(Picture from Pinterest)
This is a subject that has been mulling in my head for months. My main problem is getting it into an understandable script! I know what I mean, but a concept like freedom at home is difficult to explain in a culture inundated with the word "free".
In today's discussion I will use the word to mean the act of giving freely of your time and effort, and it may be more easily explained in a video.
Things that were once exclusive to the home are now available elsewhere. No longer does a person expect to have a sweater knit by his mother, most meals at home at the table with family members, social life provided by close relatives, good teaching, the development of personal talents and skills and spiritual training from the home.
All the things a woman "used to do" , from grammar-teaching to vegetable gardening have been given a lot of competition in the commercial world.
Consider the things that are provided out of free will and love at home by the woman:
First Aid and Comfort to the Sick
Hospitality to her family and others
Soother of hurts and woes
Earning money by her own handmade products
Beds, breakfasts, overnight stays
Tour guide and driver
Aid to the poor, the lonely and the troubled at heart.
A worker in the local church, helping with women's and children's Bible classes, weddings, memorial services, and family reunions.
Compare how the commercial side of life has created many of the products and good works the woman at home does for her family. All the things in this list are produced by some one else, for sale. Who needs the women at home?
Because everything she provides is provided by other sources, she (or others) may feel it is not necessary for her to be home. After all, what is the difference between buying these things and providing it all voluntarily out of the goodness of your heart at home?
Here is why I call this "double jeopardy."
A woman who is content at home is bonding with her family by all that she does with them and for them. One day a child will fondly recall the special family meals and celebrations, the family inside-jokes, hand-knit sweaters, home-made clothes and quilts.
*If she gives in to the pressure to go to work outside the home, she gives up her time.
*In return for her time she is given money.
*Because she is no longer home providing goods and conveniences, she spends the money on things.
(I doubt she gives it all to a local charity or to the church. She has to now buy every good and service she used to provide with her own hands.)
*Because she has no time for homemaking, everything the family requires in the home has to be bought.
*These things are produced elsewhere by other people or robots.
*These things do not bond her to her loved ones, they only create a detachment. There will never be the same fondness for a manufactured gift as a hand-made item.
*I call this double jeopardy because her burden is double when she goes to work.
*The woman leaves her home where everything she did was a free-will offering. She then is rewarded with wages, but she has to spend them on the way home from work to provide the comforts she once freely supplied when she was at home.
*Her work place and co-workers become her social life. She no longer has time for family life or church life or old friends.
*While in the home full time she was free to pursue interests, outdoor activities, etc. without regulation. At work, she is regulated.
*She loses the time with her loved ones. She loses the time formerly spent on thoughtful care of her family. She loses the money she traded her time for. She loses her talents because she has no time to create and practice her skills. She is robbed several times over. It is hard to explain why this is so confusing, partly because most people do not see it as confusing, but as a simple exchange for wages. Real, natural life is not that complicated. It takes mankind to create this double jeopardy and make women think they are not trading anything or giving up anything.
What may seem simple to some people, is a tragedy to the thinking, spiritual, creative woman.What was once given freely from the heart is now purchased from someone else (or a robot) from money got by working for someone else (or maybe a robot). How impersonal can this way of life be?
Compare this to the sweet days at home. Even in hard times, the home has richness, the family has bonding and loyalty. The string that links the woman's heart to theirs is weakened when she leaves the home to work for someone else.
This does not have to be so. The world will go on beckoning to the women that they have something for her, but she needs to ask what the price will be in exchange. A whole day's work for a wage that is immediately spent on things that a day at home could provide, at less expense.
Ladies, this does not have to happen. Just because there is work out there, and just because there are products and services, does not mean you have to give up your home life for it. The world will not stop doing it, so there is no use trying to put a stop to the replacement of the woman's homemaking skills. What you can do is refuse to take part in it. Here are some ways to do this:
*Enjoy being home but enjoy being with your family when away from home.
*Have your own dinner theatre, your own poetry readings (make up your own poems) and fashion shows (sew your own clothing or do something creative with thrift store clothing)
*Make your own family videos to enjoy watching later. By the time you collect a few, it will take an entire evening to watch them. They can be instructional, entertaining, or family history.
*With your family's art work, create your own art gallery and invite your family and friends as guests, serving them your own healthfully prepared snacks.
*Make meals from natural products, with your own hands. Have your own family cooking shows.
*Make your own cards instead of buying commercial. Be happy to sit at home and write a letter to someone.
*Write your own stories in little folded papers and have your own family book reviews.
*Become candidates for mayor, garden planning, and country council in your own home. If you have older children, this is an absorbing activity and helps improve the place.
*Hang washed laundry on the line when possible. It gives clothes a fresh scent, and the sun sanitizes them. There is a lot more to this activity than putting clothes in the dryer, that is for sure. You just have to experience it yourself, as it is difficult to explain.
*Have your own county fair. We have done this before. Everyone prepares and entry, blue ribbons are hand made, and cash prizes are provided.
*Go on walks. Rest more. Play more. Partake of the tea ceremony.
*Plan trips within a reasonable distance and take a travel-diary with you. There are all kinds of ways of making it more than it seems.
*Go to antique stores and re-sale stores and look for things of interest that are not being made anymore.
*Learn new skills. I know a family whose children grew up learning something new each month and today those grown children can do just about anything or they will figure out how.
*Write your own songs and make up your own music. Guitars and fiddles are more portable than pianos, and everyone can have one, and play together.
Learn to sing acapella and get used to singing in harmony. What you hear constantly blasted in public places is so dismal. We can do better; much, much better. Even a child can make up a song and sing it better. We can even write new hymns for our families to sing.
*The home is so varied, you can teach your children how to run a restaurant, a bakery, a shop or a ship. For a few years, we used the back porch as our shop, supplying it with items we no longer used, or new things we made. Our friends shopped there too.
*Pretend to be housekeepers and gardeners. Its a wonderful way to keep the place in shape.
*Hire your friends to provide services and products, or trade.
There you have it, ladies. You don't have to trade your time for wages and your wages for things, You don't have to give up being the lady of the house, residing gracefully at home.
To those who say they need to go to work for "a backup plan" I say, God already gave us our backup plan in the family unit. Of course, there are those who want you to think there is no other back up plan than whatever they provide, because they want your time and your money.
He has graciously provided the family as the ideal way of making a life and creating provision. The husband and father should be appreciated for all he does to provide for the home so that the wife can stay home and manage frugally. When the man and woman are interdependent rather than independent. he provides and she protects his provision, fiercely guarding his earnings so that they don't go to the spoiler.
I do not need to remind you of the many places in the Bible that show the importance of the women in the home. They provide the stability and reassurance the men need after working out there in that crazy world. One lady said, "The working world was making my husband and me crazy, so I quit work. I figured there was no sense in both of us being crazy." Her time was quickly filled up keeping the home. There is a lot more to it than people know and the only way to understand it all is to do it yourself.
As we are so accustomed to having everything on demand, it will be an adjustment to slow down and let the home be the center of life, but we can at least try one small thing mentioned here and see if it will not bring a sense of well-being.
This is not to say a woman has to make every stitch of the family clothing, grow crops for food or cook every meal. The point of the message was to avoid the control over her life by those people outside the home who think she should be regulated, with the sly offer of money as a reward; money which will never ever compensate for what she is giving up.
At home she is not robbed of her time, the family money, or things. Once she leaves, she gains nothing except the "opportunity" to qualify for a larger mortgage.