Keeper of His Home

by Chelsea McCafferty

Part 7 – Love Does not Seek Its Own, The Loving Homekeeper Series

“…love does not seek its own..” 1 Corinthians 13:5

What does it mean to “seek ones own” in terms of love? It’s an interesting phrase and also interesting that most of the various translations have it the same way. Some add that love does not “seek its own things” and another shortens it to being “self-seeking”. The NLT says love “does not demand its own way”. When it comes down to it, what the Lord is basically saying is that His kind of love—the real kind—is not selfish, self-seeking, self-focused and self-pleasing. Self, self, self!

It’s not difficult at all to get caught up in self in the world we live in today. Every magazine, therapist and politician we see and hear proclaim that we need to take care of ourselves first and foremost. I cringe to think of a Christian sister going to the world for counsel because she will be bombarded with messages of self-love, self-focus and self-gratification. She is told that she needs to care for herself first before looking to meet anyone else’s needs. She will be told to search within herself for the answers instead of searching out the Word of God and His heart. She is told to neglect her family in order to seek out her own way in life. She is told if she doesn’t like her husband she should leave and follow her dreams. Who cares about her husband and children? They can take care of themselves, right?

I think that most of the reasons people have for getting divorced today boils down to this very important point—this point which has been lost in a social sea of self-seeking corruption. It all comes down to seeking one’s own instead of others. Love does not seek its own. If more people understood this there would be so fewer divorces and strained marriages. Love does not seek its own! Its so simple and yet so corrupted by the wickedness of this world!

Sisters, do not be deceived. God has not called us to be self-seekers but self-sacrificers! God has not called us to be self-gratifiers but selfless servants. God has not called us to be self-focused but to be self-abandoners so that we may truly be lovers of the hearts of our husbands, children, family and friends. We were not created to be selfish beings. We don’t need more self-esteem, we need more God-esteem. We need to take our eyes off of ourselves and put them directly on Jesus Christ.

I have known many women who have suffered with depression and anxiety. I myself battled with it at times in my life and I can tell you from experience that those times when I have been most depressed and most anxious were the same times that I was taking my eyes off of the Lord and putting them on my self. Self-focus causes sin. It causes pride, bitterness, self-love, arrogance, depression, anxiety, self-harm—the truth is it is toxic to the heart of a believer. We need to stop looking at the mirror and start looking to the sky and to our Creator for fulfillment, happiness, joy and love. He is the source. There is nothing good within us and everything good in Him.

Love does not seek its own. Love does not seek itself or demand its own way. Love is giving. Love is selfless. Love is self-sacrificing and humble. Oh Lord, let us keep our eyes fixed firmly on You and let us abandon ourselves so that we can be perfected in Your love!

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Part 6 – Love is not Rude, The Loving Homekeeper Series

“Love does not behave rudely…” 1 Corinthians 13:5

The Greek word for “behaving rudely” can also be translated to “behave itself unbecomingly” and isn’t it interesting that a person who puts on an air of rudeness often loses beauty in our estimation? I can see a beautiful woman walking across the room and think, “wow she is a stunning woman.” Then when I go to say hello she snubs me and looks at me like I just stepped off of an alien spacecraft. Suddenly this beauty has lost her shine and appeal. To think I might have looked up to her for her outward appearance, but now I wouldn’t even want to be in her presence.

That’s what rude behavior does to us ladies. It strips us of our beauty, shine and warmth and makes us into nasty creatures. That should be the last thing we want. I know what I want most is for my husband and daughter to look at me as if I am the most wonderful, special and loving person in the world. I don’t want them to see me as rude and obnoxious. I don’t want my Christian sisters and friends to think of me a as a rude person they have to put up with, but rather a woman who exhibits the love of Christ. We should desire to be beautiful, but not as the world sees. We should seek to exhibit the kind of beauty that God’s finds spectacular—a woman who fears the Lord and loves her family.

As a homekeeper, it is so very easy to slip into rude behavior behind closed doors. Sure, we can clean up nicely when we are out with our family at church or in town. We smile. We bridle our tongues and hold back the urge to make rude remarks. We are constrained by the desire to “look good” and that keeps us from rude behavior when eyes are upon us. The question is, what happens when the spectators are gone? Are we as kind, gently and compassionate to our own family?

We keepers of the home often get somewhat run-down by hectic schedules, long chore lists and the ever-present need to be on top of everything. Sometimes with this exhaustion comes a sort of laziness with how we treat our husband and kids at home. We are more comfortable to unwind and say whatever we like. We don’t feel the need to impress them so we struggle with nagging, unedifying speech and impatience. We need to remember that behaving in a way that is unbecoming is just as bad when its towards our family members in private. When I flippantly shout at my husband to get his own dinner and then start chowing down before he has time to join me, that’s rude. When I ignore my daughter’s questions (even when I’m not actively engaged in other activities or conversations) that’s rude. When I nag and whine and complain, that is very unbecoming.

Lord, help us to be women who are beautiful by Your standard and not women who behave rudely. Love is not rude. Love is compassionate, caring, edifying, humble and kind. We are learning so much about what love is and what it isn’t. I find it so very moving how it all can apply directly and in a special way for homekeepers.

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Part 5 – Love is not Puffed Up, The Loving Homekeeper Series

“Love is not puffed up.” 1 Corinthians 13:4

Love is not puffed up with pride. It does not inflate itself or cause itself to swell in its own estimation. Love, in fact, is cloaked in humility. Sometimes the only way we can show love to our families and friends is through acts of humility. Yet I find this is an area of great struggle for myself and many other ladies.

When my husband and I first got married, we really knew very little about one another and our daily habits. There was a lot of compromising together and getting used to one another in that first couple of years. It was not always easy. Funny how the little things can add up and create conflict. One of those little things that caused problems on several occasions was clothing. My husband and I have very different tastes in clothing. He is much more easy going about what he would wear out into public, where I am more careful about wanting to wear something that best suits me.

Most of the time my husband picks out clothes that are perfectly fine and look good, but every once in a while there would be a bad one. It would always go the same way. Dear husband would come out of the room wearing something that I felt didn’t match, or was too tight or just wasn’t right for the occasion. I would say something to the effect of, “you’re not wearing that out are you?” His countenance would immediately change to one of frustration as he replied, “I’m a grown man. I can pick out my own clothes, thank you!”

Now whether or not I was right about the fashion choice, it was clear that this was going to be an ongoing conflict. My husband didn’t like being mothered and second-guessed by me, and I was worried that he would go out looking bad. We had a problem. After much prayer about this issue that kept popping up, the Lord spoke to my heart and basically asked me this, “What’s more important—that your he looks good or that their is peace between you?”

I realized what God wanted me to do. I had to let go of my pride. I had to stop worrying about what other people thought about my husband’s attire and instead choose to be okay with it. Love chooses humility. Love does not demand to be the center of attention. It builds up others, not self.

As keepers of the home, we have daily opportunities to love selflessly and in humility. When we find ourselves being too proud, or puffed up in our own minds, we need to remember our Savior Jesus who made Himself of no reputation but took on the form of a servant and died a sinner’s death for us. We need to see Him washing the feet of the disciples. As we serve, may our hearts mimic His and our love be His love flowing out of us.

Love is not puffed up. It’s not proud but perfect in humility. It is not inflated, but rather seeks to edify others and bless them. That’s the love every homekeeper must keep at the forefront of a long day’s work.

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