The Triune Ministry of Homemaking: Building Relationships



The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. - Proverbs 14:1 NIV


Of all the things that homemaking is, it is essentially the building up of relationships for God's glory.

The relationship between a husband and wife is a model of Christ and His Bride, the Church.



"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." This is a profound mystery--but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. - Ephesians 5:31-33 NIV

The relationship between mother and child is a picture of the mothering of disciples of Christ through the Church.


My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you! - Galatians 4:19 NIV


As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you, but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory. - 1 Thess. 2:6-12 NIV

And I'm sure that the beauty and facets of God's glory that can be revealed in the relationships of marriage and parenting I'm barely only beginning to see. But this is what I know so far: I was made a woman for the glory of God. I was also made a wife and a mother for the glory of God. The relationships that make up my home are my home making!



Relationships trump management

Although watching over the ways of my household is my God-given responsibility and honor, when the overseeing of my home becomes the central focus, my call to build a home wisely for the glory of God gets blurred. But when the central focus of my homemaking is to build relationships between my husband and children for Christ, the management and day to day care of my home fall into their rightful places.

Sometimes I have to be "reduced" to the central purpose of building God-glorifying relationships in my home so that I can get back to the essence of the ministry God's given me to do.

There are ways I think our home should be managed. But when my management plan puts my husband under the bus, the management aspect of my homemaking has to be scratched. I have to put my relationship to my husband before the way I believe our home is to be managed.

Sometimes that means letting go of good and right ways of running our home to get behind my man and say lovingly, as a friend, "I don't think this is right, but you're the leader of this family babe, and I'm with you whether what you're choosing in the management of our home is what I believe is right or not. If you choose ways that are good, I'll stand behind you. If you choose a wrong way, I'll go down with you. And I'll trust the Lord."

This has been a constant issue with me over the years, and lately it has come up even more. For the sake of protecting my husband and our household I won't go into details. But suffice it to say, God is teaching me that the ministry of glorifying Jesus in my marriage relationship is more important than the good things I desire to do in the management of our household. It's a matter of learning submission to the Father, and to teach me that He always remind me of Sarah.

Sarah called Abraham her "lord." You know like, "Yes my lord" and "Yes my lady". (I'm picturing old English kings and queens here). He didn't exactly deserve such a stately title. After all he took her into Egypt and told her to lie about being his wife. But because Sarah stood by her man, God sent Abraham and Sarah safely out of Egypt blessed.

Through Sarah's example I learn it's more important to God that I reveal my trust in HIS sovereignty and my commitment to lovingly stand by my husband, than it is that all the "right" things (things I think are right) get done.

It's true, sometimes the way I see it really is the "right" way. Sometimes what my husband wants to do really isn't right. But God's not so concerned about that. He's teaching me that He gets the glory through me not by me making sure everything runs just right in my house, but by standing by my husband even when he's wrong and by quietly trusting in God's sovereign love and care for me and my family.



Relationships trump housekeeping


I need to be willing to follow the example of my Lord and get down and dirty and do some good 'ole toilet scrubbing and carpet cleaning, and blind dusting... foot washing things. But when keeping a clean house becomes an obsession which leaves my husband and children feeling like they're walking on ice in their house, or feeling like they live with "the maid" rather than a friend, something is outta whack!

I know for me, sometimes cleaning is an escape. If I'm frustrated, angry or hurt I'll hide myself in cleaning jobs. Sometimes it's good. I'm always humbled and Jesus often meets me when I'm on my knees cleaning up dust, grime and bodily fluids. Sometimes it's where I need to be and it's where my kids and husband will see the humble love of God in me. But sometimes cleaning is just a way I can brush off my husband and kids. In those times the Spirit never ceases to say, "Put down the dishes right now and go sit next to your husband and watch that baseball commentary that you don't really care about with him." Or, "Stop detailing the kitchen cabinets and go play Legos with your sons." Or, "Quit folding the laundry and go ask your husband how he's doing."

Both cleaning and managing must be submitted to the relationship building between a husband and wife and a mother and her children.

To make sure that building up relationships for God's glory remains my central focus I must set out to manage my home for God's glory, get down on my knees to scrub some "feet" or toilets or whatever, but then I must be willing to lay both of those callings aside when they are not aiding me in building the relationship between my husband and I or between my children and I.

Being a wise woman who builds her home for God's glory means I need to be like a palm tree. I need to live a life that points up (management), to Christ. I need to keep my roots in the dirt (foot washing). But I also need to bend when the wind blows (relationship building).

A savvy woman can manage her house like a well-oiled machine. A diligent woman can keep her house clean as whistle. But only a woman who has tasted the love of Christ can build up the relationships in her home.

The relationship between a woman and her husband is written in heaven to glorify Christ. It's not defined by man or laws. It's defined by the relationship between Christ and the Church.

The relationship between a woman and her children is written in heaven to glorify Christ. It is not defined by parenting manuals or counselors. It is defined by the relationship between the Father and His children and between the Christ-filled Church and His disciples.

The woman who seeks to do her part in making a relationship with her husband and children that honors the model authored by the Author of our faith will be fulfilling the ministry of homemaking whether she works outside her home or not; whether she's skilled in domesticity or not; whether she's running a tight ship or not.


Father, help me to remember that my calling as a homemaker is not so much in where I am physically in a day, or how well planned my week is, or how clean my bathrooms are, but rather how Christ honoring my relationships with my husband and children are. You change my prayers Father from, "Please let me stay home!" to, "Please give me a gentle and quiet spirit towards my husband so that he feels safe and secure around me." You transform my requests from, "Please help my kids to obey!" to, "Please grant me YOUR patience and wisdom in nurturing and teaching them!" Father, You're always changing me. Thank you for being patient. You are my heart's desire! I have no greater joy than to live a life that brings You honor. And I'm in total dependence upon You to do that!


What are your thoughts? Do you need to adjust your managment and footwashing aspects of homemaking so that you have a more Christ honoring relationship with your husband and children?
So glad He found me ,

Isaiah 51:3

What keeps me where I am?

One of the hardest lessons I've had to learn as a disciple of Christ is that after knowing the freedom granted me in Christ comes a test of willingness to limit what I can do, not by law, but by the love of Christ.

Paul said while he was in a physical prison:

But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ;

- Philippians 1:12-13 NKJV



Paul had very real physical limitations, but he didn't see his physical chains or prison as keeping him from doing God's will. He believed that NOTHING could limit him other than the love of Christ. Only the love of Christ could really constrain Paul to joyfully, prayerfully, and boldly remain in a terrible prison. God had sprung him free before. He knew God could now. But he believed that if there was anything holding him back from traveling the known world to spread the good news of God's salvation in Christ, it was Christ's love for the people right there in that prison, including the "whole palace guard."


God is teaching me that these past 4 years. He's freed me from loveless law that coldly, bitterly, and begrudgingly says , "I have to do this cause I'm a Christian. I have to submit to my husband cause I'm a Christian.... etc." I could have walked a way. He certainly gave me a wide opened door. But His love binds me. The love that went to the cross while I was yet a sinner, and enemy of God, is my chain. I have to stay in the place where He has me ministering His humble, submitted love to my husband, and His nurturing, training love to my children, because how could I do anything else!? His love binds me to them!



( image found here)

The bond of "Poor me I'm stuck in this marriage, with these kids, and I have to stay because it's 'the law'," will hold for awhile. But it'll look for that "legal" way out. It'll look for a way to set itself free. But the bond of the Love of Christ will be compelled to stay united in marriage and pouring its life out for the training and nurturing of its children, and even when there is a "legal" way out, it will not take it. The bond of the love of Christ is unbreakable.


It compelled Paul to see his physical chains as nothing, and it compelled Paul to see his freedom from physical chains in Acts 16 as nothing. Only the love of Christ held Paul firmly to his prison cell, or pulled him "bound" for Jerusalem where chains, beatings and torment awaited him.

Truly I have tasted of the love of Christ. Lord let me not forget and start seeing physical chains, or loopholes out... let Your love constrain me.


Is Christ's love compelling you to stay where you are though you could go? Is Christ's love compelling you to go where you go or are you just thinking, "This is the best option,"?



So glad He found me ,

Isaiah 51:3

Hi blog friends.

I'm technically back from spring break, but I'm still not back to blogging yet. I look forward to sharing with you and finishing my series on homemaking when I return, hopefully in a few days.

I'm also asking for your prayers. I have a job interview today at 3pm Pacific Time with my state's juvenille corrections system for a pool nursing postion there. I haven't interviewed EVER on a panel interview like I'll be going to today. My heart is for and with my husband and children and yet I'm stepping out in obedience. Pray for me will ya? I'd soooooo appreciate it!

Thanks!


So glad He found me ,

Isaiah 51:3

This homemaker's taking a spring break



In our house it's spring break this week. I have a host of things before me that need to take priority in my time and so I'm taking this week off. I have so much I want to share, and Lord willing I'll get to do so next week.

One of the things I want to share is the last post on the subject of homemaking in my Matters of the Home series. The last post will be about how homemaking is essentially the building up of relationships within the home for God's glory. I really look forward to writing that out and pray that I can communicate the vision God's given me for building up the relationship of marriage, parenting and being a neighbor all for His glory.

In the mean time you can read through my past posts in the Matters of the Home series here, here and here.

I also want to share with you more on my Love Dare journey. I'm on day 24 of the book, although I should be close to day 40 actually... some days have taken a week or more :) But in reality my love dare journey started 4+ years ago and will continue (by God's grace) as long as I live and my husband lives. So look for more Love Dare journey posts when I return.

Don't forget my March giveaway. Go here to enter.

Here's a word that's really speaking to me these days. May it bless you too:

I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. - John 17:4 NKJV


I know those are Jesus' words. And by His life living in me, I pray that I too can lay down tonight, or be ready to leave this world when God says, "Times up Sheila", saying, "I have glorified You on the earth Lord Jesus. I have finished the work which You gave me to do." He's given me a husband. He's given me two sons. He's given me today. He's given me the people I will meet and the footwashing tasks that need to be done though I don't necessarily enjoy doing them. He's given me a home to watch over and I want to say, "I've finished what You gave me to do Lord."

So glad He found me ,

Isaiah 51:3

Gianna Jessen- Abortion Survivor

The love of Christ for men and women... for human life comes through so beautifully and powerfully in this speech. I hadn't heard her before... all I can say is Wow! I-wanna-be-like-that-wow!

Part 1



Part 2

"Men! You are made for greatness. You are made to stand up and be men. You are made to defend women and children, not stand by and turn your head when you know murder is occuring and do nothing about it. You are not made to use women and leave us alone. You are made to be kind and great and gracious and strong and stand for something! Because men, listen to me! I am too tired to do your job!
Women. You are not made for abuse. You are not made to sit and not now your worth and your value. You are made to be fought for! Forever! So now is your moment. What sort of people are you going to be? I trust incredible. I trust, men, you will rise to the occasion. To the politicians listening, particularly to the men, I
would say this: You are made for greatness, set your politics aside. You are made to defend what is right and good. This firey young girl will stand here and say: NOW is your moment." - Gianna Jessen.

*thanks to Fade to Black for these videos

So glad He found me ,

Isaiah 51:3

C.S. Lewis on sin

"Every sin is the distortion of an energy breathed into us..."
--from Letters to Malcolm by C.S. Lewis

I tried to say that in like 3 long posts over at Exemplify in my LOGOS series on sin. Lewis did it much better!!!!

Thanks to Fade to Black for sharing that quote.

Here are the links to my posts if you want to hear a housewife try to explain that sentence:


So glad He found me ,

Isaiah 51:3

The Triune Ministry of Homemaking: Footwashing



"She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands." Proverbs 31:13 KJV

When I think about why homemaking (remember, I'm not talking about absence from working outside the home. I'm talking about managing, serving and building relationships in your home for God's glory) is so important to me, and why I believe its such a vital (not trivial) part of living out a life of faith in Christ as a wife and mom, I think of John 13.

John 13 contains the account of Jesus washing the disciples feet just hours before being betrayed and ultimately crucified.

It begins with:



Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. - John 13:1-5


Homemaking certainly isn't defined by not working outside your home, but it is largely lived out by serving in the hands-on daily tasks that never stay finished in a home. It's the laundry. The toilet cleaning. The picking up of things all day. It's the washing dishes and putting them away. It's the organizing of cabinets and ridding of accumulated clutter. It's putting away laundry. It's ironing. It's bedmaking and mirror cleaning. It's picking up dog poop and cleaning litter boxes. It's pulling weeds and dusting blinds. The list goes on and on. Every home has "footwashing" tasks that must be done or else... its gonna start to stink! :)


Footwashing, in Jesus' day, was considered the lowest of the low jobs. In fact, amongst Jews, even a Jew who was a slave would not stoop to footwashing. Only a slave from among the "heathen" would be appointed the despised chore of footwashing.


But Jesus, the Creator of the Universe, the King of kings, the Redeemer of souls, the Holy God in Flesh... He washed feet!


The day to day tasks of caring for a home are not glamorous. They aren't exactly the jobs we all line up to get. But if Jesus were walking around our houses in flesh every day, He'd be doing those jobs gladly. Why? Because that's the kind of God we have. He stoops down to do what others don't want to do. He knows in doing so something is quickened within us.


Like Peter, if we saw Jesus on the floor, scrubbing up dried urine behind the toilet, we'd see our wise and powerful Lord and say, "No! Don't do that Lord!" But in bending down to do such a lowly task, Jesus, in washing the disciples feet, was impressing on their hearts (and all of us) the true character of God, and the model He desires us to follow. When we submit to the Spirit of Jesus in us Who desires to clean our toilets and fold the never-ending pile of laundry, we let Him impress on the hearts of those in our families the character of Christ, and we give our children a model to follow.


But footwashing is not just doing unwanted chores. It's also touching the lives of our husbands and children with holy hands, even when sin has dirtied them up, even when the dirt of this world has made them a little dusty, even when they kinda stink to us.


It's choosing to wash our children with the water of God's word. It's stooping down when one son talks rudely to another son, looking them in the eye and gently saying, "Son, that was rude. Jesus died for your brother. Jesus says he's worth a lot. And since Jesus died for him you are to treat him with respect." Rather than screaming, "KNOCK IT OFF! I'M SICK OF HEARING YOU GUYS FIGHT!" (Is it only me, or does that senario ever happen in your house?)


Footwashing is also applied to those who reject Christ. Jesus washed Judas' feet... without pinching his toes! :) Whether it be our husbands when they don't know Christ, or our husbands when they do know Him and just aren't obeying Him, or whether it be a prodigal child... sometimes, as homemakers, our footwashing means a willingness to be a refreshing and pure presence that serves that other person even when they don't respond.


I think often times our husbands respond to the footwashing tasks we do, and the spiritual footwashing acts of maybe rubbing their backs when they're distant or saying "You're a treasure to me honey" when they aren't being so sweet, are hard for our husbands to accept. Some of us have husbands I think who are like Peter. They don't want us to "lower" ourselves to those things but in their protest they are really keeping us from intimacy with them.


Jesus said to Peter, "If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me." I can see how that truth can apply to intimacy in marriage. If we don't allow our husbands to do some of the footwashing things in our lives when they desire to, we're going to miss out on some intimate connection with them. And the same goes with us. If we shrink back from those footwashing things, our husbands are going to miss out on a level of intimacy with us. Some times our husbands need to hear us say with a smile, "I know I don't have to do that... but I want to!"


I know I've seen this in my own marriage. As God's moved in me, desiring to wash feet in my house through cleaning and ironing, massages and special dinners, I've heard my husband say, "You don't have to do that." It's given me such an opportunity to respond with the heart of Christ saying, "I want to do this babe!"


Do I always do that? NO! But when I do I overflow with an unexplainable joy! And there's an intimacy, an interdependence, and a deepened friendship that develops between my husband and I. And there's also 4 little eyes watching, learning how to "wash feet"with gladness.


  • What are some ways you can engage more in footwashing things in your home?

  • When's the last time you reached out and touched your husband or kids with kindness even when they weren't too receptive?

  • What are your thoughts on this footwashing aspect of homemaking?


So glad He found me ,


Isaiah 51:3

Giving myself to the ministry God has given me

"Don't let anyone think less of you because you are {a woman, wife, or mom}. Be an example to all believers in what you teach, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. Until I get there, focus on reading the Scriptures to {your kids, or those who are in your life on a daily basis}, encouraging the believers, and teaching them {as a woman especially, teaching them the good things from Titus 2:4-5}. Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received... Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right, and God will save you and those who hear you." -from 1 Timothy 4:12-16 NLT, application added by me


This past week I've been hearing one re-occurring message: Sharpen your focus Sheila! Do what God has called you to do!

As I was listening to these messages on my ipod over at Searchlight this week, God stopped me in my tracks! The very things I've been stirred in my heart towards- focusing in on loving my husband unconditionally, prayer, doing the everyday acts of service that fill my life as a homemaker, and teaching my kids God's word- Pastor Jon Courson was teaching on. (Just as a God-moment side note, the teachings are from 1991, but were played on the radio this week... just when I needed to hear them!)

I'd highly encourage any of you moms, wives... anyone, to listen to these messages if you feel so led. They really do speak to the need to not try and do a million things, but to just do what God has given us. And we can know for sure that He has given us our homes. Beyond that, we each learn who God has placed in our lives and on our hearts to minister to.

Here's the link:

Oh Lord, help us to be faithful with the few people You've entrusted to us. Help us as wives and moms to fulfill the ministry You've set before us. Manifest Your name with our lives to our children and husbands, neighbors, family and friends. Give us ears to hear Your exacting word for those in our lives that we might be vessels through which You open ears and eyes to see Jesus. And also Lord, help us to be faithful in obeying what we already know, if we don't know what's next. Help us to hunger and thirst for Your written word and to feed on it and feed it to our little ones and those You've placed in our lives! This is truly my prayer in the character of Jesus!

So glad He found me ,


Isaiah 51:3

Just because I LOOOOVE Girlscout cookies

Yum! I just bought Girl Scout cookies... and they're already gone! No box of Samoas lasts in this house more than an hour!

I think this little blog thingy's right... I'm pretty much a shortbread cookie!

Thanks to Kristen I now know I am a Trefoil and I now need to go back to those girls down the street and see if they have any left!

Have a great rest of your Sunday my fellow cookies :)




You Are Shortbread / Trefoils



You are well grounded in life, and you're prepared for any challenge that comes your way.

You are a straight shooter who plays by the rules. You're old fashioned in that regard.



You don't sugar coat anything. People can trust you to be honest and loyal.

Compared to most people, you're quite assertive. You have no problem asking for what you want.




So glad He found me ,

Isaiah 51:3

The Triune Ministry of Homemaking: Management


God's word has convinced me- a woman can be a homemaker and work outside her home. Her homemaking is not dependant upon where or how she may earn money. Her homemaking is dependant upon her obedience to God in managing her home, serving in her home and building up the relationships of her home for Christ to be glorified. The extent to which a woman can be employed in activities (money making or not) that take her away from being available to her family is a decision she must make between her, her husband and God. The very act of making that decision is part of being a woman who watches over the way of her household.

And that (watching over the ways of her household) is one of the three aspects of homemaking I see spelled out in God's word for us wives/moms who desire to walk by faith in Christ.


She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness. - Proverbs 31:27 NKJV



Management


man·age·ment (mān'ĭj-mənt) Pronunciation Key
n.

  1. The act, manner, or practice of managing; handling, supervision, or control:
    management of a crisis; management of factory workers.

  2. The person or persons who control or direct a business or other enterprise.

  3. Skill in managing; executive ability.

management. (n.d.). The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Retrieved February 27, 2009, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/management


If I had to describe the Proverbs 31 woman (who I believe is the woman Christ is making any woman in Him to be) in one word it would be: manager!

The woman God wants us to be, creates us in Christ to be, and enables us by the Spirit to be, is a woman who is skilled in managing, handling, supervising, and directing her household under the leadership of her husband for God's glory.

A homemaker is always watching over the ways of her household, that's her focus. She adjusts meal planning, care of her children, chores, errands, phone calls, serving others, employment, and various other activities to serve the central purpose of making a home which holds a magnifying glass up to the character of God.

If any one of the many activities a homemaker engages in should become her central focus, she ceases to be a manager of her home and becomes the manager (read slave) of that activity.

Take for example a woman who's focus is... lets just say... blogging. She adjusts meal planning, care of her children, chores, errands, phone calls, serving others, employment, and various other activities to serve the central purpose of blogging. She's a blog manager. Uh, a little conviction there- ouch!

Plug in ANY other activity, even activities that are a part of stereo-typical homemaking (baking bread, sewing, etc.), into the place of central focus where bringing God glory in watching over the ways of her household is and you no longer have a home manager but a woman managed by that one activity.

Working outside the home can very well be part of a homemaker's management of her home as long as under the leadership of her husband, and in line with Christ's character, what she does is honorable and is not the central focus of her daily life.

With the Proverbs 31 woman as our example, we can see that as homemakers we are home managers. By faith, and with the desire to magnify Christ with our lives, we:

  • Support, benefit, and do good to our husbands
  • Are resourceful
  • Willing to do the dirty work
  • Are prepared
  • Are planners
  • Are researchers
  • Are profit earners
  • Are generous
  • Are honorable
  • Are looking forward
  • Are wise and kind
  • Delegate and consider what's best
  • Fear the Lord not man

I KNOW I am not all of those things all the time. I fall short daily. But I also know that I am God's workmanship (Eph.2:10) and that He lives in me, willing and working in me to do what pleases Him (Phil.2:13). I also know that He began this good work in me and that little by little (Exodus 23:29-30) He will finish what He started (Phil.1:6). I know that it's HIS good pleasure to give me the kingdom (Luke 12:32) and so I press on day to day, desiring this home manager to be lived out in me that HE might get the glory! Its a desire I know He will give me according to His will (John 14:14).

Going Deeper

Digging a little deeper, I found this treasure concerning being a woman who watches over the ways of her household:

In Proverbs 31:27, the phrase, "watches over" comes from a Hebrew word Tsaphah. Tsaphah means: to look out or about, spy, keep watch, observe (see Strong's online).

It's the same word used in Ezekiel 3:17 where God gives Ezekiel the title of watchman over the house of Israel.

Just as Ezekiel was given the ministry of watchman over Israel, a woman is given the ministry of watchwoman over her home. It's a tremendous responsibility. The way we watch over our household is both spiritual and practical in application.

That action of Tsaphah, keeping watch, implies a spiritual shepherding. As wives and moms we have been given a territory to watch over- our family. And like Ezekiel, our purpose in watching over the ways of our household is ultimately for the salvation of souls (see Ezekiel 33).

We, of course, are not in a position to teach our husbands- we are co-heirs with them and in submission to them, but as women who fear the Lord, we are to pray fervently, warn humbly yet boldly (and not primarily to our husbands, although there may be a very prayed about time and place to do so), and speak the truth wisely and kindly to our husbands and children. Our managing and shepherding ministry especially applies to our children, or if we don't have our own children, to other souls God has obviously entrusted to our care.

Acts 20:24-35 gives us a great model of the shepherding ministry of one called to Tsaphah, or watch over others, through Paul.


24 But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God... 26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27 For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God... Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears. 32 So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. I have coveted no one's silver or gold or apparel. 34 Yes, you yourselves know that these hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me. 35 I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive - Acts 20:24,26-27, 31-35 NKJV (emphasis added by me)
Don't you just see the heart of a mom who desires her kids to know Christ, and a woman who desires her home to be built up for God's glory in those verses?! I do.

In fact other places in scripture you'll see Paul describe the ministry God charged him with, in preaching the gospel to the Gentiles, using the words of motherhood.


My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you... - Galatians 4:19


But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children. 8 So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us. 9 For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God. 10 You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe; 11 as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, 12 that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory. - 1 Thess.2:7-12 NKJV (emphasis added by me)

For us to guide our houses as young women with children, and to watchover the ways of our households as women who fear the Lord, is both to have the ministry of glorifying God in our homes constantly on our minds, and to willingly labor, build, model, warn and teach our children the Gospel of Christ.


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What are your thoughts?

Is your household your central ministry focus? Are you thinking about your household and working so that it is a good testimony of Christ on the earth?

Is there one particular activity or aspect of your homemaking that is inordinately taking over your thoughts and focus, thereby managing YOU rather than you managing your home?

Are you under the leadership of your husband in how your home is managed, seeking to do him good, or are you doing your own thing?

How can you delegate some of your homemaking activities to others, your modern day "maidservants" to aid you in managing your home?

What is one way you can start planning, preparing and being more resourceful?

I'm asking myself all these questions :)

Father, you see me. You know me. Nothing is hidden from You! Lord move in me. Make me a home manager for Your glory. Show me where I'm trying to do everything myself and could humbly be a better manager in delegating some things to others. Show me where I'm off doing my own thing, forgetting my husband. Help me to have a vision for managing this house that would do good to my husband all the days of his life! Help me to be the watch woman you want me to be in shepherding my children. Give me wisdom Lord and empower me by Your Spirit for the honor of being a homemaker who manages her home for Your glory.

For my previous posts on Matters of the Home go here.

So glad He found me ,

Isaiah 51:3

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a fly by the seat of my pants post on preparation