Mundane. It’s a word homemakers across the country like to use when referring to daily tasks such as cooking, laundry, and dishes. It is defined as an adjective used to describe something lacking in excitement or dull. We typically use this word negatively to compare our lives to the seemingly more exciting lives of others. But have you ever stopped and wondered why we view these daily homemaking duties as mundane?
Note: the links in this post are affiliate links and I will receive compensation from any purchases made when you click through these links
The Power of Words
A couple of years ago a song came out on Christian radio that was all about words. In fact, that was the name of the song. “Words can build you up. Words can break you down. Start a fire in your heart or put it out.” These lines emphasize the power of words and the tongue that the Bible talks about in the book of James.
“but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.”
James 3:8-10 (ESV)
Usually when I read these words, I think about how I should use my words to encourage others. But words don’t just affect other people. They can affect our attitudes and our own perspective of our surroundings.
Most likely you know very well how much power your words can have on your family and the atmosphere of your home on any given day. But what harm could the word ‘mundane’ or any of its synonyms do anyway?
It Reveals our Heart
In Matthew 15, Jesus says that our words reveal what’s in our hearts. We have learned to view our work in the home as unexciting and boring. And while I’m sure there are more exciting things to do in life than doing another load of dishes, I think we have adopted a wrong perspective of our work.
I think we have lost sight of the one for whom we work.
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” Colossians 3:23 (ESV)
Work heartily. Webster defines heartily as “with all sincerity; with zest or gusto”. But honestly, how is it possible to do dishes with sincerity, zest, and gusto? Ask yourself this: who gave you the work? Whose calling did you answer when you became a wife or mom? God, the Creator of the UNIVERSE called you to this task. He looked down on this tiny planet and saw an even tinier human and said “I want her for this task”. Better yet, before you were even a blip on your parents’ radar, He knew He would call YOU to do these things. When someone singles us out for a task, that generally drives us to make sure we do it well, and often we face it with enthusiasm because someone recognized our gifts and abilities. So, if our Sovereign Lord singled us out for that specific load of dishes or laundry, shouldn’t we take on the task with the same great enthusiasm?
A Change in Perspective
So how can we be more enthusiastic in the everyday tasks of life?
- Change your Vocabulary. In one of my favorite parenting books, Loving the Little Years, Rachel Jankovic said, “I realized I had better strike the word overwhelmed from my vocabulary.” She later goes on to say, “Words have a real power over us. If you say it, you allow it.” I believe the same is true with the word ‘mundane’. If we tell ourselves our work is boring, eventually we are going to believe it. It can lead us to discontentment as we long for a more eventful life. May I propose we do what Rachel did and strike the word mundane from our vocabulary? It does nothing but ingrain in our minds the lie that what we are doing is unimportant.
- Change Your perspective. Believe it or not, your work is important. If you have kids, then your job is to shape their little minds and hearts in accordance with Scripture as they will are the leaders of the future. And whether you have kids or not, you are called by God to make your home a place where God is at the center and all who enter find safety and refreshment from the chaos of the world. On the surface, this may appear boring. But look at your work as more than just service to family. When viewed as a calling from the God who ordained our days, this work becomes more meaningful. It goes from being boring work to exciting worship. The knowledge that our work is ordained by God should cause us to be enthusiastic about getting to serve him in such a meaningful way and to praise Him for choosing us for this task. Sure it lacks a sense of grandeur and thrill. But we’re fulfilling the calling from the Lord of Creation. I can’t think of anything more exciting. Can you?