“To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good,
obedient to their own husbands,
that the word of God be not blasphemed."
What does it mean to be “Keepers at Home"? Let’s start by defining some words using Websters 1828 Dictionary.
Keeper: “One who has the care, custody or superintendence of anything.”
At: “In general, at denotes nearness, or presence.”
Home: “A dwelling house; the house or place in which one resides.”
God has called us to be “Keepers at Home.” Our job then is to be the superintendent of our place of residence. We are to care for our dwelling with attention. We are to be present at home so that we can perform our job correctly. If we are not at home, how can we care for all the needs properly? Now we understand that not all of us have the option to be a stay-at-home wife or mom, and God knows that and provides what we need in those situations, but that doesn’t mean that we can just shirk those responsibilities. Actually, being “Keepers at Home” is our primary job, our primary design. God created us to be “Keepers at Home”; therefore, our top priority is to fulfill this high calling. This is our purpose! God has given us purpose, and when we have purpose, we have direction. We may not fully understand all that this purpose will entail, but we do know which direction we should be headed. The steps to start down the pathway of our calling now ensue!
“The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only—and that is to support the ultimate career.”
Now that we know our job, how do we execute it? Being “Keepers at Home” is not a one-and-done type of job; it’s an ongoing task that can last a life-time! But looking at the big picture can be overwhelming, so let’s just take it day by day. First, we need to have a plan. Start by creating a list of what you want to accomplish in this day. Laundry, vacuum, make bread, clean shower, kids’ baths, etc. Making a list is helpful so that you don’t forget something and you have everything written down in one place. It is also helpful, and encouraging to visually see all the checkmarks that show how much you got accomplished! Now for me, when I don’t make a list, it seems like the day is more haphazard. I can still get some things done, but there’s not that direction and order. Having that list helps keep me on track. One thing I do find myself doing wrong with my list, though, is not prioritizing it correctly. I tend to pick and choose the things I’d rather do over the things that I’d rather not do, which inevitably, are more important. For example, I’d rather go sit and browse online for that birthday gift than practice my piano. It’s easy to excuse it because getting that birthday gift is something that needs to be done, but does it really need to be done at this moment? Probably not. So, I tried something new for two days. I made my list, but this time, I numbered them. 1) Laundry, 2) Dishes, 3) Bread, 4) Exercise, etc. Number one, Laundry, was my top priority. My goal then was to get number one done first before I moved on to the other things. Now, we all know that a wash cycle and a dry cycle average around 45 minutes each, depending on what type of machines you have and what specific cycle you’re using, etc. I’m not just sitting there twiddling my thumbs until it’s ready to change over just because it’s my top priority for the day. That’s wasting time! Instead, I view it as, I’ll start a load now and work on number two while I wait. But when that washer goes off, I should be stopping what I’m doing to place priority on the laundry. Switch it over to the dryer and continue on number two, or if number two is done, then move on to number 3, and so on. I also plugged in after number three a couple of the more “fun” things that needed to get done to break it up some. I don’t have to feel guilty about doing them because I completed three more important tasks beforehand. It’s ok to mix in some enjoyable things with the mundane tasks!
It sounds great and like it should be a smooth day and all, but I will honestly tell you, I was stressed out those two days! There’s a solution to that, and I’ll get to that in a moment, but first I want to assess the cause behind the stress. The reason I was stressing out was because I allowed myself to question everything. “Am I doing this right? Did I prioritize correctly? But I didn’t get everything done!” The first issue: I was worrying about whether so-and-so would do it this way, and if not, then I’m doing it all wrong. I wasn’t considering first and foremost what God thought. I was thinking performance instead of service. The second issue: I was not accounting for unexpected things to pop up throughout my day. Things like my husband asked me to go with him somewhere or anything from an unexpected phone call to a huge mess the kids made that now needs cleaned up. All these things are important, and most of the time, they are more important than your list for the day. My husband is asking for my presence: does my list matter more than him? That carpet will get stained if you don’t clean that mess up right away. Mrs. So-and-so might have to cancel her appointment if you don’t take her. Or even just taking that extra time to teach your child an important lesson by patiently explaining and showing him/her how to do it. And you know something else, you’ll never regret snuggling up together on the couch for that “just one more book, Mommy” before naptime. But if we won’t regret it, then why do we stress over it? Let’s now reflect on the solution I mentioned earlier to these issues. First, let God and His Word be the Standard by which you judge yourself by. When you make someone else the standard, you most assuredly will be disappointed and frustrated because neither they nor you are perfect. God gave us His Word so that we can know what we are to do, but He didn’t create us all the same. God created you with your own unique personality and placed you in your own unique situation, of course you’re not going to do it the same way as so-and-so. God didn’t create you to be so-and-so. God created you to be "you," and He wants you to be the best "you" you can be through Him! Second, expect the unexpected, and you won’t be surprised when it comes. Realize in that moment what’s more important, and then be faithful to do it. You won’t be disappointed that you did! God allows these unexpected instances in our lives for a reason, and when you view them in this way, they are no longer annoying interruptions, but teaching moments. Moments where you realize, “God is working in my life! Wow!” The solution has a lot to do with your perspective!
As we conclude, I actually want us to observe the Hinge that all we have talked about up to now swings on. That Hinge is God! For our job as “Keepers at Home” to be daily completed in a God-honoring way, we must be firmly attached to Him. Despite the obstacles that might get placed in front of us and despite the pummeling we might receive from day-to-day use, we can still remain functional, swing smoothly, and stay upright when attached to the proper Hinge. Neglecting God can cause friction and squeaks, for the Hinge is getting gunked up with the sin of my own way. But cleaning it out and oiling it with God’s Word can once again bring about His proper purpose and design in you and me. God has called us and designed us each perfectly and uniquely for our specific task, whether that be a plumber’s wife, a mother of two children or four or five children, a missionary’s wife in a foreign country, a carpenter’s wife, a mother of adopted children, a preacher’s wife, a newly married wife, a new mother, a hope-to-be wife, or daughters-in-training, etc. We’re not supposed to be identical cut-outs, but we all do have the same ultimate purpose — to glorify our Designer! We have a Masterful Creator of intricate detail, and He has a purpose and a plan for creating each of us so differently. And you know what, God expects us to fulfill our purpose and role that He has created us for. But wait, we fail. And God knows we fail, yet He expects this of us…. Actually, God expects us to surrender and yield to the Holy Spirit’s control. Only then can we fulfill God’s expectations for us. It’s Christ’s power in us and working through us, and God knows His Son cannot fail! God isn’t going to create us for our specific job without giving us the needed ability to perform it!
“With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.”
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”
For our job as “Keepers at Home” to swing the way it’s supposed to, it must be firmly secured on the proper Hinge. Before any preparation of a materialistic kind is done, there should first and foremost be preparation of a spiritual kind. Spend that much-needed time with God first in His Word and in prayer, then those plans you create for the day can be overshadowed by His Presence. It will be easier to give the control of those plans and lists to God when your mind is fixed on Him.
“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.”