A Collection of Articles to Encourage Your Relationship
This is our newly released book on mothers training their daughters to be Godly women who love and serve the Lord with their whole heart, soul, and mind.
I’ll be posting a chapter every once in awhile to whet your appetite for the easily applied truths I share in this book.
I’m a Homemaker…Period!
In the midst of a recent conversation the usual question was asked: “Do you work outside the home?” I immediately replied, “No.” Then, as if to validate myself, I quickly gestured to our three children and added, “I homeschool our children.”
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As soon as the words were out of my mouth I regretted them. I had just confirmed to my 19- & 20-year-old daughters, and my 16-year-old son for that matter, that being a homemaker isn’t a worthwhile choice—or at the very least, that it can’t be all you do.
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Those of you who know me know that isn’t what I think. I’m a dyed-in-the-wool advocate for at-home moms. I believe with all my heart that being a wife and mother is the highest call God can place on a woman’s life. So why, in situations like the above, do I feel the need to say I do more, explain my choice, or attempt to validate myself?
Hebrews 13:5 says, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have…”
Is it a lack of contentment, or covetousness, that makes me unable or unwilling to say, “I’m a homemaker—period”? Personally, I think it’s a little bit of both.
We are confronted frequently with a worldview that says many demeaning things about homemakers—Don’t you want more? Don’t you feel the need to “find yourself”? Aren’t you bored? Whatever do you do all day? Then there is the belief that if you aren’t getting paid you aren’t doing something valuable.
How do we combat this barrage of faulty world views that often make us yearn for more—or just wonder if there isn’t more—or feel the need to sound more impressive than just being a homemaker?
Here are some ideas:
Cultivate a grateful spirit
I find that when I’m being grateful I’m also more content. One time, when asked if I worked outside the home, I actually went over and took my husband’s arm and said, “No, I don’t, and I’m so grateful for a husband who wants me to stay home and care for him and our children.” Every once in a while I do manage to get it right.
It’s often when we begin seeing our glass half empty instead of half full that we find ourselves being discontent.
Take a moment during your quiet time to thank God for the opportunity to stay home. Thank your husband for working so hard that you are able to be at home. Thank him for wanting you to stay home.
Practice being a good wife and mother. We usually enjoy the things we are good at, and we get good at something by practicing.
I’ve made it a habit to read at least one book on marriage each year.
I also read at least one book on parenting.
And I read several homeschool magazines and/or blogs. This really helps me to feel connected to something bigger than just my little home school. I’m not alone, plus I gather great information and ideas.
I try new recipes. Now that our children are older, we actually vote on keeping it or tossing it. It’s gotten to be an adventure to find “keepers.”
I also read books on organizing and cleaning tips.
If you were an accountant, doctor, lawyer, or CEO you would have to keep up on the latest developments in your field. Since we have the most important job in the world, shouldn’t we continue to educate ourselves so we are “cutting edge” wives and mothers?
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Share what you have learned and are learning.
Titus 2:4-5 says, “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
The first young women we should be teaching are our daughters. What a delight it can be to have the time and opportunity to train them to be keepers at home—to love being at home caring for younger siblings and their father. If, like us, you don’t have young children for older siblings to help out with, you can seek out someone at church that might like a “mother’s helper” once a week. That is a great way for our daughters to learn how to serve others. You will be amazed at all they can learn from another mom.
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Then there is always someone behind you that you can be reaching out to—a new mom or wife, who just needs a word of encouragement or needs to learn something you have already learned. We all have our areas of expertise, so share them with someone else.
In the same vein, there will always be things we aren’t so good at, so reach out to someone who has learned what you need/want to know and ask questions or invite them over to show you how.
Be ready to give an answer.
Colossians 4:6 says, “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”
Prepare answers ahead of time for these questions, because you know they will come. Ask the Lord to show you how you can graciously answer.
The wife of one of my husband’s partners was a lawyer for one of the local school districts—how intimidating is that! The first time we met at a Christmas party she asked me what I did and I told her that I stayed home and homeschooled our children. She replied, “Why in the world would you want to do that?” I got away from her the first chance I had, but I resolved to be ready for our next encounter. I asked the Lord to show me how I should answer her. When the opportunity arose, I shared with her some of the blessings of being a homeschool mom. As I shared, my excitement and love for it must have shone through, because she ended up saying some very complimentary things. We certainly never became great friends, but I no longer felt so intimidated by her.
Spend time with your husband
This almost goes without saying, but… I find that when things get busy I tend to drop what is easiest to drop and, as much as I hate to admit it, it’s often time with Dan.
We have a set time each week when we get together. Date your mate. With young children it can be a challenge—with young adults, too—but it’s well worth your effort to continually cultivate that relationship.
When our children were still napping we used to nap too on Sundays. It was a wonderful way to spend time together.
And last but not least—Stay in the Word
Don’t neglect your time with the Lord—even if it some days it means just five minutes in the bathroom, crying out for patience.
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Seriously, we need to do whatever is necessary to have enough time with Him to stay well fed so we can care for our husbands and children. Get up early or stay up late—whatever works for you—but spend time in the Word.
I like to think of it as getting my marching orders for the day. I keep a notebook with me—in addition to the one I journal in. As the Lord brings things to mind, I jot them down on a page—usually a separate one for each family member. They might look something like this: Ask Emily how that editing job is going. Talk with Eric about computer time. Extra chores or things I want them to do. Remember to compliment Bekah on her attitude.
There is a comedian whose jokes about husbands and wives are so close to the truth that they are hilarious. He always has these little “chats” with men and gives them advice. He ends by saying, “Remember, I’m pulling for you.”
I can almost hear the Lord saying the same thing to us as wives and mothers—He is pulling for us, so let’s work on being “cutting edge” wives and mothers for the Lord so that when we are asked what we do we can proudly and confidently say, “I’m a homemaker!”
1 Timothy 6:6 “But godliness with contentment is great gain.”
© 2007 Phyllis Sather
Purchase Thoughts on Mothers & Daughters
Phyllis is an ordinary woman serving an extraordinary God. She has been the joyful wife of her best friend Daniel for 30 years and became a stay at home mom 25 years ago after retiring from a management position. She homeschooled their three children, Emily (28), Rebekah (26), and Eric (24), for the past 20+ years and they are now continuing their education and working. She wrote a magazine column on mothers and daughters for five years and has published several books. Her favorite is Purposeful Planning. Visit her on her at Phyllis-Sather.com