure life shows how much we love God:
“If you [really] love Me, you will keep and obey My commandments.” John 14:15
Sobering words for sure! God loves us unconditionally, but our behavior indicates the level with which we love Him back. So how can we keep the inside clean? One vital way is to spend time in God’s Word, learning and growing in how He tells us to live. This also increases our faith in Him, which leads to obedience because we trust that He knows best.
Perfection is not the goal, but living a clean life before God, with His help, should be. Will you keep it clean?