Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Perfect Homemaker

"An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels" (Proverbs 31)

I can remember her words like it was yesterday. There I was, sitting in front of my grandmother, explaining to her the wonderful news that I was engaged to be married. After showing her excitement and joy she looked at me plainly and said “how will you keep house”? “What do you mean?” I asked. “If you are going to be in school full time and working part time then how will you have time to keep house”? I cannot remember my exact response, but I think it went something along the lines of “well, it’s not 1950, and I will have a husband with two hands who can take care of the house with me, so I am really not concerned about keeping up with the housework”. 
Little did I know that many years later I would be asking myself the same question.  How do I do this?  How do I keep and manage my house the way I want it to be? Here I am drowning in dirty dishes, scrambling to get dinner on the table with a crying toddler clung to my leg and a hungry husband stuffing his face with gold fish because he was so busy during his 14 hours at work that he did not have a chance to eat lunch and therefore was starving.  Dinner was really late that night and to make matters worse it tasted horrible. I’m not an amazing cook by any means but rarely do I make something that is so bad that I don’t want to eat it. After that night I could have felt like I failed at my job as a homemaker.  However, I didn’t fail, because being a perfect homemaker is so much more than having a delicious dinner on the table when hubby gets home from work.
To me, being a perfect homemaker means creating a home that is filled with  love, warmth, safety, comfort, familiarity, peace, laughter and grace. I want my home to be a haven from the crazy world we live in. I want it to be my children’s and husbands favorite place to be because it gives them a safe place to rest, restore, and recharge their batteries before going out into the world again. It also needs to be a place where we feel peace, beauty, love, and joy. 
God did not give any instructions in the Bible about how our homes should look or be run, but He did tell us that it should be full of wisdom, understanding, knowledge and pleasant things. “By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established, and by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches” (Proverbs 24:3-4). This sort of home will look different for everyone. We all have different personalities, tastes, and traditions and there is no right or wrong way to manage a home.  I personally enjoy having a clean home, well stocked frig, and good dinners (most of the time) to eat. So I take time each week to work on these tasks. I also enjoy decorating and filling my home with art, pictures, and colors that are pleasing to my husband and I. It is important for me to have inspirational pictures or crosses in every room so that I will be reminded constantly of what is most important to me.  My husband and I also really enjoy music and rooms that smell good so we constantly have our favorite music playing and candles burning.
Having a perfect home to me goes farther than having a clean, organized house and good food to eat. It also means having God at the center of my life and my family’s life.  When we put God first in our lives then we become more like God every day and this radiates within the home and becomes contagious. When we feel the peace, joy and satisfaction that only God can provide it affects how we treat, speak and interact with each other. “Those who obey His commands live in Him, and He in them.  And this is how we know that He lives in us: we know it by the Spirit He gave us” (1 John 4:24).  When God is the center of our home we are quick to forgive each other for small petty mistakes, we put each others needs first, and we have more motivation to take care of mundane housework so we can spend more time playing with our son, having quality couple time and serving those in need.
Do you remember that crazy night that I referred to earlier where my son had a meltdown in the kitchen; my husband ate a whole box of gold fish because he was starving and dinner was an hour late and disgusting? That evening was so crazy because I spent my son’s entire nap time filling up my spiritual cup.  I spent over two hours reading God’s word and praying to Him.  I had been running on empty for days and if I had not spent that much needed time with the Lord, I would have been a mess that night and probably the rest of the weekend. Yes, dinner was gross and our son ate dinner way later than normal and had a meltdown.  However, the rest of the evening was surprisingly great. My husband and I laughed uncontrollably at how awful and scary the chicken that I had made was. Our son had no idea what we were laughing at but decided to laugh too. Then, hubby and I could not get over how cute and funny our son was being so we kept laughing and the rest of the night was actually quite fun.  
Being a homemaker is no easy task. It is exhausting, tedious, and sometimes boring. However, it is also one of the most important and influential jobs we can have because we are the ones who create and set the stage for the environment that our families live in. I think that when my grandmother was asking me about “how I was going to keep house” she was trying to get me to understand that although work and school were important, keeping house was even more important. I am still trying to figure out the best way to manage my home…but the one thing that I have figured out is that my relationship with God is my number one priority because it affects my ability to create a Godly home, which will shape my families life for generations to come. 
“An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels….she looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness” Proverbs 31:10-27.   

Father God, please give us the strength and motivation that we need to take care of the daily grind of housekeeping. Fill us up with your strength and love so that we might love our children in a way that will change them from the inside out, helping them grow into healthy, productive, God fearing adults.  Help us know how to create a home that will glorify You and bring comfort to our loved ones. Amen.

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