How she manages that with three kids, I do not know. That will be one of the mysteries I hope to have revealed to me when I get to the Other Side. I have three kids too. And I can tell you right now, my house is NEVAHHHH immaculate. And I’m not very kind-hearted. Especially when my three kids are contributing to the non-immaculate state of my house. The non-clean house…it’s not for lack of trying, is all I’m saying.
Anyway, when she put her house up for sale, I had no doubt in my mind it would show beautifully and sell quickly. You’d have to be blind not to fall in love with my friend’s house.
As she was leaving one day to allow prospective buyers to ooooo and ahhhhhhh over her polished hardwood floors and spotless granite countertops, she gathered her three kids and strapped them in the car. And as any preschooler in his right mind would do as his mother is trying to exit the driveway quickly, her little boy announced, “I need to go potty!!!!”
And as any mother in her right mind would do who desires neither to unstrap all three kids, nor clean pee-pee up from the booster seat, my friend instructed her son to go into the house, go straight to the potty, do his business, and head straight back to the car. No bunny trails. No side trips. Don’t turn off the smooth jazz. Don’t blow out the Yankee Candle. And don’t mess anything up!
As instructed, her son ran into the house, did his business and headed back out in record time. Even my friend was impressed with his swift potty action. A proud parenting moment, indeed.
After an hour or so, my friend and her crew returned to the house after the realtor and the prospective buyers left. And it wasn’t long before she discovered the reason behind her boy’s swift potty business. For in the middle of the floor, there sat a pile of human feces. For all prospective buyers to see. And smell.
Jon and I have owned three homes since we got married. And I don’t know about you, but when I’m looking for a new house, smell is everything. Followed closely by quality of maintenance. I can look past the mirrored walls, furry pillows and shiny black ceiling fan, as long as I can tell you’ve taken good care of your home. And it’s a total bonus if it smells like cookies.
I won’t even consider a house that looks like it’s been trashed. No amount of paint or Windex can cover for a house that’s suffered years of abuse. A house in disrepair signals a big red flag to me.
“Here resides a family who does not care about their home. If this is what I CAN see, what’s going on at the foundational level?”
And, honey, if I walk into a house that smells like stale cigarette smoke, wet animal…or poop…I’m completely turned off. I just can’t get past it. Odors indicate a lack of cleanliness to me. Odors permeate walls and carpets. And I can smell a smell, I tell you. I have the olfactory senses of a canine. It’s a gift and a curse.
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. ( I Corinthians 6:19-20)
I spend a lot of time here on Fitness Friday telling you all the reasons why you need to take good care of your body. I’ve warned you about diseases, obesity, toxins, processed foods, sugar substitutes and downer cows. If I haven’t convinced you from a health standpoint that you need to eat well and exercise often, then I doubt I ever will.
But have you ever considered how your eating and exercise habits affect your Christian witness?
I’m just wondering what the un-churched think of Jesus when we tell them they need the joy, freedom and eternal life we possess, yet we’re just barely dragging ourselves out of bed each morning—exhausted, overweight and under-nourished.
Did you know that when people see you as a Christian, right or wrong, they make assumptions and draw conclusions about Jesus?
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple. (I Corinthians 3:16-17)
Once upon a time, I went to a church where I was taught my body was God’s temple. I was told if I defiled or destroyed the temple, it was a sin. But I was also taught that to “defile or destroy” the temple pretty much meant I could not get my ears pierced or get a tattoo. Or smoke or take drugs, of course.
The smoking and the drugs I understand, but ear piercings and tattoos?
All the while, these same earring-less and tattoo-less teachers and preachers abused their bodies with lack of exercise, exorbitant amounts of stress and too many trips to the Sunday afternoon buffet. Many of them were obese, exhausted and eating their way to an early grave. Some even told me that joining a gym would be “worldly.” One church lady advised me—while I was kneeling at the altar praying—that before I gave my heart to God, I may need to consider quitting the cheerleading squad.
Even as a teen, I was concerned about my health and enjoyed exercise. I remember as a brand new Christian wondering if I had to succumb to a sedentary lifestyle in order to gain eternal life.
It actually made me pause and consider the options.
Physical health or Jesus.
In the Old Testament, a tremendous amount of time, talent, money and hard work went into building and maintaining the temple. Different specialists were designated for specific duties. Each duty was spelled out in detail and expected to be carried out meticulously. The temple was a place of utmost respect and reverence. No God-fearing man or woman would ever dream of damaging the temple of God in any way.
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
(I Corinthians 10:31)
What message are we sending to the unbeliever when we tell them they need what we have, yet we do not possess enough self control to resist a donut? How attractive does a Christian lifestyle appear when we offer them freedom, but we, ourselves, are bound by our flesh?
I’ll be the first one to admit I’m not always the best representation of Christ in this world. I sometimes neglect the proper care and maintenance of my spiritual life. Sometimes my attitude stinks, and I suspect people are wondering what’s wrong with me at a foundational level. I suppose over the years people have made decisions about Jesus based on my poor choices.
But my heart’s desire is to make Jesus as attractive and desirable as I possibly can to a lost and dying world.
What a powerful witness it is to display a life of clean and healthy living, giving all the credit, glory and honor to God!
The God who offers you the fruit of the Spirit help you resist all temptation.
The God who gives you wisdom to make healthy life-choices.
oh, and the God who gives you wisdom to know the next time your preschooler needs to use the potty just before a house-showing, by all means, you walk him in there yourself.