Keeper of His Home

by Chelsea McCafferty

Training Up Children

            “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.” Proverbs 29:15

 

            “For whom the LORD lovesHe chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” Hebrews 12:6

            Teaching and disciplining are both ways that we are called as mothers to serve our children. We can keep homes where discipline is consistent and steadfast or we can have un-orderly households. We set the tone in our homes. We set the rules, the boundaries and the consequences, of course with the go ahead from our husbands. It is an important part of our roles as home-keepers. I do want to share that God tells us here that disciplining and training up your child is an act of love. Throughout Proverbs we read that using the rod of correction is what is best for the child. We must take these words seriously and follow the Lord’s leading. He says He chastens us because He loves us. We are His children and He wants what is best for us. Sometimes His corrections hurt, but they are always for the best in the long run. The purifying of gold and precious silver through the hot fire is necessary, and God has entrusted our children to us to be brought up according to His Word. Therefore, mothers who love their children will discipline them. As to the method, well, I’ll let you read through the Proverbs and decide for yourself how God is instructing us.

We also see that parents are responsible for training and teaching the children. My personal conviction is that God has called me to homeschool my daughter so that is the direction we are going. Whether we homeschool or not, mothers are called to teach their children. It is part of keeping the home. We are to teach them to follow God’s ways, to read the Bible, to worship Him and to pray. We are to lead by example and correct with discipline when needed. Our children will see through hypocrisy and falseness so we need to make sure our own walks are solid so that they will be blessed with a good and honest example to follow.

So what is the reward of mothers keeping their homes and training up their children according to the Word? Aside from just the satisfaction of knowing you are obeying God, what are the benefits? Obedient children? Peaceful homes? The Lord’s blessings? Yes, all these things and much more!

            “The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him.” Proverbs 23:24

 

            “Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.” Proverbs 31:28

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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

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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?

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A Strong & Honorable Woman

“She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.” Proverbs 31:17

      Is a strong woman a masculine woman? I suppose it depends on how you define strong and in what ways she shows her strength. I’ve personally always thought woman body-builders tend to look masculine, but this Proverbs 31 woman is certainly no weakling. She is girded with strength and has strengthened her arms. It is important to note here that she does not flex those muscles to compete with her husband, but rather to serve her family and household. She does not compete with her man, nor assert herself as a strong, butch woman. God says that we are the weaker vessels and that’s the way He made us. Not inferior, but softer. Gentler.

We are meant to be soft, precious and delicate to our men. They like us that way. Yet, we are to be strong women when it comes to hard work—our bodies must be fit to carry out the work of building up our home and keepingit running smoothly. We need to be strong in endurance while raising children and serving our husband. Most importantly we need to be strong spiritually. The virtuous woman is a strong woman who works hard, but she allows herself to be weak with her husband, trusting him to be her protector and provider.

      “Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.” Proverbs 31:25

      The virtuous wife is clothed by honor and strength. That means she doesn’t leave home without it. This is an interesting concept to wrap our minds around because clothing is not necessarily who we are but something we put on. Being strong and honorable is not always our nature, and this woman is no exception. As we read about her many good and upstanding qualities, we can sometimes be deceived thinking that this was easy for her, or that it came naturally as if it’s just who she is by birth. Good genes right?

Putting on clothing is an act of will. We put it on to cover up our nakedness. This woman puts on strength and honor everyday by choice. It is a conscious act. She may not feel like responding honorably in every circumstance, but she does because she has made a commitment to living her life this way. You can put on honor and strength to. We all can because we have the help of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit!

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Early Morning Time

“She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household,

and a portion to her maidens.” Proverbs 31:15

Did you know that at the time this was written, and in Jewish history, the days were counted by sunset to sunset? So a day would start at sunset and as per Genesis there would be an evening and a day, and then sunset would mark the end of one day and the beginning of a new one. Just an interesting fact.

This scripture says she rises while it is still night, still dark, before the sunrise. I love the Proverbs 31 Woman. She is such an amazing example to us of a woman who keeps her home and cares for her family. She works hard, day and night. She does not sample the temptation of idleness but works diligently. And here we see that she gets up while it is night, before anyone one else, and provides for her family and the servants of he home. In other words, she gets up early and makes a beautiful breakfast for her hubby, kiddos and even her employees.

Let me start by saying that I’m no morning person. It takes me a long time to rise. I prefer to stay up late and sleep in. Even when I do wake, I’d much rather lay in bed for an hour thinking about my day before actually getting to it. Then I had my daughter and all that went out the window. There’s no such thing as having a “lay in” when you have a three year old to care for. It was only after becoming a mother that I started to appreciate the early morning time when my daughter was still asleep and I had the freedom and time to actually get some things done.

The only problem is deciding what to do first! My list of “things to do” is both long and daunting on any given day. I could do my workout first and get that out of the way…no excuses later then! I could start the cleaning and make breakfast. Been wanting to vacuum out the car. I could answer emails or get work on editing a few chapters of the book. What to do? What to do with those few precious hours in the morning before the chaos begins?

No wonder the Proverbs 31 Woman got up before sunrise! There is so much to do and so little time in the day! So much to do and the list will never really go away. That’s why I’ve decided the first thing I want to do in the mornings is spend time with my Jesus; in His Word and in prayer. This time prepares me for the rest of the day. I notice such a difference in me and how I react to the challenges of the day when I’ve had my quality Jesus time first. He puts everything into perspective. Big challenges become small and I realize that not everything I thought was needful actually matters.

The Proverbs 31 Woman is a hard worker. Her story comes before Jesus had arrived so her relationship to God was different, but my guess is that through her early morning service to her household she probably spent time in the Torah, or recited it as she went about her business. How blessed we are today to have access to our Father God through the Savior and to be able to spend sweet moments with Him in the morning before the chaos begins!

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