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The Household of God

 

Full disclosure: some days I have no clue how to run a household.

My husband and I have one house, two jobs, and three kids to take care of. We have a garden to tend, cars to maintain, bank accounts to balance, chores to complete, and bills to pay. For crying out loud, we’re 33 years old.

But some days I feel like we’re failing at adulthood.

The kitchen never gets clean, the laundry never gets folded. Bills get lost in the paper clutter, and weeds threaten to take over the yard. Every few months it feels like we have the same tired conversation, way too late at night: Why can’t we keep it together? Why is it so hard to keep this house running?

I secretly fear that everyone has it together except us.

When I was a teenager, itching for independence, I could almost taste the thrill of living on my own. I’d be in charge. I’d make all the decisions. I’d have everything humming along, happy as can be.

And as a young adult, living on my own in my twenties, I did love the freedom of buying whatever I wanted at the grocery store. Choosing how I wanted my apartment to look. Coming home as late as I wanted.

But it was far from perfect. Reality meant I was also responsible for all the financial stress, all the drudgery of chores, all the juggle of time between work and home. The thrill of my own place wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

When I got married, the challenges of running a household only magnified. Yes, I had a partner to help with this work, but we also brought different approaches and expectations for household management.

Enter kids into the picture? More laundry, more dishes, more questions about how to pay for it all. I wouldn’t trade this life for any other, but these are still the verbs I use: stretch, crunch, juggle, squeeze.

The household of God? Those words stop me in my tracks. As Saint Paul describes it, the household of God is about people, not perfection. About holiness, not achievement. About community, not isolation.

It’s not about having it all together, but about becoming holy together. Whether we’re single or married, parents or children, friends or neighbors, we are part of a household bigger than ourselves and our to-do lists.

Imagine what would happen if we trusted that we were part of God’s household. The freedom of fear, the release from anxiety, the joy of knowing we are loved and cared for beyond our wildest dreams. The reminder that we are not the ones in charge, and we never had to be.

Not while God’s joyful, abundant love keeps calling us home.

Chore charts and household helps and the perfect Pinterest plan can guide our labors of love. But if our eyes aren’t fixed on the bigger dream of beyond–of God’s longing to draw us together in a home of justice and peace and love and holiness—then we get dragged down by the daily grind.

Today I’m choosing to see this home as a household of God. As walls echoing with laughter, not baseboards needing to be scrubbed. As a fridge with food to share, not sticky shelves needing to be sanitized. As a checkbook with enough extra to give to those in need, not a failed math problem where we always come up short.

Because Christ is the cornerstone of this household. Holding together the whole structure, even when we worry it’s shaky. Growing us into holiness, even when we fear we’re stuck.

Building us together—mysteriously, miraculously—into a dwelling place for God.

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Laura Kelly Fanucci is a writer and mother to three little boys who never stop talking. She and her husband live in the suburban wilds of Minnesota. You can find out more about her here.

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