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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Using the Tongue to Build Up or Break Down

“A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.” Proverbs 9:13 

The Hebrew word for “clamorous” is the word “hāmâ”, which means, “roars, noisy, disquieted, troubled, loud, tumultuous or raging.” Basically, the foolish woman is a loud-mouth. She constantly feels the need to tell everyone where they should be going and what they should be doing. She is never quiet and content, but always finds something that she feels she must put right. Perhaps she has a word quota to meet each day, but kind and uplifting words of affirmation don’t count!

We need to look in the mirror and ask ourselves if we are clamorous. Do we love to hear ourselves talk? Do we have to be right all the time? Do we think we always have the right answer? Are we just plain loud all the time? While we may think this makes us look wise, the hard truth is it makes us look foolish, and does not encourage affection from our husbands. When you ask your husband why he loves you, would you be offended if he said, “I love you because you have a big mouth, tell everyone what to do and nag me constantly”?

“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath…” James 1:19

 

“Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” Proverbs 14:1 

A woman’s mouth can either be used to build up those around her or to tear them down and destroy them. The tongue can be such a dangerous thing; the match that starts a raging wildfire. With only a few words you have the ability to encourage, edify and show love to your husband and children, building them up. Words of affirmation are a help-meet’s best friend. Use them whenever you can. Give your husband praise for being a good provider in the home and taking care of you and the kids.

This manner of edifying communication is good in the sight of the Lord. However, if you then use the next breath to discourage, wound and humiliate, would you not consider that foolish? Words are powerful tools. How will you use your words today? Will you use them to criticize and nag you husband for not taking the trash out this morning, or will you use them to whisper sweet words of affirmation in his ear as he heads out to work, knowing he will be thinking about you all day? The choice is yours sister. Don’t make yourself a fool.

            “Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.” James 3:10

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Brawling and Contentious Woman

“It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.” Proverbs 25:24 

 

“A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.” Proverbs 27:15 

The Hebrew word for “brawling” and “contentious” is actually the same word, “midyān”. It describes the woman who is always nagging, moaning, unhappy, complaining about something, and ever-so-difficult to please. Men like the call this type of woman “high maintenance” and it makes perfect sense that men married to “high maintenance” women often walk around defeated and deflated. They can never win!

Why is this same basic sentence repeated over and over in Proverbs? Are we seeing a pattern? Repetition indicates importance in the Bible. We can clearly see from these passages that the Lord knew and recognized that nagging was, is and probably will continue to be a huge problem. Is a woman who fits this description attractive?

I think we often observe other women behaving in this way and easily recognize it as annoying or just plain ugly. However, we are often unaware when we slip into an attitude of nagging ourselves. We nag our own husbands constantly for not praying long enough, watching too much television or not mowing the yard, but we hate it when our mother nags us about how we cook, clean or care for our kids. Why is one okay and the other not? We have to constantly remind ourselves that nothing good is accomplished by nagging. In fact, when you nag your husband, in some ways you are interfering with the work God may be doing in his heart.

What’s better? Is it better that your husband does what you ask because you nag him or because God has laid it on his heart? Is it more satisfying to know he does these things to get you off his back or because he loves you and wants to please you?

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Prudent Wife

“House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the LORD.” Proverbs 19:14

The word “prudent” is the Hebrew word “sakal”, which means “to have understanding, comprehension, to full grasp something, to give insight and to cause to prosper.” It’s an interesting word that can be translated in several ways, but the ultimate view here is that a woman who has understanding, wisdom and insight is a gift from God.

You may be thinking, “I wish my husband would read this!” Well, that’s not really the point here of this scripture. We certainly don’t want to bang our husbands over the head with our Bibles and teach them that they should be grateful for having such wise and prudent wives, now should we? What we, as wives, can take from this verse is that we should desire to be prudent, wise, understanding and insightful wives for our husbands, which the Lord says will bless them, as well as our children. So what is the source of this prudence and how can we achieve it?
“In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.” Proverbs 10:19

Here we learn a valuable “Do Not” in our quest to become prudent wives. The word “wise” in this proverb is the same as the word “prudent” above. Many wives think it is their duty to constantly give their input, lecture, seminar…whatever you want to call it…day by day to show their wisdom and prudence. Not so. He that refrains his lips is prudent, wise, insightful. In other words, a wise wife knows when to talk and when to bite her tongue. Amen?

“I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.” Psalm 101:2

Here the word “wisely” is again that same word for prudent. How will I show prudence? I don’t need to speak a million words (which can sound like nagging and a dripping faucet) to show that I am wise. I will show it in my home, in my day to day activities, in my perfect behavior. I will be an example in my home of understanding because a woman who understands fears the Lord and knows His great love and mercy, which empowers her to live according to His Word. In my home I will show prudence by serving my family, submitting to my husband, lovingly training my child/children, worshiping my Lord, praying, being hospitable, patient, kind and forgiving.

So remember sisters that actions speak louder than words. Stop talking about prudence and start living it out. I pray that someday I might be counted as a prudent wife and a gift from above to my family.

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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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Rejoicing with Your Husband

“Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.”

Proverbs 5:18

With so many trials, tribulations, hardships and struggles coming in day after day, it can be so easy to get bogged down in stress and anxiety. We know the Lord has told us to trust in Him, to be anxious for nothing and to give Him our burdens, but these are not easy times to live in. I think about Paul when he was imprisoned and still wrote to believers encouraging them to rejoice in their afflictions. What faith! What joy! That kind of joy has nothing to do with our circumstances because it is entirely based on the power of the Holy Spirit and the knowledge of Christ Jesus who bled and died on that cross for our sins. Amen!

Sisters, we as wives and mothers are very influential in setting the tone in our homes. It doesn’t matter what circumstances we are living through, nor what kind of husband we are married to, we have the strength and power through Christ Jesus to exude joy in even the worst of circumstances. We have the power to influence our husbands and children towards either stress and anxiety, or joy and peace by our own attitudes and hearts. If we are faithful to trust in the Lord during rough days and to really live out the joy of salvation in our homes, our children will follow. Our husbands will appreciate our good attitudes. Their hearts will be lightened by our smiles and ease. A joyful countenance is a mighty thing and we all have the ability to be joyful no matter what trials are at our doorsteps because of what Jesus did for us. Amen? He endured the cross, the humiliation, suffering and stripes so that we could spend eternity with Him in paradise! We have so much to rejoice about!!

So when the hubby comes home, even if the bills are stacking up and the children have been misbehaving and everything seems to be going wrong, let’s be the kind of wives that our husbands can rejoice with. Let’s fill our home with joy and peace and hope and know that God is in control!

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