Welcome to part 2 of our panel discussion on the topic of being workers at home as described in Titus 2:4-5. If you missed part 1, read it here.
“Homemaking – being a full-time wife and mother – is not a destructive drought of uselessness but an overflowing oasis of opportunity; it is not a dreary cell to contain one’s talents and skills but a brilliant catalyst to channel creativity and energies into meaningful work.”
- Dororthy Patterson, Where’s Mom?
2. Why do you believe it is important to be a worker at home and what benefits/rewards has it provided for you?
Scarlett: I want to be here and available to nurture, feed, rock my babies, read to my children, guide them, train them, discipline them, provide healthy meals for my family, provide a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere for my husband, manage my home, take care of repairs, bills, organize, clean, prepare gifts for others, read the Bible, school them, be knowledgeable about natural methods for healthcare, study what interests me, knit/crochet/embroider, make cards, sew, to name a few. Learning to simplify life, learning to give more generously of myself and my time. All this takes time and energy. I find that staying home allows me to pursue these skills that will benefit my family and others, it also saves us money by not going all over town, driving and shopping.
Michele: Above all, I need to be available for my family’s needs. I am called to provide physical nourishment through healthy meals and spiritual nourishment through biblical encouragement. When I am home on a daily basis, I can follow the instruction of Deuteronomy 11:18-21, which instructs me to teach my children the word of God throughout the day.
The responsibility for teaching our children ultimately belongs to the parents (not just “Sunday School,” for example). God has entrusted these little lives to us, and I believe we need to seek His wisdom as we take every opportunity to share life with them. These little ones notice everything; think of how much more of an impact will we have on their lives, if we strive to model a Christlike character for them in everyday situations, than just during “lesson times!”
As a keeper of my home, I am called to manage the affairs of my home faithfully. When doing so, I have the opportunity to impart homekeeping skills to my children. I am also providing a foundational home environment, that supports my husband’s calling to provide for his family.
Marliss: It is important to be a stay-at-home mother because the hearts of our children are easily seduced by outside influences. They should be turned to their parents, especially their fathers, and that is the mother’s responsibility. Proverbs 6:20-23 “My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck. When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee. For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life.” And of course-the nurturing that comes so easily to us as mothers.
Michelle F: I like to use the word “homemaker” or “keeper” rather than “stay at home” only because the world has such negative thoughts toward women who stay at home. Like all they do is of little value. The very opposite is true. I have the amazing and challenging and rewarding privileges of molding lives, leading souls to Christ, helping my husband and children excel in everything they do. Creating a joyful, safe, spiritual training ground for the kingdom of God. The home is a place for the people I love to grow in Christ and in managing life and relationships with love. The home is the foundational place of both home and state. In the home a woman is imprinting herself upon the man. This should make us fear and tremble before God that we would be a Godly helper, builder, guard, teacher, influencer and nurturer.
As we “keep the home” anyone can tell and be told what to do and when to do it. It takes much more of a creative mind, love, and the discipline of Christ to manage a household. The home is where we learn to live biblical principles, manage money and conflicts with Christian principles and love. A well ordered home is one of lifes greatest treasures and it is also a qualification for leadership in the church. Home is where leaders are made, watered, and grown. When you begin to see your worth in eternal treasure (investing in others) and not in physical treasure (things here on earth, money) you will want to invest effort and time into your home and when you do this you will want to be there and so will others. Your home is not your own personal pleasure and playground, but rather it is for God’s glory and the benefit of others.
Col 3:2 “Set your mind on things above not on things here on earth” – Being out of the home can often lead to discontentment which can lead to setting our minds here on this earth. Lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, boastful pride of life. Prov 31:27 “She watches over the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” When we work outside the home it can leave us tired, our energy drained from the workplace. Which leads to not “looking well to the ways of our household” as we tend to get lazy and idle, and not watching, guarding, or keeping. The Proverbs 31 woman was busy at home. This is what is required of us, using the resources our husbands provide through God to build the home.
We need to look at the heart issue of “at home”. Many women stay home and yet do not “keep” the home. Working is not the heart issue. Are you doing everything possible in the home or do you have idols like television, reading too many books, being on the phone excessively, computer, e-mailing, or reading blogs? You can spend just as much time on these things in the home as you could working outside the home. Be careful to keep your heart tender and drawn to home. Use the safeguards of Scripture to keep yourself busy building not indulging in personal pleasures. Physically staying at home does not qualify anyone as a homemaker.
Stay tuned for part 3…
Upcoming questions for this series include: What are your thoughts on earning income from home and do you have any creative ideas for doing so? Do you have any advice for women whose husband’s have lost their jobs? Do you have any resource recommendations on this topic or that might be helpful in providing ideas on earning income from home?