Every wise woman buildeth her house; but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands. Proverbs 14:1
Is homemaking really of value anymore? Isn’t it an outdated notion? Haven’t we got beyond this as a society? Isn’t homemaking just cleaning and cooking? Let’s look at this together and see what it is to be a homemaker!
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What is a Homemaker?
By definition a homemaker is a person, usually a woman, who manages the household of their own family, especially as a primary occupation.
When you first consider what is involved in homemaking, naturally your mind goes to the chores. There’s meal prep, laundry, cleaning and grocery shopping. But is that really it? Isn’t there more to it than just household duties? I believe so, when we think of it as just the chores of keeping up the house, we are missing the beauty of homemaking. We have mentally lowered it to jobs that could easily be hired out. Why would the woman need to be home when the family could order groceries online and have housekeeper come in once a week.
What if the chores are really just a small part of it? What if you looked at homemaking as building relationships? As a wife, the relationship to your husband. If you are a mother, the relationship with your children. How about your neighbors? Parents? Those in your community? How would investing your time in others benefit those around you? How can you be the wise woman that builds her house?
The Word Cultivate
How about this? How about the word cultivate? What does it mean to cultivate? It means to take steps to grow something or improve it’s growth. The main job of a homemaker is truly cultivating relationships. If you are cultivating a relationship, you are establishing and developing it.
Of course we are doing the work of caring for our home and the physical needs of those in it. However, we aren’t just filling a hungry belly or clothing a body. We are pouring love into our family. We are cultivating a future.
Think about how good it feels when someone you love does something for you simply because they know it would bless you.
I’ll give you an example, the other morning I got up to get my kids off to camp. My husband had already left for work. (He is an incredibly early riser). We were expecting rain that morning, and I noticed that he had taken down all of my hanging ferns from the front porch and put them out on the sidewalk. He knows that the ferns are important to me, he knows that they benefit from rain, and he knows that taking them down is a chore. So, he thoughtfully did that for me! The result? I felt loved.
Cultivating relationships is just that. Little acts of kindness and love in the ordinary sometimes mundane tasks of life. It is truly knowing and understanding the people in your home in a way that allows you to walk through life with them as a team. Working together and lifting one another up as you come upon difficulties or uncertainties.
When we think about the chores of homemaking, I think society has given us this mental image of drudgery. The frazzled woman with the messy hair scrubbing soap scum off of the shower walls. She’s miserable obviously. I mean really, isn’t there more to life than cleaning bathrooms?
What if we just erase that image? Of course cleaning bathrooms isn’t really fun, but it is part of the job. And I would venture to say that there are countless tasks at a paying job that men and women perform but hate.
What if we think of those tasks again as an investment in our family? A clean bathroom is less likely to spread sickness. Nutritious meals build healthy bodies. The smell of a good meal cooking brings a sense of comfort and peace. A clean and organized home makes every part of life easier for every person living there. This isn’t drudgery, it is investing in the most important people in your life.
A Good Design
Why do people want to devalue homemaking? Why do women feel this guilt and pressure when they reply “homemaker” if they are asked what they do? For what reason is it expected that a woman with grown children return to the workforce? I believe it’s because the position of “keeper at home” was designed by God.
Anything instituted by God for the benefit of his people tends to come under fire. Satan loves to destroy and try to turn upside down the beauty that God creates. Look back to Adam and Eve. How did they sin? By listening to a lie. Satan is a deceiver. He saw all that God had given them, but appealed to Eve’s flesh by whispering “hey you are missing out on something…God is holding out on you!” (Genesis 3). She exchanged the perfect thing that God had given her for a lie, for the belief that somehow she could find something better.
Still Living a Lie
I believe we are still doing this today. God set up marriage not to oppress women, but to bless us. In marriage He gives us protection and special care, not because we are of little value, but because we are of great value to him! We are created in the image of God and man and woman are the perfect compliment to each other. Together, we reflect that image.
What’s funny to me is that women and men spend much of their young life dreaming of and seeking after a spouse. Next, we make a big deal out of a wedding and setting up home for the new couple. Then, after the wedding it seems the conversation changes. Now, we are led to believe that anything the wife does to serve the husband is beneath her, after all, she isn’t his slave, right?
The conversation that we don’t hear much is the one that tells us how beautiful and fulfilling a life of giving really is. No one truly enjoys being around a selfish, self seeking person. A generous and kind person is a joy to be around. A person who cultivates kindness and selflessness will usually enjoy kindness and generosity in return.
Maybe there is so much backlash because it is good and right? Maybe because there is great benefit to society and to relationships, Satan feels he must tear it down? After all, the main tenant of satanism is selfishness.
A Service to Society
Don’t you know that when you cultivate a beautiful home, a place of security and refuge for your husband and your children you truly are serving society? Sending happy well-rounded people into the world is a benefit to everyone! A content and happy husband is more productive at work. He is less likely to fight with his coworkers or lord his authority over others.
This thought that we aren’t a service to society because we aren’t out earning a living is really ridiculous when you think about it. Let’s say I go to school to become a chef and open my own restaurant. People would cheer me on! Oh! She is really doing something. Yet, if I stay home and cook for my family…well that’s just ordinary and a waste really.
How about if I start a cleaning business…wow! Now I’m an entrepreneur! Yet if I stay home and clean my own home, I am a slave.
What if I became a counselor! There’s something very admirable! Now I am really helping others! What a contribution to society! Yet if I stay home and counsel my children, support my husband or family, I am once again just a waste. You see my point, unless the job pays, it just isn’t legit in the eyes of the world. The truth is it does pay, just not always in dollars!
Be a World Changer
Having teenagers provides ample opportunity for big conversations. As we send them out on their own more and more, they begin to experience life and people much different from themselves. They get to see first hand how people can fold under stress. They get to see that giving a person a title or position does not make them a leader.
Sometimes, they get to be on the receiving end of mistreatment. Perhaps they are misunderstood. You get to see how they handle themselves. Has your hard work paid off or not? There is still time for instruction to help them to be people of compassion and understanding.
Or maybe they are the one who makes the mistake. Home is where you can talk about what happened, and how they could have acted differently. Really knowing and understanding your children is such a gift in helping them navigate the world. This can’t be done unless you have taken the time to truly cultivate a relationship with them.
The truth is, when I was a young mom, I wanted to do big things for God. What kind of ministry could my husband and I be involved in? How could we change the world for good? But, the big opportunity that I was seeking never came, at least not in the way I envisioned.
Raising Godly Children Is World Changing
Just this last year as we sent our oldest children off to work at camp for the summer, it hit me. As I said the words to my kids, “you can change the world by the way you love and care for these kids at camp.” Suddenly I realized, those three that we were sending off were doing three fold what I could have done on my own. And guess what? I have seven more coming up behind them.
If I am diligent to keep my own home, if I am diligent to pour into my husband and children rather than my own self, if I train them in love each and every day, instilling grit and work ethic, love and compassion, then we can truly send people into the world that can change it for good.
Do you see how valuable home really is? Home is the place for family. It is the place where values are taught, where relationships are nurtured and where we learn how to interact with others. It is the place of learning and growing where there is safety, acceptance and love. This is the place to make mistakes and learn from them.
I hope you can see that being a homemaker is far more than toilets and laundry. Even after your children are grown. Your husband will still be there, and he will still need the support and love you have offered him all those years. Why would you abandon ship at that point? Yes, you may have more time. Find some younger women to pour into…maybe even your own daughter! Teach them the ways of keeping a home. Support them and show them that their job is of incredible value.
Every Wise Woman Cultivates
I love to put visual reminders around my house. I made these prints and put them in my printable library for my subscribers. If you aren’t a subscriber, that’s easy to fix, just fill out your email over in the sidebar, and you will receive the library password! Every Wise Woman Buildeth her House. Also, a visual reminder to cultivate! Help your family to grow with your investment of self! Your reward will be great!
These prints look so vibrant in the PDF on my computer screen. However, we got a new printer, and the colors look very muted. They are actually a deep navy, and a coral color. In the photos, it looks a bit purple…I don’t see purple in person though!
More to Come on this Topic
As I wrote this, I had so much that it needed to be split into two posts. Originally I planned for this to be a three part series, it may actually be four or five! Next time, we will talk about equality!
**Update: Here are all of the other parts in the series
A Link Party!!
Also, on Friday a friend (Cherelle from The Inspired Prairie) and I will be starting our own Link Party! What is a link party you may ask? It is a place for other bloggers within the same niche to come and link up their posts. Our topics will be homemaking, homesteading and homeschooling. Anyone with family friendly posts on those topics are welcome to come here and link up! It will be every Friday starting at 6:00 a.m. Central time.