Keeper of His Home

by Chelsea McCafferty

Part 4 – Love Does not Parade Itself, The Loving Homekeeper Series

“…love does not parade itself…” 1 Corinthians 13:4

This phrase “parade itself” is one of those translational difficulties that makes it difficult for us to truly grasp the concept here. The translation about is New King James Version. Let’s look at a few other translations:

“charity vaunteth not itself” KJV

“love does not brag” NASB

“love…is not boastful” NLT

Looking at the various translations gives us a better idea of what this phrase is saying. Love is not boastful, does not brag, does not parade itself as if on display or vaunt itself. Basically it is referring to a self-display or putting oneself on something of a pedestal. It reminds me of when Jesus spoke of the religious people and how they loved to stand in the streets praying loudly so that all could see them. They were not doing this to get closer to God or to draw others to Him. They were putting their religion on display so that others would see it and would consider them more spiritual. Perhaps they even wanted to inspire envy in others.

Love does not parade itself. True love, the kind that comes from God, is not motivated by what other people see. As a wife and mother, we are called to love our husband and children. We act out that love in a variety of ways: words, touch, acts of service, etc. We show our loved ones how much they mean to us in our actions and words, and it is that agape love that should motivate us to do this. Where we get into trouble is when we are not motivated by love but rather by how others view us.

I had a friend years back who seemed to always be putting on a show for the rest of us whenever we were together. She would go on and on about how wonderful her marriage was, how perfect her children were and how lovely life was in general. While we should all rejoice in the blessings God has given us, we do have to be careful that we are not doing the things we do or saying the things we say to put on a show for other people so we look better in their eyes. Our love should be our motivator, or it is simply not genuine.

Think of a parade. The participants sit on a float that’s all decorated fancy and wave and smile. Those big smiles say nothing about what’s really going on in their lives. It’s a show. It’s a spectacle. It’s not real life. Love is not a show or a parade. Love needs to be genuine and real. Love is not boastful so that others will envy our lives. Love is authentic.

We have all put on an act at one time or another in our lives. It’s hard sometimes to be real. As a homekeeper, we can have the picture perfect home, family and lives and still not have the genuine article. So let me not boast to the world of my perfect marriage, shockingly obedient child, spotlessly clean home, and unwavering, steadfast faith that I might be seen as some super-spiritual love guru. Instead let me embrace my husband, even when its been a long, tiring day. Let me remind him that I love him and will follow him after we’ve had a disagreement. Let me discipline my child for not obeying and then give her a long hug to assure her of my deep love for her. Let me serve my family by working hard to make a warm, happy home for them and show hospitality even when it’s not in perfect order.

Love does not parade itself. Real love is not about impressing other people. It’s about what how you love behind closed doors, on the bad days, when everything is not perfect, when trials come and obstacles arise. Love is about overcoming the challenges together. Love is about serving through good and bad weather. Sisters, don’t let your love be just a show or a way to boast. Instead, love in truth and may love always be your motivator for being the keeper of your home.

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Part 3 – Love Does not Envy, The Loving Homekeeper Series

“Love does not envy.” 1 Corinthians 13:4

As I meditate on the concept of true, Godly love not be envious or jealous, and how that affects me personally as a keeper of the home, I find that it is quite relevant to my day to day life. In fact, jealousy and envy is one of the sins I struggle with more often. Studying the word’s origins is quite revealing. The word for “envy” is the Greek word “zēloō” which can be translated to “burn with zeal, to be heated, to boil with envy, hatred or anger, jealousy, to covet”. Interestingly, the same word can be used for a good type of zeal and can also be translated to mean “to be zealous in the pursuit of good, to desire one earnestly, to strive after one”.

When we think about pursuing someone with all your heart, the only One we should pursue with that intensity is Jesus Christ. At the same time, our amazing Savior is pursuing us and has a righteous jealousy towards us. That’s amazing and beautiful. What an honor to be pursued by the King of Kings! We can see that this word zēloō is to show us the type of zeal and burning we should have to follow after Christ with all that we have within us.

So how do we know when zēloō is righteous and when it is sin? Easy. The only zēloō that is good is when we are chasing after the Lord when we want more and more of Him and are never satisfied until we have all of Jesus in our lives. Chasing after anything other than the Lord with that heart becomes envy, jealousy, coveting, idolatry and sin. So here’s where we fall into danger.

I mentioned earlier that I struggled with envy. I certainly do. I envy women who I see as being more beautiful than myself. I sometimes struggled with envying others for their material possessions, their beautiful homes, their nice cars, their lack of struggles  to pay the bills each month. Being one that struggles with fertility issues, I have envied women who have been able to have babies easily. I admit that I have had to repent for envying women who seemed to have much better and easier lives than I. That envy, when left to rule our hearts, can turn to anger and hatred. It can cause us to burn on the inside and eats us alive. I’m ashamed that I have ever looked at a sister in the Lord and been so jealous of her that I burned with anger, but I have. I also have repented and am forgiven, praise Jesus!

Envy is not love and it does not produce love. Furthermore as a homekeeper, when I am envious of another woman’s home because it is beautiful, larger than mine, she has nice things, etc. I am being incredibly ungrateful for the home the Lord has given me and entrusted into my care. When we become ungrateful for what we have, we don’t care for what we have as we ought to. In other words, my lack of gratitude, brought on by envy, causes me to be a poorer homekeeper. When our eyes are always on the house across the street, we take our eyes off of our home and how we can make it special for our family. We may have not have the biggest or nicest house on the street, but we can make our home warm and joyful for our family and that’s what matters.

We must put off envy. We should not be chasing after material, earthly things, but sprinting towards Jesus all the time. Let us not be envy our sister’s home, possessions or even children, but let us be grateful for the family and home God has given us. Love does not envy. Let us love.


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