singlemotherQ. I am a single mother of three. My neighbor stopped by yesterday and practically started preaching to me because my house wasn't clean. I love my kids and I work a full-time job. I think I should be given a little more respect and compassion, and I'm having a hard time forgiving her.

A. Maybe your neighbor was out of line to preach at you, but God can use all kinds of people to reach us when we need some correction. Keeping a clean house is everyone's responsibility for the sake of our health and the health of our children. We think clearer, we are emotionally more stable and we work more efficiently when our homes and workplaces are clean. Being a single mother is not an excuse for dirty living conditions, and as a mother, you have an obligation you to teach your children the importance of hygiene and cleanliness. If you teach them to love being clean and to do their share of picking up according to their ages and abilities, keeping house will become much more pleasant an enjoyable.

As for your neighbor, be humble. Be thankful that even if her heart was not in the right place, God used her to speak to you and help you change. It may hurt your pride, but if you start working on this now, you will be so glad you did.

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