#471: Our Best Work

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Reflections by the Pond
November 1, 2010

Looking up into the tangled mess of wires in the basement, it was obvious that Dad was a licensed electrician.

Our Best Work

It is a sad axiom that whatever one's profession, it is often demonstrated the poorest in one's own home. The finish carpenter who uses meticulous craftsmanship on the job site will often do embarrassingly crude work in his own dwelling. The plumber who can expertly plumb an entire three-story house will need to be nagged unmercifully by his wife to repair the toilet in his own.

Every day, as I observe with appreciation the proficiency of the carpenters working on the exterior of our house, it is but a short hop from that to recollecting how it was living with a journeyman electrician.

Many years ago, when Mom was still living in the house where I was born and raised, I was in the basement vacuuming up a few years' worth of cobwebs. In the process, I was brought face to face, once again, with reminders of my dad's profession. As a child I had tagged along with my dad (long deceased) to various jobs when he would wire houses, and I knew him to do exemplary work when working for others.

In the basement of the house in which he had lived for many decades, however, was evidence that in his own home the electrical work was something less than a fine art. Unboxed outlets and switches dangled from the overhead joist space. Bare wires sprouted from hastily taped splices. Heavy Romex draped down, unstapled, to catch the unwitting passerby under the chin. And the junction box from which they all emanated looked as if an enraged gorilla had released the full force of his pent-up wrath upon its tangled innards.

If dad had wired someone else's house in the same way, he would most certainly have been run out of town on a highly electrified rail.

° ° °

Not surprisingly, God's word takes a position remarkably opposite from the ways of this world. Take for example, His command regarding the leaders in the church.

Deacons must be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households. For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.

1 Timothy 3:12-13

Along with that, the Lord expresses how important is the proper conduct of the wife and mother in a home.

Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.

Titus 2:3-5

In the spiritual realm, sloppy work at home brings disaster—and dishonor upon the Kingdom. Our very best work should be reserved not for public consumption, but for family life, for the home is the earthly model of God's love for His people. It is the place where—before even the church—love for Christ and a devotion to God is to be demonstrated and learned.

It is where Jesus, once again, becomes flesh.

° ° °

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.

Ephesians 5:25

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