Update: If you are just joining us we are so excited to have you here with us. You can get up to speed by looking over these two past posts (here and here). You can view all of our posts for this study at the category Women After God’s Own Heart, found here. If your browser is not allowing you to view any attachments email me, and I will send them to you so that you don’t miss out!
Say it ain’t so? Are we really on a mission from God to maintain cleanliness and order within our homes? To maintain a safe haven, so to speak, for all members of the family to flock to excitedly at the end of the day, to be welcomed home with clean underwear and a tasty meal? It’s so. We are expected to do just this. It makes me want to yawn, and at the same time it makes me want to jump for joy, because now I have a good reason to push forward throughout the day-a biblical one! It also makes me smile because I know that in all labor there is profit (Proverbs 14:23), so God will replace my yawn with energy and the ability to keep moving.
Tending to our homes requires much planning and patience. It is more than the mopping and the cooking. It is creating the atmosphere, like the author explained. Lighting candles, tidying up, and having tasties to dine on will create a more relaxing area for your family to congregate in at the end of the day than would the smell of diapers, everyone scourging the pantry and ice box for the fixings of a meal, and a dark and dirty home. I know I’m right, this is just a fact. The human mind was made to appreciate things of this nature. Unless you’re Dracula-but none of you are, so my point is valid. You all know that I’m right too, so stop mentally whining about how busy you are going to be. The concepts in this chapter are even excellent for those who don’t have a family yet. You still have a home, or a room to keep up with. Know that you’re cleaning is the fulfillment of a duty to God. I thought of my dear friend Andrea as I reflected on a woman with a home and no family of her own yet. She still maintains her home dutifully, cleaning regularly, organizing strategically, and stocking her kitchen with nutritious ingredients for the wholesome meals that she prepares for herself and occasionally, guests. She understands that a neat home is not merely for the kiddos and the husband. It is for the disciplined woman, at whatever stage of her life, following the Word of God and ensuring that her home is welcoming to both her and whoever may visit, is conducive to learning, and i relaxing. It is like bringing children to church as infants, they may not understand the meaning of the readings, but they become accustomed to the weekly fellowship with other Christians. Their hearts are trained in the method of observing the day of rest and worship. Like these children, Andrea’s heart is trained in the way of a Godly woman, which will spill over into her Godly wife and Godly mother roles when the time arrives. I can guarantee that you would feel safe and peaceful upon entering her home, just like God expects! A haven for the heart!
Discipline should, ideally, be visualized in every aspect of our lives. If you can see past the chores and laundry you will see that this is the bigger picture here. An orderly home, happy family, cheerful atmosphere, and yummy meals are great benefits to the discipline, but it is the root. No wonder the word disciple is so closely related to the word for which we should all be striving. Disciplined hearts, disciplined homes. I pray everyday to be more disciplined. To not be the foolish woman who pulls down her home. Self destruction at its finest, and such an honest passage in our bibles. To pull down our own homes-tragic right? But we do it every single day-most of us at least. We do it when we fail to be disciplined. Maintaining the attitude of your heart is surely the key to success. We as women lead our homes. Whether empty, barren, or filled to the brim with a flock of children, it is our duty to rid it of perpetual filth, and negativity, through discipline and work. Lots and lots of work! And joy, don’t forget some of that!
I loved the author maintaining reference to avoiding the bread of idleness. I am a huge advocate of this in our home. I have always been a busybody and I carry that into my duties here at home. I tire easier than I did in my youth (probably because my toddler still wakes at night!) so sometimes my daily schedule includes a short nap while Hattie naps, this is not in my book idle-but necessary to maintain the attitude I wish to maintain. I love the sound of movies or music running in the background while I work or Hattie and I play. Ben loves watching movies at night as well, but my busybody self cannot sit still without feeling guilty, so I’ll iron or fold or organize something while we watch TV. It helps me to find balance, if you find yourself needing more hours in your day-try this approach, you may find things finished that weren’t finished before-all while still relaxing!
Isn’t it wonderful to learn that all of our domestic duties are pleasing to God. We cannot hide our true feelings from God, so ensuring that our “insides” are as happy to keep our homes as our “outsides” is crucial. God knows and wants our hearts. We need to be sure that we are giving them to him.
This week’s readings will fill our lives in different ways-some of us stay home, some of us work full time, some of us work part time, some of us are always sick, some can’t put our babies down for a split second to get anything done, some of us have social media addictions that waste our precious time, and some of us have physical handicaps that keep us from doing what we want to do, some of us struggle with money, and some of us just disagree with this book’s teachings. Whatever our situation, we can find a solution. God will provide. He will help us avail, because he wants us to succeed. Whatever your burden that keeps you from order and a happy home, ask God to grant you relief. He will grant you what you need, whether it be knowledge or energy. Research methods to fix your problems (look to budgeting experts online that offer free advice, find someone to help you make a baby sling so that you can multi task with child in tow, make a chore list, wake up an hour earlier to get more done before you leave for work, put meals in the crock pot to make dinners easier. Watch for the signs God gives you, he may be helping you without you even knowing it, educating you, uplifting you. Lets pray for each other this week, as we add even more duties to our lists as Godly women. That we find balance and happiness in our expectations from God.
1. Readings: Chapter 13 and 14 of our book (Pages 155-173): A Heart That Makes a House a Home & A Heart That Watches Over the Home.
2. Activity: Find one thing in your home that you have been wanting to get done, and start on this week. It can be organizing a drawer, a room, painting a piece of chipped paint, cleaning our closets, just anything! Make some progress, even if it is just putting your plans in writing. I want to tackle my pantry. It needs deeper shelves so that my goods aren’t falling all over each other! Join me in our #beebettermovement and tackle something on your end!
And while you’re at it, please water your plant too this week
3. Verse for memorization:Proverbs 14:1
The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands.
(NAS-New American Standard)
Download for picture is here
This verse was repeated throughout the readings this week, and I find it inspiring because it fits both married women, women with their own homes, and women with just a room to keep. It means that we are the responsible party for our own homes, and spaces. What happens in this place, what prayers are said over our place, are ours alone, anyone else’s are lagniappe, but they are our responsibility. When things go neglected, we are to blame. We can build or we can destroy. It is the fruit of free will. Will we make this fruit into something wonderful, or something rotten? It is our choice.
Feel free to tell us all about the changes you are trying to make in your home this week!
I am always available for questions, whether through email, or through the comments below. Happy studying!