Across this world, grand edifices remain for us to admire. What man builds can last a good long time if it be built well. This remains true for the Christian wife and mother, who is called to build a home and help to shape the lives therein.
Home has been referred to as the Temple of Virtue and Hope. By entering your marriage vows, this temple is yours to build and to govern while working side by side with your husband. Truth, honor, and purity should be hallmarks of this grand edifice you will build.
Mankind is made for work. This building of your home is your challenge, your great life’s work. Out of this home may come children and children’s children. This work will indeed take a lifetime to complete, but the foundation is being set now.
“The homemaker is an artist who paints into existence her family’s set-apart place.”
A child of God has work to do because work is good. A blueprint to life guides us, a purpose draws us forward, challenges make us wiser, resistance strengthens us, and consequences make us more discerning and circumspect. By the way, our flesh, aka The Old Man, should be seen as a dangerous, criminal intruder, lurking about, bent on doing great harm to this grand fortress you will be building.
“Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.”
If we can pluck it down with our hands, this implies that we can build it up with our hands. How much can a hand hold? A little. A ladies’ hands aren’t large or strong, but they can build up or tear down a house little by little. How fast will this building of a home be? Slow. Think long-term goals. Think basic, strong, solid building blocks like character, habit, obedience, kindness. The destructive qualities are selfishness, impatience, harshness, impulsiveness, and closing yourself off from your husband.
Your actions will reflect what you believe. If you believe your thoughts, ideas, influence, and actions don’t matter and have no effect, you will not fulfill your calling well and you will reap the destruction living that lie will bring.
Seek to constrain the malevolence in your heart and in your world. You are responsible for the actions taken within your sphere of influence. And what you do, most certainly, influences those around you, sometimes with eternal reverberations.
Our aim is very important. Think of the definition of sin, missing the mark. The aim and the effort were both insufficient. Does this define our home? Do you even have a mark to which you are keenly focusing your energies? Do you have a vision for yourself and for your home? It has been said, “Where your focus goes, your energy flows.”
A change of destination starts in the mind, takes shape in the attitude, and manifests itself in action. Actions result in consequences. Multiple consequences form a pattern and pathway. You reap what you sow. Because all you do and say influences yourself and others for good or for evil.
“Scatter seeds of kindness wherever you may go.”
The secret lies in the details of your day: in the slight deviation of your thoughts from Truth as well as in the little acts of kindness sown ever so persistently. Little by little. It’s in the little things you see the man or woman.
How is this to be done? Through consecration, devotion, and action.
First, consecration involves two things: Set yourself apart for God and pour yourself out to fulfill His calling upon your life. This demands utter dependence upon God. Keep the larger vision always in view. Whatever is this “menial” task you are working on today is always part of a larger purpose and plan. Seek that which is above. Fix your eye on the Greater Purpose in all you do and say. Your connection to the Vine and your vision will sustain you.
Second is the idea of devotion, or practical holiness. It is to be a lifestyle. The “little things” will give you opportunity to express love, beauty, and order, which is an expression of God to yourself and to those with whom you dwell.
Never underestimate the power of Beauty in your home. Likewise, never underestimate the power of a beautiful life. And this beautiful life is found in the little things expressed through your actions: how you tend to yourself and to the needs of others; your posture, facial expressions, a gentle touch, thoughtful actions, and kind words. Bible courtesies smooth the coarseness of life. Let every piece of your home say, “Welcome!” Let every movement of your hands and lips say, “Love!” Let all your actions say to others, “I value you!”
Someone is always watching. How you speak, how you react (facial expressions that flash into view and out again as quickly reveal so much), how you take care of yourself, and what place God has in your heart. We should be so filled with the Holy Spirit that it is just oozing out of our fingertips and gushing forth from our smile and billowing out of our lips and shining brightly in our countenance.
How? Be connected to the Vine. In our flesh, we desire to be big, to be noticed, to do the grand life task; but it’s the small things that really make the greatest impact. Small acts of kindness consistently performed. Loyalty. Faithfulness. Diligence. Little kindnesses really to breed deep affections.
“The ordinary arts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest.”
Make your whole life a prayer. Speak carefully and pray without ceasing. These two actions should be tied together in our minds. God hears ALL thoughts and speech, so clean up your act inside and the outward manifestation of your thoughts will be a worthy record to behold.
It may help to keep a journal and “talk” and express your thoughts here rather than to others. Always talk to God first. Talking to others as a first reaction weakens you. Talking to God strengthens you. Prove me wrong! There’s a proper place for seeking good counsel of others, and it’s not first place, it’s after you’ve counseled with the Holy Spirit.
“Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.”
God is vital in every aspect of this project. Without Him, we can do nothing.
Our connection to God, our thoughts, and our actions really do matter. Stay close to God. Use the “little things” and keep the larger vision of Wife and Home ever before you. The God that called you will guide you.
As seasons of life change, Elizabeth happily remains desperately dependent upon her God. Three of her four children have now branched off to begin their own families. She is a homeschooling veteran and a faithful wife for over 30 years.
Read Elizabeth’s salvation testimony here and her articles here.