Monday, April 21, 2014

A Place of Contentment

All is well here and I hope all is well with you. We are catching up on things at home after a busy weekend. The weather is overcast and it is chilly outside. I have boiled water and made a cup of tea to sip while I organize my list of things to do, ranging from the most urgent to the long-term things.Recently I saw an old sketch from an 1800's newspaper, depicting how far the feminist movement might go. It showed the English parliament completely manned by women. These women were depicted as uncouth, behaving wildly, their clothing and hair untidy, and their expressions anything but friendly or feminine. It was meant no doubt as an exaggeration, loaded with symbolism. An explanation can be found on Wikimedia.
Contrast it to the domestic scene in the Victorian photograph below, where ladies are enjoying the company of one another in the civil act of taking tea. While one depicts a restless, discontented assembly, the other shows ladies who are relaxed, content and peaceful,as well as happy. They cannot be ridiculous in the natural role of wife,mother, homemaker, guard and guide of the home.

Tea in a Victorian botanical garden

As I was enjoying this photograph, I thought of how much more a woman derives from the home, if she cares for her family and for the house. In the long-run, she stands to benefit so much greater than a lifetime of screaming for her rights. At home she has the reliable sameness of things, without the uncertainly of politics, if she maintains a peaceful atmosphere, not turning every little thing into an argument, and looking on the good side of her family and her home.Home and family will not last very long. It seems in no time the family is grown and gone, and sometimes a husband and father passes away. That is one reason it important to create memories for them all, by what you believe and speak, and by your good stewardship of the home. This does not imply that that the house will never be a mess or that the pressures will never seem overwhelming. It is good to be content, in whatever state you are in.
Will your husband and children have memories of you always complaining, contradicting, finding fault in everything and in general being in a negative mood? When I say you are creating memories, I am not referring to the parties and special events you might present, but to the daily attitude of contentment and happiness you portray by what you do and say.I am sure there are young women who want to leave home just so they can have some fun or be free of the or responsibilities, but I guarantee it is worse away from home. These women will ruin their lives looking for happiness, and will attain nothing. If they stay home and apply themselves and learn to be content, they will reap greater rewards later on. The home is an enterprise that pays off emotionally and monetarily if it is carefully guarded by the lady of the house.
Having a stable family and a house with well-cared for posessions will mean stability later on. Contentment does not imply perfection all the time, for it is often impossible to have an orderly house. Comtentment means that you accept your duty and dedicate yourself to it, minding your own business and not getting upset at the state of the world, which you are powerless to fix. You can however, control your own life at home and no matter how big the job seems, chip away at it, little by little, until it becomes acceptable to you.In all your striving for order and peace in the family and the house, remember that if you are a Christian, Christ is your king and you are serving Him. With so great a king, it makes sense to do well and try to please Him. It is not wise to depend entirely on the approval of people around you, as they are only human beings and can disappoint you. If God has wisely appointed Christian women to guard the home and be keepers at home (Titus 2), then we can confidently fulfill it, knowing we have His approval.Today we have a great blessing in the web, in that homemaking need not be isolated nor boring. People share beautiful pictures of shiny kitchens and tidy porches, inviting living rooms and enticing food. This can be a springboard of encouragement and inspiration for contentment at home. You can do so much at home and it need never be boring!
Here are the scriptures on contentment:Philippians 4:11-13

11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
1Ti 6:8    And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
Heb 13:5    Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Heb 13:6    So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.


living from glory to glory said...

Dear Lydia, I must admit some days contentment can seem elusive. But as soon as I settle down with His word and encourage myself in the Lord, I am able again to align with the truth. I am not a super woman. But rather a woman who does serve the only wise King! He has asked me to be the keeper of this Home and I am doing what He has asked. And I also think that blogging has been a tool for encouragement and inspiration. I am thankful and blessed to have a community of ladies who have answered the same call.
Blessings, Roxy

Homemaker' said...

If I ever needed to read this, it was today. After coming home yesterday from a family Easter celebration I felt so low and did most of today as well. I was surrounded by women who worked outside the home and they huddled together to talk about what's new at work and talked about the work they're doing and all the perks and benefits they receive. I felt so out of place. When asked what I was doing I felt totally insecure and unsure of how to answer which bothered me so much because I love being a 55 year old woman who still stays at home and takes care of things. I feel the Lord has given me the desire of my heart. I feel like homemaking is the only thing I do well. I can't imagine being out in the work place. I'd feel like a fish out of water like I did yesterday with the women in the family. But I DID let it bother me and I've being feeling low all day even after my prayer time this morning and talking it over with the Lord. But your message today was encouraging and a reminder that I cannot allow others to make me feel that what I'm doing at home isn't as important as what they're doing outside the home. Thank you! Mary S.

Raggedy Cottage Garden said...

this is a very good reminder. I went to a liberal arts college though not recognizing the spiritual foul and disappointing odor of feminism. thankful to find Christ of he bible alone for truth and encouragement in all types of homes in which husband and I lived

Lydia said...

In reference to women who leave home because they are not content,mare bored or want excitement, I am referring to those who actually abandon husband and home and children, as in leaving home for good. This is tragic for the family that has to cope without a mother and tragic also for the women who end up worse off, without a home and without seeing their children grow up. Later on after they have ruined their chances at a family they regret it but it is often too late.

Katrinka said...

Mary, I've been on both sides of this issue. I've had some pretty important jobs during my 'work outside the home' careers, including working for my husband in his business. I'm sure I did some important things and made a difference in the lives of some people, and hopefully was a good witness for the Lord when I felt the freedom to express my faith.

However, I ALWAYS felt that my family was getting the leftovers... and I wanted them to have the best of me, not simply the scraps. Some of what I did, I did when I was younger and knew no better. Some of the time it was out of love to assist my husband, knowing I would rather be at home. But nothing has even come close to the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment I feel as a homemaker.

It doesn't mean I don't feel awkward occasionally, because it seems there are a lot of women working now. But I feel my presence and witness will stay with them and they'll remember there are other options in life when/if they begin to question how they spend their days. You might be surprised in the future to find what a positive impact you have been to some of the very people who made you uncomfortable yesterday. An employee is replaceable... a mommy and wife is not.

Teri said...

Dear Lydia ... I love our home. It is not always perfect, actually it is never perfect. It is cosy, it is comfy and we feel content in our little cottage. We live simply and love our quiet time. I love being the keeper of our home. My hubby is retired so he is home as well and we are both very content here. We both go about our chores inside and outside. Our home is our safe haven from the outside world which can be so out of control.

Our families need to feel the warmth and love that we as wives and mothers give them.

You have such a warm and inspirational "little space" here ... very heartwarming. Thank you for sharing. I hope that your week is filled with sweet pleasures and simple blessings as you tend to your home and share love with your family.

Warmest Blessings ♥ Teri

Homemaker' said...

I feel I have to apologize - I totally agree with Lady Lydia that young women should make a home and be there for the children and husband during those critical growing up years. It's something I look back on with such fondness and without regret. I was totally content with making that decision. The difficult part for me now (an older woman) is having to defend my wanting to remain in the home after children are grown. I didn't mean to make it sound like a woman should never again go out of the home to work. I'm sure some women feel as if the Lord put them in a position outside the home to be there as a witness to those they work with. I just get the feeling that it seems(to others) it's such an odd thing for an older woman without the responsibility of children to keep staying at home and I get discouraged in trying to defend my decision and maybe feel like I'm so out of it when it comes to being around women who talk business and have no idea what they're talking about and have no way of entering into the conversation. Now, talk to me about making homemade laundry detergent, or my household notebook, or how to save money on groceries, and I could talk all day! :)

Lydia said...

You do not need to apologize for anything. Sometimes in a social situation people can be thoughtless and other times there is rudeness. When some ladies knew I was homeschooling, they would make a point of talking across me to one another about the school ball games and school events. I never would have thought to talk about homeschooling deliberately in front of anyone who was not interested or was not in favor of it.

Some people think when the children are grown is the time a woman should go out to earn a wage, but they do t factor in her age, her strength, her health or stamina, and they do t figure in that she and her husband may be close to retirement anyway. Homemakers are not without retirement and many have invested the family income in retirement benefits. The husband usually has retirement saved up too.

Homemaker' said...

Thank you, LadyLydia, for responding! We were homeschoolers too (the first and only in both of our families) so I remember the attitudes of some as well.

Thank you for your blog - it's beautiful and so helpful for those of us trying to follow what the Lord has for us in every season of our lives. God bless you.

anonymous said...

So glad you brought up the contentment scriptures at the end of your post.
Our bible study all week has been on contentment, reading in the book of James chapter 5.

I learned some time ago that contentment isn't having what you want, but appreciating what you have.

Mrs. J.

Rightthinker said...

Discontentment, strife, anger, masculinity, rigidness, and hatred for all things feminine are the outward representations of feminism. That picture seems to depict it quite well!

Think about the feminist movement and the "women" who have been representative of the movement. Not a single one has ever embodied feminine contentment..appreciation for their unique, blessed and God-given roles.

Unfortunately, I know of very few women in which feminism hasn't touched and tainted, at least to some degree in their lifestyle. I must say that the few women I do know who have completely rejected all aspects of feminism, are content. Content does not equal perfection or never having a down time. However, the down times become so unusual that those who care for her can appreciate her enough to care for her during her low moments, as well.

Happiness and blessing is much more present in the content woman's life. She will be a much better witness for Christ, than a bitter, angry "get mine" type woman most common today.

To see a joy-filled lady who is fulfilling her role to the delight of those around her is such a blessing and such a rarity in my own experience. Much more common are those "doing it" because they are in that position for the moment..looking for their escape to feminism as soon as possible.

God Bless you, Lydia, for being an encouragement for the ladies who truly desire to be a lady of God.

I am blessed to be your friend and have you as such an example!