Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Keepers Of The Home *Revisited*

(Photo source All Posters)
Last December, the topic of Keeping the Home was discussed by some dear Christian sisters of mine. Since I am working on getting back into my Home Keeping routine, I felt it was appropriate to re-visit & share something I wrote on this subject. Some of you may remember this, so I hope you don't mind my re-posting of it again.

From December 19, 2008 ~

The following question was recently asked ... "I have a challenge to you all. Take the following, if you would like, and from a biblical perspective tell me what is true or false or both. "Women are to Keepers of their Homes, for the majority of ladies this means not working outside of the home."

Here was my response to this question...

Titus 2:3-5 "The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 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."

What is a Keeper of the Home (my definition)...one who guards the place you live in; one who is employed at home.

When a wife is working outside the home, it is common to see the following happen (not always but most times), just to name a few:
*someone else is taking care of the children
*the laundry is not done
*the house is unkept (uncleaned)
*the family meals are some of the most healthy ones (fast foods, or quick throw together home meals)
*outside pressures and demands (work related stress) affecting the home and/or marriage
*less time spent with the family (husband and children)

It is also not uncommon for a wife when bringing in part of the income to develop a "mentality of independence." The mindset of I work just as hard for my money as you do (meaning her husband) so it is hers to do with as she pleases. There is a sense of financial freedom/independence from her husband that a wife can develop. When this happens ~ the Word of God is being blasphemed!

Being a Keeper of the home does not mean you should be sitting idly by watching t.v., gossiping on the phone, running here and there (unless you are taking care of household errands & needs) having lunch dates with the girls every week, going to get your nails done and pampering yourself. Not that any of these are "bad" things but they should not encompass our lifestyle. A Keeper of the Home should not always be out working/volunteering with the Church either. What I mean by this is that one should not be taking care of outside duties more so than her ministry calling as a Home Keeper.

You are to be a "Keeper" and that means keeping the household in order, children in order, taking care of husbands needs, etc.

Let's break this down for a moment..

What does it mean to keep? (just a few definitions)
*keep in a certain state, position, or activity;
* continue: continue a certain state, condition, or activity;
* retain possession of;
* prevent: stop (someone or something) from doing something or being in a certain state;
* observe: conform one's action or practice to;
* observe: stick to correctly or closely;
* look after; be the keeper of; have charge of;
* maintain by writing regular records;
* supply with room and board;
* retain: allow to remain in a place or position or maintain a property or feature;
* sustain: supply with necessities and support;
* fail to spoil or rot;
* observe: behave as expected during of holidays or rites;
* restrain: keep under control; keep in check;
* maintain in safety from injury, harm, or danger;
* store or keep customarily;
* have as a supply;
* maintain for use and service;
* support: the financial means whereby one lives;
* hold and prevent from leaving;
* preserve: prevent (food) from rotting;

...of the Home
What is a Home? (just a few definitions)
* where you live at a particular time;
* dwelling: housing that someone is living in;
* the country or state or city where you live;
* home plate: (baseball) base consisting of a rubber slab where the batter stands; it must be touched by a base runner in order to score;
* base: the place where you are stationed and from which missions start and end
* place where something began and flourished;
* at or to or in the direction of one's home or family;
* an environment offering affection and security;
* home(a): used of your own ground;
* provide with, or send to, a home
* on or to the point aimed at;
* family: a social unit living together;
* relating to or being where one lives or where one's roots are;
* return home accurately from a long distance;
* to the fullest extent; to the heart;
* an institution where people are cared for;

When we look at each word definition and put them together it gives us a good foundation of the job description of the "The Keeper of the Home."

I do realize that it is not possible for some families to have the wife not work outside the home, due to financial needs. I too was in that same position at one point in our marriage. We couldn't "afford" to live just on one income. Our outgoing exceeded our incoming. But as we began to faithfully tithe and offer, follow the LORD in every way that we knew how, we noticed changes. Changes in our spending habits (desires.) Changes in our financial status...bills were paid, debts retired. We truly became sufficient in all things. But there was something that still nagged at my husband in regards to our home. That was the issue that I was working full time. I wasn't working a typical 8am-4pm job, I was there 7am-9pm most days. On holidays I was often asked (well, more like expected) to go in and take care of some of the financials (even though the office was closed & all employees were off.) Was anyone else expected to do this? No! Just me. As I was told by my employer (the company owner), "We depend on you so much that's why we expect more out of you than anyone else. You know more about the business than even I do." You know, it's nice to be depended on, but there comes a point in time when enough is enough. I was also told at one point when asked (not that I could refuse) to work on New Year's day, "You don't have a family so it won't matter if you're not home. We need this taken care of so be here (at work) around 8am." Excuse me! I don't have a family!! I had only been married about 3 years and it was our holiday with my stepson; but I don't have a family. This resonated very hard in my spirit and in my husbands. We are a family and yes, I would be sorely missed if I were not there (and not just because it was a holiday.)

Every time my husband would drive by my old office, he said it was like a thorn in his side. But he knew I loved my job, I loved what I did . He also knew I didn't care for the way my employer disrespected me as well as my family. But I always felt that with responsibility comes the good and bad, so you dig your heels in and bite your tongue at times. Well, one October day in 2006 I had all that I could mentally and emotionally take. I came home and unfortunately took out my frustrations on my husband. He understood that I wasn't lashing out at him, I was lashing out at the frustration. But he happened to be the one that caught the heat for it. Did he appreciate this? Not one bit! So he calmly told me that he knows how much I love what I do but enough was enough. He stated that my job was not going to affect our marriage (which it had begun too even before that day) so he wanted to let me know that it was more than OK with him if I turned in my resignation letter. What??? I thought to myself. How on earth would we make it on one income? If I wasn't working then how would I "earn" my keep as a wife? Quit a job that I had been at for over 13 years? What on earth????

The more I thought about it and prayed over it, I felt a peace come over me. I discussed it once again with hubby and he told me something that I know he has said many times before but it didn't sink in until that moment. He looked me in eyes and said "If you read your Bible, it clearly tells us that it is the man's job to work and provide for the family. It is the woman's job to take care of the home. If we are to follow the Word of GOD, how can we pick and choose what we are going to do and not do? I work because it is my duty and my job. I do it gladly and I don't resent it. GOD ordained me to do it so how can I hold a grudge about it. I know you worked before we were married but it has bothered me that you kept working after we married. I respected your choice and stood behind you 100% but I am telling you, if you quit I will still stand behind you 100%. Ultimately it is your choice and either way I am behind you and will support you."

Do I have a wonderful, godly husband or what!?! The next morning after our conversation I turned my resignation letter in. I didn't give them 2 weeks notice, I gave 3 months notice. I went ahead and finished out the year so that come January 1st, 2007 I could start the year with a clean slate. Actually I had vacation time accrued so although I was being paid for it, I was on vacation the last 2 weeks of December 2006, so my clean slate started before the New Year.

Since that time, I have not looked back. I have such an awesome ministry calling here at home that I don't even miss working. I wouldn't trade a minute of being a Keeper of the Home for anything. Our family has grown for the better since I have been home full time. Our marriage is stronger than ever before. Even now, if I ask hubby if he is still ok with me being home his answer has not wavered. He still tells me, "I didn't work this hard all those years to get us to to position where you could be home, for nothing. Yes, I want you home and I am fine with it. Have I ever said anything different in all this time?" Truthfully...he never has.

We have not had a lack in our finances when it comes to our needs. Sometimes we have to save a little longer than when we had two incomes coming in, to buy that big purchase but we still get it done. Something that amazes me is this...in all the years we were married and living on two incomes, we were not in the position to financially be able to buy a home. We rented an apartment and then moved to a rent house. GOD blessed us where we were at though. But a year after I left the workforce we bought our own home! Our first home ever! Isn't GOD good! This proves to us that when you walk in HIS will, not our own HE will open doors that seem to be closed, HE will make ways where there seems to be no way, HE will meet HIS children's needs exceedingly above all that we could ever think or ask for. We serve a good GOD. Praise HIM!

So to me the answer to the question is TRUE. GOD does want HIS daughters home. We as wives and mothers have been given the highest calling there is. We have been chosen to be our husband's helpmeet, not someone else. No one else knows our husband like we do (except the LORD of course) so it is our job to make our homes a refuge for our husbands after they come in from a long day at work. It is our job to make sure that he has a hot meal ready for him. It is our job to make sure that the household finances are in order so that he doesn't have to worry if his wife "isn't tossing more out with a spoon than he can bring in with a shovel." It is our job to make sure that our husbands have clean clothes. It is our job to make sure he has a tidy, relaxing home to come to after being out in the workforce. Just to name a few things.

We have been chose to be our children's mothers, not someone else. It is our job bring up our children, not a day care or sitter. It is our job to make sure that we look after our children's spiritual needs (along with their Father of course.) It is our job to make sure that our children know they have parents that love them for who they are, not just when they have done something well. It is our job to educate our children in morals and right behavior, not for peers, teachers, the government, television to teach them for us. It is our job to instill in our children that their family & home are a place of safety and refuge no matter what comes their way. It is our job to help our husband's raise children who will be productive in society and be able to make a difference, not be a burden or liability to others. It is our job to teach them what love is, love that does not come from giving into temptation or peer pressures. It is our job to to be our children's nurses, support system & source of encouragement.

Oh the list of the duties of a Keeper of the Home never end. I guess this is GOD'S way of giving us job security. *grin* So it is our GOD given task to walk in that role that HE has selected us for and to do it to the best of our ability as GOD has equipped us to do.

To each of us who are Keepers of our Home, my hats off to you. We have huge responsibilities, but with it comes huge blessings. There is no other place I would rather be & nothing I would rather do than Keep our Home.


mrshester said...


Sarah said...

I think it takes a lot of courage to take the stand you have...it is a stand that is biblically backed, so you know you are standing on truth. However, you are going against what I would venture to say is the cultural norm. I applaud you for going against what has (unfortunately) become mainstream - mothers working outside the home in order to gain more income...not necessarily to provide for the needs of the family, but more likely the wants. Mothers who "need" to work to fulfill their inner desires for validation. Mothers who can't stand to be home with their children because they drive them crazy. It is a sad state of our families today, and I applaud you for following the path of Christ, versus the path of the world. May your words be an encouragement to others who are wanting to take the leap, as well as those of us who are already home, but need to be firm and diligent in our role.

Blessings to you today, my friend.

Mrs. B, a very peculiar person said...

This post was even better the second time around.

Mrs. B

Marjorie (Molly) Smith said...

I agree with everything you said. Yes I worked but not becaues I wanted too. At times I had no choice. I loved being a wife and mother, that is all I needed to fulfill my inner desires for validation.
Thanks for stopping by my blog...I also agree, as much as I liked Paula Deen, she can get pretty bad on her night show...lol..my DH had mentioned that awhile back. He can't stand to watch her. He says she's too old to be acting like a sex kitten...lol...
Have a great night.