Giving Back Program

This is the bimonthly email resource for parents in the Giving Back to God Program. Where we focus on different ways we can give our time back to God. This monthly focus is on cleaning. Cleaning hears, minds and actions.

Clean Hearts, Minds and Actions

Using our time to clean things up

This month we are going to be focusing our time, and talents towards cleaning up. With Earth day coming up on April 22nd there will be lots of opportunities. Cleaning up can mean so many things, depending on your children and their age. But I want to think about how Christ has cleaned our hearts. As humans we are wicked and evil, and our hearts are full of sinful things. Through the power of the blood of Jesus we are made clean. Do we still sin, Yes absolutely. We see this in our kids every day. We tell them the right thing, we show them the right thing, and yet they sin. As parents we need to look to Christ to see his forgiveness and his ability to see people as clean.

Matthew 23:25-28(NIV)

25 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.


There are many reasons why we clean things up.

  1. God has made us a steward of our things. We are to care for them and respect them.

  2. God has given us this earth to care for and use correctly.

  3. God told us to honor our father and mother and to obey them.

  4. Cleaning can keep us healthy. When we wipe away the dirt and messes we are preventing germs from getting into our bodies. 

  5. Cleaning can keep us safe. If there is an emergency, we need to be able to move quickly. If there are toys and junk on the floor then moving quickly can cause more injuries. By stepping on things, falling on or over things, by tripping on things.

Children need to hear the reasons behind why we tell them to do things. Yes, there is a place for listening because ‘I said so’. But God is our example, he has given us an instruction book. The Bible is God telling us what is best for us and why it is best for us. He shows us examples from the past, he tells us rewards from the future, and he tells us that we are better off listening to his words so we can live long and healthy.  He is the most high God who is worthy of all praise, power, respect and honor and yet he meets us on our level.


There are many moments in everyday life that you can talk about cleaning. Some of them pop up naturally, others you may have to bring into being.

-While going for a walk notice some trash on the ground. Ask:  Is the ground clean if there is one piece of trash on the ground? If just one piece of trash is on the ground, is it a lot? One piece is not a lot, it is easy to clean up even, but one piece of trash on the ground makes that place not clean anymore. Like that, when we sin- just one sin. WE ARE NO LONGER CLEAN. We have all sinned, whether a lot or a little, we are unclean and separated from God. However, when he saves us, he now views us as being clean. When we clean up the ground, the next person who sees the ground sees it as never being dirty before.

-When you have your kids wash their hands at the sink, ask how dirty they think their hands are. Have them look, sometimes they can see the dirt, but most of the time they don’t look too dirty. Have them start washing their hands, make lots of bubbles. What color do the bubbles turn? Are they brown and dirty? Just because something looks clean, doesn’t mean that there is no dirt. 

-How many times do we have to clean the dishes, or take out the trash, or do laundry? We have to do it over and over again. You can’t do laundry one time and it is done, you do it every week, or for some every day. Wouldn’t it be so nice to do the dishes once and be done with it forever?! Yes, but that is not how it works. Because we keep using the dishes, or we keep wearing clothes. When you make it dirty, you have to clean it up. When we sin, we are to ask God to forgive us. EVERY TIME. I can’t just say it one time and be done with it forever. I have to continually keep coming to God when I sin and asking him to forgive me. He will clean our hearts and we are new again. 


Here are some scripture verses that tell us about what it means to be clean. What God sees as clean is not always what we are doing. But if we listen and obey then we have a chance to make things right.

Psalm 51:10 ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.’

Proverbs 20:9 ‘Who can say, I have made my heart clean. I am pure from my sins?’

John 15:3 ‘Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.’

Psalm 19:9 ‘The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgements of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.’

Isaiah 1:16 ‘Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes;cease to do evil;’

Mark 1:41 ‘And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.’

Luke 11:39 ‘And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.’

Psalm 51:2 ‘Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.”


Genesis 2:15 ‘The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.’


To Forgive:

This is a key part of God making us clean, but in turn we are to forgive others as well.

Matthew 6:12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’

Luke 11:4 ‘And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive everyone that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptations; but deliver us from evil.’

1 John 1:9 ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’


Like I mentioned earlier, cleaning up means so many things. Cleaning up physical trash, cleaning up clutter, cleaning off germs, cleaning our minds, cleaning our hearts, and cleaning our schedules.

Here are some activities you can do with your kids this month…

1. Clean your room- go through your toys with a mission. Can this toy bring someone else joy? Giving yourself a mission to bring joy to someone else will bring joy to you as well. This is not a mission of guilt, but rather becoming aware of what we have and what others could use.

2. Clean your schedule of clutter- we become so busy with so many activities. (not so much right now with the virus going around) Talk with your kids about what activities they truly want to continue doing. What activities would it be nice to stop? What is your reasoning for continuing or canceling?

3. Clean your schedule- Fun activity: if you could create your own schedule for a day what would it look like? Block it out, color code it, put pictures to it. What events would you schedule for the whole year? Have them get creative, pick fun things, pick funny things. Create a flyer for your imaginary event.

4. Clean up physical trash- get outside and clean something up. Clean up trash on your own property. Find a local park that has trash. Contact an elderly relative that may have some clean up for you to do. Find a non profit organization that may need a clean up. Participate in Property Work Day at Bucks Church.(April 4th)

5. Clean up the earth- Earth day is coming up April 22nd. Check out websites to find a community wide clean up day, make a difference in a local park. Or participate in a nation wide clean up.

6. Clean off dirt- make it a game. Using painters tape or masking tape, make a box on the floor. Give your kids a broom and balls of paper. Have them sweep the balls into the squares on the floor. Get creative by having different colored balls and squares. Make it a competition between kids- who can sweep the fastest?

7. Cleaning our hearts- Ask a question to your kids. If you could bring three movies to a deserted island, what would you bring? (obviously you couldn’t actually watch them, but it is more interesting to think about) Once they have given you their options ask them what the movie is about? Are those things on the list of Proverbs 4:8 ‘Whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of a good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.’

8. Clean the mess- work as a family to clean up one area or multiple areas. Set a timer for 5 minutes, and everyone does their part for the full 5 minutes. It is surprising how much can get cleaned up in 5 minutes, and it gives the kids an understandable end time. Set a timer and wait for it to ring!

9. Cleaning advertisement- tell your kids that they will be making a how to video, or an advertisement for how to clean at your house. See their funny creativity to convince others to clean your house. As the parent, you are the director and cameraman. Enjoy it

10. Clean your house- make a loved board game into a chore game. Each space is a job that needs to be done in the house. Some can be done as a group. Or have everyone do a job in between each round being played.