Friday, January 14, 2011

Stedfast* and Secure at Home

 The home, being the first institution created by God, has always been under attack, for it is the basis of life on earth. Wise women will stay home and guard the family  from the wrong influences, preserving good values  and being good stewards of their personal property and possessions, whether it be a little or a lot.

The home has authority, power and influence, but there are man-made institutions and philosophies which desire to get women out of the home and eliminate its impact on society.  This pressure can come in the form of government,  education, the media, financial institutions,  and even friends and relatives. 
Vintage Comfort, by Betsy Brown

 Women are pressured on all sides to leave their homes and bring in wages. There are people who just do not see any value in women being at home.  I heard a young man say  that he could not figure out what a woman did all day at home. After all, he said, he was a bachelor, and how much time did washing dishes, washing clothes, and vacuuming take?  He claimed that it was so easy to keep house that women ought to be out working and bringing in money.  He misunderstood the difference between house work and home making. 

 Even a child can do the simplest housekeeping chores, but it takes a real woman to develop the knack for homemaking: putting warmth and welcome and sweetness into a house and making it a place where people do not want to leave. The young bachelor failed to discern the spiritual values in a home. He only saw the material things.

  Any fool can rush around at 5 o'clock, minutes before her husband arrives home from work,  putting things away or washing dishes, and make it look like she has been working all day. Just about anyone can do housework. House work can be done by a maid, but it takes more than house work to make a real home.  This requires a woman being in her home so that she can tend to things without being stressed or rushed. If she goes to work outside the home, her time will be limited. She will not be able to relax and enjoy cleaning house, cooking, knitting or decorating. She will always be under stress, having to manage two jobs, and never really being able to be a home maker.

Carolina Evening 2 by Betsy Brown

The world only values  women if they can earn money (a materialistic, unwholesome view of women), but God values them in a greater way, giving them the responsibility of guiding the home.  Read Titus 2 again. It does  not mention money at all. It does not command the women to be keepers IF  they have  enough money.  It simply shows the way women in the Lord's church are supposed to live.  They are supposed to marry, love their husbands,  teach their children, and be keepers at home, workers at home, busy at home,  that the word of God be not blasphemed. This means that they should pay careful attention to these things;  to do these things well, and not bring shame on God's word.  This wonderful place they have in life, at home, gives them a chance to be different that the world. It sets them apart, as God's people, from the way others around them live.

Tit 2:4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, Tit 2:5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

To illustrate this, think of a woman who claims to be religious. She goes around saying Hallelujah all the time and says she "just loves Jesus."  Yet her husband is neglected, his shirts never ironed, she does not sew or make things with her hands, she refuses to cook or clean, and her house smells bad.  Those outside of the faith would naturally conclude that she was a hypocrite: claiming to be religious but not living the principles of the religion, which include the command to be keepers at home.

Some of the pressures against women at home are:


The eight people aboard the Ark must have had some determination to stay free of the vices of their world, which was very wicked at the time.  Think of Noah and his wife, his three sons and their wives, aboard the ark, all alone in the world at the time of the flood. Imagine how  isolated and terrified they must have felt while the rest of the population still existed, with all their deceit, lying, scheming, and violence. Yet these 8 souls were saved by obediently clinging to the promises of God: that He would save them if they obeyed him. They did not know what life would be like in the new world, but they obeyed God's command.

 Women at home may feel they are all alone, as they see more of their friends going off to work, leaving the neighborhoods echoing with empty houses during the day, but they have to remember that God often uses few people for His purposes. It is one thing to do something worthwhile if many others are doing it, but it takes a very dedicated woman to be a homemaker when no one around them is doing it. Like Noah and his family, we must remember that God has provided a special place for us at home, whether the prevailing culture approves of it, or not. 

This is a wonderful era in which to live, for today we have a network that has never before existed. We don't have to spend days and days feeling isolated or lacking in moral support. The Internet provides the opportunity to connect with those who share our beliefs. All over the web, daily, there are interesting things designed especially for home-lovers, in the form of participant activities with names like Make-Over, or Home Made  Monday, Table-Setting Tuesday, Crafty Wednesday, Decorating Thursday, Cooking Friday, Sewing Saturday and so forth. I've just made up these names to give you an example of some of the things out there on the web that encourage homemakers to do things to enhance their home life.

 Women are motivated to clean their houses and share their house-tour slide shows on blogs, and they make friends through give-a-ways and contests, all which have something to do with home keeping and home making. There is no reason to feel isolated or lacking in purpose, even in a row house or apartment, with such a rich store of information available on the web. Unlike magazines, you can pick exactly what you like and tune in to it, on a blog or a you tube tutorial, and gather up all the information you like to make your home living exciting and fulfilling. It is almost always free, and you can print out things for a notebook and collect everything you like.

 Every single day of the week can be interesting and a homemaker can keep her creative mind exercised, as she finds ways to make her home functional and inviting, and save money at the same time. One reason I have included so many blogs on the left side of this blog, is to show the beautiful things women are doing at home, and give viewers an idea of the potential in home life. Go through some of these blogs and get some ideas for your own home.

Difficulty Seeing Rewards of Our Efforts.

Hebrews 11 gives an account  of the Patriarchs and other men who walked by faith, even though they did not see the result of their faith right away.  Occasionally, women will not stick with homemaking because they go through a difficult period and conclude that it must not "work."  The Patriarchs of old did often did not see the results of their faith, but they followed it anyway, knowing that they were citizens of a heavenly kingdom, and that life on this earth would fade away.  Homemakers have the blessing of seeing little results here and there as they work at home, but ultimately, they must do it for the Lord:  ....with good will, doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord...Ephesians 6:7-8

note: A patriarch in the Old Testament was a man who was the head of his family whom God spoke to directly, to reveal his will: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and others were these patriarchs.

  If women give  up their place in the home and pursue careers, they will not be able to provide an example for their children and grandchildren in obeying God, no matter what the cost.  If women give up their place in the home as homemakers, and pursue careers, they will be wasting a lot of time  that could be used to develop the skills and knowledge to care for their families. Think of your children and grandchildren, turning the pages of the family album, and pointing to you, their grandmother, and describing the life you lived. Will they say that her life was centered on the home, and that she provided a home life for her husband?

Some of the discouragements to homemaking are:

Intimidation by others who are out working for wages:

Like the miserable comforters of Job, discouragers say,  "Why don't you give up and go to work?"  Some people do not see success unless they see money, so they may conclude that your being a keeper at home full time is not successful unless they see your family thriving financially. They are not thinking about the spiritual foundations that a homemaker is developing in her family. They are thinking only about money, only about financial and social security, and only about material things. They may say they are "concerned" (how often do we hear that?) that you are not being "fulfilled" or "concerned" about your children's "social development."  They push and nag and hint and intimidate and accuse, until they have put enough pressure on the homemaker to make her get a job outside the home.

Edgar A. Guest, a poet who was born in 1881, wrote many inspiring poems, and here is one which many mothers of the past read to their children, and which many children memorized, when faced with discouragement:

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,

There are thousands to prophesy failure;

There are thousands to point out to you one by one,

The dangers that wait to assail you.

But just buckle it in with a bit of a grin,

Just take off your coat and go to it;

Just start to sing as you tackle the thing

That "couldn’t be done," and you’ll do it.

Read the rest of the poem.

Another point of pressure towards homemakers is:

Fear of financial failure.

 Women will start worrying about how they are going to survive financially, and then take matters into their own hands, get a job, and start bringing in the cash.  We were warned by older women many years ago that this would make it impossible for women to stay home, as the need for money would only increase, and their expenses only get worse, once they began working outside the home. Not only that, but they would pay a terrible price in the loss of their children's souls, many who would be put out to pasture, wandering from house to house; never experiencing a spiritually rich home life. 

 So-called "experts" came out declaring that this was "normal" and that children actually thrived and did quite well in day cares, and were as intelligent as children brought up by full time mothers. Many people warned that women working outside of the home would cause a rise in divorce, and other warned that it would make it more difficult for men to find employment. Today we see entire towns "manned" by women, at the post office, bank, grocery stores, libraries, and police stations.  This cannot be good for the economy or for the home. Many men cannot find jobs, and feel forced to go on welfare. For every woman who is working, there is .5 man on welfare.

  Whatever the self-appointed experts claim, we know God's word is the final authority for our lives:  ... 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, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. ...Titus 2:4-5.

As a Titus 2 teacher, I cannot tell you how you will pay your rent, your phone bill, or your grocery bill, but I can tell you that your first priority is to obey God. This lesson is not for the unbeliever. It is for those who really want to do what is right and good and want to be in God's will.  If you seek first the will of God, according to His word, He will provide a way for you to do it.  There are many women who have done it. There are many women who are living the Titus 2 "dream" even now, although they have no "second income," as the so-called experts claim they must have. Do it for the protection of your marriage and your home. Do it as example to other women.  Do it for your own peace of mind and your health. The world wants to make men out of women. Christian men are supposed to "provide for their own..." 1st Timothy 5:8  Christian women are supposed to "marry, bear children, and keep house.." 1st Timothy 5:14 

Pressure from husbands:

 There is a generation of men that have apparently missed out on being real men by accepting the responsibility to provide for their families. They feel that women should carry half the "load" of the financial responsibility. They may be getting this idea from other men who congregate at work and discuss their personal financial problems. They may be comparing their homemaking wives to the career women surrounding them at the work place.  They may lose a sense of the precious value of their own wives at home. They could possibly listening to reports on the radio or television that keep them in a hyped up sense of fear that everything is going to crash financially and we are all going to be living in cardboard boxes if we only have one income.  The media has done this for decades now, to mobilize people in whatever direction they want.

 Many church members, including preachers, elders, deacons, teachers and "leaders" have their wives working. They seem to have cut many scriptures about the responsibility of women in the home, out of the Bible. It is rarely spoken of in churches today, for fear of offending most of the members, whose wives are working outside the home. In a future post, I will address the problem of what to do at home. There are those who do not know what to do at home, and are working because they feel there is nothing for them to do at home,

  The media and government agencies  promoted the feminist movement, to get women out of their homes to make money, from which income taxes would be extracted. This would provide more money  for the federal government to support questionable programs and create an empire not approved of by the American people.  When you cave in to the pressure from your husband or anyone else, to go to work, you are giving the government some of your money to support their unholy programs like Planned Parenthood and government schools which teach thousands of children to hate the free enterprise system and embrace socialism and communism.

 When you go to work, you participate in paying the taxes which provide the way for the government to do more harm to this country.  If you stay out of the work place, and make a wonderful home for your family, you do more for your country than you can possibly do if you were in the military. You also harm your husband by taking over part of his own responsibility to be a provider. Your job is big enough just keeping your husband alive with good nutrition and a happy atmosphere at home, free from the troubles of the work place.

High Rock, by Betsy Brown

A good help meet will not allow her husband to pursue doctrinal error. If women do not warn men when they are going in the wrong direction, they are not being proper help meets.  When wives see husbands putting pressure on them to go to work outside the home, they need to remind them of what God says. Women are not obligated to obey anyone when it comes into conflict with God's commands.  To keep the situation from becoming tense, women should busy themselves about the house, and when pressured to get a job, ask the husband to take over the work at home for awhile and work full time, too.  The men will quickly see that it cannot be done. If a man is truly a leader, he will show the way, not boss the way.  He will live what he teaches. If he thinks his wife should have a second job (her home is is first job), he should get a second job just to show the example. If he is not working, he should not ask his wife to work, and if he is trying to be a house -husband, the wife should certainly not get a job. It will only make him lazier, as he "falls back" on his wife's income. If she goes to work, he will not be as careful with his expenses, and he will fail to feel that all depends upon him. It does not make him a better man if he sends his wife to work. It will rob him of his sense of urgency in solving the income problem.  The wife can, however, cut back on expenses, and be resourceful, learn to make things herself rather than buy ready made or manufactured goods, and live simply.

 One woman I know decided to make her own cloth napkins, and when she had company, the wife so admired these napkins that she paid her to make some for her. Now, she is in the cloth napkin business of her own making, but her husband provides the main income.  You never know when a necessity becomes an invention that will bring financial rewards.

  I believe it is unscriptural and wimpy for a man to ask his wife to get a job, but if a woman wants to earn money, there are many ways to do it from home. In saying that, though, it comes with a warning: it will still be a second job, will use up your stamina, and will cause you to neglect your home and your husband. Jobs, whether online or from the home, will still take over, unless a woman is careful to discipline herself to only work a few hours a day. If a woman develops an online job, it is easy to dedicate whole days to it and allow the housework to pile up, which is no better than working outside the home.

House work, house keeping and home making take a lot of time and energy. It takes thought and concentration to create a meal, set a beautiful table, and make life at home desirable. In her leisure time, a woman should be knitting or pursing an interest that relaxes her. If that is earning money on the web or knitting, so be it, but no one should pressure her to earn money.

Husbands can cut down on expenses and create their own 2nd and 3rd incomes. One man I know who was laid off work after a large company had to fold, began inventing little things he had always been curious about. He got a patent and began to sell his useful inventions, from the home. He had special tools and gadgets that helped the homemaker  and he made wood toys for children.  His wife was patient and frugal and had a lot of faith in him and told everyone she knew about his products. They now have an income to replace the job he had, and he has no overhead to pay, and uses his garage for his production. He employs his home school children in his factory.  This did not happen suddenly, but gradually, step by step. His family encouraged him and cut down on expenses during the time when they had little income.

The term "one income" did not exist, as far as I know, until the early 1970's, when it was created by social economics media, to motivate women to get jobs.  "Studies have shown that a man can no longer support his family on one income," said one report on television news. "A man will not be able to support his family on his income alone," --a local newspaper reported.  Religious women stuck by the good news of Titus 2 and thrived, but the world kept predicting the end of the one income-family. Today, a husband will come home and declare that his wife must "do" something (an expression that means get-a-job) or "help" out (another one like the other one). These are just what I call weasel-word phrases that really mean "money."  Women must not panic. They must show confidence and assure their husbands that they know they will survive. They may have to make adjustments and get rid of some major expenses, but it is better than getting rid of the wife at home.

 Seasoned homemakers will say that they cannot count the number of times their own husbands thought that the economy was so bad that the wife must go to work, and yet they continued faithfully in their homemaking jobs. A family's personal economy will always have its lean times and its prosperous times. It is part of life. Women must remind men that their place is in the home and always will be. They will help where they can but they must not leave their homes. If they do, they may have a very difficult time ever returning to the home full time.

Social Pressure:

There are always those people who feel they are helping the poor little homemaker by showing up at her door with a newspaper full of want-ads and circled jobs available. These types will ask questions like, "How will you ever get retirement?"  "Where will you get your pension?"  "How will you ever buy a house?"   Women at home have to be careful about the influence of girlfriends who are not quite at the same level of faith. Instead of allowing them to influence you to go to work, you need to use your home as teaching place, where you can influence them to be  keepers at home. All you have to do when they drop by is tell them that you are very glad to see them but have to iron a few shirts before your husband gets home. They will then know what an iron and an ironing board looks like, and be able to see how it is used. 

Social pressure from friends can cause women at home to be unhappy and discontent. Instead of viewing themselves as people who have-not because they are homemakers, they need to view themselves as being stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. 1st Corinthians 15:58. Your work at home is the work God has given you. It is the work of the Lord.

Please do not limit yourself to just a few verses in Titus 2. Go ahead and read the rest of the chapter, and see how it connects so well to the verses intended for women and the guiding of the home.

To print articles, go to the sidebar on the left and click, "How to Print Articles."

You are welcome to post portions of this on your blogs if you are on my side, ;-)

*this is the King James Bible translation spelling of the word we know as steadfast. I did not make a spelling error. I used the KJV spelling to go with one of the scriptures within the post.


Lydia said...

No I did not spell "stedfast" wrong...I was using the King James version of the word.

Homeschool on the Croft said...

Oh, you have no idea how I needed this today. Praise God, my husband puts me under no pressure to go out to work, despite the financial struggles we often have. He encourages me (in his own way) in what I do. But just very recently, we've had an 'inciden't with a teenage daughter, and the devil is not far from me with discouraging thoughts like, 'why are you bothering homeschooling and bringing them up in this way... surely you can see that they turn out no differently?'
This is not true actually - all glory to God, but our children are different from other kids their age, although we know they are sinners and only God can change the heart.
I have, though, had struggles to hang onto God's promises, and your 'endure... press on' tone was such an encouragement to me.
We live in Scotland; we have not one other family with children our age who homeschool anywhere near us. In fact, we don't even *know* anyone! But, I am so very, very thankful for the internet. I have made online 'friends', but, more particularly, I read online articles and listen to lectures that articulate exactly what my husband and I believe. This is of great encouragment to me.
As you have been this morning.
Thank you for posting.

Suzanne said...

I have been a "working mom" , but not since my third child some 15 years ago. I can truthfully say it is much harder to stay home than to go to a "paid job" each day. My husband, thank God, agrees and encourages me at home:-) I do still get comments from well-meaning family like, "maybe a couple days of work a week would be good for you", or "what about your education". I have to admit in my 30's I was a bit intimidated by those comments, but now firmly planted in my mid forties I don't give a hoot and defend my position in the home vehemently, if badgered;-) One problem I see Lydia is "where are the older women" that are supposed to encourage and teach the younger women? They're at jobs!

Lydia said...

Homeschool lady,

Children can be amazed with themselves and their accomplishments if homeschool mothers dont remind them that the parents are doing this because of their responsibility to God. Sometimes children think its all for them!

The internet makes it possible for isolated people to have friends and to be selective about the kind of information they are looking for.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your timely encouragment- were it not for online sources such as your site it is something many homemakers never get. The questions and comments do get more frequent as the children get older and the common perception is that mother should get a job to "help out"-save for college-pay for braces, lessons, car insurance, etc. Too many teens and "tweens" are left unsupervised and to their own devices to fend for themselves. Older children still need to know mother is home and available if needed. My children think I am too strict sometimes, but I chalk that up to the fact that many of their peers are allowed to come and go as they please whith whom they please.

Lydia said...

The older women have been out at jobs since the 1960's and I well recall how empty things seemed with them all away, especially in the church. They were no longer available for charity or for Bible classes or teaching the younger and hosting things in their homes to help the younger women and teach them to succeed in their marriages and child care.

Mama Said No said...

Thank you for your posts--they are much appreciated. My biggest problem with staying at home right now is the isolation I feel sometimes. I live on a mountain, far from other homemakers like myself. We have no internet where we are--I come into town once or twice a week and use the local free wi-fi. I try to get filled up with different blogs, copying articles to read again when at home. Blogs such as yours help me to stay focused on my goals. I long for Godly pen pals who might want to write real letters back and forth. perhaps someday, but for now I will enjoy what I can get. Thanks again for your blog. God Bless

Anonymous said...

As we see the church moving farther and farther away from the truth of the Bible we must look to the Bible for truth and study it, reading it carefully. Sadly, women being keepers of the home is just one example.

Lydia said...

I know what homesteading is like, and one of my greatest pleasures was to write letters to someone! I had a cousin in Texas who sent me the recipe for red velvet cake and wrote often to me, as well as a great grandmother and two grandmothers. We watched the mail every day and it was agony not to receive anything. Sometimes our mother put things in the mail for us so we would have something to read, and sometimes she made up stories and pretended they came in the mail to us, by placing them on the stack of mail.

Anonymous said...

Lady Lydia: This is such an excellent article! I read your blog faithfully and have many of your articles in my Homemaking Journal-it is a help to me to have them on hand to read whenever I feel the need.
I have been married for 22 years and home for the last 13, since our oldest child was born. I love being home and would not trade it for anything. I am blessed to homeschool our 3 children.
How true is your statement that homemaking is NOT just cleaning the house. My children need me so much and I cannot imagine them being away from me all day long, five days a week. Sometimes I have to let the laundry go for a little while to sit with them and enjoy being their Mom.
Also, I have also been dismayed at times at the lack of Christian women who are faithful to church who work full time outside the home. It is very hard to find, even with the older ladies, good role models to talk to and be encouraged by. That is where your blog fills such a great need in my life. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your encouragement!

Lydia said...

Rhonda, I always have a long list of subject ideas in my drafts and never seem to sit down long enough to really do them justice, so I dont do them at all. I thought it might be interesting in a future post to show some of the things a woman actually does besides house cleaning, in the home, and why it takes all day. Nursing sick children is one of them. My mother's lap was always available and she was a good listener and she could read so fluently and make up stories if she couldnt find one that suited us. those lesurely days at home when she was with us are like golden summers. Even when she let the floor or dishes go uncleaned so that she could tend to us, we did not notice, for she was our life. (still is)

Anonymous said...

I enjoy this post and I think your approach of pointing out biblical standards for women is encouraging to homemakers.

As for the duties of homemakers, I know for sure that we would not eat nearly as well if I worked outside the home. Homemakers have time to make real meals. We can shop for good ingredients at good prices, research recipes and cooking tips, and take the time necessary to cook good food. Anyone can stop by the grocery store on the way home from work and pick up something premade to throw on the table, and it is easy to buy a package of cookies for the kids. But real, homemade food takes a lot of time and effort to make. The results are worth it. No one likes to admit it, but there has to be a connection between working mothers and the high overweight and obesity rate among children. How can there not be? It is simple. When mothers stayed home and cared what their children were eating, very few were very overweight and the mothers were thinner, too. Now that so many meals are eaten out of the home or out of a box, the health of entire families is negatively affected. I don't think the answer to our country's obesity epidemic lies in a chemical-laden diet drink, a pill, surgery or better school lunches. It lies in mothers coming home and cooking for their families.

Simply Shelley said...


Anonymous said...

It's so surreal that outsiders "encourage' homemakers to get outside work. I would never think to tell anyone how to live their lives! What nerve! Yes,I have a degree, and can get a very well paying job tomorrow, if I so choose. But I "don't" choose, I'd rather be home. I hate the competitive world, crowds, and harsh, nasty people. You get alot of that in the working world, especially with women.My home is pleasant, comfy, and homey, why would i CHOOSE to get myself upset? It costs me less to stay home. Husband would like for me to work, but I remind him that life would be much more hectic, and more extra work for HIM, concerning the kids, cleaning, cooking, shopping, etc. I know my role in the family, and he knows his. Thats what keeps a marriage and family humming along smoothly. Besides, my kids are very comforted, knowing mom is "keeping' the homefires burning,they tell me so on a regular basis. They can count on life being stable.

Anonymous said...

My husband grew up in a family with four sisters who did all the work around the house and a mother who often worked outside the home.

I stayed home until my kids were grown and then under the pressure of husband overspending and insisting I get a job to right things I did.

Now I am in that catch 22 where I am working for "nothing" as in we don't need stuff and I don't want "stuff" and I cannot get my work done at home because he will not help. What floored me is when he said I can work full time so he can stay home! He was laid off six months and didn't do a thing but read newspapers and put us in financial hole which is why I got a job.

There are reasons women work too. It is to keep their family's heads above water because the men don't want to. I have three neighbor's who, now that the children are grown, are "house husbands" and their wives are supporting them. Two are Christian familys! The third's husband is a non-believer.

I realize I have taken this way beyond the context of your post and I am sorry if I did. It just seems when I need to tell someone how I feel about this I cannot hold back. LOL.

~Love through our Lord~

PS. feel free to edit :)

Anonymous said...

Oh, I think that would make an excellent article. I have found that as my children get older (they are 13, 11, and 9) they need me just as much if not MORE than they needed me when they were little (although they certainly needed me then too). I have learned, over time, that while cleaning and organizing are important-my children are much more important and sometimes things must be set aside to make extra time for them.
I look forward to ANY article you write-you bless me very much.

Highlandview said...

I have enjoyed this post. The internet does provide a way to feel connected to others with the same beliefs. It can be very motivating. I am married with five children and we have been renting for three years while building a house. I keep the rental clean but I have really let homemaking slide. Everyone wants to run around and noone wants to be at home. In hindsight, it has been a mistake not to make the rental feel more like home. We never thought we would be here as long as we have been and it did not seem important. I am hoping to change this rut I have created.

Far Above Rubies said...

LadyLydia, thank you so much. I cannot being to tell you how much you encourage me with your words of wisdom.

I come her to feast on words that come from the Lord.

May I use some of your sections on a post for my blog. Of course, I can link back to you unless you prefer I didn't.

Please let me know.

God bless you,


Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia, this article is so wonderful. You speak the truth. And how terrible that some churches are not helping women stay home. I was lucky - my husband never wanted me to work, not for religious reasons but because he doesn't think it's manly. I resented it at times when I was younger but something kept me from acting on that resentment. It must have been sweet cautionary guidance from Our Lord. It has taken me many years to become even a good keeper of the home and I still need the encouragement you offer. Thank you so much! Your sentence about "show the way not boss the way" is already on my fridge. (My husband is always looking for inspiration for his workplace.) I also got my first huge laugh from you today - the sentence about ironing in front of the guest. That's priceless ! There's nothing like the aroma of a hot iron on damp cotton to make a home smell like home. This is a just a crazy mishmash of my immediate thoughts after reading your article. Thank you so much !!!

Mama Said No said...

I agree that homemaking is a lot more than cleaning house and cooking. I also do everything I can to cut our expenses. I do most of the outdoor work around our home, since my husband works a job that doesn't let him be at home as much as he would like. I enjoy it, and it makes me feel proud when when he brags on my frugality. We were once asked how on earth we can afford to do what we do when I don't work outside the home, and he doesn't make a ton of money. He replied, "Because my wife doesn't spend every dime I make at Wal-Mart."

Lydia said...

There is another little "funny" in the article. I am waiting for someone to catch it.

Lydia said...

I didnt have time yesterday to add this:

When a husband wants a woman to get a job outside the home, she should reach up into a cupboard and start unloading it, to sort our things and put it in order. She should say "excuse me" and walk around him to the laundry room and in a seriously manner, concentrating with a knit brow, put in a load of laundry. She should carry a big basket of laundry to the ironing board to fold or iron. She should listen to his requests and tell him she heard him but he will have to follow her to get the answer. She should begin washing the dishes and then she should start cooking something on top the stove. She should attend to someone's need---a child, someone at the door, a phone call, or prepare to go see her mother with a basket of goodies. She should be busy enough that she can tell her husband she would be glad to get a 2nd job if she could ever get the first one completely done each day. She should say that she would tend to getting more work online if he would finish washing the dishes for her, or if he would kindly clean the toilet after the children are finished in the bathroom, or after you have been ill. You will see him apologize and say he is so glad she is home...he just needed to be reminded. But, even if a woman needs to sit down and read the sale paper or read a book and write a letter, a man must not conclude that she is not needed at home. SOMEONE has to write to HIS mother, and you could ask him to do it (nost men dont even write to their own mothers or send cards or gifts) see, you just need to remind him. If you go to work, where would you lay down when you got to feeling sick or got a headache or had a sleepless night? How would you get the evening meal ready if you are at work? He needs to answer some hard questions if he wants you to go to work. Be kind, but be ladylike, business like, and firm, flitting from job to job around the house. If you are ill, ask him to go to a discount store and get a few groceries, and make sure he watches the price and gets the best bargain. Many men think they can throw items into the cart and it doesnt matter what the price is...but then they want their wives to work to make up for the cost of living. Husbands may be taught by women, if the women are living the Biblical life, for the Bible says they will obeserve your good conversation (behaviour) and be taught. SOme men are just plain unbelievers when it comes to the scriptures. They will agree on many doctrinal issues but when it comes to really living what God has taught, they think it is just an opinion. WOmen can't live an opinion in front of a man. THey have to live a belief in front of the husband, making sure the house is well kept, that the word of God be not blasphemed.A man will learn from that and hesitate to ask his wife to work

Lydia said...

I got the idea to invite the troll in the house from my mother, who would have pests from time to time that would come to the house and want to stand at the door and strike up long conversations. She invited them in and say "I hope you dont mind if I just keep moving along doing the dishes. I have to have supper ready by the time the my husband gets home." Sometimes they would have to follow her out to her garden while she worked there weeding or picking berries. Unless your talk is scheduled, these drop in visits can throw off your homemaking and you'll have a very unhappy family who cannot function because the mother didnt have time to supervise the work around the house. Its nice to be nice to people, but you have to discern if they are just fishing for information, curiosity seekers, or idle . You can be kind to them and use the opportunity to inpsire them.

Lydia said...

Ladies you don't have to post anonymous anymore unless you want to for some security reason.

To anonymous--you said something about it taking many years to get ahold of your housekeeping. It does take a lifetime to become the kind of housekeeper you want to be. It interferes a great deal with the mechanism of the home when a woman leaves it all and goes to work. A home should seem lived-in. That is what gives it its atmosphere of welcome. Going to work will ruin that, and the children will be lost. They are in MORE need of a mother at home when they are teenagers, as emotionally they will at that age be attacked from all sides, with varying values that are not in alignment with the parents beliefs.

Anonymous said...


Thank you for this article. Especially as you know, the one section about pressure from husbands
really helped me out. I like what you said about living the life of a homemaker in front of our husbands. Sweeping the floor, washing the dished , putting a load into the laundry, mending a suit which has sustained a small tear instead of taking it to the tailor's, writing out a precalculus syllabus to teach the teens at home.. doing it all in front of a husband who says he needs helping out financially reminds him that yes, we are ALREADY helping out.
Thank you once more.


Unknown said...

Love this. I wish more women would realize their value in the home. No one can take their place. Yes, teenagers need us at home but I have also found out that the 20 somethings need us as much. When they are in their 20's they ask the hard questions about life and need answers. I can't imagine not missing these opportunities. Yes, my adult children are not around much but they still need wisdom in decision making.

I cannot say enough about women making the staying at home thing work. If single mothers can do it, wives can. I've been both and it is much easier to stay at home as a wife than it is as a single momma. If there's a will, there's a way.
L. Rose

Blessed Homemaking said...

Dear Lady Lydia,

How you have encouraged me today! This post was like a glass of fresh water--thank you!!!

I love the comment about the iron and ironing board ;)

Oh and I do enjoy perusing the blogs you have posted on your sidebar and their creative things.

You are such a blessing, dear.

Anonymous said...

This is one of your "meat & potatoes" type posts, Lady Lydia! I love how you spell things out...& not just for the novice homemaker! We more experienced wives & mothers sometimes need just this kind of information & encouragement as well!

While I was reading through some of the pressures & intimidations you presented in this article, I was reminded of all the varying reasons I've heard or read over the years against women at home. And the contradictory nature of some of them is really amusing:
"It's so boring...there's nothing much to do." "There's so much to do...really, what are you, a maid?"

"Women at home never have the chance to get out & exercise." "So-&-So has to work so hard around the house...she's gonna wear herself out."

"She's just wasting her talent & intellect. I'll bet she never picks up a book anymore." "Must be nice to take a break & read when you want."

"I don't even think she's trying to find work." "They're so lucky...she can stay at home."

So, which is it? I just have to shake my head at the incongruity of such talk. Truly, I think it's just code language for this: staying at home isn't fun all the time. Okaaay....and going out to work IS?

I want to encourage anyone who may be afraid of going against the grain, so to speak, to remember Paul's words in II Timothy 1:7-
"for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control."

Thanks for a very, very good post today, Lady Lydia-


Nancy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kim said...

Dear Lydia,
This is a wonderfully inspiring post for all women. Thank you.
God bless,

Alexandra said...

The pressure can be difficult to bear(direct and subtle), but the children and home do so much better with a mother there to run things 24/7. It requires your full attention. Support from like-thinking people, even if it's only found online has made a big difference for me. Places like this offer food for thought and validation to bring away with me throughout the day.


Lydia said...

Social pressure comes in the form of bragging about where you are going on holiday and showing off the new name brand shoulder bag (who needs the strain on their shoulder?) or driving up to see you in their new car...asking questions like "What will you do when your car is too old to drive, what will happen if something happens to your husband," etc. People will also criticise you if you sew your own clothes, saying, It must be nice that your husband has two jobs so you can sew another dress...there are all kinds of intimidating remarks, and they are things I would never say to anyone...yet they feel free to say to women at home. Other remarks are "Your clothes are so out dated." "Looks like you need a new bathroom." Not all homemakers are poor, either. Many of them have LOVELY homes and their husbands have adequate incomes. Do not assume that being a homemaker reduces your wealth or puts you into poverty. Most of the time it makes you richer.

Anonymous said...

First thank you for the posting. I thoroughly enjoy when you write about homemaking. I am sure that just as I am encouraged by them, these greatly encourage others.
In reading this I was wondering do you have any kind of personal savings plan, or money management system you use? Do you aim to save a certain percentage of the money that you have access to, etc. I think a lot would benefit to know some specific money management beyond clipping couplons. I use envelopes for long and short term, and sometimes I even paper clip the amounts designated for some intended purchases in my wallet, so I don't get distracted and with the hope of making fewer impulse purchases.
Sadly, it is about more than money, the world wants the women under their control. Much of the prayer that happens during the daytime work hours greatly decreases as women are out of the home and working.

One of my sister in laws has on more than one occasion asked me "aren't you bored at home all day". I am one of those people that is rarely bored, as I have my crafts and reading and personal studying, besides the home to take care of. In fact, I keep wondering if there will ever be enough time for me to finish all the things I want to do such as knitting, crochet, I am learning to paint, and I would like to add doing ceramics.

My children even though they are older have recently begun to express that they like it that I am at home when they come in. They say they do not like to come home to a lonely house.

Thank you again, and I am among the others that look forward to your posts.

Anonymous said...

My husband has threatened to leave, if I do not put the children in public school and get a job. He also tries to prevent me from going anywhere, since he claims the gas is too high and that he cant afford to pay it. its part of his strategy to intimidate me enough to break down and get a job. I know I am needed at home and my heart is not into the world at all. I am doing well at home and his financial crisis is exaggerated. Does anyone have any ideas for me?

Anonymous said...

I think perhaps your other little funny is the bit about "entire towns being "manned" by women." That's pretty funny and pretty accurate. And sad at the same time when one considers all the men out of work, and the latchkey kids it results in and the resentments it causes in marriage. I think you are right, it is WIMPY of men not to do their part. My sons are not going to be wimps!

Lydia said...

That was close, but not it.

The women who are taking the jobs in town are controlled by the government when their paychecks are used for taxes to support the unauthorized shadow government and beaurocracy that funds all kinds of things including wars and government takeovers of corporations. If the women refused to take jobs in town, men could be the bank clerks and post office officials and mail carriers. So it is not all their fault if they cant find employment.

Anonymous said...

I think women have a great power to motivate and inspire, if we would just know when and how. In a financial panic, there needs to be a voice of calm and reason. "Now don't you worry, we're going to be just fine. I know we'll pull through," or similar things could be said to counteract negative comments. Exude confidence and cut spending!

And not to be unsympathetic with the 2:33 commenter, but don't dwell on threats like this. Women aren't supposed to have so much stress on their lives, it's bad for their health. I think we need to remember as wives to not take things so hard and try to think of the humor in a situation. Carefully and thoughtfully, of course.

I recall in the FW book reading about Babbie and how she charmed the "Little Minister." She was a bit witty, if you recall, and it was because the Dominie was taking himself too seriously.

"Honey, I married you for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer; this is just the worse and poorer part."
"well, we just have to take the consequences of what we spend. I forgive you for buying the second boat, and now you have to forgive yourself."
"honey, if you are going to leave home, make sure to pack clean socks. And you'll need a bag of flour and a bag of sugar."
"honey, if you are going to take away the car, make sure to leave me the bicycle."
(said with a sparkle in the eye and a lilt in the voice)

One of my great-grandmothers would tell her husband, "Sonny, while you're a'restin, why don't you go and fix the roof?" I guess in those days there was more humor and less offense between husband and wife.

PS: On another aspect of the subejct, my DD just handed me her sick dolly to hold. What would she do if Mommy wasn't home to hold her sick dolly? I can't imagine losing precious moments like this. Even if you think that your children do not need you as much at certain ages, or you can "catch up" later, you really miss out on parts of their lives that will never come back. But I don't suppose that your readers need to be told that! said...

Dear LadyLydia~ Thank you so much for taking the time to write this. My husband has been "unemployed" for over two years now. He has been on a roller coaster of emotions and plans as he has struggled to provide for our family. I have remained at home and helped where I could (He does some farming on the side and the children and I help with that).

Through it all, I have seen him become a stronger man with a deeper work ethic and greater integrity. He is truly a man to be admired. I don't think this would have happened if I had gotten a job.

We still have our struggles as outsiders pressure him and me. We waiver and doubt. It is Godly examples like you that help us to walk in the 'ancient paths.'

God bless you. I will definitely be referring to this article time and again. said...

Dear Anonymous who's husband has threatened to leave. PRAY. And be beautiful. As long as your husband comes home to beauty - the house, you, the clean and happy children, he may let up a bit. I would follow LL's advice about talking to him while you work. When he is lecturing you about getting a job, you should be cleaning something or cooking something.

I would also apply for a couple of jobs and PRAY. That is what I did. I even went on a couple of interviews, but I was never hired. God answered my prayers. Over time, my husband has let up. He has changed and even though it is a battle with the constant outside pressures I remain at home.

You are his HELPER. Do what will help him to be better at his job, look better, eat better etc.

God bless you.

Anonymous said...

To husband doesnt REALLY want me to work...he may kid with his friends, saying how I need to "earn my keep", (all the wives work outside the home except me), and the men are scratching their heads, wondering how we "manage".He would like extra income(who would'nt), but not enough to upset the balance in the home.One of his friends MOTHER, who has been a postal worker all throuhout her children's lives, saw me helping my husband fix the roof, of all things, and came over to inquire why I wasnt "working"! My husband laughed and replied.."She IS working...with me! Well, there were no more comments after that!

Trish said...

Thank you so much for this terrific article, Lydia.
So much wisdom and meat to chew on!
As for intimidating remarks, one that really gets my goat, is being told that work outside the home is necessary in order to "contribute to society"! Smacks of socialism to my ears!
I will happily share your post on my blog today as I know there are so many lovely homemakers needing this good advice and encouragement.
Thank you for permitting us to do so :-)
And I thank you for having Angel Wings on your sidebar. You have no idea how humbled I am and grateful.
God bless you Lady Lydia..Trish

Lydia said...

No one can force a woman to work.She goes of her own free will. No husband will tie and gag his wife, force her into a car, and drive her to a work place, force her inside and sit her in front of a computer. Are the police going to come and get you and force you to work? Will someone apply for a job for you, or get a job for you? You do not have to apply for a job and you do not have to leave your home if you know in your heart it would not be right. Your home is too important. Ask the people who are intimidating you "How will I get my house work done if I get a job outside the home? " Ask them who will weed the garden or wash the clothes or cook meals or do the grocery shopping. Women have a lot more authority in the home than they realize. They actually have to guide it and guard it. They cant give in to threats or intimidation. I dont think anyone is going to put you in a sack and dump you off at work. There is also a big danger in arguing about it. The men who want their wives to work may be fearful of losing their jobs. The best thing to do is appreciate the provision they do make and thank them, and just turn your attention to the tasks on hand.

MarkyMark said...

Though I'll have to come back tomorrow to finish reading this post (I have to work tomorrow), I do have a thought or two as to why husbands may want their wives to work.

Most married men have working wives now. When the boys get together, they'll talk about what their wives do. If one guy has a wife who's an attorney, while another guy's wife is bank manager, the guy who has his wife at home will feel like he has less stature than the other guys. Men are competitive, and this area is no exception; guys like to brag about their wives, and the guy who's wife has the most impressive job wins. It's another form of oneupsmanship, basically...

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:05am, I think you will find it is not simply 'some churches' but the vast majority of them, right across the denominational spectrum. This is a tragedy, as far as I am concerned. Lydia, your strategies to cope with husbands who badger their wives to step out into the workforce are brilliant! In time, even the hardest must reconsider his standpoint...

I also find myself heartily agreeing with you re provision of the family's meals. This is the elephant in the centre of the room that the so called 'experts' refuse to recognize. 50 years ago, the average Australian consumed more calories than are consumed today, but rates of overweight and obesity were far lower. Why?

1( we expended more energy - we have lost on average the equivalent of 2.5km walking per day in activity/energy expendature due to everything from uber-embrace of gagetry to driving 5 minutes up the street rather than walking 25 minutes to get there

2( reduction of cooking from scratch/reliance upon pre-packaged and pre-prepared foods.

3( the emergence of a society willing to allow itself to be 'time poor' so the tax and govt. coffers can be stoked continually

Anonymous said...


Additionally i believe the lack of the home-maker's presence has directly influenced three generations of children, especially those from the early 90's onwards and contributed to skyrocketing rates of anxiety and other serious psychological and psychiatric disordering among children even as young as five years of age. This is coupled with the shutting down of free play for children as their days are hellishly structured from dawn to dusk. No parents at home during the day has fed anxiety and phobia about allowing children to play freely in the park or out with their mates playing cricket down at the local oval etc. Leading experts are beginning to sound the warning bell re the catastrophic results of lack of free play upon childrens' mental, neurological and social development.

the cause?

the drive to break up the family through compelling women to enter the workforce. Families break down and the children are suffering but the femminists will not allow their ideology to be questioned and thinkers re childhood development are muffled from saying what they really believe and what the evidence is beginning to show on paper.

God help us!

This is not about turning back the clock, but about addressing unhealthy imbalance with God's healthy balanced way for families, women, men and children...and ultimately society.

Anonymous said...

This was such a wonderful post, written with so much wisdom. I am now still working but want to return to the home.I also would like some tips on money management. I am usually the one who has the bills that are hard to pay--in the form of medical bills. I just found out I need more tests that will probably take me another year to pay for. I had just almost paid off the ones from last year and was excited that it seemed we were making some headway. I don't really know what is wrong with me, but I feel it could be stress as I have been under an extreme amount of stress from work for the last 6 years. MY husband has said he wants me to be at home so that is wonderful. I would like some advice I guess from someone who may have had a situation like this, do you get your finances in order first? Or do you just step out and and make that step of faith?

jill f. said...

Dear Lady Lydia,

Thank you for this article. I am an "older" women with six of our eight children still at home and I am always surprised when temptations hit to either work outside the home or neglect the home! I thought I would be over that by now!

It has been another tough year for us with my husband out of work for most of the year (and I love what you say about seasoned homemakers knowing that there WILL be financial ups and downs in life).

It can be hard to be at home with a depressed hubby and continue a good routine but he does appreciate me. Just today he looked at a tired woman coming out of a grocery store after working her shift and he said, "I'm so glad you don't have to be like that poor woman and go to work." He is always so proud to hand me a good paycheck and I knew that when he looked at that woman he was discouraged that he wasn't providing well for us so I gave him a big kiss and thanked him for never pressuring me to go to work.

My husband also likes to joke about me going to work and supporting him but I know it is his way of pointing out that I am not the provider!

I also think that because men aren't always introspective and don't always think about the "why" of staying home that they may not notice all the intangible benefits of their wife staying at home. My husband was a bit "blind" to what he had until he got to know some men whose wives worked full time and then my husband truly realized what I did.

One more thing! We must actively teach our children WHY we chose to stay home and how we may have struggles and pressures but we do it anyway. And we must choose to be joyful in our role so our children believe it to be the best choice!

Jill Farris

Anonymous said...

Lady Lydia,

Thank you so very much for this amazing post. We are facing a hard time at the moment - dealing with our oldest child going to college, and I have been fretting and feeling pressured by my family (not DH!!!) to get out there and make money for ODS to go to school.

My DH says - if he wants to go to school then he can figure it out - community college with a job of his own or the US military. We are not meant to give up all that we have built to provide one of our children with an education.

I am going to calm down and remain steadfast! Or to borrow a phrase from the UK - Keep Calm and Carry On!

Thank you again!

Lydia said...

This is an interesting turn of events, for I remember a time when men at work looked down on those who had their wives working. It was considered a weakness and a failure to have your wife working. It was a sign you were doing someting wrong...spending too much or not managing well. It meant that the man didnt have much pride and couldnt hold his head up like the other men. It made a man lower than his peers. To be able to provide for your wife was a sign of success. Religious people especially frowned on wives working because they knew they could not fulfill the Biblical commands for the family if the wife was away and the children farmed out here and there and the house neglected. It meant that things women in churches usually did, like hospitality and charity, would not be done.

Anonymous said...

from 1:49 PM
was your second "funny" to do the housework in front of your husband?

for a reality this would not work in my case because my husband would try to "help", and things would be put away in an unfamiliar places (or not where it belongs), he would wipe over and not scrub, and so on.

One night when our two girls were younger he got to see them in action. He came in to a nice neat family room. I left him in the room with them, and went into the bedroom. He got up and went out to the garage. In that short time, they took out toys, sofa pillows were on the floor, a couple of cups were on the table. He was amazed. "Ya'll's Momma had it clean in here and in five minutes ya'll tore this place up."
Sometimes a man has to see it to get it.

Lydia said...

no that wasnt it. It was .5 men/man for every woman working. I did not intend for it to be a funny but it sounds like a man forced on welfare when a woman works, is half a man.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lydia,
It is not only the women who can't get to charity work when working outside the home - my DH was reading the obituary of 2 prominent men in our community, and he wondered where these men had the time to do all they did - and I said it was because they had a wife at home, did not have to run errands or make appointments or do gardening after they worked a long day. Coming home to a clean house and a good dinner restored them so they could go out and participate in the needs of the community.

Thanks for all you do.
L. Theresa

MarkyMark said...


You're right; this IS an interesting turn of events. There was a time when a man was less of a man if his wife worked...


Lydia said...

You can always tell your husband, if he is pushing you to get a job outside the home, that you already have a job, and when you are not bone tired from it and are bored, you will be happy to find one. When you have finished your job at home and caught up with the laundry, mending, dishes, grocery shopping, cleaned the fridge, cleaned the bathroom, and swept the front porch, you'll consider getting another job, if you aren't too tired, or sick. I dont know if women realize their plans are sometimes bigger than their strength. Some people will think they can work another job and then find out something has to give...and what gives is their home life.

Anonymous said...

To the woman with medical bills who wants to come home: we have had unexpected medical bills in the past, and ER visits are usually very high where we are. We have always gotten on a payment plan with the hospital or clinic and paid it down. It makes things tight for a while, but we have never ever been unable to pay it all off.

Anonymous said...

Lady Lydia,

Thank you for this timely post, I have been needing the encouragement so much lately.

When I read the part of your post yesterday about entire towns "manned" by women, I thought immediately about my trip to the bank yesterday. The bank was entirely "manned" by women and I thought about that as I was sitting there waiting to be helped. I could remember a time when the only women working in banks were the tellers, all the management positions were held by men. These women were all in the 30 to 50 year old range, the age when they would have school age children at home. My, how things have changed.

Blessed Homemaking said...

My advice to Anon 11:59 pm would be that you may feel better just by returning home. Surely the workplace is causing you undue stress.

If you're having an overall "sick" feeling, your problem may just be fixed with a healthy diet (something you may not be getting since you're not at home?) Tests may very likely not be necessary, and doctors don't have all the answers. I would encourage you to switch to a traditional foods diet (foods that God created in the way He intended them to be prepared~soaked grains, fermented foods, healthy intake of good fats~butter, virgin coconut oil, no processed sugar)...A good place to learn about this is or pick up a book called Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.

If you are still feeling sick after switching off a SAD (standard American Diet), your body may have a condition called candida overgrowth. A trusted website for this is where you can also use a questionnaire to assess your symptoms.

I had to be my husband's own "doctor" when the doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong with him~ they ran several tests and had him take a few rounds of antibiotics (which just made it worse)and then threw up their hands...Doctors only know what they have been taught in the colleges--much of which is just to push pills and unnecessary surgeries.

Part of our role as homemakers is to keep our families in a state of good health, so I have researched this thoroughly out of necessity. If you have any questions about the above mentioned info. I'd be happy to help. I hate to see people suffer needlessly healthwise because a doctor can't help them. You may email me at

Anonymous said...

MarkyMark's comment at 7:20 makes me think a bit of a scene in "A Christmas Carol" (the George C. Scott version). The young Ebeneezer is walking with Belle, & she asks him, "If there had been no understanding between us, would you seek me out and try to win me now....a dowryless girl, with nothing but myself to bring to a marriage?" Of course, we know the answer to that question, & the terrible, lonely fate that awaits Scrooge as he grows older.

MarkyMark's observation of the "oneupsmanship" of many men, in comparing their wives' jobs, reminds me of the mercenary outlook held by Dickens' famous skinflint.


Gail said...

So much information here, and so much richness in the comments, too!
Yes, when I was a child, people did feel sorry for married women who worked. We just thought it was kind of weird. And thanks to the lady who reminded us of the wondrous smell of a hot iron on clean cotton. Beautiful word-picture. I just got done with an extensive visit with some ladies at church today. They were talking about their household incomes, and their worries about the future. It sounds like their incomes are all over 100K and yet they worried about they and their husbands having to do without in their retirement. We are currently keeping a household of five afloat (and helping three other children in their early 20's) on less than 50K a year. I know some of you are doing this on less than we make. I just have to sit and marvel. Someone also mentioned that its a shame that daycare buildings have become so extravagant that they have to charge parents so much. I said it would be better yet if mothers kept their children at home, to which the deacon's wife replied that, well, people have to work if they want to pay their bills. I know I have said this here before, but I explained to her that when my husband was in the Navy, he never rose above the rank of E-6, but the two women I was able to hire to come and clean house for me weekly, were married to men who out-ranked my husband. She just looked at me, and did not seem to have a response. I think she got the point that net worth and purchasing power are not merely dependent upon income, but also upon how that income is managed. The secret is that folks spend an awful lot of money on things that exude status, that show off the appearance of wealth, but these are often things that have perfectly good alternatives that are cheaper or free. I am so content when I am home, and feel positively rich because I do not have to subordinate myself to anyone in the outside world. I am a queen here!

Anonymous said...

Yes, Scrooge missed out on love. He may have expected to marry up, into a monied family. Some people see dollars and cents when they find a woman with qualifications to bring in a large income.

Anonymous said...

By being home my husband knows I actually help him save so much money it would be foolish for me to work! My daughter also is a homemaker and does the same. As we all know working even without child care has many costs associated with it that have to be subtracted from any pay you actauly get...after taxes and many other things are taken out. Then if there are children day care is a huge expense. Also a pay could put you into a higher tax rate and then look out! Since we are home we can cook and bake, watch the sales and get all our foods and products at a discount as we have time to carefully shop, sew many objects for the home and on and on. We have gardens, can and have time for so many touches that as you say, make a house a true home. We can do this without the stress associated with a rush rush life. Our husbands know they can depended on us to guard our homes. We have time to help our neighbors or visit those in the parish or retirement places that could use some help or cheer. They love to have the children come too. Having started them out early in life to help others our children know how to behave and be in other's homes. Also we may invite some of them to dinner with our family. Our home can be the place of refuge needed by us all. Our husbands do not make what is considered today even a middle class salary but we live we feel like kings and queens. We have all we need and more. Both our husbands say they would not have it any other way. Thankyou again for such an encouraging article and I pray it will be read by many couples and they will take it seriously. They will never regret their decisiion for the wife to stay at home...and alway be there. My children are now all grown and still I am home and there is plenty to do! Missha

Gail said...

Here's one other thing: a young, professional married couple of my
daughter's acquaintance have a baby and a preschooler in daycare. During Christmas break the center was closed so the mother had to stay home that week. It was a long, frustrating week for her since she is not used to being with her children full-time, and therefore it was hard on the children as well. So hard, in fact, that the end of the week found the little boy wailing in his bed as he cried out for his daycare provider. "I want mommy-so-and-so" he cried. Makes your heart ache, doesn't it?

Lydia said...

Your description of living like kings on a pauper income reminded me of Alexis de Toqueville's description of some of the early Americans he stayed with, when he wrote the book, "America Revisted" in the 1830's. He said the men and women had only roughly hewn cabins to live in, and no fine china, yet the man came home from work with an air of royalty, and his wife sat by the hearth doing needlework--he found that a refining touch, rather contradictory to the wild surroundings--and the children were lolling about on a rug in front of the fireplace. There was a type of formality there, even though they did not have the expensive things of the world.He said each family, though having no wealth, had the wealth of contentment and satisfaction in their work, their surroundings and their families.

MarkyMark said...

I know I have said this here before, but I explained to her that when my husband was in the Navy, he never rose above the rank of E-6, but the two women I was able to hire to come and clean house for me weekly, were married to men who out-ranked my husband. She just looked at me, and did not seem to have a response.

That's beautiful, just beautiful! Being a Navy vet who was a former E-5, I know that E-6 does not earn what would be considered a big salary or even close to it. Way to shut 'em up, Emmarinda...

Gail said...

Thank you, Marky. Who said we cannot have a little fun, whilst setting the world in order!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post. I find your words so inspiring. Thanks for writing this. It really feels like it was meant for me today.

Anonymous said...

So much wisdom and truth here. There's another point I haven't heard yet and I will try to be delicate.

How many of you women who have worked outside the home, come home after working for a boss and you felt physically exhausted and unromantic?

When I worked outside my home for 9 months thinking it would afford us a little extra spending money, most of the money went to buying a meal for dinner because I was too tired both physically and mentally to cook or clean up after dinner.

Our health began to ebb because of eating "fast food" and when it came to being romantic, I was too exhausted and felt too stressed and unromantic to indulge.

I submit to you that was the end of the job outside the home.

The whole family is thankful mom is back in the home and everyone has more energy because we are eating nutritious, home cooked meals that are far less expensive to prepare.
Mom and dad are wearing smiles again. Everyone is happy again.

We found out it was more economical for the wife to stay home and "make the home" then for the wife to be working outside the home.

Don't fool yourself into thinking you have to have that new toy or extra money for spending on the little extras that make life so nice. We found that we were spending more time trying to protect those toys and didn't have the time to enjoy them because we were too tired or over scheduled to use them. The money was squandered away on conveniences we didn't really need after all.
What a waste.

Thank you Lydia for bringing this subject up on your posts. Women need to be in the home to make it a home.

Anonymous said...

Recently I found a cookbook called Healthy Choices - "No sugar. No white flour. No artificial anything" - dedicated "To all mothers who make the sometimes difficult food choices and lifestyle sacrifices for the sake of their own or another's health."

Unlike cookbooks that will say to add a can of a cream soup (that is laced with chemicals like msg), this one has recipes to make cream soups and cream soup mix.

It also has other types of recipes, for soaps and cleaners and home remedies for sickness.

I think this book, and the one already mentioned by Mrs. Q called Nourishing Traditions, which has a lot of interesting educational reading in it besides the recipes, would make great gifts for newlyweds or for anyone interested in health.

Healthy Choices ISBN: 9781933753126

MarkyMark said...

What Mrs. Q and Anon1506 said have some merit: natural is good! For example, there's an old farmer near my job. He raises bees and sells the honey from the hives. I'm talkin' straight from the hive goodness, not the processed garbage you get in the supermarket. After having used it for a couple of years now, it's helped my joints and memory. BTW, in ancient Egypt, honey was often prescribed for illnesses...

Oh, and what Mrs. Q said in response to the stressed commenter, she was right: stress can and does compromise one's health. It only stands to reason; the mental energy expended dealing with the stress is energy that's NOT available for the body to fight illness.

Mama Said No said...

In answer to MarkyMark's comment about men wanting to brag about thier wive's having impressive careers, I have to say that my husband actually brags more about my being at home than he ever did about my having a successful massage therapy practice, even though we had a lot more money. He admits that my clinic helped put him through college back then, but he brags now that my being at home makes him prouder.

Mama Said No said...

Since I had to come back into town today I have been enjoying the posts from everyone. I told my husband about the original posts and many of the replies, and we had a long discussion about my staying home One of the things he told me was that many of the men he works with have wives who also work, and that these wives have to drive over 2 hours sometimes to get to theirjobs, just so they can make enough money to justify their time outside the home. When these men hear my husband talk about something I am doing at home, or they see the nice lunch I have sent with him, he says they just sort of look ill.

Mama Said No said...

Oh my, what a blessing this posting has turned out to be! I had to come into town again today, and just happened to look at my old blog. There were 3 comments. Apparently, they had found my blog from my replies to your post, and they wrote very nice comments and even mentioned they might be interested in becoming pen pals! Do we not serve the most awsome God of all? Is He not the most cool of cool? He always takes care of things, even the little piddly stuff that most folks think is not important, like the need for someone to 'woman with', as one friend once put it. Thank you Lady Lydia, you have the gift of encouragement to others.

Lydia said...

Thank you, everyone, for your very encouraging comments and all the information you add here. I really do appreciate it.

I am working on another post, and also a society page, where I tell all the social events going on in my life so far this month.

It is hard to sit still and concentrate on things like that unless the house is in order, but posting for friends is something I greatly anticipate even while sweeping or sewing.

For a sewing post, I plan to show how to raise a neckline on any pattern, and how to make a table cloth and matching curtains.

For crafts, coming up, there are all kinds of sweet ideas for February, which I hope to share. Be looking on the blogroll for a burst of color during that month, too.

Homeschool on the croft, I do not see your email address anywhere and would like you to contact me, as I want to send you something via email, so if you would be so kind as to contact me, I'd appreciate it.

I still plan on making a cottage calendar and will have it go from Feb. to Feb so it will be a full 12 months.

Also in the works is a tea talk with 21st Century Victorian Lady, Lisa, about what to expect when you teach a homemaking class to young ladies.

Anonymous said...

If you need anymore encouragement for making home-cooked meals, these sites are on Monosodium Glutamate, which is also hidden under other names in processed foods and is also used in many restaurants, and is related to various health problems.

A quote from the first site: "A recent Study in rural China on humans, shows MSG contributes to obesity, regardless of caloric intake or activity."

Anonymous said...

Such a great post! My husband has alzheimer's and when I was doing the necessary paperwork to see if he could qualify for disability payments, the woman who was interviewing me told me that homemakers get alzheimer's more often than working women because homemakers are not using their minds and stimulating their thought processes! Can you imagine it?!

Another thought I've had is that there will never be any encouragement to be a homemaker coming from the mainstream, because through birth control and abortion the numbers of consumers have dwindled. If women start staying home and working at home making, they will not only NOT be consumers, they'll be in direction competition with other companies marketing goods that they and their families would normally buy.

I have long said that any economic system that depends upon overspending by a family to the point that it drives the woman from the home cannot be a healthy system. First the home, then the church, then the community. Strong individuals make for a strong country, but it's hard for strong individuals to be raised in a home that is forced into economic overspending to support the government's idea of a strong economy.

I feel severely intimidated by church women (and their husbands) who work outside the home. Any tips on how to deal with this? Do I just continue doing as I am? Or do I become more vocal? Really makes me nervous ...

I have been tempted to worry about myself financially, I will admit, because I have no income of my own and my husband is ill and if I outlive him I will lose his retirement money and his disability money and will have nothing coming in and no insurance benefits. But going out to work now is certainly not the answer! I've always loved homemaking and he needs me more now than ever ... I try to remember that the Lord will take care of me, somehow, in a way that I can't imagine.

Also, some people complain they are bored at home ... how could they be?! There is so much to do, so many projects in my head, I'll never live long enough to try them all.

I also think that just because children get older it is not reason to run away from home. I think, of all ages, getting a child successfully from young adult (18-20) to, say, mid-20s, requires lots of hard work, guts, and just plain availability. That is where so many young adults get trundled off to college or ministries and have to struggle through all the bewildering challenges the world will throw at them.

Also, I always wanted my husband to have freshly ironed shirts and a nice haircut and clean clothes and a nice lunch with some cookies, etc. I wanted EVERYONE to know that someone at home cares about him. I still feel that way.

Love the ironing board thing!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much, for this wonderful blog. I find my self desperate and hungry for encouragement in this lonely occupation of homemaking... and I'm always encouraged when I come here. I hope you are having a very blessed and lovely week!

Lydia said...

Homemakers at risk for alzheimers???

I suppose that makes day care workers, food preparation employees, cleaning ladies and maids at risk also!

Suzanne said...

Hello Lydia,
Before I came home full time I did neurological research and my specialty was alzheimer's. In my ten years of research I have to say I saw more male patients by far, mostly older men. The early onset patients I saw were all in their 50's and again, men. This, of course, may have changed in the last 12 years, but that was my experience.

Anonymous said...

I like the post that one lady wrote about seeing the humor in things instead of being too overly serious. Femininity is lightness and joy and playfulness, not serious somberness 24-7.(although I am not in any way suggesting one should not be SOBER, which there is too little of today ).
Soberness is reverencing one's husband, somberness is taking offence whenever a husband is stressed and says things he does not mean.Soberness is cutting back on spending when he has lost his job, somberness is complaining and going straight out to get a job, all the time saying loudly that "someone has to work"
in the meantime flooding the workplace with more women . Less men working will eventually mean we will be dependent on women to run things and we were not made to run things and make it work, the way men can. I always hear that 'men have made a mess , so now we need women to clean it up' Yes, its true men have made a mess, but it is not good men who have made a mess, it is evil men who have done so. Why is it we make no difference even in our churches , the difference between evil and good men?
We have always depended on good men to right the mess that evil men have made. The Old Testament is full of those examples.
Also, it was mentioned that sometimes men are competitive and they talk about their wives working. Yes its true. But husbands with stay at home wives have home cooked meals made from scratch with the very finest ingredients , sometimes even grown by their wives, the children are well taught and well trained. While other men have wives who must call another man (or woman) boss, a traditional homemaker only answers to her husband.. their goals are not working against each other.

Gail said...

You know, sometimes it is not just a boss that makes a woman subordinate to another man - sometimes you can be in a ministry headed by a man, and if that man has an abusive personality, it is very destructive for a woman to remain under. I just quit something at church that I had been involved in for almost five years. It became necessary for me to do this because the man in charge was very demanding, condescending, and verbally abusive, if you can believe it. We have to be really careful whose authority we voluntarily put ourselves under, because in this instance, it was really starting to affect me. I finally said to myself, "Hey, I am an older woman, a wife to my husband of 30 years, mother of several children, and I do not deserve this treatment. So I quit! Really feeling good about it, too.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised someone hasn't asked you about a homemaker's work not being appreciated. We are going through a bad time right now (ok, I"m going through a bad time right now). Hours of my time is spent providing for my family but I just don't feel like anyone cares or notices. I am so depressed and frustrated right now and I feel that the only thing my family cares about is "What's for dinner?". Our home is clean, safe, cozy, and organized (but my boys still can't find anything for their selves) but all I get are complaints. Most of my days are spent thinking maybe I should not have married and had children. Or I'm thinking next year at this time my 17yo will be off at college and it will be one less person to serve. Then, I get depressed because I feel like I'm wishing my life away. I pray all the time to be a good wife and mother but I don't think I can last much longer and want to walk out the door everyday (and feel I will after my youngest turn 18 in 5 years).

Anonymous said...

I have bent to the pressure and intimidation to get a job outside the home, plus I felt I was bored at home; then I ended up being bored at work, lol. Who says the workplace is always more interesting than the home?? Most people think their jobs are boring. A fact of life. At least at home you are working for yourself. I quit the job in a couple of months.

Anonymous said...

When I happen to be in the grocery store around 5:30 p.m., my heart goes out to the poor working mothers I see grabbing a shopping cart and throwing a frozen pizza into it, while leading about a tired child who has spent all day in the day care center. My heart goes out to them -- most of them probably would rather be at home during the day.

Anonymous said...

Nearly all of the poor people suffering from Alzheimer's disease of my personal acquaintance are men.

Anonymous said...

I have a few suggestions for Anon. 3:10, whose husband has Alzheimer's. You'd wondered how to behave toward those who were rather intimidating at your church, concerning the fact that you are a homemaker.

* Never act as though you see yourself inferior in some way to them. And I don't mean that you should adopt a snobbish attitude...just that you know your worth, the importance of your work, & the pleasure it gives God to see you obeying Him.

* Ask about their work, as one equal to another. You have a job, they have a job. Differences, yes. But no doubt they'll want to talk about their experiences, & if you approach them first, showing interest, & kindness, they may be more receptive to hear about what your days look like on the homefront. Oftentimes (I have found, anyway) their hostility is a front.

* Maintain good grooming. We never want outsiders to see us as having "let ourselves go", to use the commom phrase. It is a bad witness to our work to appear disheveled in public.

I hope this is helpful to you. God's blessings!


Anonymous said...

With three children at home, how could one possibly not be busy?! I love all of the buysness though.

Most adult women who work out now had mothers who stayed at home. So when women tell you they work because they want their children to have a better future or more 'things' than they had when they were young, then ask them if they would give up their childhood spent with mommy at home and live it all over with their mothers at work, never there for them when they needed them... Would all these things that mommy could have afforded if she had worked have been worth more than her presence???... I cannot imagine such a thing.

I stayed at home even when my husband went to school, and we had to make some debt doing it, but the children will not be affected by it, whereas they WOULD be affected by me going off to work.

Pioneer Mom said...

I am glad you allow us to post our identity now. I don't mind if the whole world knows where I stand.

Lydia said...

You do not have to be completely out of debt, nor do you have to own your home outright, and you do not have to have everything set in place, in order to stay home. It is not so much about affordability as it is about duty and determination. Life is always going to have its tense moments when the income doesnt quite meet the expenses, but so women have lived that way for generations, learning as they went along how to cope with the prosperous times and the down times. There has to be a deep conviction about staying home. It can't be something you do just when it is convenient or affordable. It is a belief, and belief is only as good as the actions that back it up. Some women are waiting for the right time to become homemakers, but it is more dependent upon the person to decide to do it, than on the right circumstances.

Anonymous said...

Lady Lydia, thank you for all you are doing!! I just told my daughter and a few friends that I would rather live as I do, at near poverty level, and do the things I do at home than to go out and be a 'man'. I shop as frugally as I can and/or fix up nicely the things I have had for years. I know some folks who are so jealous of me; they think I am so rich....just loaded with these imaginary bucks!! Well, little do those poor souls know.....I AM RICH beyond measure!!! and I'll have it no other way!! ;)

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia

A welcome post, as you can see by all the comments.

May I comment on the ironing quip? Here in the UK, we only have tiny tumble dryers, so most people take out the washing damp, and then iron it. So I could not show off about being a diligent housewife. On the other hand, the mothers who are working outside the home must somehow fit in the ironing and other chores after a long day at work and after rushing to prepare an evening meal and so forth.

I recently heard a phone-in radio programme, and there were ladies ironing at 10 o'clock or even eleven at night!

When I worked in a school, our poor children had the leftovers of my time and energy. God bless the widows and abandoned lone mothers who are managing with all of that, but why not avoid it if we can?

Also -- hope you are'nt bored, ladies -- but have you also considered that being based at home allows you to minister to others -- even as a mother of young children? The local kids come knocking at your door when they are bored or the bike needs fixing. The mothers call you when they need a quick favour. Your friends know you have time to pray over the phone when they are tearful and discouraged. God entrusts us with ministries as we make ourselves available for them.


Anonymous said...

I knew a woman who left home to go into the workplace (her husbands had a very good job) because she felt "like they weren't doing anything" at home, and put her children in day care. What kind of job did she get? Kindergarten teacher. Working with other people's children. Why is being with children all day ok as long as they are other peoples' children and you get money for it?

I also know another woman who went to work because she couldn't stand being home with her kids all day. What kind of job did she get? Day care worker! Go figure.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous who posted the tips regarding dealing with working wives at church:

Yay! What a great idea! To ask them about their work! This would be so helpful, and I'm going to do it as soon as I can. Thank you!

Eileen Jennings said...

At first glance there were parts of this post I questioned but thank you Lydia for taking my emails and helping me to release some fear. Lydia you are really being used by God to help so many of us to get it straight and I thank you for this. As my daughter and I step out to join the ranks of women who stay-at-home and are now beginning to speak up, it helps to have other women saying the same thing. The Lord is showing me the importance of the older women teaching the younger women. I thougth it was just with my daughter but now am beginning to open up for others as well.
Mrs. J.

Anonymous said...

Lady Lydia,
Thank you for pointing out that making money at home is still a second job.

So many christian blogs tout making money from home as essential. One with a lot of children says they simply could not live off what her husband makes. They have several home businesses and take every opportunity to try more including selling cookies to the neigbors.

I only have four children and can not imagine 3+ home businesses on the side plus my first job as wife , mother and educator of the children. {My husband does have a part-time second job.}Thank you once again for saying what the Bible says.

Lydia said...

Sometimes making a little extra money with a hobby you love is fun, but it has to come with a caution that it not take over the real work of home. Leisure time should be leisurely and of course its nice if you can sell what you make, but it should not cause stress or neglect of the home.Sometimes I read articles about how women are capable of keeping the home and can have lots and lots of time to make money. However I dont think they take into account the varying aspects of a woman's energy and time. There will be times when you need more rest, and these articles seem to indicate that a woman never tires, never needs to rest, never needs to limit the responsibilities she has at home. These authors write as if every woman has the same amount of ambition to earn money. I know many women have earned a lot of money with their own business, but some have paid a high price for it in the loss of their children's closeness or the neglect of their own houses.

Gail said...

I think of that farm lady, who in an effort to compile and continually update her large compendium on country living, got to where she was on the road all the time selling her book and doing interviews on TV and all. She had six or seven children and was a wonderful Christian lady, but in promoting the rural way of life, she lost her own rural life, and ended up, though I am not blaming her, divorced, and alone. Just reading what she wrote, as an outsider, it sounded like her husband had desired for her to let it go and stay home. The book had taken over, it seems to me, and became her life's work. I think she worked it and reworked it for a couple of decades. In the epilogue to the book's last edition, she sadly recounts having to get her children ready to attend their father's wedding to the new woman.

Lydia said...

This is a sad account, and it does not just happen in our own day and age. There were people who risked their families so that they could make money, in the past, and many preachers used to warn about it.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lydia,

As an older daughter, I moved out of my parents' home at their request.

I moved into a beautiful house a short distance away, where I help care for an elderly lady.

With the money I earn continuing to clean my parents' home on a weekly basis, I am able to pay the reduced rent to live here.

There must be some kind of moral to this, but I don't know what it is.

Thank you.