Friday, May 16, 2014

An Open Letter to Christian Wives

My passion beyond studying theology and growing closer to Christ is about how I can be a better wife, mother, and woman...all to His glory. I hope, if you are a Christian woman, that this is your passion too! I hope you will take a moment to read on for the words I have to say are so important...
Books such as The Excellent Wife: A Biblical Perspective , Home-Making and now this one: The Fruit of Her Hands: Respect and the Christian Woman encourage us as wives, mothers and homemakers. There are many more as well...but these are great places to start! I highly encourage you to seek out and read these books as soon as possible...they are doctrinally sound and chock full of nourishment for your heart!


“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. These 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. The best husband—the truest, the noblest, the gentlest, the richest-hearted—cannot make his home happy if his wife be not, in every reasonable sense, a helpmate to him.

In the last analysis, home happiness depends on the wife. Her spirit gives the home its atmosphere. Her hands fashion its beauty. Her heart makes its love. And the end is so worthy, so noble, so divine, that no woman who has been called to be a wife, and has listened to the call, should consider any price too great to pay, to be the light, the joy, the blessing, the inspiration of a home.

Men with fine gifts think it worth while to live to paint a few great pictures which shall be looked at and admired for generations; or to write a few songs which shall sing themselves into the ears and hearts of men. But the woman who makes a sweet, beautiful home, filling it with love and prayer and purity, is doing something better than anything else her hands could find to do beneath the skies.” 

~ J.R. Miller


Sometimes, we as wives and mothers (in my opinion) can give ourselves *too* much grace. 
**Please know that as I write my intention is not to be cruel but to lovingly hold us (myself included) accountable to the noble task we have been given as wives and caretakers of our family (and home).**
Let me take a few paragraphs to elaborate on what I mean by too much grace. Life is a balance of truth and grace. The truth is that you were designed and created to be a helpmate to the man you married. Your job is to help him in whatever way he needs you...and the bible places us primarily in the home. If you are neglecting your home, you are not being obedient to the Word of God.
 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children,  to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbandsthat the word of God may not be reviled.  
~ Titus 2:3-5

Does this mean perfection? Not at all. It means keeping up with daily tasks...caring for your children and doing the things that makes your husband happy. Does your husband like his clothes ironed? Do your best to iron them then. Does your husband enjoy a tidy home? Then keep it tidy (even if you have little ones, let them help! Right before daddy comes home from work, do a 15 minute clean up of toys.) Maybe your husband desires a hot meal when he gets home from work...make it your priority to have that as often as possible for him.

Caring for your home doesn't mean it has to be magazine-worthy day in and day out. It's about keeping up with it to the best of your ability (realizing that we all have seasons of life that make this easier/more difficult at different times). This is where grace comes in. Every day is not going to be perfect, you simply must give yourself grace. This must have boundaries though. You are going to have an off day from time to time...it happens. But in general, it *is* possible to keep your home tidy. Constantly making excuses as to why you can't keep a tidy home is giving yourself *too* much grace. If you desire to honor God, then you must fulfill your calling as a wife (and mother). It's not an easy task but it is what you are here for. This is how you glorify God. 

Let's use the picture of our eating habits. If we generally eat a healthy diet, that one indulgence of dessert now and then isn't going to damage us. But if we are constantly sneaking treats or just eating "whatever" ~ we are going to gain weight and damage our health. So it goes with our homemaking. If we generally keep the house tidy and have an off day now and then, our husbands should understand (as they follow their biblical guidelines of loving us as Christ loves His church). 

Telling yourself you are just "not organized" or that you are just a "messy" person doesn't cut it. Millions of women over the years have kept their homes (doing laundry by hand, making all meals from scratch, and managing children etc.). I don't see how, with the appliances and luxuries (like running water) we have today, some women are falling short in this area. It's almost as though they don't realize what a privilege it is to be a caretaker of their husband, children and home. 

  "As the Christian woman takes stock of her resources and abilities, she can be motivated to make her home lovely in a Christ-honoring way. She can seek to make her home beautiful to please God. The pagans may want to impress one another, but the Christian can delight in Christ.
  This may provide an entirely new motivation for Christian women to keep their homes clean and organized and to be always working to make them more beautiful, given the resources God has given to them."
~Nancy Wilson, The Fruit of her Hands

Again, don't get me wrong...my house is far from perfect and **I** am far from perfect. I am not saying the Bible commands our perfection....rather a glorifying of Him and respecting of our husbands by keeping up with the tasks we have been given. 

"God has designed your husband to need respect, and He has commanded you to be the principal source of it. As you obey God in this, you will see that an obedient respect for your husband will always have positive consequences."
~ Nancy Wilson, The Fruit of her Hands 

Sometimes, if you have let your house go for too long, the clutter can be terribly overwhelming. There are wonderful resources online to get you back on track though! Free videos on how to best organize your home are scattered on youtube. A couple places I enjoy and find help and encourage me with my home are A Bowl Full of Lemons and Alejandra. I also have a site called Simply Organized Homemaking where you can find some helpful articles (if you have any specific things you would like me to try and cover, please feel free to contact me!). Ask a friend or family member to help you. 

If you have children, they should have chores (or at least be responsible to clean up after themselves). This not only helps you but helps teach them responsibility and how to care for their own things properly. You can go HERE to see how I make simple (inexpensive) chore charts for my children. 

"Young women desperately need a picture of Godly homemaking in a culture that derides and despises the mother at home."
~ Nancy Wilson, The Fruit of her Hands

It's not my intent to anger you (although I am sure some of you who are reading this right now are)...but rather to admonish us as followers of Christ ~ to live our lives in a way that is truly pleasing to Him. There is more to be said...such as rearing children in a God-honoring way which I wrote about HERE. My goal today is to focus more on our roles as wives in the home

I am reading another excellent book called: "Reforming Marriage Revised Edition by Douglas Wilson . It is full of absolutely wonderful, biblical wisdom! I was going to include some of that in this post...but I am realizing this post is incredibly long enough! So look forward to seeing that post sometime in the near future. 

My prayer is that you are blessed here. Do not fret if you have fallen into a rut of disorganization or clutter. Just make it your goal to begin getting things on the right track. After that, it is only a matter of up-keep! If I can be of any help to you...please, please feel free to contact me by a comment here or email me! I love to hear from you!

In loving kindness,
Katy
a-wise-woman-builds-her-home            Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth

9 comments:

  1. Another great post katy. I totally agree with all you have said and I love the way you said it. I am very happy to be able to be a keeper of our home.keep up with these great encouraging posts. Have a great weekend. Blessings joann

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  2. think you for this. I am a stay at home wife (no childern, through we are trying) and I am always being told I should get a job by friends and church members. I love being a stay at home wife and taking care of the home for my husband :)

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  3. great post. we all need this encouragement at times. please do some investigation about doug wilson in order to temper your view of his writings. he does make some good points, however, he has done some very evil things. google steven stitler and katie travis wedding. he basically had an innocent young lady marry a man convicted of a terrible crime against children. mr wilson also holds some very ungodly views about race. thanks for your consideration. mary

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  4. Thank you for this wonderful post! I have to say that I am so grateful to have a husband and family who have supported our decision for me to be a stay-at-home wife and mother. I love what I do and I take it very seriously. We have had to make many sacrifices (financially) for me to be able to be at home but every single one of them has been worth it and God has always supplied! Please keep these encouraging and timely posts coming. You are an inspiration!

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  5. Out of interest, Katy, what age were your children when you started them with a chore chart?

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    1. Hi Jay! :) Well, we have done different chore chart things over the years...so I don't really remember. but before we had chore charts I just had the children help me with things around the house that they could (pick up their own toys to put away, let them wipe cupboards or dust while I am cleaning etc.). Your little Naomi may do wonderfully with a chart that just a few things on it that she can do (even include brushing her teeth) and then you can put a sticker by it when she does it! She may love that! :)

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  6. Dear Katy, I have not read any of these books, but I know the scriptures well! And I think the parts that you wrote yourself were very well written. I think we need these kinds of encouragement and instructions as we grow in truth and grace. Finding out what your husband needs is so important,
    Thanks for Linking up with my party. Love your wisdom and heart!
    Blessings, Miss Roxy

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  7. An encouraging word as always. Be blessed!
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

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I am always so grateful to read your comments! I thank you for the time you took to visit and share your thoughts with me. :o)
May you enter as a stranger and leave as a friend!
Warmly, Katy