Homemaking

Keepers At Home — Pt. 2

    Titus 2.3-5 — The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
    That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
    To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. KJV
    home — the place where one has fixed his residence, one’s settled abode, domicile (from Strong’s concordance)

So the woman is to keep (to maintain in condition or order, as by care and labor: He keeps his car in good condition.) home. To be busy at home. To work at home. To be a home”maker”.

Apparently, home doesn’t just make itself. It isn’t instant, automatic. It requires work, busy-ness.

Does God’s inclusion of this instruction in the same list as modesty, loving children, and loving husband connote a certain importance? He concludes the list by noting that we should do these things so the Word of God might not be blasphemed. Well, that certainly brings a sense of sobriety to all of this, doesn’t it?

Another question: Does our modern day culture place that same emphasis on homemaking? Is a similar level of importance accorded to homemaking today in America? In other words, are we taught to “keep” home as a primary function along with loving husband and children?

We can find innumerable books, magazine articles, and television segments dedicated to time management, 20-minute menu ideas, “quality time versus quantity”, handling stress, juggling job and home, etc., all of which could be pointed to as proof positive that we are focused on home. But the very subject matter of these articles implies something different: homemaking has been relegated to a secondary position that is now squeezed in between other more important activities. A woman’s career, education, or money-making ability is most important. At the very least, she should give her life to some noble cause intended to relieve the world of hunger or pain, gaining some sort of acknowledgment for her good deed. And then — only then — somehow, somewhere along the line she should help her husband (if she has one) make a home utilizing streamlined, time-efficient methods. Bunk.

Bottom line: we’re being told “it’s all about me and my fulfillment”. This foundational premise is the antithesis of keeping home, an endeavor centered on a service for others who consider a certain place to be their abode, their residence. Keeping home may result in accolades — (Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Proverbs 31.28,29 NIV)
— but most likely you will not be showcased on a magazine cover or given a Christmas bonus. The rewards, instead, are simple but clear. Obedience to God brings Him pleasure. Service to your husband provides him a refuge. A healthy place of growth for your children is established. Around your table there is ample ministry (physical, emotional, and spiritual) freely shared with neighbors and friends. These are the benefits, the fulfillment, the joy, the reward.

Since creation the Hebrew culture has been home-centered. Judeo-Christian morality continues to promote this paradigm. Innumerable generations of Judeo/Christian homes have provided the core for family life and major life events. But today’s culture has shifted the center of living, the core of family life, away from the home. Major events once experienced at home now take place in institutions. At one time we welcomed babies into our world at home. We nursed family members to health at home. We celebrated weddings at home. We died at home. No longer — we have become institutionalized. Homes are now merely pit-stops for refueling, hotels for crashing, closets for storing. But they are not the hub for sharing life experiences.

Sharing momentous occasions intimately, consistently, is a powerful bond. Today, the “glue” that holds family together has been diluted; in many cases it has completely evaporated. The result is not surprising: broken homes, unstable individuals, shattered lives.

“It takes a heap o’ livin’ in a house to make a home…”

I believe that a culture that no longer promotes the keeping of home as a primary function is blaspheming the word of God. Individuals are responsible in spite of culture, no doubt, and will answer to God for their obedience or disobedience. But a culture as a whole either embraces Biblical paradigms of truth or rejects them. I want to strongly suggest that women (and men) flee from this culture’s idea of home and rediscover God’s plan. It is no small matter in His eyes.

Next time we will consider all that home is intended to be. It may not look familiar, but if it is His plan, it is good!

Discussion

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  1. Great post! I love reading on this topic while picturing all the home that you have made and kept. Powerful and exciting!

    Posted by danica | November 21, 2008, 7:13 am
  2. This is so very nice to pull up a cyber chair and be refreshed by your experience and wisdom. I really do appreciate you. I wrote a little on my blog last night about the struggles involved in being at home, feeling small, but knowing that He is pleased with me even still. It is so comforting to come by here and find you saying the same in agreement. It means so much. Much love to you and your family. I am so happy for all your family developments. God bless you all in this season of change! How exciting!

    Posted by Dee | November 22, 2008, 5:29 pm
  3. I truly do agree with all you have written and of course what God has provided through His word. So there is no argument whatsoever from me. However, I am a working mom who longs to be at home. My husband and I are Christians of about 4 years. I do wonder what advice you would give to those Christian moms who are working outside of the home. As of right now if I were to up and quit my job, I would be going against my husband’s wishes. Not that he doesn’t want me to be able to be at home, but because it is not feasible. He needs my help in this area. Maybe had we been Christians and known God’s word from the get go, we could have made our lifestyles different, but that is not our case. I have stored away in my mind your words from a previous post to the effect of where your heart is, there is your treasure (also from scripture). Knowing that my heart is at home. That has helped me get through all those feelings that come along with being a christian working mom. Proverbs 31 has also helped. But now the idea of blasphemey and disobedience brings tears to my eyes but I am unwilling to go against my husband. So, with the little bit of background I have provided, I do wonder what advice you may have for women like me. Because it is an everyday battle for me.

    Posted by Angela Agans | November 24, 2008, 8:37 am
  4. @ Angela
    The Lord most definitely wants to relieve you from guilt or oppression regarding the fulfillment of this command. Your obligation to your husband is real, and to be served out with joy. God will not require us to do something without grace to do so joyfully. So enter in freely and boldly!

    At the same time, if you continue to long for change, consider a timely appeal, or ask God for creative alternatives. He will provide either the time to introduce your appeal or the alternative for money making according to His plan.

    Meantime, you can do your best to make homemaking your chief interest, even if for now it may not receive your prime time and energy. You may need to curtail many other involvements or activities. But if you are saving as much time and energy as you can to give to your home, husband, and children, you are serving the Lord faithfully in this calling. We do all we can with what we have — the rest is up to Him!

    Angela, I pray that you will be blessed in your home and family — I’ve enjoyed hearing from you from time to time, and pray that our site might continue to be a blessing to you!

    Posted by Darlene Sinclair | November 24, 2008, 10:15 am
  5. Thank you so much. This really does help. I don’t want to give the wrong impression….I work with wonderful people and my boss is very gracious and understands my heart. I am fortunate. So it is easy for me to serve this portion of my life out with joy. I am also fortunate to have married a great guy who is constantly providing. He is also gracious and understands my heart. Since we have decided it is best for me to work….he is great about pitching in around the home. It is a different system then what the “norm” is, but it seems to work for us. So all the struggles I have are internally.

    I love your site and think your family is wonderful. I hope to meet everyone someday! I think we have a lot of mutal acquaintances so it may happen!

    Thank you for your prayer – and your site will always be a blessing!

    Posted by Angela Agans | November 24, 2008, 11:52 am
  6. Angela,
    Soon, I hope!

    Sounds like God is showing His faithfulness to you — I pray for His best to continue to be your portion!

    Thanks for the encouragement!

    Posted by Darlene Sinclair | November 24, 2008, 1:41 pm