Thursday, February 23, 2006

Are you a Homemaker or a Homewrecker?

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

What kind of influence do you have in your home? I've always felt compelled to have a somewhat orderly home. To make sure my husband had clean clothes to wear. To put a nice meal on the table... especially if we had guests joining us. I love to use my fine china and best "stuff" so that guests feel special. I love to make delicious desserts. And now, I don't want to do it just for my husband, but I want to do the same for my son -- "the boys in my life -- my boys." (sorry, I just love the sound of that and I had to roll it around my mouth a bit).

Now, I'm not saying that my home is always spotless, and my laundry is always caught up, or that I always have a good meal on the table (because my husband cooks, too). And occasionally, I'm just too tired to wash all the dishes in the sink (gasp!). But I try. Real hard. And with a child now, it's not easy.

But for me, it doesn't stop there. I have seen so many friends, coworkers and acquaintances destroy their home life. They are just too busy. They rush around all the time. There is no organization. Their home is disorderly, dirty, unkept. The laundry has piled to insurmountable levels. I have heard and seen them tearing their husband and children down with name calling or with harsh words like butt head, stupid, worthless, lazy, or ignorant. Those are powerful words. They hurt. They cause pain and tears. They break relationships.

It is so important to be wise in how we relate to others -- our spouse, children, friends, coworkers... but where does wisdom come from? If you know and abide in Christ, then you have available to you God's own wisdom through the Bible and God's revelation in our hearts through His Holy Spirit.

As women, we have a certain amount of responsibility. For instance -- As the woman of the house, you have the ability to change the mood in your home. Yeah! You really do! (PMS is not a good enough excuse to be grouchy and short tempered... so sorry!) You can cheer your husband up. Encourage him. Uplift him. You even have the power to divert arguments! Now, think about it! That's real power right there!

I have a friend who publicly degrades her husband, and she thinks it's funny. She'll do it at a restaurant, a store, church, or Bible Study. She will call him names, complain about his inadequacies and point out his faults. This man is very intelligent, but lacks in self confidence and "drive" or ambition. He has had dreams, but he has never been able to accomplish them. I have never wondered why. I know why. Trust me when I say ... your husband already knows his shortcomings and faults without needing you to point them out.

I have another friend who has a lovely family. Her home is always welcoming and tidy (even though there's a few baskets of laundry to be done in the laundry room). Her children are well behaved. Their home is loving and gentle. The family is devoted to God, and their fruits are evident of this. Her kids excel in school and athletic ability. Her husband is successful. Is this a coincidence? I personally don't think so. She takes the time to build her family up in many different ways. Her home is not always orderly, the meals aren't always gourmet... but she is always available for her family. Encouraging them. Uplifting them. Loving them. All of them (yup, even the dog).

I know yet another person... she's a newly wed - only one year. This is her second marriage. The first one was disastrous from the start. The husband was controlling. Abusive. Mean. Critical and hurtful. The split was inevitable. Her new husband, a fine Christian man, cherishes her. He treats her with love and respect. But it's mutual. She encourages him. Loves him. Wants to rush home and take care of him. Their relationship is tender and totally centered on God. Her husband is also successful. Again, not another coincidence, in my opinion!

The funny thing is -- both of these women would probably say something like ... "you see all that? Please! You're not looking in my home, because you make it sound perfect, and I'm far from perfect! My home is a disaster!"

No. Not so. I am not looking at the perfection of their home. I'm looking at the foundation of their home.

So, are you building a stressful home with a weak foundation? Do you criticize your family? Ridicule, disapprove, condemn? It's easy to do, I know. But it's also easy to change. Work is stressful for both husband and wife. School is stressful for children. Many things are out of our control. But whether you are a full time, stay at home mom, or you are a full time work out of the home mom, you can build a home of peace.

You are the center of the whirlwind called your home. You can make your home a sanctuary for your family. But just because you are the center of your home, doesn't mean you control it. You can't spend your day forcing everyone to do everything in your plan. And knowing we can't control our home might be a frightening thought (especially for a type-A personality such as mine). But we were not meant to stay awake at all hours of the night to plan on how we can control our spouse, children and homes, and how we can make them perfect in every way. That's God's job!

As contradicting as I may sound, you are still the builder, and you are a wise woman. But, it is up to God to do the building. Allow him to be your foundation and help you build a beautiful home -- allow him to be the cornerstone - the reference point for the whole structure - a constant reference point for all your thoughts and actions as a wife and mother.

My challenge to you (and myself): Be wise. Build your home. Encourage your family. Love them. Don't seek perfection or control. Seek to create a sanctuary for you and your family.

Try it for a few days, a week, a couple weeks, and then a month. Let me know if you see a difference!

"Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding" (Proverbs 3:13).

"Be very careful, then, how you live -- not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil" (Ephesians 5:15-16).


Anonymous said...

It's a good reminder for everyone of us and I appreciated your thoughts today. :)

Rachelle said...

Thanks for this post. BTW, I am seriously loving reading your old blog. Having been through infertility, it's fun meeting a fellow survivor.

Anonymous said...

You just HAD to mention the little PMS thing, didn't you? Okay, I have to apologize to Hubs now... :)

Donnetta said...

Ok, I've been challenged. These are the things I want to be to and for my family. Makes me re-evaluate where I really am at. I will now focus on these thoughts for the next couple days. How did you know I needed these words today? Ok, dumb question... God knew. Thanks so much for the encouragement to get back up and going! My family deserves it!!