Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Homemaking is Real Work and Real Ministry

(In keeping with this post, please also read Roxy's post here

Hello Ladies,

I have been mulling over this subject for awhile and today am attempting to put it into written words. 

There is a well-known idea that if you decide to be homemaker, rather than take up a career, you are not doing a worthwhile work.

 Feeling it would be contrary to Titus 2 to get a regular 9-5 job, some women at home find "a ministry."  (It sounds so religious, it must be right!). Unfortunately, a "ministry" today, where women are concerned, is a way to have a career that  does not look like a corporate job.

They end up putting so much time and energy into ministry, they work longer and harder, for less 
money than if they had a 9-5 job.  This destroys the whole purpose of staying home, because they are not focusing on home living.

We are seeing today the development of "Christian feminists."  These are restless women who turn even the role of homemaker into an achievement-oriented, money-making business, or a ministry that is driven by a powerful desire to "do" something other than settle down to contented home living.  
They need to convert their restlessness into caring for the house and the family, cooking well, sewing, and creating a wonderful atmosphere at home. 

Women may feel guilty to be home, so they want to show that they are pulling their share of the load 
by making money or putting enormous time into charities and other programs and organizations. 

It is good to learn to be content to be "just a homemaker" or "just a housewife." Some of you older women may remember when it was a very negative thing to be called "just a housewife" but I believe today a woman should say emphatically that she is "just a homemaker" with the emphasis on "just" or "only." It prevents the attitude that they should do more and more!

I know several religious women who wear dresses and claim to be homemakers, but are continually in their cars going from one ministry event to another. One woman said she no longer prepares meals at home because she does not want to take time from her ministry that she has worked so hard for!

The frenzy of of such ministries drowns out home life. When a woman takes on a ministry, it almost 
always involves money-seeking, and that leads to multiple businesses, both online and off, that pose as "serving" others whilst stealing time that is intended for a natural life at home. Many of these ministry-driven women are networking with businesses to support their ministries, which takes enormous time and energy. The family is not nurtured. You can see a kind of loss in their faces. 

The ministry-craze is a result in putting the home and family on a "to-do" list which makes the woman's role that of a "Martha" who thinks work at home is a mechanical act, and it can be left undone, or done by everyone else , freeing up her time to minister to others. 

 But home making is more than cleaning and meal preparation. It is a ministry of love to your own people that God has literally placed in your lap. The home cries out "Look at me! I am your ministry and your work! You need not look out the window for someone else to minister to or work for".  When you minister or work for others, you may be neglecting your own people. When taking care of your home and family you are in fact ministering to the world and doing a greater work for the world. We can go into that in another post. I invite comments on how the home ministers to the world by example.

These ministry-motivated women invest very little time and talents into their own homes and families. Spending so much time away from home and concentrating on their ministries while at home, these women fail to gather real home-living experience in cooking, cleaning, sewing and mending, ironing, caring for the house, or creating real bonding and counselling,  or sharing wisdom with their families. They have allowed business (disguised as ministry) to consume them.

All of us know what it is like to have the mind obsessed with something, only to later regret the neglect it caused to husband and children. Time lost can never be recovered.  Women are naturally dedicated workers and very loyal to people and causes, so let them use that natural dedication and loyalty for the home and family. 

It is so easy to be distracted. Helping people has a real pull on women, but let it pull you to help your own husband and children, who will be in your life much, much longer.

Life as a wife, mother and homemaker is truly the most worthwhile work there is. It is your spiritual social security.  

I hear young women saying they want to do something important for the world or for Christ. They end up chasing after work, money and ministries that will never give them marriage, family, homes, 
or spiritual and physical security.  They need to be taught that it is more important to look after husband, children and home, and instill their own spiritual values in them.  Teaching your children well, and looking after your husband is what you do for the world and for Christ. The family is the most neglected work, the most needy charity and the most important ministry in life.

The family and the home provide worthwhile work and ministry,  as well as development of talents.

 It is better to care for your own husband and home than to try to save the world. 

Titus 2 says the Women who have become Christians (Christ's Ones) are to love their husbands, love their children, and guide the home. This is a ministry that no one else can provide. You cannot be replaced at home, but your can easily be replaced in the "working world."

Homemaking, child care and love of husband takes much, much time. It is not all about cleaning and working.  In order to have presence of mind and make good decisions and be there mentally for your people, you have to allow peace and rest in your home.  You cannot run your home life in a frenzy and expect to get any satisfaction from it. You cannot be continually on-the-run and be able to be a calm and reassuring wife and mother that your family needs.

Now, I know that "house wife" developed negative connotations over the last century, but let us take a look at what it really means.

"House" indicates taking care of a house, that she lives in, and is something she is in charge of.  "Wife" means she is married to a man.

I must repeat this.  A "house wife" is someone who is occupied in the house of a man she is married to.

Anyone can be a homemaker: a man, unmarried woman, or a full-time career woman. A house wife is more than a homemaker. She is married to a man and takes care of his house and his children.

Learn to be content and proud to be "just a house wife," and not be distracted and tempted by all the jobs and ministries that would steal your time and rob you of calmness.

For further reading please click here 


Related Poem Content Details

It takes a heap o’ livin’ in a house t’ make it home, 
A heap o’ sun an’ shadder, an’ ye sometimes have t’ roam 
Afore ye really ’preciate the things ye lef’ behind, 
An’ hunger fer ’em somehow, with ’em allus on yer mind. 
It don’t make any differunce how rich ye get t’ be, 
How much yer chairs an’ tables cost, how great yer luxury; 
It ain’t home t’ ye, though it be the palace of a king, 
Until somehow yer soul is sort o’ wrapped round everything. 

Home ain’t a place that gold can buy or get up in a minute; 
Afore it’s home there’s got t’ be a heap o’ livin’ in it; 
Within the walls there’s got t’ be some babies born, and then 
Right there ye’ve got t’ bring ‘em up t’ women good, an’ men; 
And gradjerly, as time goes on, ye find ye wouldn’t part 
With anything they ever used—they’ve grown into yer heart: 
The old high chairs, the playthings, too, the little shoes they wore 
Ye hoard; an’ if ye could ye’d keep the thumbmarks on the door. 

Ye’ve got t’ weep t’ make it home, ye’ve got t’ sit an’ sigh 
An’ watch beside a loved one’s bed, an’ know that Death is nigh; 
An’ in the stillness o’ the night t’ see Death’s angel come, 
An’ close the eyes o’ her that smiled, an’ leave her sweet voice dumb. 
Fer these are scenes that grip the heart, an’ when yer tears are dried, 
Ye find the home is dearer than it was, an’ sanctified; 
An’ tuggin’ at ye always are the pleasant memories 
O’ her that was an’ is no more—ye can’t escape from these. 

Ye’ve got t’ sing an’ dance fer years, ye’ve got t’ romp an’ play, 
An’ learn t’ love the things ye have by usin’ ’em each day; 
Even the roses ’round the porch must blossom year by year 
Afore they ’come a part o’ ye, suggestin’ someone dear 
Who used t’ love ’em long ago, an’ trained ’em jes’ t’ run 
The way they do, so’s they would get the early mornin’ sun; 
Ye’ve got t’ love each brick an’ stone from cellar up t’ dome: 
It takes a heap o’ livin’ in a house t’ make it home.


Laura Jeanne said...

I love the poems of Edgar Guest. Thank you for writing this inspiring post, Lydia.

Mary said...

So true.

Toni Marie said...

Your teaching here is quite profound. I have always preferred the term "homemaker", because it seems more modern, I guess. The term "housewife", to me, has the connotation of "tired"! But, you are right..."housewife" indicates human relationship...or ministry, as you so rightly point out.
As an older lady, I know that this teaching is Godly and true. I pray that I have the courage to teach it to others.
Thank you.

Vicki L. said...

Thank you for this important post this morning, Lydia. Just this last week I was listening to a Christian radio program. The guest was a woman who has written books and teaches other women how to make money, on the internet or otherwise. The gist of the teaching was not, "If you find yourself with time on your hands, you might do this or that to supplement your husband's income." It was more of, "Since you are at home, this is how you can make money and support the family." Her own husband, who was a lawyer, gave up his practice to come home and work 'for her'. I found myself wondering if after all these years perhaps I should have done things differently. However, I knew I had done my best and the children and grandchildren are all walking with the Lord and thriving. I decided I had chosen the better part in staying home and concentrating on the family. My husband is happy, the children and grandchildren are happy, and I know I have done what God has called me to do as a housewife.

You have encouraged us once again! God bless you.

Christine said...

Lydia, thank you for sharing your thoughts -- I always appreciate your posts. Blessings.

Ellen Seagren said...

Maybe it is because of all the social media that women feel like they have to do so much so they can tell other people about it. Posting on Facebook, etc that you are starting your own business while homeschooling while mentoring while re-decorating your entire house might seem more interesting than saying you vacuumed the living room. I like to do quilting, sewing, reading and am content at home. But when I meet someone new and they ask what I "do" my response does not seem to interest them. Maybe that is what so many women are afraid of - that they will become invisible if they are "just" a housewife. Sometimes that can be very hurtful. How can we help each other to be content?

Christine said...

To quote Roxy at her blog,

I'm a "Stay At Home Grandma"!
I take great joy with this title and look forward to growing more into this title.

Lydia said...

Say it this way:

" I am JUST a housewife and becoming a future homemaker"

I am ONLY homemaking right now"

This is like gesturing with your hands and saying "i will broke no objection. This is the way it is with me."

Lydia said...

It makes you visible. But as Christian ladies, invisible can be a blessing. You can do as you like without interference if no one recognizes your role. You are free from their pressure.

Polly said...

The Guest poem made me smile. I have a book that my great-great-aunt wrote about her childhood and all her siblings (one chapter for each parent, for the aunt who lived with them, and for each of the 8 children)--such a treasure! And in it, she features this poem. I have always loved it so much.

I was criticized a couple of years ago, very gently, by someone who said that my intelligence meant I should be out making the world a better place. I said I was making the world a better place for the people who mattered most to me right now--my husband & our children. As you say, this is an irreplaceable role.

We try to do activities at home that will help others (hospitality, sponsoring a child, creating gifts for people who are lonely/in need, making meals, and sometimes I do some pro bono work for my church)--these are home-based so they don't require us to give up the rhythm of our home life. I don't ever want anyone to say I was Mrs. Jellyby!!!! :)

Rhonda said...

I am also happy to be a homemaker housewife stay at home grandma. There are not many of us but I feel special that we live comfortably on just my husbands blue collar retirement income.

anonymous said...

Thank you Lydia for such an inspiring post.

It seems women, beginning with Eve, have been told by someone not to be content with their lives. But we should only be listening to what the Lord says.

I admit I fell for that same old lie that I should go out and supplement my husband's income and pull my own weight, or volunteer for every worthy cause that turned up.

When I went to work everything at home fell apart, I was too drained and tired after working all day to prepare meals, clean house or spend time with the family.
Working for someone else's husband made me resentful. A job other then caring for my own home serving my own family was more costly then I imagined. It wasn't long before I learned to be content with what I had.

Now I'm a stay at home grandmother and busier then a one armed wallpaper hanger. We have three grandchildren with another on the way, five great-grandchildren and we are caring for my husband's mother. I have a large garden, and help my mother-in-law with her garden, do babysitting, large family gatherings and meals. I wouldn't have time for a job if I wanted one. There is barely time for me to serve my family, let alone a boss. My home life is way more rewarding then high pay and far more enjoyable.
My family is happy I'm at home for them. Money can't even come close to that.

Keep up the insightful posts Lydia, they are most encouraging.


Mary Sorensen said...

I need to hear things like this because for some reason I've been wondering if what I'm doing at home matters. I'm 57 years old with a husband who works and no young children anymore. I'm surrounded by working women (outside the home) who when they get together that is all they talk about. My own biological family wonders how I will be able to take care of myself in my old age without that Social Security coming in from years of working outside the home. So, this post was very timely for me and I thank you. I've always had this intense desire to make a home like it was in the past where whenever someone came home, Mom was always there. The house was cleaned and it smelled good from the food that was cooking. I'm the June Cleaver or Aunt Bea type person who takes pride in a nice home but sometimes gets the "it's because she has too much time on her hands" or "well, I could never do that because I work" comments thus making me feel like the homey things really don't matter to anyone anymore. So, thank you again for perspective and to help me keep going when no one else seems to see it. : )

Lydia said...

Wi wonder how daytime businesses survive when so many working women are not free on the day tp do the family shopping and business. These stores, even grocery, are so empty of customers. The housewives keep them in business.

becky said...

Mary Sorenson
I too am the same age and stay at ho me. My husband wants me here and I love it. I have 7 grandchildren and another coming in Sept. I love that I can always be here for them and they know Poppy and gram are right here. Stay the course. You are not alone:)

Vickie said...

It is indeed real work, often times unrecognized by some family members or even doctors. It is time for homemakers to live with less daily stress and enjoy their homes.

Mary Sorensen said...

Thank you to Becky! Thank you for the encouragement. It really does help. : )

Lydia said...

There is a typo in this post, where two "a," s are together with a space inbetween them.. I saw it there yesterday and my brain and eyes are just not picking it up today. I wish I had a prize or a giveaway for anyone who finds ir, but I dont have one. Still, I will congratulate anyone who finds it 😊

Lydia said...

Amazing that so many himemakers go to work later on. Can this be good for them? I dont see how they manage it.

Lynn Maust said...

I too love Edgar Guest poems. Lydia, thank you for posting that one, especially. The topic of which you write...being JUST a housewife, etc. really caught my attention and from this moment forth I will say when asked what do you do or do you work, I can say proudly and firmly, I JUST work at home...period...nothing else...that is IT! Maybe the message will get through finally, loudly and clearly that there is great honor in JUST and ONLY staying home and being there with a Godly purpose and goal. Thank you Lydia for taking your time in writing this out....who would have ever thought we could use the word 'Just' in such a commandingly forthright and meaingful manner?!

Lynn Maust said...

A little P.S.....I am sooo grateful that at this late hour of the day I took the time to read your entire absolutely vitally important it is for us ladies who love our homes and our home, again, thank you Lydia. You have done us all a huge huge service in adding status to the words, JUST and even ONLY. God shower you with His blessings!

Lydia said...



Saying You are JUST a houswife or ONLY a housewife carries Sends a different message than Just a HOUSEWIFE.

Lynn Maust said...

Thanks once again for your emphasis on the proper word!

Lynn Maust said...

Since I am not married now, I will use .."I am JUST a homemaker".

Julie Lewis said...

Dear Lydia,
I heard a small blurb on the radio, BBC yesterday, where a Chinese woman was bemoaning the fact that in this day and time women are still encouraged to stay home and have children. She praised Mao Tse Tsung, who advanced the cause of women so much in his day, and marveled that society could have slipped so far backward since his time. These type of interviews always end the same way - with the feminists bitterly complaining of how hard it is to find a good "boyfriend" in their 30's, after establishing themselves in their career. It's so tiring to hear them complain of how unfair it is not to have everything they want in both areas of life. Who is the magic person that should grant them all this? Her extensive praise of the good old days of communism went un-commented on by the host. She left her spot with the "inspiring" quote by Mao that after all, it is women who hold up half the sky. I looked up this quote, and it is the inspiration for an ideal held around the world, apparently - if we honor women at all, we will allow them to work, in order to escape the terribleness of home, as a human right.

Lydia said...

Julie, they are still sending an unspoken message that children are not important enough for a mother to stay home with, amd that eomen are not valuable enough to stay home. We know it is the opposite of ehat the Bible teaches, and yet there sre some women today who will wrestle with the Bible and fond ways to make it okay to be a feminist.

Feminism has not helped real womanhood. Children should not be fsrmed out for others to raise and influence. Even animals have the sense to nurture their children and train them themselves.

I think the interviewe was nit aware that communism prevents the women and children from being together, and prevents married women from dedicating themselves to marriage and home.

Cynthia Berenger said...

Dear Lydia,

You posted, perhaps rhetorically, "Amazing that so many himemakers go to work later on. Can this be good for them? I dont see how they manage it."

I appreciate this opportunity to share the widow-with-dependents perspective.

I believe that those of us who are no longer blessed to be housewives through circumstances beyond our control (or desire) manage to keep a family thriving and a home kept through God's grace. Otherwise, I do believe that the economic pressures would, in fact, be too much.

I don't know if it is God's will that I remarry and, thereby, (I hope, anyway) to become a housewife again. I don't know if I would marry a man who insisted that I work away from home, for I love catering to my husband.

I know that five and a half years (almost) have passed, but I don't feel any particular rush to remarry. Many years ago, I heard a pastor say, "It's better to be single and wish you were married than to be married and wish that you were not." I took that to heart.

Agape always,

Lydia said...

Thank you Cynthia. People do not understand how a housewifr manages to be home, much less a widow. You are right in.pointing out God's care. Sometimes women panic when there are tragedies and financial setbacks, and they enter the daily burden of the wage earner. However, things can change, and womwn need to keep their post at home.

Mrs. White said...

Excellent post and very well said!

God bless!

Jenni Enzor said...

I really appreciated this post. This is not often addressed, and I often struggle with feeling guilty for saying no to things, especially church things, since I'm not working outside the home. I loved what you said about staying calm. I know that when I'm too busy, even with ministry, it always hurts my family.

living from glory to glory said...

Hello, What a great post Lydia! Why do we run ourselves ragged, when we can do all things in a timely manner and still have a rest throughout a day or even just a few times a week! And being at home to keep the home fires burning is so important to the whole family! Being home was a gift to women to do the job of keeper of the home. It is a place where you can study about many things, you can create and paint and plan! We are allowed to watch our children and keep them safe from predators. You're able to enjoy your marriage and be good friends and be able to do things with them on their days off. We have seen that many ladies have believed the lie that true ministry is only real if done outside the home.
Always, Roxy

Mrs. Christopher Daniels said...

I was waiting on more comments, because this is a really good post. Women like to be reassured that keeping the home fires burning is important enough to command our full attention however we see fit to do it. Thanks for your wisdom and friendship. Are you going to do a video about this? It may go viral.

Lydia said...

Good idea to do a video on this! Having a few connection problems but hope to do more videos


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