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Girl Meets God

    by Melissa Mathews

A Dishwasher Lesson
Date Posted: April 11, 2010

One poor son in our home had been stuck cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms way too long, so we re-assigned chores at our house this month.

It would be nice if children came with innate knowledge of proper chore procedure, but they don't. Being the excellent parents that we are, we usually wait until they mess up, then we give them the instruction they should have had before they started the job. Grant and I spent 3 hours last month taking apart the vacuum because one son (who will go unnamed) didn't know that vacuums don't like water.

So last week, as I walked past the son who had recently been assigned kitchen duty, I wasn't surprised to see the dirty dishes loaded all wrong in the dishwasher. Now don't get me wrong. I'm in no way a clean-freak-perfectionist. Generally speaking, if you help me in the kitchen, you can do it however you want.

But this unnamed son had turned all the dishes away from the spray. Cups where lying sideways, bowls were facing out, and the plates were backwards and so close that no spray, however powerful, could find its way to clean them. I stopped long enough to explain the golden principle of packing the dishwasher as tightly as possible, but with dirty surfaces facing in. It seemed so self-explanatory to 38-year old me, but not to my son.

Jesus also spent time explaining what seems self-explanatory. "First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean." I don't want to be like the Pharisees that Jesus spoke against. "...You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness." (Matthew 23:26-28, NIV)

If we look like Angelina Jolie on the outside, but like trash cans on the inside, we have missed the point of our faith. We need a lesson from Jesus on how to reload our priorities so our insides are clean and ready to be used.

"Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life" from Tom Kelley


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Biography Information:
I'm a preacher's kid, pastor's wife, and southern belle who married a Southern California boy. Can you say 'culture clash?' Scott and I have four boys - Max, Mark, Jackson, and Grant who keep us busy with homework and sports.

Scott and I have been married 22 years and currently live in Northern California where we are beginning year five as church planters. I also teach 12th grade English and love it.

I would love to hear from you. Email me anytime at
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