How to have Resolve in Homemaking : Have a Mind for the Work!
There are so many things to say about how to be a better homemaker. There are practical steps to improving your approach but first, our resolve to do the work comes from unwavering truth from God’s Word.
I had been slogging away at painting over the bright pink room in our new rental house recently. There was nothing enjoyable about this work. It just had to be done even though I truly dislike painting.
But I was encouraged by this passage in Nehemiah and I am passing it on to you for your fortification in homemaking work.
It was a time when they had experienced a lot of discouragement in their work of building the wall around Jerusalem after it had been destroyed during the exile. The Israelites had come back home to Israel from being exiled to their enemies land for decades. So they are at home but they had this massive job before them. They had to rebuild the city wall. But there was a lot of push back from enemies of Israel. Major political moves to keep them from doing their work and accomplishing this goal. But Nehemiah was wise and prayed about this hardship. God then broke down political barriers to allow them to build the wall around the city of Jerusalem and he gave Nehemiah discernment for not believing enemy lies when they tried to harm the work. They were able to keep building it. And this passage struck me:
“So we built the wall. And all the wall was joined together to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.” Nehemiah 4:6.
The people had a mind to work. I did not have a mind to work on my wall. I knew that I needed to pray to have a mind to work. By no means am I equating my situation to that of the returned exiles rebuilding a massive wall around the Holy city. But the Holy Bible teaches us through these bigger themes.
The enemy will lie to get you to stop doing the work of your home. And how much have women been lied to that the work of their marriage, home and family is of little worth! That we should focus our efforts on everything but this. Painting rooms and decorating and creating comforts is never taught as important beyond the satisfaction of enjoying the aesthetics or enjoyment of the artistic process. We have turned this work into a hobby and think of it as a hobby. We are not taught to focus our energy on it as though it has some grand significance. Because many women do homemaking on the side to work outside the home, it has become expected that all women do homemaking on the side – as though all of us should be doing something else primarily!
But homemaking is a primary job. And it is hard work in that not every aspect is fun or enjoyable, even the decorating! Take my painting for instance. I look forward to the reward of having it done but doing the work is a lot of work! And it doesn’t pay the same as an outside job. But it has different rewards.
Firstly, I am rewarded by serving the Lord as a wife working at home.
There are so many blessings to this job even among the difficulties. At home, you have time to be creative and time to rest. You have the ability to self govern not have your every method dictated to you by a boss. You get to serve your husband out of love to bless him. You get to be the one person in your child’s life that is there for them giving them the hugs, the listening and the teaching that you were meant to give them. Your house is clean because your clean it regularly! Your house is beautiful because you prioritize the beauty of it! Your family eats because you work to feed them! These are the rewards of homemaking that are unlike the rewards of other jobs. It is personal, it affects your well being and your family. The rewards are meant to be enjoyed. The meals are meant to be enjoyed together, the clean sheets you washed and slip into at night are to be enjoyed by you! Your work results in enjoying the outcome! So you can delight in giving these gifts of dignity and nourishment to your husband and children and you can also delight in the rewarding outcomes of your work.
But it is WORK and it takes having a mind to do the work.
The role of the wife is undermined and disrespected nowadays and has been for decades. We live in a world that glorifies the woman who is not doing the work of a wife at home. Which then makes women who do this job feel lowly but lowly is not the same as unimportant.
Jesus said “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:29
Jesus is the safest most loving being and we find rest for our souls in him. We are to be like him for our husband and our children. Gentle and lowly.
So be a lowly wife working at home. It doesn’t have to feel or look important or grand.
We have been trained to have a mind for any other type of work but this one. The fact is, we have been respected in the workforce in a way we are not respected for working at home.
If you ever needed a reminder of what a place of importance you hold in the humble role of a wife tending the home and family, remember the words of Jesus “The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” Matthew 23:11-12
This is the truth about you as a Christian in all of your life. It is a good thing to be a wife and a mother at home if that makes you a servant of God, doing the work he gave you to do.
We make a lot of difference besides a painted wall but even the painted wall is a testimony to the difference we make. A painted wall doesn’t matter to the world but it matters to your world. Time spent with your children or blessing your husband doesn’t matter to the world but it matters to God and it matters to them. We don’t live to meet the expectations of the world when we serve the Lord Jesus. We value the work He gives us. If he has given you the work of a wife at home then ask Him to give you a mind to work and build your house, emotionally, spiritually and physically.