This has been on my heart in the past few days. I recently read over some notes from a Bible Study I attended for a short time at Faith Community Bible Church in Boise. A very wise woman (Patty!) shared some thoughts about being a Homemaker. I have done some reflecting and on Titus 2, and these are some combined thoughts!
"These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to take care of their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God."
There are seven instructions for women in these verse:
1. Love your husband
2. Love your children
3. Be sensible (live wisely)
4. Be pure
5. Be workers at home
6. Be kind (do good)
7. Be submissive to your husbands
Love your husband~How does one love your husband? There are different meanings to the word love.
Agape-brotherly love-true love-sacrificial love
Storge-natural affection (like a parent to a child)
This word has so much power behind it. There are times when it can be overused, and loose it's value. There are also times when it is never said-from a parent to a child, from spouse to spouse, from friend to friend and it has a life-long effect. Then there are times when it is finally said- when someone has been waiting their whole life to hear it-and when they finally do, it means more than they ever imagined it would.
What about those people that are single, and desire to be married? I struggle with this-especially since I have some incredible single women in my life that desire to "love" a husband.
Love your Children~
The root of this is the "storge" love-the natural affection that a parent has for a child. I never understood this until I was pregnant with our first child. When we lost our baby, I felt as if a part of me was gone too. I had a love for this baby that I couldn't explain, even though I had never held it in my arms. Now, with Kayla, I feel this love again. It is a different love from the love I have for my husband, family, for my friends.
Again, what do women do with this command that are not able to bear children. Another struggle I have. I have women in my life that desire to have this "love" for one of their own, and yet, for some reason, they are not able to have a child.
So are they commanded to love the "children" in their lives? The children that they are around? What about their desire to have their own?
Be Sensible (Wise)~
This can encompass so many things! When I think about being "sensible," I think about having common sense. For some reason, the idea of spending money comes to mind on this one. Being the main caretaker of the home, I tend to be the one that purchases most things for the house. Being wise and sensible to me means making sure I am buying what is needed, and not always what is "wanted." Being a shopper-I sometimes struggle with this. But before each purchase, I should ask myself, do we really need this?
The verse also comes to mind about asking the Lord for wisdom. Being a wife and mother can be a daunting task. You are constantly making decisions, all day, every day. Like right now-as I type-my baby has awoken from her nap, and I am trying to let her cry herself back to sleep. How long do I let her cry? Lord, give me wisdom. What will I make for dinner? What can I make that will be healthy? How can I encourage my husband tonight? What will be do this weekend? How can I honor God with these every day decisions? Lord, give me wisdom!
Pure in mind and heart. Making sure I am being led by the Holy Spirit on a daily, moment by moment basis. I forget to just ask to be empowered!
The fruits of the Spirit come to mind: Love, joy, peace patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Do I pray these for myself? For my daughter? For my home to be a place where these reside? Does my life produce these fruits?
Workers at Home~
This is the big one I have been thinking about. Our society does everything it can to pull us away from this. Even in our "Christian" circles.
Being a stay-at-home mom (or worker at home) is a thing of the past. What happened to the days of mom's "staying home", raising their children, being in communion with other mom's doing the same thing?
The biggest reason? We need the money. We can't live on one salary. Then my question is-at what "level" are you trying to live at? By who's standards are you living at? Are you buying things you shouldn't? Have you gotten yourself into debt you can't get out of? Maybe we need to re-evaluate our priorities.
Another reason-I just need to get out of the house. Do you really want to "work" to do this? Why not join a mom's group? Find a gym that has child care? Swap babysitting with a neighbor so you can have time out alone.
So many thoughts...
I'm not saying working outside of the home is wrong, I think this is something you and your husband have to pray about and decide what is best for your family. But I do know the Bible is very clear about the fact that we are to be "workers at home." So, if we aren't able to fulfill these duties, then we definitely shouldn't be working outside the home.
I just know I was challenged when I looked at this again. This is what I am called to. It's not a decision to just "stay home," it is a calling-I am to be a worker at home. To clean, organize, provide a place to bring others to, to make my family feel loved and welcome. What am I letting stand in the way of this?
Does it get any simpler than that? Be kind-am I putting other's needs ahead of my own? Am I kind to the people I come into contact with on a daily basis. Am I choosing to be kind to my husband when he comes home, even if I have had a stressful day at home?
Be submissive to your husband~
There are a lot of different ways I could jump here, but I think the best way to sum this up is to make sure I am showing respect to my husband all the times. That I am enabling him to be the leader of our home. That I encourage him to provide for our family. That we make the tough decisions together, but ultimately, lean on his wisdom, as he is seeking the Lord for us. It isn't to be a door mat. It is to walk hand-in-hand with towards a common goal!
Well, lots of questions today-I would love to hear your thoughts!
I pray for the strength to be a Titus 2:4-5 woman! What an incredible calling!