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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Heart for your Home

As we have studied Elizabeth George's book A Woman After God's Own heart, we have learned about having a heart for our husband and our children. Now we're moving on to having a heart for our home. Our lifetime goals are in Titus 2:3-5. This will keep us busy for years understanding all these roles entail. As we take in this information, we need to turn right around and share it with someone else, because we're all older than someone. Younger watching women can get this not only from our talk, but also our walk.

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... We are to love our home. God is speaking to us, and the older women are to teach the younger women to be good managers of their household - homemakers, workers at home. It all starts with caring first for the people in our home, then it overflows into the place where we live.

God's instructions for home mangers:
1. She is to build her house. Proverbs 14:1 Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands. The wise woman is busy doing something - building her house. The foolish woman is busy too, but she is busy destroying her home with her very own hands. Prov. 9:1 A Christian woman should want to be known as a woman of wisdom. God is giving us Scripture that helps us see that wisdom builds her house.

We must build, or begin to build, to repair and set up a home. This is very active. Not only is the structure of the home and its upkeep our responsibility, but the family itself is included in this building. Home is a place, but home is all about people. A house is not always a home - it takes home building - the knitting together of family and the day to day routine of creating a happy and comfortable place for a family to live.
Where does a family live? In a home. Who is responsible for creating a loving atmosphere? The wife/mother. We must deliberately, purposefully build the atmosphere in our home. The home is the center of our family life - if there are no children, then that's the center where your marriage is. Our home ministers to our family than we can ever imagine.

Elizabeth shared the story of her husband as a seminary student having "the worst day possible." He went from one responsibility to another beginning early in the morning and going through the day and into the night. When he finally reached the door of his house, he opened it and literally fell in. He said, "I knew that if I could just get home, everything would be all right!" That's a place that is a haven. Home should be the one place on the earth where everything will be all right. That's our sphere - our responsibility, our role - to build the home.

Then there's the negative side of that. The foolish woman tears down her house. She is pulling it into pieces, destroying it, overthrowing it. She is a demolition team. There are several ways we can do that. We've all probably done some of this at one time or another.
  • Active working of destruction - Anger out of control that throws things, slams doors, slams dishes on the table, rips things up, tears things up. It can tear up a little heart and mind and it can destroy and ruin a person and a home.
  • Passive working of destruction - This is simply a failure to work - it's laziness! We're to be building; it's active. We're to work and work and work, build and build and build! We can pluck down our own home just by failing to do the work. We just never get around to it - paying a bill, doing the housework. We watch too much t.v. so things aren't getting done, or we're not home enough to accomplish the work. Proverbs 6:10, 11 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man. We have to be active to build that house. This is what wisdom will do.

We're on a assignment from God to build a house. We steer clear of every act, every hindrance that would interfere in building that home.

We must make a decision or a commitment to build, or begin to build. It's not too late! The enemy would want you too think it's too late and it won't make any difference, but that's not true! We can begin any day. Maybe we've been having a bad day and have been lax or lazy, but even today you can start to make the positive decision to move forward and stop any behavior that is destroying your home or your family.

We can daily do at least one thing to build our home. Walk through your house and do one thing. Elizabeth said she learned that making the bed is crucial because it takes up 85% of the visual image of the bedroom. If nothing else is clean in the room, doing that task alone will make things look like you're a good manager!

Walk through your home and take notice of what needs to be fixed, what needs to be repaired, and then deal with it!

2. She is to watch over her home. Proverbs 31:27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. This means to build a hedge around your home. Stake it out - attend to it, watch over it, make sure of it! The husband provides, but she protects that home. Watch over the health, safety, the food, the money, the bookkeeping. Watch for the unexpressed attitudes in the family members so you know how to pray for them.

What a relief to the husband to know that someone is watching over the home. Jonathan Edwards said of his wife Sarah that he could trust everything to the care of Mrs. Edwards with entire safety and with undoubting confidence... One day while Jonathan Edwards was studying, he raised his head from his books and asked her, "Isn't it about time for the hay to be cut?" She answered, "It's been in the barn for two weeks." By the time he even thought about it, she had cared about it two weeks prior! What do we need to be doing for our husband in order to keep him from having to deal with the watching over the home? This is our God-given responsibility. We're moving through life and taking care of our family and the home in which they live.

We need to make a decision to begin to watch over the house. It needs more than a glance. Daily begin eliminating idleness. Our time needs to be spent, not idled away.

3. We need to be managing our home. I Timothy 5:14 - I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. This is God's good, better, best for these woman. Verse 13 says that these young woman had been going from house to house being busy bodies. Instead, he said it was best for them to marry again and manage a home. She is a steward and manager, but not the head of the household - that is her husband's responsibility. Martin Luther said, "The greatest blessing is to have a wife to whom you may entrust your affairs." The heart of her husband safely trusts in her. Proverbs 31:11 We need to stay home and be building something of value. Make a decision to take the management of your home seriously.

You don't leave the house in shambles, and go to the church to do a ministry. This is God's training ground. The person who is faithful in the little things will be given much. We take care of the priority people and place first, then we go to the church and do our ministry there. That makes the older woman an example when we take care of our priorities first, then when we go to the church we have something to share!

Daily begin to live as though you are accountable! You are because all any body has to do is walk in your door and take one look. One picture is worth a thousand words. You're either managing that home, watching over it, or you're plucking it down eating the bread of idleness. We want to be that wise, wise woman!

On tomorrow's "Word to the Wise Wednesday" I'll share some of Elizabeth George's practical helps on applying this lesson to our every day lives.

See you tomorrow!

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