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If cleanliness is next to Godliness then I’m in trouble

The carpets use to be white

The carpets use to be white

We have four cats and one dog and a white carpet. Well, the carpet use to be white. It is still white around the baseboard, under the bed, and on the riser of the stairs. The rest of the carpet is brown.

Last night when my husband and I were washing the dishes. (I washed, he dried. ) I asked him, “Who said, cleanliness is next to Godliness?”

“The same person who said honesty is the best policy.”

Well, who ever said it, had better not come to my house. Or, at least they had better call before they come.

My carpets get vacuumed once a week.  If someone spills something it will get vacuumed up right away. The cats have helped keep the house cleaner.

“Here is the vacuum. Clean up the taco chips. The kittens might eat them and get sick.”

Last weekend we didn’t clean the house. I knew we were going to really clean the house this Saturday. My husbands parents are coming to visit on Sunday. So why would I waste a Saturday cleaning when I would just have to clean again the following Saturday?

“Hey, Mom. My friend is coming over tonight.”


“Yes, in about an hour.”

“Please tell them, I won’t be cleaning  until Saturday.”

But, I couldn’t have them think I was a poor housekeeper. What if they came in the front door and thought I wasn’t Godly because I hadn’t cleaned.  So I vacuumed the stairs. The carpet was still brown, but the dog and cat hair that gets stuck between the treads was gone, and I vacuumed up the cat litter in the upstairs hallway. The kittens like to flick out the litter.

I wiped down the toilets and the bathroom sinks. (Not with the same sponge.) You can’t count on company not using the bathroom, so you have to clean there too.

All the doors to the upstairs bedrooms and the basement were closed and  I  washed the breakfast dishes.

If cleanliness is next to Godliness then I’m in trouble.

My home is not always clean. Martha, our dog,  likes to rub her body down the length of the hallway. She leaves a dark streak on the yellow wall. I painted my hallway chocolate-brown in the rental house in California to hide the brown marks from Martha.

The carpets are stained from shoes and animals.

The sink is often full of dishes because we don’t always do them after every meal.

This morning I looked on-line to see who said, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.”

For cleanness of body was ever esteemed to proceed from a due reverence to God, to society, and to ourselves.
Francis Bacon – Advancement of Learning (1605)

It was Francis Bacon. And he was referring to our bodies. So it appears I’m safe. Mr. Bacon won’t be visiting me because he is dead and I always shower and brush my teeth and wear deodorant. I am not in trouble after all.

Godliness is defined by our character and not by how  clean our house is or how often we shower.[ Click here to tweet. If you want to tweet, that is.]

You are not in trouble if your house is not clean. God looks at your heart. What does he see when He looks?

1. Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife. Proverbs 21:9

2. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. Proverbs 31:20

3.  She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. Proverbs 31:26

What does God see in me based on the above list?

1. My husband has sometimes lived on the corner of our roof, but that was several years ago.

2. I am kind to the poor, but I didn’t give a dollar to the food pantry last night when the check-out lady at the grocery store asked me,          “Would you like to give a dollar to the local food pantry?”

3. And I often speak wisdom to my children. “Only floss the teeth you want to keep.”

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7

What does God see when he looks at your heart? What does he see based on the above list?

Please tell me in the comments. I would love to chat.


P.S. Several people have said, “Honesty is the best policy.” William Shakespeare, Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain. And Nick Hodges, my husband.

About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • When God looks at my heart he sees someone in need of Him. He also sees someone with a large capacity to love.

    My house is not always in order. I would love to be more open.

  • Pamela Hand

    I have noticed that when I fill my spirit with reflecting on Jesus and His Father, my physical surroundings become much less important. You should see my ugly, outdated kitchen. Old, even bumpy counter in one spot. A tile floor with edges of tile missing. Worn cabinets. It’s okay. I mention it, because I’m okay with it. I put my energy in to an upward relationship with Christ and an outward relationship with others. Yet, if cleanliness was close to Godliness, I would be a failure even according to your standards, Pamela. When I go to visit someone else’s house I look into their eyes and ask how they and their family are doing. I also like to share how I/we are doing? I am 1/8 American Indian. Can you imagine my visiting your tepee home and commenting on your nice dirt floor?
    I read a book by a photographer called (Material World). In it, there was a woman who lived in a Yurt. She stored her plain wooden counters under their beds! When she wanted to cut vegetables, she pulled them out and put them on top of the beds. Chop, Chop. Dinner is ready!

  • 1. I am definitely a quarrelsome wife.
    2. Not too bad, but could always do more.
    3. Hmmm, even a stopped clock is right twice a day?

  • Pamela Hand

    I have a lot of hardwood floors now and I like it that way. Ripped up ancient green carpet years ago, hardwood floor underneath. We have one area only and a set of steps that are carpeted a grey/brown color. I recommend this color. Hides a lot. I vacuum less than you, Pamela. Don’t ask. I decided to vacuum recently because the electric baseboard turned on and they smell awful if there is too much dust on them. On several occasions, I found my dog noticing the dust on the heaters and licking them clean! We laughed about that one!

    • Oh, Pamela, I know it is a sin to covet. But I do like the sound of hardwood floors. Perhaps I could get our dog Martha to help clean the dust off of the floors in my home.
      Yes, that would be funny to see a dog licking the heaters clean. Warm dust must be a treat.

  • La McCoy

    so get rid of the carpet when you can afford it.

    • Yes, is it on my list. And I have a good friend who does floors. So, at least I don’t have to worry about who to trust.

  • Janelle

    Your comment link worked great from my email. Good job.

    I’d like to know whoever thought white carpet was a good idea? Whether you have cats or not!

    • Janelle, thank you for letting me know the comment button worked!
      And who ever invented white carpets must also be selling them. What kind of floor do you have in your home? With all the animals and living on a farm I suspect you have dark brown carpets or wood floors.

  • A quote I like – don’t know the author of it: A clean house is a sign of a wasted life. Whenever you replace your carpet, get something darker. It will hide things better :^)

    • Oh, Eva, I love that quote.
      Well, I am not wasting my life. Why vacuum every day? Really, why keep the house so clean that you have no time to write?

  • Christa Sterken

    Is honesty still the best policy? If I am going to be less clean, I wonder I am free to fib a bit about it too 🙂 You know Pamela, I am glad you are speaking to this. I love you regardless of your house (and I can’t wait to visit it) and I love to see people set free from things. I like to keep things clean but that doesn’t make me better or worse. We have so much value that has nothing to do with these appearances