Homemaking

Keepers At Home — Pt. 3

Paul wrote to Titus, instructing him on local church function and structure. We discover there that the older women are to be teaching the younger women to, among other vital things, be keepers at home. This indicates two things: 1.) we will not automatically know how to keep a home and 2.) it is important to God that we learn.

Homes are built.


    The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. Proverbs 14.1

We can, according to this verse, build or tear down our home. One is considered wise, the other foolish. The choice is ours. We build with wisdom and understanding.

    By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. Proverbs 24.3,4

We find wisdom and understanding in the Word of God. We walk in the light of such wondrous knowledge by the power of the Holy Spirit. We apprehend such power through faith. And faith comes from the Word of God.

Guess it looks like this: we need the Word of God in our lives if we hope to build homes.

What does this mean our homes will look like? Does the Word of God paint a clear picture? Are we all supposed to be making whole wheat bread — with fresh milled flour, no less? Should our homes be lavish or simple? Are kids to be homeschooled, unschooled, public schooled? Do we need to have guests at every meal? None? How should we celebrate holidays? What does the Bible prescribe regarding all of these things?

I want to suggest that every home will look different in the details. In fact, it will be impossible to have your home look just like your neighbor’s home. To begin with the people in it are different, and one thing I know — God delights in creativity, making each one of us entirely unique. I, for one, am happy about that. But that means that necessarily what you bring to your home will be unique, entirely different from any other.

So, throw out your conception of “cookie cutter” home. Only in magazines can they all look so identical, so indistinguishable, so sterile, actually. Those picture perfect settings lack a sense of “life”, a touch of reality and originality that comes from healthy people creating and affecting their space. Sad to say, we are becoming more and more inclined to think a home should look like Pottery Barn or Better Homes and Garden “House of the Year”.

I’ve heard women say that they are not creative. Here’s a case in point that underscores our need for the Word to bring understanding, our dependence upon the Holy Spirit to equip us for walking in revealed truth, and the exigence for faith which comes from hearing the Word of God. My Bible says that these women were created in His image, the image of the Creator of all things. Hmmm. I don’t know what that means to you, but it tells me that we were all endowed with creativity. Our problem arises when we categorize and quantify creativity through our vain comparisons. We often look at the home down the street and covet that woman’s talent instead of appreciating and developing our own God-given abilities. Your creativity may come in the form of organization rather than decorating. Or cooking rather than fashion. Science may be discussed around your table more often than music. Or perhaps you would rather read a new novel and be moved by that story.

All to say, your management style may differ from your sister’s, your decor may not look like Pottery Barn, your approach to cooking won’t be the same as your friend’s. That is okay! The Word of God does not define the particulars; it deals with principles. And most of those principles deal with people, not surroundings. Our emphasis on the physical is a distraction from the essential. Let’s rearrange our priorities!

Learn how to love, how to deal with conflict, how to honor your parents, how to live in an orderly way, how to manage finances responsibly, how to provide physical nourishment and protection. These are some of the concepts taught in the Word.

But how will these principles look when applied? It will differ. The “how” is not as important as the “doing”. For instance, having order is a Biblical precept for living but how you accomplish order will be different than how I accomplish order. Honoring my mom and dad may mean providing the best bed in the house when they come for a visit. If this honestly is not what your parents want, then you need to honor them by providing what blesses them most. Your husband may want his closet arranged in a certain way. That same method may not meet my husband’s needs. This is where creativity comes in to play. Take the principles from the Word, observe others for the purpose of gleaning ideas, and then apply what you’ve learned accordingly — tweaking, inventing, and altering as needed to fit the unique combination of personalities and circumstances of your home.

Here is a little ditty I learned somewhere that kind of sums it up:

    Methods are many; principles are few.
    Methods often change; principles never do.

Don’t be afraid to borrow from others, but don’t be confined by what you see either. Learn to use what works for you, to eliminate the distractions, to be who God has made you to be! He has made you wonderful!

Discussion

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  1. THANK YOU! Once again….this helps so much! Often times I feel like I’m not cutting it because I am unable to do the things I would like to do….but in actuality, if I just take a look at my family’s needs….I’m not doing as bad as I think I am. Comparison can be VERY dangerous!

    Posted by Angela Agans | December 8, 2008, 6:37 am
  2. Thanks for sharing! Always refreshing.

    Posted by Michelle | December 9, 2008, 8:20 am
  3. Really good advice Darlene.

    Posted by Paula Haller | July 20, 2009, 6:58 pm