Is it a burden, or is it a joy?
I think it's a joy.
But seriously. This is something I have been contemplating over these last few days. As I purposely make rounds about our house, I am picking up clothes and dishes, straightening pillows, wiping off cupboards, throwing in laundry, scrubbing sinks, reorganizing linen closets, planning the spring garden, soaking oatmeal, and spraying homemade air freshener as I go. Why? Why do I perform these tasks over and over and over again? Why do I care if there is a pile of laundry or dog hair on the floor? Why do I worry about things like cooking dinner from scratch and cleaning toilets? Does it matter? Is this a complete waste of energy? Should I be focused on bigger and grander things?
In my humble opinion, no. Heck, no. This is exactly what I should be focused on. My life isn't about a successful career or lots of money. It isn't about vacations or big savings accounts. It is about glorifying the Lord and enjoying Him forever. The more I prayed about the simple day to day actions in our home, the more it became comforting to me that the Lord has purpose for a woman in her home. We are to nurture and to comfort. To encourage and to care for.
A wife honors her husband by folding his laundry and fixing him nourishing meals. She honors and serves her home by sweeping the floors and teaching her children. While these tasks may feel more like chores on rough days, it is important to remember that the Lord has called us to honor our husbands and raise our children in such ways.
An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard,
She dresses herself with strength
and makes her arms strong.
She perceives that her merchandise
Her lamp does not go out at night.
she puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the
She is not afraid of snow for her
for all her household are clothed in
She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of
She makes linen garments and sells
she delivers sashes to the merchant.
Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is
on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her
and does not eat the bread of
Her children rise up and call her
her husband also, and he praises her;
“Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord
is to be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the
Dang, man. The example of this God fearing wife sure gives me something to strive for. She is fruitful with her hands, working away like a busy bee in her home. She is encouraging and trustworthy to her husband. She rises early to work for her family and stays up late to finish her deeds. She raises her children in the ways of the Lord and fears Him. She is full of strength and dignity. She opens her home in hospitality and serves the needy. She has skill in managing the home and spends their precious resources responsibly. AND she “laughs at the time to come” – as I sit here and worry and worry…
While some days the chores get the best of us, I think it's important to remember that keeping a home should be honoring to the Lord. Don't think about the vacuuming or the dirty baseboards. Don't think about the piles of leftover-filled-tupperware in the refrigerator that need to be washed or the pants that need grass stains scrubbed out.
Think about serving your family in the most honoring way possible. With joy in your heart. With love for their souls and for the Lord. With thankfulness for the blessing of your dirty, stinky, messy family. With the confidence in knowing that, as my Pastor's wife always reminds me, the Lord will give you enough grace to get through each and every day. And every single duty.
And that for HIS glory.
And now I'm going to go sweep my stairs.