by Alli Hill

The Cleansing of the Heart

When the #MomLifeUnfiltered challenge began Monday, I had just deep cleaned my kitchen and living room the night before. I enjoy cleaning for the most part, and am married to an incredibly organized man who has rubbed off on me in our four years of marriage. I prefer to pick up the living room a few times throughout the day, and go to bed with a clean kitchen sink. I’ve also gotten better about not letting my laundry pile up now that we have a laundry room on the main level of our home. After contemplating what in my home I could take a photo of to share with the other moms, I came up lacking.

Before you think I’m some “have it all together” mom, know that the Lord has been doing a number on me regarding the cleansing of my heart. I came to realize last week that even though my home was in order, my affections were not. At a Bible study last Wednesday night led by my mother, she said something that struck a chord with me. She said, “Our outward actions are determined by our inward devotion.” This line came after a couple of weeks of the Lord showing me that I do not desire His word and His will above all else.

The Lord has revealed to me over and over how I daily value other tasks above time spent in His Word and in prayer. I can’t even tell you how often I have been in the middle of my quiet time, only to get up after remembering to switch a load of laundry over, or to start cleaning the kitchen when I only intended to refresh my coffee cup during my prayer time. I am quick to plan my day and get going before spending a minute with the Lord. The realization that time spent with my heavenly Father is too often an afterthought to me has allowed for some much needed internal cleansing of my heart and affections.

Over the past month and a half I have been involved with two different Bible studies, both of which deal mainly with prayer. Often the lessons coincide with what the Lord has been teaching me from the previous study, which leads to further conviction and confirmation of what areas in my life need to be changed. The common thread recently has been the “cleansing of all unrighteousness by the washing of the Word.” It is only by spending time in God’s Word that my life will begin to reflect Christ in obedience to His Word. I love what I heard Jean Stockdale say last week: “You can’t obey what you don’t know, so you have to know the Word to live like Christ.” It was a simple explanation that spoke volumes to my heart.

In order to live a godly life, time spent with my Savior must be my number one priority. For me, that means waking up an hour before my daughter does and reading my Bible and praying. I enjoy sleeping in, so this is not easy for me. It also means applying what I learn from my time spent in God’s word to my life.

In his book Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, Dr. Donald Whitney says:

“According to James 1:22-25, we can experience God’s truth so powerfully that what the Lord wants us to do becomes as plain to us as our face in the morning mirror. But if we do not apply the truth as we meet it, regardless of how wonderful the experience of discovering the truth has been, we deceive ourselves if we think we will be blessed for giving attention to the Bible on those occasions. The one who ‘will be blessed in his doing’ is the one who does what Scripture says.

I want to be a wife and mother who “does what Scripture says,” not because I am legalistic, but because I desire to please the Lord above all else. When our affections are correctly aligned and set on things above, we are not easily shaken on this earth below. 

As much as I enjoy a clean house, if my heart is not being cleansed, and my mind is not being renewed daily, I have failed as a Christian mother and wife. No housework is more important than the discipline of reading God’s word and praying with my Heavenly Father.

I would rather have dishes in my sink than for my Bible to lay dusty on my bedside table.

It is my prayer that as godly mothers, our priorities would align with the Lord’s and that we would know when we need to sit before the Lord, and when we need to get up and keep our homes in order. Cleaning your home is not a bad thing—in fact I would encourage you to do it! But it cannot come before the cleansing of our souls each day by the washing of His Word.



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