Saturday, June 17, 2006

Honoring the Home

We can reason around the word "honor" and come up with our own reasons for rudeness or the spirit of dishonor in our lives. Some folks may, by their own reasoning, give excuses for mis-treating the house, leaving a mess, or damaging furniture. Others may find fault with those who appreciate good attitudes and manners, deliberately attempting to undermine these values. We've all had our share of people who rail against the house, the family, and the concept of the home. Yet, in spite of it, the home still stands as the bulwark of society.

Our homes and families are the most important asset of our nation. Rebellion in the home is actually a threat to our national security. Those who seek to conquer a nation will first seek to break down its strongest unit: the marriage and the family.

Keeping your house the most beautiful and peaceful that is possible within you, is well worth the cost of the backlash you may receive in our times of ridiculing mothers and undermining fathers, or running down the homemaker and dishonoring her role as teacher and homemaker. Emulating as closely as possible the Titus 2 woman, in whatever stage you are in, brings the most fulfillment. What else is there, that is better?

Arguing with people about the importance of the home as the center of society, is a waste of time. What we DO know is that the home was always intended by God to be the facilitator of values, of learning, of business, of religion, and of talents. Other institutions can claim to take over, but the home will always be the center of these things.

We recently had a ladies Bible class in which the Titus 2 example was discussed. Many wanted to find out if it was "okay" for women to leave their children and pursue careers. They had a lot of scenerios that seemed impossible to apply these scriptures to.

I finally concluded that I could not in good conscience teach that it would be wise for a woman to make her home second in importance, but that I COULD without hesitation, say that the Titus 2 example was a safe authority. "One thing we know for certain," I said, "Is that we CAN teach the roles and duties of older and younger women according to Titus 2.

We KNOW this is a safe guide." There will of course be less than ideal situations that occur in life, such as divorce, widowhood, or rebellious children. But, in all these, we can still lift of that standard of the woman as guide and guard of the home, or get as close as we possibly can to that standard.

There are some women who are wise enough to admit that although they did not do things that way, they will promote the good and right thing to do for others, and use their mistakes as warnings to other women. This is indeed honest and good, and they can only be blessed for doing this.

There are many people coming from more "enlightened" areas of society, such as the workplace or the universities, who seem to think they have a better plan for the family, but in spite of all their lofty talk, the ancient, tried and true way, is the only ideal that has and will withstand the test of time.

And so, if your life is sometimes in a turmoil, you have at least got your housekeeping!! I've found that in stressful times, I can easily bury myself in this, and come out cleaner and more organized than before. The organizing can truly settle the mind and give you creativity and ambition to do things like painting a picture, writing a book, organizing a tea society or a poetry group, or creating your own little business of encouraging other homemakers. The backlash against homemakers is really strong these days. Sometimes a cruel word can debilitate them for days, and they cannot function as well as they can. It is reassuring to them if they can have a friend who will come and encourage them in what they do.

I've just returned from nearly a month at my daughter's house, who is expecting her 4th child. She is in the early stages and not able to lift her head off the pillow sometimes, and I remembered how sick I was in the early days and I had little or no help. Sometimes just a clean kitchen and laundry that is caught up can help a sick person feel better. When she was able to sit, I would bring her drawers from the dressers and have her tell me how to sort them or what to take out to get rid of, and so forth. In a little less than a month, we have nearly sorted through every single closet and drawer and cabinet in her house. I felt more confidenct leaving her to come home, knowing that she would have less clutter to bother with, that her pantry and fridge were clean and organized, that her laundry room was functional, and that her children's toys and clothes were in order.

As in most things, it is always more interesting to clean up and organize someone ELSE'S sewing room or garage (by the way, her husband still has to clean the garage. I hope he surprises me!), but cleaning it all gave me the momentum to return to my own house and do the same.

The only difference is that she will not be sitting in a chair or reclining on the couch answering my questions about what to do with this or that, or whether to send it to the yard sale or the Goodwill. I will have to make all those decisions myself, and it was such fun to work together with her, even though she is ill. Some people are quite grouchy when they aren't feeling well, but she is so soft spoken and even tempered. It is such a good balance for my personality and I appreciated working with her, so much!

I see even more now, the need to have the home dignified. It is the most important place in society. It should be even more well-structured, neat, clean, beautifully arranged and decorated than any place in town. The functions of the home as a place where family members can develop good, sound principles and high values, should be honored. Idle talk and finding fault should not be permitted. Mothers especially need to be honored, so that their workplace does not become a hostile environment.

There is also a great need to reinforce those who are staying home and creating that family haven that was missing in the previous generation. Many of these women are doing it without moral support of their own families. Sometimes comments they receive can grieve them terribly and make them feel demeaned. It is always good to reinforce these women, because what they are doing is building the moral fibre of our nation.

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Dwayne, Jenny & Hendrik said...

Thanks for another great post! Your site is always so encouraging and lovely to look at.
Can you tell me where you find the pictures that you post? Do you clip them from magazines or find them online?
Keep up the good work. :)

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

This one came from Better Homes and Gardens online, from the porch decorating section.

Kim O. said...

Thanks again for you encouraging words. I had mentioned before that I had a small part-time job, 5 hours one day a week, and I felt like I should quit. I did quit the job. I know that my family suffered and they are more important to me than the little extra I brought home. Even in my own church stay at home wives/mothers aren't encouraged. My own minister, on Mother's Day, said you have to have 2 incomes to survive. I completely disagree with that and felt like maybe I was in the wrong church. Even when I worked full-time before children, we lived solely on my dh's income. We have always chosen to live with less.

Thanks for encouraging people like myself as we strife to be the women God wants us to be.

Blessings to your daughter during her pregnancy. My dh and I are praying the Lord will bless us with another child, she/he would be our 4th.

Kim O.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

Unfortunately I've heard that from the pulpit, also. It cannot be substantiated. It is part of the culture, particularly social analysts that predict this or that about the economy...but as I've written about before, it is simply a matter of a family operating their own economy in such a way as to allow the husband to be the provider and the wive to manage that income so that the family can prosper. It can be done, but the news doesn't report that. It isn't the "two incomes" they are concerned about. I have two incomes, if you include my husband's job and some other incomes we have trickling in from things we sell...but do you think anyone would be happy about those two incomes? Absolutely not. They won't be satisfied, because I AM NOT OUT WORKING FULL TIME IN A CAREER. It is not TWO INCOMES they are talking about. It is TWO PEOPLE these elitists want to be out away from home working!!

Anonymous said...

This is a great article, as always.

I have been wondering how I can make my home as beautiful as the picture above, with a very limited income?

It looks to me that the furniture alone is very expensive and how can a woman on a very limited budget make a home as beautiful as this?

It's frustrating whenever I see these beautiful homes furnished with the most expensive furniture and everything.

It just seems so hopeless.

Thanks for all the wonderful inspirational articles!


Lady Lydia Speaks said...

This may not be expensive furniture. Mine looks very much like this, and it is old junk, spray painted with white gloss paint, and cushions are hand made with fabric and stuffing. It is a matter of good taste, not money.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

I also think it is important to keep out dishonoring influences in the home. Don't let the scoffing friends and relatives come and plant rebellious ideas in your children's minds about the home and family, or undermine your role as a homemaker. Invariably it will happen, but you can control it somewhat. I learned that sometimes you can entertain certain friends but after awhile detect that their scoffing rudeness is bad for your mood and ruins your enthusiasm for your role. While it is nice to be hospitable, we have to learn to be discerning!

Anonymous said...

Welconme back! We missed you. I am so glad you got to spend time with your daughter. She and her family will be in our prayers too. I also cannot tell you what an inspiration you are to all of us! With most of the neighborhoods empty during the day of other mothers it is such a breath of fresh air to hear your suport of all of us. I am so encouraged when the paper or article mentions that the percentage of stay-at-home mothers is actually going up! I have always felt content and right doing so. And Yes furnishings don't have to cost much as you mentioned and being home alows you time to spruce your home up with hand me downs or such and enjoy the fun of it too!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this lovely post. Your writings are SO ENCOURAGING.God Bless you for taking the time to be an encouragement to others.

Anonymous said...

It was so refreshing to read this article! I work part-time only when my daughter is in school and my neighborhood is so empty and quiet when I am home in the afternoons. What a switch from 40-50 years ago when ladies were at home, hanging wash on the line and keeping their homes.

Thanks for the encouraging article.

Bethany said...

Also may I suggest slipcovers? Whether you have a nice piece of furniture to cover up or the opposite slip covers look nice. They some in all sorts of colors too.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

Ladies, if you want your posts to show up, and if you want the titles of the articles to appear on the upper left side, (1)go down to where you see the titles,
and (2) click on the title, and (3) the articles titles will appear on the upper left, and your comments will show up. Sometimes the blog doesn't show everything where it is supposed to.

Anonymous said...

A reply from Gloria

Mrs. Sherman,

thanks for the ideas! You gave me a great idea on how to create a nice front porch by spray painting old furniture, and sewing up some pillows/cushions.:) :)

As someone who grew up with no mother or a person to provide that Motherly influence, i am so grateful to come here for truly Christian, Godly, womanly advise on how to create a haven for my family and friends......and strangers, LOL!
God Bless you



Lady Lydia Speaks said...

We found slipcovers to be expensive, even on sale, so we bought them one at a time, over a period of months. These are used for the bigger furniture that does not have removable cushions (as you see on the wicker in the picture).

If you have wicker, you can paint it any color you like. Dark green is a nice choice. Covering the cushions in plaid can give it a look that appeals to everyone, if there are objections to floral prints.

Anonymous said...

Message from Gloria,


Dark Green (or any shade green, for that matter) is my favorite color! :)

I'm greatly inspired to fix up my old porch and try to make look as inviting with as little money as possible, thanks to these pictures and ideas.

Keep the great articles and pics commin'!



amy said...

Thank you for your words of encouragement. I have a difficult time with my family not understanding how important it is for a mother to be at home. (I grew up a latch key child and although I was a pretty good kid, I think how much better could have it been if my mom had been there.)


Anonymous said...

Encouraging article, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Amen. I am a mother of two boys (one mildly disabled) who has to work in order to pay tuition for a good Christian school that can work with my disabled son. It's a beautiful situation. I work only when my boys are in school and am their Mommy at the ready when they are not. But, if I let the home situation go, we are all miserable and I don't enjoy the boys. By making my house a beautiful place full of love, we all thrive!

Thanks for promoting all that is beautiful and Godly about homekeeping!

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia

Thank you for such a wise and encouraging blog. I am a young stay at home mum and although I am fully supported in my work in the home by my lovely husband my father is quite disappointed in my choice. He feels that it is a mistake to leave a flourishing career and a waste of an educated woman's time to tend to her home, husband and children full time. I often feel discouraged when he asks me when I am going back to work. T

Thank You for the kind words.

Carie said...

Thank you Mrs. Sherman for another encouraging, beautiful article.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy the LAF site and this blog so much, I always look forward to reading the articles! Thank You!

Ellen said...

That was a very refeshing article to read. However, I feel like it makes no sense for me to stay home since I have no husband or children. Since I live at home, I share the housekeeping with my mother and wonder how on earth women who have their own families with no other woman around get everything done. I think if I did have a family and a home of my own it would be very difficult to take care of everything especially if I worked. As it is I get evenings and all weekend to spend at home and I feel that's still not enough. I think if I ever got married and was able to stay home full-time I could find plenty to keep me occupied. I fully support the women who choose to stay home and hope they realize how fortunate they are.

Eileen said...

This was a very inspiring post. I hope I can serve my daughters and daughter-in-laws when they have young ones, the way you are helping your daughter. Your idea of being her "hands" as the two of you sorted through her house is ingenious! I might remember that if God blesses us with another pregnancy, and someone offers help.

I find it sad that you need to address people who might flame this blog, or leave rude comments. I must say, though, that the "flames" are a testament to the power of the Biblical ideas that you convey here. May God bless you as you continue to bring glory to him through your homemaking and your writing.


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