Keeper of His Home

by Chelsea McCafferty

I Take Thee

“I take thee…”

The first words of most traditional wedding vows contain three small but powerful words, “I take thee…”. They may seem unimportant and be brushed over, but these three words are the start to one of the most important commitments people make in this lifetime. Following these words is a list of ways in which a person commits her life to the mate of her choice. So these three tiny words are actual of monumental importance.

When we look at our beloved and say, “I take thee…” what are we really saying? Well, the Word of God uses the word “take” often to refer to a man “taking” a wife.

““The LORD God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my family, and who spoke to me and swore to me, saying, ‘To your descendantsfn I give this land,’ He will send His angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there.” Genesis 24:7

The word “take” in Hebrew can be translated to: to take, take in the hand, to carry along, take in marriage, receive, accept, select, and to choose. When you say those words to the person whom you are about to marry, you are basically saying “I choose you.” “I select you.” “I receive you.” “I accept you.” “I’ll carry you along with me.” “I take you.”

When we say those words, we are making a commitment to choose none other. We are committing to receive and accept that one individual for the rest of our natural lives on earth. This is an exclusive action. It means consequently that I will reject the attentions from any other person. I will never give to anyone else what I am giving to you. I take the gift of your heart and will seal it up in mine for as long as God gives us breath. I take thee…

Have you forgotten your vow to take your beloved? Remember today those precious words that you spoke however long ago it was. Bring to remembrance the commitment that you made to take your beloved and none other. May the Lord bless your marriage as you stand upon your vows.

Leave a comment »

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.

2 Comments »

I am Tired and Heavy-Laden

“‘Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.'” Matthew 11:28-30

Are you tired and heavy-laden? Burdened down by the weight of trials and tribulations in your homes, community, church and family? If you are feeling heavy-laden, you are not alone. We live in a world full of burdens indeed and so often we feel that we have too much to bear on our shoulders, yet we know God only gives us what we can handle. In the scripture above the word for “labor” is to “grow weary, tired and exhausted from toiling; to labor with wearisome effort.” The word “heavy-laden” is one that can also be translated as “loaded down by a burden”. We get a picture of a person who is struggling to carry on under the gross weight of a burden too heavy for any person to carry alone. Yes, too heavy to bear alone. That’s why Jesus finished so mercifully with an invitation to take upon ourselves His yoke.

This yoke has a double meaning. A yoke was a bondage that was placed around the necks of cattle to keep them working together as a team, pulling a cart or farming equipment. The yoke kept the cattle moving the same direction. Two cattle pulling a heavy load together evenly distributes the weight so that the burden is lighter. Jesus offers his yoke to us. His burden is light because He is a mighty, powerful God! We are never alone in our burdens when Jesus is carrying them with us! We can trust Him!

The yoke is also a reference to the difference between the Law and God’s new covenant. The Law put a heavy burden upon the people that they could not bear or fulfill. It was a bondage of chains that brought condemnation and defeat. Then the grace of God came and melted those chains with the blood of a pure and spotless Lamb. His yoke is easy and light because all we have to do to receive salvation is give Him our hearts and follow. We are not bound by the heavy Law but free in Christ’s redeeming sacrifice. We still strive to please Him in our lives, but we do that because of our love for Him and gratitude of changed hearts.

Tonight as I write this I am heavy-laden and burdened. Burdens are pressing down and all around I see people suffering. I see my own failures and repent of my sins. I am burdened for the lost and dying—for those who don’t know the love of Christ. I am tired of the struggle, the trials and the tears. Yet, as I read His Word and dwell on His goodness, my strength is renewed. My heart is refreshed and my burdens lighten. I feel Him place His yoke on me and bid me to come His way. I hear Him comfort me with Words so sweet and gentle and I know He will make goodness of all of the badness in this world. He will make beauty from ashes.

So I thank the Lord that this heavy-laden woman is not left to carry the burden alone. When I can’t walk anymore He will carry me. When I don’t have the Words to speak, the Spirit will intercede for me. When I am troubled by the trials, He will comfort my broken heart. Praising Jesus tonight, for His yoke is easy!

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:28-31

2 Comments »

Practicing Hospitality

“For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate…” Titus 1:7-8

One of the ways we serve the Lord as keepers of the home is to open the doors of our home to others and show hospitality. The Guest Room is all about using your home to bless others. I do want to make it clear right from the start, however, that you are to only show hospitality as long as your husband has agreed to it and does not mind. Remember that your first calling is to submit to your own husband so do not disobey him even in order to do thing that would be considered good or right. That being said, hospitality is a beautiful calling and one that God has spoken of often in His Word.

The passage above from Titus (also found in 1 Timothy) is a list of qualifications for a bishop in the church. A bishop would be an overseer or elder in the church body. He is held to a high standard because he will take on the responsibility of caring for the body of Christ and it is a big deal. So part of the qualifications for a man to become a bishop is that he must be a lover of hospitality. He doesn’t just tolerate hospitality, but he loves it. To understand what that means we need to know what the word “hospitality” really does mean.

Looking up the Greek word we can see that there is not much to go on. The word simply means “hospitable or generous to guests.” It doesn’t say much. In the dictionary the word “hospitality” means: “the friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers, the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly or generous way.” So hospitality is welcoming guests and strangers. This is fantastic! Who knew that as Christians we were to be welcoming strangers? We would have if we were reading the Bible as we should be because it says so right there.

“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Hebrews 13:2

I love this verse in Hebrews because it ties right in with the story of Lot. When the angels came to his town he showed them hospitality and brought them into his home. He was indeed entertaining strangers unawares! Then we see his family was the only one to be brought outside of Sodom before the firestorm. God wants us to welcome strangers and guests into our lives, whether it be at home, in the church, or wherever we can serve them. We should also be welcoming our church family into our homes and sharing life with them. In the book of Acts, the disciples of Christ and New Testament Christians went from home to home each night, breaking bread together and talking about Jesus. This is the kind of close-knit relationships we are meant to have within the body of Christ. I believe the church family should be so close that we are connected in unity, but we should also be ever-so ecstatic to open our arms to strangers and draw them in.

 “Use hospitality one to another without grudging.” 1 Peter 4:9

We are to extend hospitality and also do so with a good heart and attitude. Have you ever invited a family from church over for dinner and forgot that you had a very busy day planned and ended up running around like a lunatic all day to get the house in order, the groceries bought and the dinner cooked before your guests arrived? I have done this very thing. You love having people over but the added work can sometimes be a heavy burden and that can lead to complaining and grumbling. God wants us to show hospitality to others with a good attitude. He wants us to enjoy it. How can we make ourselves enjoy what is a difficult task to accomplish? We are as prepared as possible and we realize that God is not asking us for perfection. The house doesn’t have to be immaculate, nor the meal sublime, in order to extend hospitality. The more you practice hospitality, the more it will become a way of life and a part of life that is not stressful but pleasant.

This gift of hospitality is one way that God knits our hearts together with others from our church body. My husband I believe that having close relationships within the church is very important. We therefore try often to have other families over for dinner in order to get to know them better, find out how they are doing, and simply edify one another in the Lord. If I waited until my schedule was clear or my house was in perfect array before I invited anyone over, we would miss a lot of good, uplifting fellowship time with our brothers and sisters.

Leave a comment »

The Bread of Idleness

“She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.”    Proverbs 31:27

Oh what a challenge this is! This is one area in which many homemakers struggle, including the one penning this very sentence!. Every wife and mother knows that there is always so much to do. I always say being a mother is the hardest job. Yet sometimes this isn’t the case the case at all. There are certainly some wives and mothers who take their roles at home lightly, and who spend much of their time “eating the bread of idleness.” There is a difference between simple “being” a wife and mother and “being a good” wife and mother.

Let me give you an example. You walk into a home at three o’clock in the afternoon. The television is on with one of those court reality shows no doubt. A toddler is playing on the floor. She’s obviously not been bathed, still wearing her pajamas, with her lovely hair in a mess of tangles on her head. Her lunch is still sitting on a plate on the floor, providing evidence of her typical nutritious diet of a hotdog and chips. The house is a mess. That’s not to say it is simply messy but dirty also. The carpets have not been vacuumed for weeks. The kitchen counter is piled high with dirty dishes. The laundry is forming one of the walls of the master bedroom as if it were part of the actual structure, which is probably why the kid is still in her pajamas! Meanwhile, the mother is stretched out on the couch, waiting in anticipation to find out if the plaintiff is going to get the judgment. The bread of idleness.

I want to be clear here that I am not criticizing anyone for taking a break once in a while. Having children and taking care of a home is hard work. Everyone needs a break from time to time. I am also not saying that a house has to be spotless or tidy around the clock. There are certainly times when my house gets cluttered and messy. What I am pointing out here is that being a good wife and mother is hard work because it involves putting some effort into it.

Bathing and dressing the children, keeping up with housework and providing healthy nutrition for the family is all important. It is easy to be idle and lazy with the many distractions we have today. Since I started working from home, I have had to make a rule for myself that I will not watch television during the day while my husband is at work. I have a TV stand that closes so you cannot even see the unit, and I keep it closed throughout the day as a reminder. I do this because I could easily get caught up in idleness and I don’t want to be that kind of wife and mother.

         “As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is the lazy man to those who send him.” Proverbs 10:26

2 Comments »

She Does Him Good and Not Evil

“The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.” Proverbs 31:11

The virtuous wife has found favor in the sight of her husband. His heart safely trusts her. The word “trust” in verse 11 is the Hebrew word “batach” which means, “to trust or trust in, have confidence in, be secure in, or to feel safe.” This husband knows that his wife is trustworthy. He feels safe and secure with her. He doesn’t worry that she will turn on him, leave him, mock him, insult him or shame him in any way. He doesn’t fear she will embarrass him in public or flirt with another man when he’s away. His heart trusts her because she has given him no reason to doubt her.

As he trusts in her in every manner of household and family life, he has no need to go searching elsewhere for his needs to be met. In other words, he knows she will be wise with their living supplies, so he doesn’t need to go scrapping somewhere else for it. This certainly can also apply to sex. Although it is never okay for a man to cheat on his wife, some men are more tempted to do so because of the lack of intimacy they receive at home. This man doesn’t need to look elsewhere for his sexual needs to be met, because his wife is meeting them.

“She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31:12

What a beautiful statement. It is so general and yet can be applied to even the smallest of daily activities. This wife has no desire to do evil to her husband. She does not speak badly about him to her friends. She does not chastise or mock him. She gives him good food, good clothes to wear, and good loving. She will always do what is best for him and will never be cruel. Her life’s purpose under the Lord is to do good unto her husband. She cares for her husband, raises his children and takes care of his home. It is a total, lifetime commitment to excellence, service and love. Wow.

      “Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.”

Proverbs 31:23

A man can be honored or dishonored by his wife. She can be a crown to him or shame that rots his bones. Have you ever been with a couple where the wife is constantly putting down her husband or mocking him, and you can just see in his eyes that she has crushed him? I heard wives do this to their husbands and it makes me so sad for them. They do not respect their husbands, nor are they being a wife who edifies and builds up, but one who tears down and breaks. Ladies, if this is you, it’s time to make some serious changes.

A virtuous wife adds to the good reputation of her husband. She does not spoil or ruin his reputation. When she is in public or with other people, she does not criticize or complain about her husband. She does not share about his bad habits or the stupid things he’s done. She does not make him sound like a fool or embarrass him, whether he is present or not. This includes when speaking to friends one to one. Speaking badly about your husband is NEVER acceptable ladies. The virtuous wife builds up her husband in all circumstances. She brags about his wit and good business decisions. She compliments his hard-work and dedication. She dotes on him and says uplifting things about him, especially when he is there to hear it. This builds up your husband. Show your respect for him publically that you can be a crown to him and add to his reputation.

Furthermore this wife has taken care of her husband and household so that others are impressed. She provides him good clothing, feeds him well and takes care of the home. He will not be ashamed to bring friends over, because she has kept the home in respectable shape. She has trained their children to be respectful, so that they are not an embarrassment to their father, but obedient and polite. A man with a wife like this can be proud of his family and home, and this means more to him than we are likely to understand. Step up to the plate ladies. It’s your turn. How can you honor your husband today?

3 Comments »

Faithfully Fighting Lyme

Fighting Lyme Disease through the power of the living God

Faithful Lyme Warrior

Fighting Lyme Disease by the power of the Living God

easone13

A fine WordPress.com site

Kristeen Nicole Gillooly

Sharing the love of God through music. My voice, His message. Join the conversation.

Life Is A Beautiful Mess

A glimpse into the mess of life and the beauty of grace.

A Brunette's Reflection

Unprofessional Relationship Councilor, WannaBe World Traveler, Trial and Error Cook, and Almost Famous Whatchamacallit