Monday, July 22, 2013

The Work of a Homemaker

Home is the true wife's kingdom. There, first of all places, she must be strong and beautiful. She may touch life outside in many ways, if she can do it without slighting the duties that are hers within her own doors. But if any calls for her service must be declined, they should not be the duties of her home. Those are hers, and no other one's. Very largely does the wife hold in her hands, as a sacred trust, the happiness and the highest good of the hearts that nestle there. J. R. Miller
As homemakers we are blessed to be able to experience a small part of the work of God.  We fulfill a role that is often undervalued by society and yet so necessary to sustain it. 

1. We get to prepare places of beauty and order. Just as God did. I marvel when I look at the physical universe. It's so beautiful! I can't begin to imagine what it looked like before it was marred by sin. And God created stunning visions that humans will never see. He put beauty in outer galaxies where humans will never go. There is a world at the depths of the oceans that we will never know. Why did He do this? For His own enjoyment. Because He loves beauty. He had them decorate His temple (and the tabernacle) with beautiful things (2 Chron. 3:6). The priests wore clothes for glory and beauty (Ex. 28:2). There is beauty in His sanctuary (Ps. 96:6). Just do a Bible search on the word "beauty" and see how God expresses His design for beauty. 

God created things in order. He tells us to do things "decently and in order." (1 Cor. 14:40)  There is a time and a place for everything. He has an order for the home, the church, the seasons, the ocean. God loves order as well! 

We have the opportunity to create beauty and order in our homes. We are the ones who will create meals. Meals that we eat with our eyes first; food should look appetizing.  We will select the wall colors, how the furniture is arranged. We will decide to put the soft blanket in the chair where we read with our babies. We will follow a cleaning schedule; teach the children to pick up their toys; order our lives to better serve God.

2. We prepare for others. God prepared the world before He created man and woman. He had a physical environment perfectly suited to their needs. We may not be able to copy the "perfect" but we can copy the plan. We are to prepare our homes for the people who live in them. Our homes are not museums or showplaces. They aren't for the purpose of impressing others or puffing up our egos.

My husband needs a place to rest, be rejuvenated, enjoy his family. He needs a place to concentrate on his work. My children need space to learn, play, read, be children. My first concern is to prepare the place for the people.
The preparation and care of the family shelter are important enough for God Himself to assign that responsibility.  Dorothy Patterson
God is still preparing heaven for His people. His work will be done when He takes us home. Our work will be done when we are taken home. Never grumble because the work is never done. The home is a living work to create every day, not a piece of art to hang on the wall.

3. We are living examples to the faithfulness of God's love and care. God faithfully loves and cares for us regardless of our sin, failures, mistakes, and shortcomings. The people who live in our homes are not perfect. They will disappoint us. They will fall short of our expectations. They will even perhaps make us look bad. But we are to still love and care for them. 

We are to care for them when they are ill or we are tired. We are to remain faithful to our duties even when "something better comes along" or "the grass looks greener" somewhere else. 

Our families should be followed by our prayers and our love no matter where they go or what they are doing. Hopefully they will be serving God's purposes but even if they are not they are never out of God's reach. 

What an amazing work we are privileged to hold in our trust. May we always take it seriously and offer it back to God.  Hebrew 13:16: "But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased." 

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