I remember struggling with many emotions after becoming paralyzed about my role as keeper of my home. Everything I looked at or tried to touch seemed so unfamiliar to me. The broom, the mop, the stove, the washer, the dryer, changing the sheets on the bed, putting clothes in a top dresser drawer, shopping and trying to push a cart and myself….the list went on and on.
I would get SO frustrated as everything I tried to do slapped me in the face that I was different now. These things were hard…very hard. I tried and tried to learn new ways to do them and everything took so long. There was no such thing as “Kids, go outside for 20 minutes and let me get this house back in shape.” It was more like “Kids, go outside for 3 hours and let me sweep the living room floor!”
I had many a cry over the loss of control I felt in my home. Not tears of pity but of frustration as I wanted so bad to keep up with my housewife responsibilities. We tried several different things – a wonderful nanny to live with us for a while, people to come help me clean, teaching the kids to do everything, Jimmy learning and adding to his already hectic schedule. All of these things I appreciated but they sent me into further guilt and frustration. I was the wife and mother of this home. It was my God-given responsibility to be a housekeeper! I felt half a woman in more than just a physical way. I felt like I was failing my family.
One day, though, I was scouring Titus 2, when I really looked at the list. I failed to see the words sweep, dust, cook, clean or any of the other words that troubled me in my house. It told me to love my hubby and my children. To be a keeper of my home. A keeper. A guard. Then I looked again at the Proverbs 31 woman who is the epitome of perfect wife and housekeeper and to my dismay I read all of her amazing accomplishments. Everyone thought so highly of this lady and rightly so but she kind of gave me a knot in my stomach! But then I got to the end of that list and read verse 30 where it said, “Favour is deceitful and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.” All of those things that she could “do” were in vain if that is where she gleaned her value. Her value and the foundation of who she was, was in her fear of the Lord.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I think we need to take care of our houses. I think we need to live in good sanitary conditions. I think we need to eat good food and make sure our children get proper nourishment. I think it helps the discipline of our lives and helps to build the character of our children to keep a house in good order. Teaching them cleanliness and being good stewards of our possessions, our time and our bodies is all important.
Having made my disclaimer that I am not against being a good housekeeper, I would like to say that is not what God called me to be though. He called me to be a keeper of my home (Titus 2). He called me to guide my house (I Timothy 5). He called me to fear the Lord. (Proverbs 31). This means that my job in life is not cooking, cleaning, dusting. washing, and scrubbing. It means so much more! Let me make this very clear.
- God called me to be a keeper of my home. Keeper means to guard. I am to be the guard of my home. No, not in the physical sense of night duty on the porch with a rifel in my hand! But I am to be on the look-out for the wiles of Satan in my home. I am to be so in tune with the hearts of my children, that I know where their struggles in life are, how they are handling them, and how we can help strengthen them in their walk with God. I am the watchmen of their little souls right now. I am mom and I am the keeper of this home.
- God called me to guide the house. That word guide is one that upon first glance in a Strong’s Concordance will make the guys nervous! You know what it says? It says that guide means that I am the master of the house. I am to rule my household and to manage family affairs. Let me quickly assure the guys that their role is not threatened. God has called them to be leaders of the home – not the house! It is my job to make sure that this household is running efficiently. It is my job to make sure that the children learn what they need to learn to also run their houses efficiently some day. This is where housekeeping skills come into play. We see the Proverbs 31 woman handle her household very efficiently. So efficiently in fact, that we see her cover everything from local investments to foreign purchases! She was quite a gal!
- God called me to fear Him. Not a fear as in I quake in His presence. No, Hebrews teaches us that we can boldly approach the throne of God. That does not sound like something someone would do if they were afraid. That word fear means to be in awe of, or to reverence. All my skills, talents, favour, or beauty is all wasted if I do not stand in awe of Him. Everything else I do in life is to be in light of my awe and reverence of God.
If I get bogged down in just one of these areas, then I have lost my balance. I saw where I had become unbalanced. I could be Martha Stewart on wheels, but if I lose the heart of my children and do not hear the cry of their souls then what have I gained? Those around me could be in awe of the way I can run a home, but it is all in vain if I do not stand in awe of my God. Understanding all of this has lifted a burden off my shoulders. Isn’t is amazing that if we study out what God really says, He has a way of removing those burdens? I am glad that I have some housekeeping skills, but I am not a housekeeper.
I don’t know about you, but the next time I get to fill out a form and it asks for my occupation, I will not be writing “housekeeper”. I will lay the clipboard across these disabled legs and proudly write, “Able Homekeeper”. (Phil. 4:13)