Praise God - I also want to report that my marriage is stronger than ever. Just a few days ago my hubby called to say, "I needed to talk to the love of my life." Aw! So sweet! But I have to give God all the credit. Truly. Nothing I've learned, nothing I've done or accomplished in becoming a better wife was done by me in my own strength. God has just been amazingly merciful to me in my weaknesses and has allowed me insight so that I may "stimulate (my husband) to love and good deeds." (Hebrews 10:24) Everything always to His glory.
Before I begin today's topic, let me also tell you that my posts are likely to be rather sporadic from now on. Forgive me, please. I was hoping to find a guest writer (or two) who would also be able to share here on Oil of His Grace - but, thus far, that hasn't happened. However, I'm leaving it in God's hands. Not to worry! Mainly I wanted to give a little disclaimer so I don't have "blog guilt." And now I feel much better. I can enjoy my summer without being blogged down... Did I really just say that?! I meant "bogged down!"
The Glory of Homemaking
Homemaking is a large responsibility but one that need not be mundane or overwhelming. A good homemaker considers it a joy to research and learn things pertaining to her role. She delights in bettering herself in the art of homemaking. This attitude is so critical in making your house a home! Really, being a "domestic queen" is one of the best ways to minister to your family on a daily-basis, and provide them with a sense of well-being.
For inspiration on this subject recently, I looked to the Bible. Starting with the verse that states, "The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish tears it down with her own hands" (Proverbs 14:1), I began noticing things regarding the Bible's theme of building. For example, in the OT there was the building of altars; the ark; the Tower of Babel; the "building" of the nation of Israel; the tabernacle; followed lastly by the building of the temple. (There were other things, of course, but those mentioned here are probably of greatest importance.)
Continuing in the New Testament, we have the building of the kingdom of God and of the church. Each and every one of these "building projects," from both Old and New Testament, are connected by one major theme: God Himself. Whether it be something constructed to offer sacrifice to God; a vessel of salvation provided by God; an edifice of rebellion against God; a nation which would glorify God; a tent to meet with God; a permanent residence for the name of God; the mouthpiece which spreads the good news about God (and His Son, Jesus Christ) ; or the final culmination of all that IS God- each of these things were "constructed" with the express purpose of either exalting or denying the glory and majesty of God.
Then I studied another passage that speaks of "building." Namely, Proverbs 9:1 which says, "Wisdom has built her house, She has hewn out her seven pillars." While commentators are not agreed on the exact meaning of the phrase "seven pillars," one rendering I really appreciated was from Clarke's Commentary on the Bible: " 'She hath hewn out her seven pillars' - Everything has been so constructed as to exhibit a scene of grandeur, stability, and durableness."
Allow me to share the insights I gained in a nutshell. Our homes - that which has been given to us by God as our personal domain, our own "building project" as it were, is either going to be a place where His glory is exalted, or where His glory is denied.
If we are concerned for His glory, then naturally we will be concerned for our home. After all, it is the only place on Earth where you and I can "decide" what sort of dwelling it will be. This does not mean that we will have control over every person in our home. We will not. Nor will we have control over every situation and circumstance. However, most of the domestic work done in our home is either by our own hands, or under our direction. To a large degree, the quality of that work will reflect God's presence and Lordship in our home, or it will reflect a different story. The same is true for the overall warmth and atmosphere of the home.
Like the quote from Clarke's Commentary above, I've decided that I want my home (like the one wisdom built) to "exhibit a scene of grandeur, stability, and durableness." You and I will never be perfect; but the little touches, good food, clean clothes, and peaceful environment we seek to provide in our homes can all work to bring glory to God's holy name. Therefore, I encourage you to think of your work as "housekeeping with a purpose."
Let me conclude my exhortation. 1 Corinthians 3:10 says, "According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it." Here the apostle Paul tells us about the foundation he laid - the preaching of Jesus Christ, and Him crucified (see 2:2). Then he mentions another builder, Apollos, who was a teacher in the church at Corinth. Finally, Paul speaks of everyone else - including you and me. He says that we are to be careful how we build. Of course, there is the spiritual sense of that, which is the most important. But I think as wives we can take something else from this as well... If Christ is the foundation of each of our homes (and I hope that He is ), then we need to be very careful about how we build on that foundation. Although housekeeping is something we do in the physical realm, I believe our home, just like any service for God, deserves our best workmanship and materials!
I hope you have a great week... A great summer! Keep your eyes on Jesus - the author and finisher of your faith. Comments are very welcome and I'm still hoping and praying for a guest writer - so if you're interested, let's talk!