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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.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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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