We’ve all been there: feeling like you just can’t possibly do ONE MORE load of laundry, clean up after ONE MORE messy kid, or go to your dead-end job ONE MORE day. Yet you keep doing it out of duty and obligation, day after day, feeling a lack of joy and purpose. Work is hard, for stay-at-home parents and working folk alike. But that doesn’t have to mean you can’t find joy in it. What if you could change the way you looked at work so that it was a joyful opportunity rather than an endless burden? I recently had to go through this same attitude adjustment too. I was getting into a rut of feeling like the endless housework and vocational work were holding me back from doing the work I really wanted to be doing: the Lord’s work. But let me tell you a secret: all honest work is the Lord’s work.
Think about it: if only certain professions or types of work were “God’s work,” God would only use people in certain professions to do His work on earth. But we see from the Bible that that’s simply not true. He called shepherds and kings, tent-makers and priests, slaves and tax collectors. He called men and women, husbands and wives and singles. Colossians 12:17 says, “Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” God commands us to take care of our homes as well as take care of the poor, and to love our spouses as well as have compassion on orphans and widows. Ministry is anything we do in Jesus’ name with a thankful and compassionate heart– all of our work.
When I adopted this attitude, I was able to find so much more joy and purpose in my day-to-day tasks. My workday is pretty repetitive and pretty much the same day to day, but when I started thinking about how God placed me at this job to do His work, it no longer felt repetitive. I started thinking about my coworkers who I have the opportunity to talk about my faith to, the patients I serve in our clinic, and the personal growth God was able to work in me when I stopped just going through the motions. I started thanking Him for the good things about my job, my ability to help provide for my household, and how God helped the company I work for be successful. I started getting more excited to go to work each day and see what opportunities it may bring. And I just had more joy and energy for my work overall.
The same thing happened when I applied this mindset to my work at home. When I started to view dishes and laundry and meal prep as opportunities to do God’s work of homemaking, hospitality, and provision for my family, it seemed a lot less menial and more meaningful. I started praying or listening to worship music while I did chores, thanking God for the role of being a wife and serving my husband by working around the house.
The bottom line is: God’s work is not just volunteering at church, going on a mission trip, or doing something that would be considered “ministry” to others. God’s work is choosing to do your paid job in a way that honors Him and points your colleagues to the Gospel. God’s work is cleaning so that your house can become a home for your family and a comfortable place for friends to gather. God’s work is cooking and doing the dishes so as to nourish your family in a way that fuels them to do their own good work during the day. God’s work is serving your spouse to live out His commands for a marriage that honors Him. It’s all these daily tasks and anything else you can think of that is honest and honoring to Him. And God cares about all these little tasks and the attitude of your heart when you do them. It matters now, and it matters for eternity. What work has God called you to do today?