I grew up in the culture that most young girls live in today. A culture that encourages girls to surpass their gender roles to do and be anything. We were told that being a woman shouldn’t stop us from reaching our dreams and that we should work hard to meet, or even beat, the roles that most men take on.
This is all well and good…except when it diminishes the typical role of the woman: the homemaker. So often women see the role of the homemaker as something to be looked down upon. We straighten our back and put our chin to the air and proudly proclaim that we are better than that. We are educated, strong, self-sufficient women who have no place in that role.
Even in my adult life it has taken me a while to feel comfortable as a homemaker. Long days of cooking, laundry, cleaning, nursing the baby, teaching, raising kids (etc.) can leave me feeling exhausted and ready for a “real” job, so I find myself going to the only place I know that has all the answers: the Bible.
In recent weeks I have been scouring the scriptures to find out what God has to say about homemaking. Does He really care if our houses are well-kept? Does it matter to Him if I stay at home? Would I be more useful to the Kingdom working alongside my husband in the ministry?
All of these questions are important ones, and though the Bible may not give direct answers to each individual question, God’s heart and desire for the homemaker is clear.
…that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. Titus 2:5
Here we find a list of what young women should be taught and to be homemakers is found right in the midst of it. Not only is it important but it is necessary so that the word of God may not be blasphemed.
Proverbs 31:10-31 is a famous passage about the virtuous woman. It displays a beautiful picture of a woman’s relationship with her husband, her kids, her neighbors and even talks about her place in the home.
She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:27
Now, does this mean that the only way we can walk in the role of homemaker is to stay at home all the time and take care of all the housework? No, in fact I believe that working outside the home does not disqualify you from being a homemaker anymore than staying home makes you one, and you will certainly never find me putting up a fight when Phillip offers to watch the kids or cook supper.
You see, homemaking isn’t so much about the care of the home but the care of the people who reside in it.
A stay-at-home mom could spend all her time on the internet, watching tv or doing other activities and never interact with her kids. She could even spend all her time cleaning and making her house look nice, but miss all the wonderful moments that come along with the messes.
I don’t think God intended for us to obsess over every spec of dust or pile of laundry (though we should remember that the Bible warns against laziness-remember the bread of idleness- so we certainly shouldn’t slack on our responsibilities!). As homemakers, we are not making a home, but a family. We are investing in our husbands, our children, our relations with each other and our relations with the world. We are taking responsibility for the people God has put in our care.
As homemakers we are often in the position to choose how our families will live: what they will eat, how they will be taught or entertained, what their days will be filled with.
God’s purpose for the homemaker is not to make the home spotless, but to make it a place where His will and grace can abound.
Every time we cook a meal or fold laundry we are making it possible for our family to continue into a new day of service for the Lord.
Every time we cuddle or play we are paving the road our children will walk.
When we give our husbands an encouraging word, change a dirty diaper, or simply sweep the dirt off the floor, we are creating an environment of love, service and compassion.
Our families are the greatest gift (other than our salvation) and greatest ministry that we have here on this earth. If we make them a priority (whether we stay at home or work outside the home) and make it our goal to make a Christ-centered home, the outcome would be unbelievable.
Imagine your marriage built on Christ, love, and unity.
Imagine your kids with a passion for the Lord and the strength to say no to the world.
Imagine a home filled with peace.
Imagine your whole family on fire for the Lord.
Now imagine your church filled with families on fire for the Lord. Imagine the impact this would have on your schools, communities and the world.
Being a homemaker doesn’t sound like such a trivial task anymore does it?
So, whether you are a mom, a dad or a child; whether you stay at home, go to work, home school or send your kids to public schools; we must make our families a priority. We must be strong, courageous, unwavering and Christ-centered homemakers because Satan will do anything and everything to hurt, ruin, distract and destroy your family.
The world needs Jesus…
People need saving…
A change must happen…
And it all begins at home.