For some of us the worst thing we could possibly be called is ordinary. And there's nothing more ordinary than doing the work of the home. It feels mundane. It doesn't feel like we're doing the great big things for the Lord that we might have dreamed about in college or early adulthood.
Then we see Jesus's command to love our neighbor and we may think, "Am I loving my neighbor? Am I doing good work? Am I doing something for the world?"
Your Three-Foot-Tall Neighbor
Martin Luther said that one of the primary purposes of our work is to love God by loving our neighbor. Our good works don't save us. But our good works are used by God to bless our neighbors.
I heard an author once say that our neighbors are all around us—even living in our home. So your neighbor might be three feet tall. But you're still loving God by loving your neighbor. That small child is going to grow up into an adult and go into the world and do something for the Lord, whether it's ordinary or distinctive.
The Bigness of Small Acts of Faithfulness
You are loving God through tangible, small acts of ordinary faithfulness, whether it's caring for an elderly parent who can no longer care for herself, volunteering at the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), taking a meal to a new mom, volunteering at a hospital and holding NICU babies, caring for your husband when he's sick, or teaching your children about Jesus.
These are all ordinary acts that qualify as loving our neighbor. Our neighbors are the people who are in closest proximity to us. They're not always in the house next to us or the homeless shelter across town. Often, they're sleeping in the bed next to us and in the next room over.
So we love God by loving our neighbors. And some of our neighbors live very close to us—in our own homes.
This post is adapted from Glory in the Ordinary: Why Your Work in the Home Matters to God by Courtney Reissig. Originally appeared on Crossway.org; used with permission.