Yesterday, a neighbor shared that her Irish grandmother often said, “Like things, love people.” What a wonderful saying! I try to live this out in how I manage our home. We don’t want to let things get in the way of loving people!
I love having the girls home during the summer. But the constantly changing and moving messes can make “Like things, and love people” more challenging, especially since I really enjoy the beauty of tidiness!
Any of us who live with another person are sure to experience the challenge of that person caring for home differently than we do. (This could apply to a spouse or roommate!)
If I choose to be a controlling mom who forces too much tidiness… 1) I will not allow the freedom for creativity and play that my girls need to learn and grow. 2) I will create negative interactions with my girls (or other people) that aren’t necessary, which damage our relationship. 3) And I will spend inordinate amounts of time cleaning and tidying while missing out on interacting with the people I love! Too much perfection communicates love of something else besides people. I need to allow for real-living for the people I live with.
In balance of this, it is also valuable to create rhythms of cleaning and tidying that live out responsibility, work, and stewardship of our home and belongings. I aim to teach my girls this. These are skills that help us use what God has entrusted us with to love Him and people. I use an analogy of a painter’s canvas when I talk with my girls about this. Cleaning up is like having a new canvas to paint on; the clean space creates the possibility for a whole new set of artful play!
I want our home to be open for hospitality and to be child-friendly. This means furniture might get stained and things might get scratched. Things need to be somewhat durable and functional. We choose not to be overly upset or angry when something is damaged. Imperfection is part of life!
When we love people more than stuff, we’ll be intentional to show that in our words and attitudes. Things are here to be used for loving people, not the other way around.
What are some other practical ways we could live out, “Like things, and love people?” (Please share with the rest of us!)
How can we choose to let some imperfection linger for the sake of loving others in our homes?