We talk a lot about homemaking here at A Pinch of Faith, but we are obviously not the only blog who does. It is such a hot topic among Christian bloggers, and likely even non-Christian blogs too. It is often misunderstood, under appreciated, the cause of stress, and more. If we all say the word homemaking to the average person we will each hear varying responses about what they think it is and how they feel about it.
Homemaking is defined in a few different ways by varying online dictionaries:
home; homemaker (definition of homemaker:
The creation and management of a home, especially as a pleasant place in which to live.
The management of a household considered as an occupation.
Even though the wording is slightly different, the overall definition is the same.
If I was asked to describe homemaking here are the words and phrases I’d use: rewarding; enjoyable; busy; productive; act of service; Biblical; beneficial; my desired role; my full time job. Every homemaker would likely use varying words and phrases, but we all feel similarly about our role.
But there are people who have all sorts of misconceptions about homemakers, so below is a list of what I personally think homemaking is not. Please note that I am not intending to offend anyone; these thoughts are my own observances about how society (both Christian and secular) views homemaking.
Homemaking is not laying around all day watching TV and eating snacks.
Why is it that the first thing people say to me upon hearing I’m a homemaker is “It must be nice to do nothing all day”. Um…what? I am certainly not twiddling my thumbs all day while I wait for my husband . My day starts early and ends in the evening when my chores are finished. I am busy on weekends and holidays, but I enjoy it! There are certainly some homemakers who may find it difficult to be busy all day, and that is fine. Likewise there are others who may not be full time homemakers and have to balance outside jobs with their home tasks. But for me, my current role is a full time homemaker whose goal is to be productive each day.
Homemaking is not slow or boring.
As I already said, my days are quite full! I allow myself rest time during my chores so that I don’t get burned out, but I’m careful not to let it take up too much time. Some think that being the keeper of a home would get boring after a while, and there are certainly times where my routine does get a little…repetitive. But to keep myself from getting bored I aim to find new tasks to keep my days interesting. This could include washing the windows, polishing all the wood surfaces, cleaning out the bathroom cupboards, etc, which are not things I do on a regular basis. Admittedly as a new homemaker I found myself wondering what on earth I could do to fill my days, but established a routine of tasks that works for me.
Homemaking is not outdated.
I have observed that people seem to think being a homemaker is something from the 1950’s, where the wife wears fancy dresses and a full face of makeup to clean the toilet. It is seen as something women used to do, before they were “allowed” to get real jobs back when women were expected to do everything for their husbands and children, by putting their own needs last. Then things changed in society and it became more acceptable for women to be working outside the home, while their children did chores and likely had to care for themselves. But if homemaking is so outdated and old fashioned, why are a growing number of women choosing to forgo traditional careers in favor of caring for their home and family? Why does celebrity Martha Stewart worth millions of dollars? After all, Mrs. Stewart is a public figure who teaches others about the art of cooking, cleaning, entertaining, home decor, and more, which are all elements of homemaking.
Homemaking is not oppressive or degrading.
Our society has become a lot more pro-women; feminist even. From my research I have determined that a major component to feminism is a women’s right to choose her path in life…unless that path is homemaking. I’m serious here! Both secular and Christian cultures still often see homemaking as menial, degrading, work that has women bending over backwards to please their husbands. To that I say: that is all in the way you look at it. Yes, it is possible to see homemaking in a negative light, especially if one is not grateful for the position they are in. But it is just as possible to see it as a true blessing! I enjoy being able to care for my home and make it look nice. I enjoy preparing the meals my husband eats, and receiving compliments on what I cook. I enjoy making my husband’s life easier and more enjoyable by providing a peaceful and clean environment for him to come home to. Caring for our home is not degrading at all! I view it as an act of love, since I express my care and devotion to others through acts of service.
Homemaking is not a waste of time.
My husband used to be one of those people who never bothered making the bed because he said it was a waste of time, since he was just going to get back in it later. Thankfully, he has come to see how making it each morning can be worth it! I mean, have you ever been sick or not feeling well, and then gone to lie down only to realize you still had to straighten the sheets, pull all the blankets back up on the bed and arrange them comfortably? I have, and it is not fun when all you want to do is collapse in a comfy bed. While making the bed is just one aspect of homemaking, a lot of people view homemaking in itself as a waste of time. After all, why bother sweeping and vacuuming when more pet hair is going to gather? Why bother ironing your husband’s shirts when they will just get wrinkled soon after he puts them on? Why bother meal planning when you can just run to the grocery store and buy the first thing you see? I’ll tell you why: because creating a peaceful, clean, tidy, well organized, loving, encouraging, (insert your favourite adjective here), home is well worth the effort. Taking care of your home is being appreciate to God for the blessing He has bestowed upon you. If you are married, have children, or are a daughter at home you can be thankful that God has also blessed you with people to care for.
Homemaking is not a Biblical command we can overlook.
I have noticed that many Christians (myself included) have, at some point, decided they can pick and choose what commands and teachings from the Bible are applicable to their lives (I am not talking some of the Old Testament commands regarding cleanliness and food avoidance’s, since those were to separate the followers of God from the idol worshipers and pagans. Once Jesus came and died for our sins, we no longer were bound to those old laws). I could write a whole essay on marital submission and women’s roles within the church, but that is saved for another time! But if we think about it, I’m sure each of us can recall something we have read in the Bible and discounted as irrelevant, even though the Holy Spirit is convicting us otherwise. Homemaking is mentioned in Titus chapter two, verse five, but allow me to include a few extra verses for context:
You (Titus) however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine…teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. -Titus 2
The book of Titus was written by Paul the apostle to Titus, a young pastor. This is actually a letter instructing Titus how to best teach the new churches in the area. These Christians had never been taught what it takes to be a God-honoring person and how it applies to every facet of their lives, so Paul was really spelling it out for Titus. At the start of this chapter he has instructions for older men, then goes into what older and younger women should be taught, followed by instructions for teaching young men.
But the part I want to focus on is the instruction for being busy at home. Other versions of the Bible say “keeper at home” or “keepers of the home” but we know they all mean being a homemaker. If homemaking was not really important in the time of the book of Titus being written, why was included as instruction for new Christians? If it was not relevant or meant to be obeyed, then why did God inspire Paul to write that in his letter? Why did God allow that verse to be included in the Holy Bible at all? In my mind, that means it is still applicable today and is a command women should be striving to follow.
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