Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Staying at home

One of my favorite things is just spending time in my home. In the past 2o years our home has been well loved, under continued construction and development much like our relationship to Christ and each other. Everything in my home is here because I chose it to be. The picture frames, lamps, chairs are all sitting exactly where they are sitting because I thought they appeared lovely and created an expression of who we are. I have poured my soul into my home. It is not about cleaning (although I do love to clean) or laundry or chores. Being at home is about being. Its about creating a place where everyone in your family can look forward to returning to. The atmosphere of the home is intangible and yet the people who live there and the people who visit are able to identify it.

I believe that we learn to love our homes and families by being in our homes. I believe this because God tells us in Titus 2: 3-5 that we should be workers at home. We are also told that if we do not work at home that the very word of God will be dishonored. God has given us our sphere of influence and if we shirk that, if we turn away from it then God's word is shamed. We cause others to look upon scripture and the bible as something irrelevant, something to be ignored because we do not give it the honor and relevance that God wants us to. This is a serious thing! As woman we have a calling on our lives to be workers in our home. To put our time, talents, and energies into developing not just the physical surroundings but the people and relationships. The famous Proverbs 31 woman was not a woman who was stuck at home doing menial tasks, unappreciated and undervalued. Her worth is far above jewels! The center of her life is in her home. In proverbs 31 we find many of the benefits of being at home. Her husband trust her. She is not afraid of the snow. She is able to smile at the future. Her children and husband bless her and praise her. She is praised. Verse 29 says that many daughters do nobly but this woman excels. I believe she excels because she has obeyed God's calling on her life. Beth Moore has said that, "Obedience to God always means his very best for us". Many of us choose good things but God wants the best for us! Proverbs 14:1 tells us that a wise woman builds her house. A foolish woman tears it down with her own hands. Gods word also tells us that a fool is a person who says that there is not God or acts as though there is not a God. How foolish we would be if we dishonored God's word.

There are many blessings to being a keeper at home. One of the things Mr. appreciates is my physically being at home. It worries him when I am out and about. He feels that my safety is secure in our home. When he needs me, he knows where to find me and he knows where to find his children. At times when I worked away from home, it was difficult for him to rest easy. This does not mean that he does not want me to run errands or spend the day shopping with friends. I do lots of both. It means that he rests easier while he is away working if he feels that I am safe while he is away from me. It is easier today with cell phones to keep in contact but before we had those I can remember a time when if he called home and I did not answer the phone it would bother him. It has taken me awhile to understand that Mr. is my protector and that he takes this seriously. I am protected from many things by staying at home. If I spend my days out shopping instead of working in my home, then my spirit will be pulled toward materialism and I will be dissatisfied with what my husband is providing. I am protected from predators when I keep myself busy at home. I have watched many women be sucked into affairs; emotional and physical because they are spending their time with men other than their husband. Many times as wives at home we don't feel appreciated and often taken advantage off. It presents a real threat to our marriage when we start getting appreciation from people outside of our families. This includes the church. Many woman "stay at home" but manage to never actually be at home. They will pour all of their energies into activities outside the home. By staying home our priorities are kept in line. I am protected from becoming a malicious gossiper and someone who takes to much wine. Proverbs 7:11 says that a boisterous and rebellious woman does not keep her feet at home. Staying at home prevents us from becoming boisterous and rebellious!

Staying at home is a blessing to others. If I am at home I can immediately meet the needs of my family and I can reach out to my community as needs are presented. If all of my time is scheduled away from my home, I will not be available for the people who need me the most. There is nothing worse than having Mr. ask me to do something for him having to respond that I can not because I have no time. When I work at home, my home is clean and maintained. I don't have to worry about someone dropping in unexpectedly to a mess. I have the time to practice hospitality. The number one reason people feel that they can't practice hospitality is because they don't keep their homes clean and their fridges stocked. Being able to practice hospitality is a blessing of being at home.

My family lives and thrives in a well organized home. There is order and a rhythm to our daily lives that provides structure and boundaries that transmits our values. If I am at home, I am able to fulfil Deuteronomy 6 that says that I should teach the commands of God to my children at breakfast, lunch and dinner. I can teach my children to honor their parents not because I deserve honor but because Gods word says that children who honor their parents will live long, prosper and go well with them. I am able to educate my children in the knowledge of Christ and create for them a distinct Christian worldview. I can not do this if I am out of the home the majority of my time and my children are being raised by someone else. The church looses its children by the end of its college years. Sunday school does not work. Youth groups do not work. What works in God's economy is the home. Children who are schooled at home and live with imperfect parents living out their faith stay with their faith. My family sees everyday that they are my priority as they witness everything that I do. If I live out my life at home with joy and contentment then the word of God is honored in our home. They see the work of the Holy Spirit in my life and they know that God is real.

There are more personal benefits to staying at home. I have found and developed more skills and gifts from my home than I would ever have had time to explore if I worked out of the home. I am seldom "stressed" out by the demands of my home. It is when I begin adding in demands from outside with the needs of our home that my stress level increases. We have all laughed at the saying, "if momma ain't happy, nobody is happy". How true that statement is. If I am stressed, never at home, and looking good according to the worlds standards than my family will not produce the fruit it could have because I will not have been obedient.