Revive Our Hearts Radio

A Warm and Loving Environment

Leslie Basham: It's Thursday, July 7th and you're listening to Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. 

Woman 1: Right now my house looks like library books all over the place . . . 

Woman 2: The two-year-old found a jar of Vaseline . . .

Woman 3: The bathroom's a mess . . .

Woman 2: . . . put it all over her face, all over her hands, all over the bed . . .

Woman 1: . . . laundry kind of everywhere . . .

Woman 2: . . .in her hair.

Woman 1: . . . and don't forget the floor that Molly got cereal on.

Woman 3: . . . lunch is all over the floor surrounding the high chair at least.

Woman 1: And that's about it.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Well, I wonder if that describes your house. What did your house look like when you left for work this morning? Or look around right now if you're in your house and say, "What kind of environment is my home? Is it a warm and inviting environment where people's souls and spirits can be refreshed and recharged, or would I have to say that my home is one of clutter and chaos?" Does it really matter?

We're talking this week with Sharon Jaynes who is the vice-president of Proverbs 31 Ministries. She's an author; she's a speaker; she's a radio host, but most importantly she is a woman who loves the Lord. She's a wife; she's a mom. Sharon, thank you so much for being with us on Revive Our Hearts to share with us some practical insights today about how we can create a loving environment in our homes.

Sharon Jaynes: Thank you Nancy.

Nancy: I love these seven principles that we've been talking about that are the basis for Proverbs 31 Ministries, but actually these principles didn't originate with you. They originated with God. They come right out of Proverbs chapter 31.

Sharon: We did. We sat down with our Bibles and thought, "What does this wife of noble character look like?" We saw these 7 principles that were right there in Scripture, and that's the basis of our ministry and everything we do.

Nancy: So we've talked about a woman's relationship with the Lord. That's the foundational principle. Number two: we talked about a relationship with her husband. Then we talked about her relationship with her children, her role as a mom. Now we come to that fourth principle which has to do with her home, the environment of her home. Tell us what that principle is as you've stated it in Proverbs 31 Ministries.

Sharon: Nancy, the fourth principle is that the Proverbs 31 woman is a disciplined and industrious keeper of the home who creates a warm and loving environment for her family and friends.

Nancy: Now, as soon as you say those words, disciplined and industrious, there are some women who that just seems to come naturally for. But then there are some of us who we're like mess seems to go wherever we are and this is a real challenge. I think especially for some moms in that season of life that have a lot of little ones or some home schooling moms who have a lot of children. It just seems like clutter and chaos are everywhere. Does the environment of the home really matter?

Sharon: I think it really does. I mean, think about if you are not . . . . Let's take the home schooling mom for example. If you were in a classroom in a school situation that was messy and chaotic, or you took a schoolroom that was orderly and the teacher has a plan, which is the better learning environment? Well, it's the one that's orderly.

We can do that same thing in our home by having an orderly environment. Now, I don't want people to take this too far though, because having a warm and loving environment is not having a home where everything is pin neat and people feel like they have to walk on eggshells because they don't want to mess up anything or they don't want to put something in a wrong place. That's not a warm and loving environment. We can still have an organized home, but yet one that's lived in . . .

Nancy: Yes.

Sharon: . . . one that doesn't make people uncomfortable.

Nancy: Okay, for those women who want to create this warm and loving environment in their home for their friends and for their husband and their children but they say, "I look around. This place is a mess; it's totally disorganized. Where do I start? I don't even feel like I can tackle this." Help a mom in that situation.

Sharon: Well, I think one of the biggest struggles is clutter. You know I go back, and I read Proverbs 31, and I think, "You know what? She didn't have paper."

Nancy: That is my problem.

Sharon: That is one reason she could be organized. That's a problem with a lot of us--paper. But one way to get started is to just get a pen and a pad of paper and do an inspection tour of our home. Start in one room and say, "What is the function of this room? What do we do in this room? Are there things present in the room that don't need to be there?"

Secondly, we can look at how do we improve the function of the room. How do we allow it to meet our needs more efficiently? For example, if you have a bedroom that has piles of paper on the nightstand, probably that's not the best place for paper. Maybe we need a desk. Maybe we need to start a filing system for the paper to put it away.

Go in your kitchen and ask, "Is this working efficiently for me? Are my glasses near the refrigerator? Do I have big pots and pans that I never use that are in the forefront of the cabinet that really need to be stored in the back?" Look at what's on the counter. Are there things on the counter that don't need to be there? Maybe you only use them a few times a year--put them away.

I think of simple things like potholders. You know potholders cost about a dollar, and yet I will tend to use one until it's so ugly and burnt and frayed. How about throw it away and get a new one? That is a great investment to make. You feel even better about your kitchen. These are just some very simple things to do.

Nancy: Now you've talked about the bedroom and the kitchen. You wouldn't do all this in a day.

Sharon: No. You start your inspection tour. You go through the house and you make a list, and then you conquer one room at a time. You might be in one room for a month, but then you move to the next room.

Clean out a closet. When you clean out a closet get three bags. You get a throw away bag, a put away bag, and a give away bag. I always say it's very important to use a bag that you cannot see through. You know why that is? We go back in the give away and the throw away bags and start pulling out items. But deal with that clutter. See, there's only bag that you're keeping, and maybe it's not in the right place. Maybe you need to put it away. You might go through a drawer and see that you have six sets of placemats when really you only use two of them. Give them away to someone who can use them.

Nancy" Yes.

Sharon: Don't keep things that you never use.

Nancy: Now this is not something for a mom just to do on her own. Doesn't the family need to be involved in this process?

Sharon: Absolutely, Nancy. I think that's where a lot of mothers get overwhelmed. They're not engaging their family. This is a family affair. You're not the only person in that home that is responsible for keeping the castle clean. When we have children do chores, when we have children be responsible for their own play chest . . . . When Steven was even two-years-old, he had a chest. Every night before he could go to bed, he had to put his little toys back in that chest. You need to have the children help you.

Steven had a friend over in about the seventh grade, and I knew that this family had a maid. Well, he came in Steven's bathroom and he said, "Mrs. Jaynes, why aren't there all the little spots on the mirror like there are on my mirror at home?" I said, "Taylor, that's because Steven has to clean his own bathroom so he keeps it clean." That was just an amazing thing to him. He had a maid that came in and did that for him, so it never occurred to him to clean up after himself. That's one little example of when a child has to take responsibility for their own messes; they're going to be a lot neater.

Now, I've watched him go off to college, and I see his room compared to some other rooms. And you know what? He doesn't like mess. He doesn't like messy rooms because he's grown up taking care of his own room--even taking care of his own bathroom and cleaning that. He's learned a lot from that. It's not all our children, but also our husband.

Nancy: I was just going to ask you, what about husbands?

Sharon: What about our husbands? When I was first married there were things I wanted Steve to do, but I didn't tell him. Instead, I pouted, and I would get quiet.

Nancy: He's supposed to read your mind.

Sharon: He's supposed to read my mind and know. But you know what? Men are not geared that way. As much as we want them just to know what to do, they don't see the clutter like we do. Yes, they like a home that doesn't have clutter, but I honestly believe their minds are not geared to know what to do.

Finally, he said to me one day, "Just tell me what to do, and I'll do it." I told him some things that would really be helpful. "You know what would really be helpful for me if you would unload the dishwasher. It would really be helpful for me if you would get the clothes out of the dryer when you hear that buzzer go off." I know that there are women who love to wake up to beautiful music on their alarms in the morning, but what I love to wake up to is that sound of Steve in the kitchen clinking those glasses together as he is unloading the dishwasher.

You know what? He's happier; I'm happier. I'm not pouting anymore. He has something he knows he can do to be helpful, and he does it. I think that's true with most men. Just tell them what you would like them to do that would be helpful, not in a bad way. Please don't nag--that is the worst thing we can do, and don't pout. Listen, I have pouted; I have nagged, and I have found that this is the best way. Simply ask, and they will be happy to do it.

Nancy: And if they aren't, you let it go.

Sharon: You let it go.

Nancy: Don't let resentment kill the marriage.

Sharon: Exactly.

Nancy: Now, housecleaning: do you just love to clean, Sharon?

Sharon: No, I don't love to clean. I don't know many women who actually love it. You know one day Nancy I was mopping the floor, and I really was having a bad attitude. I thought, "I'm doing this every week. Nobody pays attention."

Nancy: Every week. Some women are having to do it two or three times a day in their season of life.

Sharon: They are, and that can be so frustrating. One day I was really complaining. "Lord nobody even appreciates all that I'm doing." I had a terrible attitude. All of a sudden God started bringing some thoughts to my mind. This is what I started thinking: You know what? Suppose I was blind and I couldn't see those crumbs under the baby's chair or see that sticky goo by the refrigerator? Suppose I was in a wheelchair and I wasn't strong enough to stand up and hold this mop in my hands? Suppose I was deaf and I couldn't hear the sound of the soap bubbles dissolving in the bucket? Suppose I didn't have a family to clean up after . . .

Nancy: Or a house.

Sharon: . . . or a house. All of a sudden my attitude changed, and I started thanking the Lord that I was mopping that dirty floor. "Thank you Lord that I'm strong enough to hold this mop. Thank you that I have the sight to see these crumbs. Thank you that I can hear the mop being pushed back and forth. Most of all, Lord thank you for this family that I have to clean up after.

Nancy: Yes.

Sharon: Thank you for those feet that are going to come in here this afternoon . . .

Nancy: . . . and mess it up.

Sharon: . . . and dirty it up again. It really changed my perspective.

Nancy: The attitude of gratitude.

Sharon: Exactly.

Nancy: The whole world looks different when you see things through a grateful spirit.

Leslie Basham: Sharon Jaynes has been telling us the role thankfulness plays in creating a warm and loving environment. Her book, A Woman's Secret to a Balanced Life will show you how to organize relationships, time, and money so that our homes can reflect God's beauty.

You can order a copy when you call 1-800-569-5959 or visit ReviveOurHearts.com. You can also visit ReviveOurHearts.com in order to donate to the ministry. You're hearing us today because some people give, including a woman who followed the kind of advice we heard today and kept very organized finances, but things were still tight. Here's Nancy reading from this listener's letter.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: I would love to have more to give. I no longer work; my budget is small. I'm sure God can use small gifts, also. Your ministry is so on target. You are in my prayers. Then she enclosed a check for $10. I can't tell you how thankful I am for these kinds of listeners, for those who don't have much, but give out of what they have because they love Christ; they love His truth, and they want to see lives set free by the power of the truth.

You may think that $10 isn't much, but I can tell you in God's economy it's huge. I believe God multiplies those gifts many times over in the lives that are impacted as a result. I'm so glad that this listener said, as so many others do as well, "I'm praying for you." Some listeners say, "I pray for you every day. I wish I could give more, but I can pray." I say, "There is no greater gift that you could give to this ministry than to pray for me, to pray for our staff, to pray that God would keep us faithful to the truth and pray that God would revive the hearts of listeners day by day.

So even if all you can afford to give seems like a very small gift, let me just say that if that's what God has enabled you to give, then God will bless that gift and use it to reap a harvest for His kingdom.

Leslie Basham: You can send your gift to our brand new address. It's Revive Our Hearts, P.O. Box 2000, Niles, MI 49120. It can be hard for a mom to prioritize. Everyone's pulling you different directions. Sharon Jaynes will give us some ways to choose between two good options tomorrow on Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the radio series.

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