Titus 2:3-5 (NIV) – "Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home,* to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God." *KJV = keepers at home
What happens to us when someone asks what we "do for a living"? Do we proudly step up and proclaim the pride we feel in fulfilling God's purpose for us and let them know that we are Homemakers...wives, moms, homeschool teachers, keepers of our homes and all that the moniker implies? Or...do we shrink back, roll our shoulders in and meekly say, "Me? Oh, I'm JUST a homemaker."
"Eh-hmmm. I'm just a homemaker."
"I'm sorry, what did you say?"
"I'M JUST A HOMEMAKER! Sorry."
Why do we often feel like we should apologize for doing what God's will for our life is?! Why do we feel that the only way we are to "make a difference" in the world is to cram ourselves into power suits, heels and face the anxiety of not only trying to stay employed but then trying to run our household as well? Been there, done that, got the stinkin' t-shirt!
What message are we sending to our daughters? That they should be ashamed or honored? Which message are they supposed to adhere to...one that says, "Sorry, Honey, but your lot in life is to only be a housewife and mom; oh, and if you want to, you can homeschool, too"? Or are we sending the message that says, "Oh, Honey! God has honored women by allowing us to not only have the privilege of creating life, but He has given us the gift of being the keeper of our homes and all that it entails!"
We know that it's not all roses and rainbows or June Cleaver doing her housework in a perfectly pleated dress, pearls, make-up and hair. But what we do counts for far more than the "image" that the power suits imply. We are the "hand that rocks the cradle" and we do influence the world!
How in the world did illusion get so far? Looking back from the distance of time, I can see where some of our problems with liberalism and feminism began to take root in our Baby Boomer generation. In my own experience, my mom was the baby of 14 from a very rural Kentucky farm family; her experience was to be raised side-by-side with her dear mother and learning all the household skills – cooking, preserving and canning, cleaning and arranging, childcare (LOTS of nieces and nephews!), etc. Once she was married and had my brother and me, she believed that the best way to help my dad make ends meet was to go out, find a job and bring in a little money on the side. Well, that "side" turned into full-time and a literal life away from home.
No longer did her smiling face greet us at the door when we got off the bus; but my brother got that awesome guitar. No longer could we sneak a peek out in the audience of the school play and see her smiling face; but she "knew" that we did well anyway. No longer was there the opportunity to learn side-by-side with my mom in the kitchen; but I had lots of trendy clothes. Thinking back, I can tell you of many times that my mom would bring home some cute little outfit and she would be a little offended that I wasn't as "grateful" as she thought I should have been. Sure, I was very grateful for everything I received, but I didn't want the "stuff." I didn't realize it then and I couldn't put it into words, but what I wanted was my MOM! I wanted her time and knowledge. I wanted a relationship.
Now, don't get me wrong. My mother and I have a fine relationship and we are each other's biggest fans. But I know we could have had so much more. We could have had a mother/daughter intimacy that was just starting to bloom when I was a child but had to wait until my adulthood to come to fruition.
I don't want that to happen with my daughters and don't believe that it's God's will for our families. Even though the Lord has blessed my mom and me with a good relationship now (Joel 2:25), I did not want to wait on a good relationship with my daughters. The way that I nurture my relationship with my daughters is by being a keeper of my home; and only part of that process is in homeschooling. I have the relationship with my daughters that my mom always dreamed of having with me, and all the while they are learning from me about the honor the Lord has bestowed upon women by allowing them to see in their father a man who longs to serve and follow the Lord. A man who sees part of that as being the major provider of his household and allowing me to live my God-given role as wife, mother and home-keeper.
This is so exciting to me! No, I don't do my housework in pretty pleated dresses, pearls, high heels, sprayed hair and mucho make-up; but I do get to make my house a home – a real haven of rest for my husband, a secure nest for my family and a welcome lighthouse of hope for our friends.
Now, isn't that a calling worth striving and preparing for? Worth feeling honored to live?
Next time someone asks you what you "do for a living," hold your head high and tell them proudly, "I've been honored by God to be a Keeper of my home and I'm training my daughters to do the same!"
Kim Wolf loves living in a small Ohio town with her best friends: her husband of 21 years and their daughters. They have homeschooled since 1993 and are very active in the music ministry of their church. She is a Miami County homeschool coordinator, a freelance writer, speaker and a contributing writer/product reviewer/Ohio coordinator for The Old Schoolhouse homeschool magazine. You may contact Kim at [email protected] or http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/Buckeyeblog