Becoming a Better Homemaker

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If people are important, then homes will always be important, also.

People need homes. Even if it’s a mud hut, it is a home to be “made.”

Homemaking is not about displaying middle class sensibilities or acquiring appropriate seasonal decor; homemaking is about loving people in practical, tangible, daily, mundane ways.

Perhaps some have ambition to become better homemakers in order to glorify themselves. If we use our houses to display personal taste, showcase our style, or even minimize personal inconvenience, then we are not making homes, but serving ourselves.

Ambition, in homemaking, should not be about proving one’s worth, showing one’s style, or making life easy.

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. – Philippians 2:3

Wanting to grow in skill and competency is not the same as selfish ambition. If we have been given a vocation – and we have – then we should seek to fulfill it faithfully and to grow up into it, doing so more and more, serving therein more and more.

To grow in our competency and our faithfulness in our God-given vocation, we must first understand what it is.

Home.

Home is “the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.”

Maker.

A maker is “a person or thing that makes or produces something.” To make is to “form (something) by putting parts together or combining substances; construct; create”

Therefore – Homemaker.

Put these two together and you have a homemaker, a person who combines parts to construct a place for people to live as family.

“If He wants us to obey the Great Commission and conquer this world for Christ, and if He tells half the human race that they’re in charge of tending the home, it follows from this that the home is actually one of the most strategic and important tools by which the world will be won.”  ― Rebekah Merkle, Eve in Exile

There are three areas of responsibility in homemaking, and we should consciously work to improve our management of each, not for our own sakes, but in service of others and for the glory of God.

It is true that all men are created in the image of God, but Christians are supposed to be conscious of that fact, and being conscious of it should recognize the importance of living artistically, aesthetically, and creatively, as creative creatures of the Creator. If we have been created in the image of an Artist, then we should look for expressions of artistry, and be sensitive to beauty, responsive to what has been created for us.
― Edith Schaeffer, The Hidden Art of Homemaking

Meals

n. the food eaten on regular occasions.

Home.

As the place of permanent residence, the home is where most meals are taken; as a place for people to live in fellowship, the home houses the family meals.

Maker.

Meals must be made, one way or another. Whether cooked from scratch or not, whether made by hand or purchased from another, the homemaker’s duty is to ensure her people are fed.

In bringing people together around a table, a homemaker fosters community and conversation, allows lives to be woven together – whether just the family or also others. The focus is not the food eaten, but the fellowship enjoyed.

“There is no occasion when meals should become totally unimportant. Meals can be very small indeed, very inexpensive, short times taken in the midst of a big push of work, but they should be always more than just food.”  ― Edith Schaeffer, The Hidden Art of Homemaking

Housekeeping

n. the management of household affairs.

Home.

As the place where living happens, the home will get messy.

Nothing is wrong when this happens. The goal is not a static clean, an effortless beauty, but a dynamic backdrop that promotes rather than hinders the action of life.

Maker.

We make the home ready for action, again and again. That’s our role. Our role is not to arrive, to finish, to set into motion the perfect system which will run without effort.

Our job is to transform, and we get to fulfill, faithfully, our job each and every day – multiple times a day.

Modern housekeeping, despite its bad press, is among the most thoroughly pleasant, significant, and least alienated forms of work that many of us will encounter even if we are blessed with work outside the home that we like. […] Seen from the outside, housework can look like a Sisyphean task that gives you little or no sense of reward or completion. Yet housekeeping actually offers more opportunities for savoring achievement than almost any other work I can think of. Each of its regular routines brings satisfaction when it is completed. These routines echo the rhythm of life, and the housekeeping rhythm is the rhythm of the body. You get satisfaction not only from the sense of order, cleanliness, freshness, peace and plenty restored, but from the knowledge that you yourself and those you care about are going to enjoy these benefits. – Cheryl Mendelson, Home Comforts

Hospitality

n. the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.

Home.

Home is where the people are. It is where they live and it is where they are knit together.

Maker.

As makers of home, we create places where people are knit together. Sometimes that is our own family unit. Sometimes that is our church body. Sometimes that is someone who needs Jesus – our homes are places He can be found, outposts of the heavenly home and also of the corporate church home.

When we bring people together, when we bring people to Jesus, we are true and faithful homemakers.

The heart of hospitality is sharing your home, your table, your life with others. So usually, when we have people over for dinner, I don’t cook anything out of the ordinary, I just prepare *more*…. Simple fare, but plenty of it. The showcase is not the meal, but the sitting together and sharing this piece of life, this daily necessity of eating. – Margaret Kim Peterson, Keeping House

Homemaking is a backdrop to life. When it’s done well, it fades to the background, allowing lives to shine through. Drawing no attention to itself, attracting no notice in its execution, homemaking is a humble task.

However, that makes it neither humiliating nor dishonorable.

Quite the opposite.

It’s strength and dignity is in its humility. It is loving service poured forth that other duties might happen, that other workers might be refreshed, that other

It is not less important for being unnoticed or invisible. It is the work of life itself. We bring forth life, we feed life, we clean up after life, we love and cherish and promote life. That is the job of the homemaker.

Let us not grow weary in doing it.

Most people who amount to anything do work hard, at whatever their job happens to be. The housewife’s job is home-making, and she is, in fact, ‘making the best of it’; making the best of it by bringing patience and loving care to her work; sympathy and understanding to her family; making the best of it by seeing all the fun in the day’s incidents and human relationships. The housewife realizes that home-making is an investment in happiness. – Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

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