Our Biblical Responsibility
The biblical responsibilities of women in the home has never changed according to God's word. But for a period of time society tarnished what God saw as perfect in-regards to a woman’s role within her home and I believe the feminist agenda (I will discuss this topic in the future) and the promotion of girl power are held partly responsible.
Could it be that negative perceptions about homemaking are finally fading? According to this 2015 Time Magazine article, I’m One of the 56% of American Mothers Who ‘Prefer’ to Stay Home the tide is changing and more and more women are embracing homemaking once again.
If you frown upon homemakers I’m here to tell you that homemaking is a respectable role in God’s eyes – it's a blessing, not a curse. Keep reading to find out why.
My mother who I would consider one of the strongest women I know along with my father who has a heart of gold instilled the importance of excelling in everything I do to include sports, school, career, etc.
Growing up I watched my mother work full time as an enlisted soldier in the U.S Army and never once did she neglect her homemaking responsibilities while raising two children.
She went above and beyond to manage her home and took on tasks that many would consider manly such as mowing and edging her beautifully manicured lawn, painting the outside of the house when needed, and meticulously washing and detailing her car on weekends.
I want to iterate that my father did his share as well, but there were certain tasks my mother found therapeutic and a joy like yard work. I’m sure she inherited the desire of taking care of home and children from my late grandmother who did a phenomenal job.
One of my most favorite childhood memories is my mother preparing homemade chicken and dumplings from scratch after having a hard week at work and making her infamous baked banana pudding upon request even if exhausted.
Not only that, but she and my father made sure to plan family outings and get-togethers on the weekends. Our family was not perfect, but I felt well-loved as a child and I never lacked anything.
Still to this day she is an incredible mother and pursues excellence in everything she does. For example, instead of resting her bones after spending 27 years in the military she went on to obtain her teaching degree and now is a highly regarded 4th grade teacher when most teachers are enjoying retirement at her age.
Between school, church, ministries, side businesses, housework, traveling, tending to two very spoiled but loved dogs, and making time for her grandchildren my mother’s endurance puts mine to shame. Did I tell you she's fashionable too?
Often times when I visit my parents I can find my mother shampooing the carpets or making lesson plans for the upcoming week. She keeps herself busy which leaves me no excuse to slack on my wifely duties. Even a recent injury to her wrist didn’t stop my mother from cleaning the house.
And although I know she needs rest, she’ll never settle down until she’s given everything her best.
A Change of Heart
As you just read I grew up in a household where taking care of your home is considered a virtue. So why did my perception of homemaking become skewed as a young adult?
Throughout my young adult life I equated homemaking to privileged women who did minimal chores, watched television after sending their children off to school then going on lunch dates with girlfriends. Be it television shows, magazines, or society as a whole my view of homemaking became grossly distorted.
This is why it's important to guard your heart and to be mindful of what you read, watch, and listen to. We are heavily influenced by our surroundings be it positive or negative.
Please check out the YouTube video titled Stay at home mom vs working? What should I be Doing?! by Jady A. This phenomenal wife and mother gives an edifying perspective on homemaking that puts my preconceived notions to rest.
Also, if homemaking is something you are passionate about I recommend subscribing to her channel. You will not be disappointed!
On my own
When I left my parents at the age of 20 to continue my undergraduate degree over 2,000 miles away I had the maturity to lease my first apartment with my best friend. It was the first time I felt like a bonafide, real adult.
By nature I am a neat freak so I always kept a clean home and because I loved eating I enjoyed cooking. I took pride in my independence and knew I would make a good wife one day. Thanks Mom!
Although, I maintained my home responsibly something inside of me never wanted to be a homemaker. I had no desire to be a stay at home wife and mother. I preferred to get my gratification from a real career, not from homemaking. I often fantasized of taking reigns as CEO for a major corporation. Well, let's just say that never happened.
Yes, I wanted a family, but having a successful career was just as important, if not slightly more. I believed that any able bodied wife and or mother should contribute to the household by working outside of the home.
Two incomes are always better than one right? My perception was warped by outside influences that contradicted the bible.
Little did I know that God had another plan for me opposite of what I envisioned. And it took a very difficult trial during my marriage to reveal the desire God had for me and it changed my heart about homemaking completely.
Where is Home?
When I got married I had no idea the amount of moving I would do. I remember telling friends when I was still in the service that I did not want to marry someone in the military because of the moving that is required. It’s down-right exhausting!
So, I married someone who never joined. But God has a funny way of fulfilling His will in my life. I’ve been married five years now and my husband and I have had 7 addresses. Go figure!
Every time I thought we were settled, we moved again. All the moving and trials we were going through led me to my online ministry. For once in my life I had a deeper purpose for not working outside the home –helping women to become virtuous women. And in that purpose I discovered the blessings of homemaking. Yes, the very thing I said I would never enjoy has become a passion.
In the past I dreaded cleaning, but did it anyway because I’m OCD and enjoyed cooking only because I loved eating, but now I do these things because it blesses my home and honor’s God. I do it because I love my husband and I also want house guests to feel at home the moment they enter.
So, where is home? Home is exactly where my family and I reside at the present moment. It doesn’t have to be a place where we’ve settled roots. We can make home anywhere.
Whether we live in a grand house or a tiny apartment I am passionate about harnessing my homemaking skills and creating an atmosphere my family and I can enjoy each and every day.
It's a blessing to have a place to call home when so many people are in need of a bed to lay their head down at night. Let's not take God's mercy and grace for granted.
Most of all I know my obedience honors God. And if I'm led outside the home again even if for a short season I will never neglect my homemaking obligations. I can do both and my mother's testimony is living proof that I am more than capable.
What Homemaking Entails
First and foremost homemaking involves being grateful that God has trusted you to be caregivers of loved ones and good stewards of all He has given you.
Second, it involves utilizing the special gifts and talents God has blessed you with to help create a loving home. If you can't cook, I'm sure you do other things well like maybe running a successful home based business. If you're a lousy seamstress, maybe you're a fantastic gardener. We all have something and if you're unsure ask God to reveal it to you.
I know we all get tired and overwhelmed, but homemaking should never be thought as a burden. When you make it a burden it steals your joy and motivation. When you feel overworked make sure to take time out for yourself to decompress.
Regardless of what society presses on our spirit homemaking is a charge we women are called to do whether we are single or married with a family. The bible gives great examples of homemakers and women who are homemakers and workers outside the home.
The article, Work: The Woman's Perspective discusses this subject matter concisely.
There are many physical elements that encompass homemaking and we women excel in different areas, but here are a few facets:
- Rearing children
- Running a home business
- Sewing clothes for the family
- Tending to livestock
- Preparing family meals
- House Cleaning
- Paying the bills
- Handling household finances
- Homeschooling children
- Taking care of elderly family members
- Leading home bible study groups
- Gardening/yard work
- Sewing linens and curtains
I want to make it clear that you don’t have to be an expert in all of these areas. Each household is different and should be tailored to the needs of your family.
For example, I don’t have any children as of yet (update, we will be welcoming in our first born August 2018), but I have plans to homeschool them. I’m not a seamstress, but I know how to mend, sew buttons, and reupholster seat cushions and ottomans. I don’t have livestock to tend to, but we do have a family dog.
The point is that you do the very best you can with what you have and up to your capabilities. Try not to compare yourself to others. Not everyone is a Martha Stewart prodigy or has her money and resources, but God examines the heart – that's most important.
Lastly, I want to mention that you DON’T have to be a stay at home wife and or mother to be considered a homemaker. Even if you work an outside 9 to 5 job you can delve into homemaking duties when you come home. Remember, Homemaking doesn't make you a Superwoman, but it can help make you a virtuous woman.
–Call to Action–
What are your thoughts about wives and or mothers choosing to work from home rather than outside the home?