Establishing Household Habits: Duty & Self-Discipline

posted in: extra 0

Reposted from Novemeber 2009


Establishing Household Habits: Duty and Self-Discipline



“A Christian finds fulfillment not in the particular kind of work he does, but in the way in which he does it. Work done for Christ all the time must be “full-time Christian work.” […] Every one of us has a line of duty marked out for us by God. […] But the nature of the work changes when we see that it is God who marks out this line of duty for us. It is service to Him. When we see Him, we may say, “Lord, when did I iron Your clothes?” He will answer, “When you did it for one of the least of my children you did it for Me.” […] What are the demands that the needs of our families or neighbors lay upon us? That is the line of duty God has marked out for us. […] Duty is good. When we do it, we are doing good, but are not thereby gaining merit.” — Elisabeth Elliot, Discipline: The Glad Surrender


Establishing Household Habits: Duty and Self-Discipline


For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. — Ephesians 2:10

We are the creatures of a great master Designer, and His ordering of our lives is sure and certain, yet many people live without any visible order or peace or serenity. The way we live ought to manifest the truth of what we believe. A mess life speaks of a messy – an incoherent – faith. It is something we have worked on for a long time, haven’t we, Val, this matter of order? It means self-discipline. […] We have something to respond to, something that directs and calls and holds us, and it is in obedience to the command that we will find our full freedom. […] [Freedom] means doing the thing we were meant for. – Elisabeth Elliot, Let Me Be a Woman

and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. — Titus 2:4-5

“You have a mandate from God to bring order to your home (to “subdue” it). By God’s perfect design, it is your primary domain of influence, and your calling is to bring all aspects of your home life – children, meals, décor, schedule, environment – into subjection to the design for living that God has revealed in his Word.” – Educating the Wholehearted Child

So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’” — Luke 17:10

“There is not much of that spirit around today. We do not recognize mastery. We do not see ourselves as at the disposal of the Lord. We expect appreciation. We would like at least a thank-you, and perhaps an approving little pat.” – Elisabeth Elliot, Discipline: The Glad Surrender

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. — i Corinthians 9:24-25

“Christian discipline means placing oneself under orders. It is no mere business of self-improvement […] in the end a do-it-yourself program depends on willpower alone, which is not enough for most of us. […] Any “soldier,” any candidate for Christian discipline, out daily to report to his commanding officer for duty. […] God does not make all the moves for us. He provides the means to discipline. […] Discipline is not my claim on Christ, but the evidence of his claim on me. I do not “make” him Lord, I acknowledge him Lord.” — Elisabeth Elliot, Discipline: The Glad Surrender

So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. — i Corinthians 9:26-27

“There is no other way [than discipline] of forming any good habit, though the discipline is usually that of the internal government which the person exercises upon himself; but a certain strenuousness in the formation of good habits is necessary because every such habit is the result of conflict. The bad habit of the easy life is always pleasant and persuasive and to be resisted with pain and effort, but with hope and certainty of success, because in our very structure is the preparation for forming such habits of muscle and mind as we deliberately propose to ourselves.” – Charlotte Mason

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. — Romans 11:36-12:2

“Let us lift up our work as we lift up our hands, our hearts, our bodies — a sacrifice, accaptable because it is lifted up to Him who alone can purify. Without this offering, the thing dies. Deadness, lifelessness, boredom are inevitable. […] I did not feel like working. That’s what it came down to. I was restless, distracted, and disgusted with myself. […] The job that surely is one of the world’s pleasantest does not always hold much appeal to the one whose job it happens to be. This is the very point we need to get hold of — the enemy has plenty of means of dulling the shine, distracting us, making u s bored with whatever is given us to do, making it appear worthless. […] We may write the book, sell the policy, cook the meal, do the job, whatever it is, but there will be days when we do it halfheartedly, other days when we do it despondently. If the work is soaked in prayer, the beauty will be there, the work will be established.” — Elisabeth Elliot, Discipline: The Glad Surrender

So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Return, O Lord! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
and for as many years as we have seen evil.
Let your work be shown to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands upon us;
yes, establish the work of our hands! — Psalm 90:12-17

Establishing Household Habits series


Establishing Household Habits: Duty and Self-Discipline


  • Learn from gospel-centered homemaking & homeschooling self-paced courses you can navigate on your own terms. Level up your plans and progress, one step at a time.
  • Find a community of likeminded women, working to find what’s important, and do it – every day.
  • Get support through ongoing conversation, discipleship, and prompts to increase your skill and your motivation as we spur one another on to love and good works.
The direction & accountability homemakers need to make noticeable progress in their home management skills.

just $18/month
(or save with a quarterly or annual plan)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *