What does it mean to be a homemaker? How do you define a homemaker? Does homemaker simply mean a stay at home mom or does it encompass so much more? How do I glorify God in my homemaking and what does it mean to be a Gospel-Centered homemaker?
These are the questions I try to answer every day in my ministry. And I think once we can begin thinking Biblically about our role as a homemaker, the other pieces in our home start to fall into place. When I’m facing a new day and trying to muster up the energy to get out of bed and start the coffee maker, reviewing the reason behind my homemaking helps so much.
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Over the past several years I’ve wrestled with what a homemaker really is. What does it meant to “keep my home?” How do I decide day in and day out what I should be spending my time on?
Where do I turn when I feel overwhelmed by it all??
Getting to the roots of what a homemaker is (and really understanding what that means) has time and again given me encouragement. It has freed me up to focus on what is important in life and let go of those insecurities that plague us all.
The focus on my blog and in my ministry is Gospel-Centered Homemaking, and so over time, I’ve received a lot of comments from women who feel like they don’t fit in this “homemaker” box. I hear comments from wives who work full time and express that they can’t wait until they stay home full time so they can finally be homemakers. Single women email me and share that “one day” they hope to be homemakers. And I have discussion after discussion with busy, stressed, overwhelmed moms that they just wish they could be “better” homemakers.
I want to challenge you to think outside the box a little when it comes to being a homemaker.
1) How do you become a homemaker?
I don’t think that a homemaker is something you become, but rather, something that you are.
You are a homemaker by definition. You are a homemaker if you are a woman. Whether or not you have kids. Whether or not you work outside the home. Whether or not you are married. You are a homemaker because God has designed your role to be a keeper of your home.
“And so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive, that the word of God may not be reviled.” – Titus 2:4-5
Managing a home, or helping your parents manage a home, is about so much more than dusting and dishes and laundry and cleaning. Keeping a home takes motivation, direction, and a vision of what you want for your home.
Keeping a home means transforming four walls into a place of rest from this world. It means creating a haven for your family to slow down and focus on Christ. That is going to be our ultimate goal within our homemaking.
Creating a Gospel-Centered Home means crafting an atmosphere of Christ-likeness.
The physical aspects of running a home: the cooking, the cleaning, the bill paying, are all extremely important. So don’t get me wrong, those are important tasks and parts of being a homemaker. But ultimately, the motivation and the goal behind our homemaking is to glorify God and to point our family and ourselves back to God.
2) You don’t have to be a wife/mom to be a homemaker
The beautiful thing about being a homemaker is that God gave us the tools that we need to fill our role – even if we work full time outside the home or are not married yet. God has made women naturally caring, nurturing, intelligent, and able to balance a million things at once.God has given us the provision in Titus 2 to look after other women, mentor them, and learn how to grow together.
I want to challenge you to think differently about homemaking. Throw out this old idea that being a homemaker is only about cleaning and embrace the idea that homemaking is about glorifying God in your home, every single day. When I refer to a homemaker, I am simply referring to a woman who spends even a tiny bit of her day making her home atmosphere just a little more Christ-Centered.
Embrace the idea that while there are some good practices for homemaking, the way that each of us runs our home is going to be different. Some of us may focus on cleaning more, or cooking, or perhaps you are in a season where you work full time outside the home or spend all of your time homeschooling six kids. In each and every new season, you are a homemaker, it might just look different from year to year or season to season.
Realizing that there is no one right way to be a homemaker is freeing to me. And it helps me to think more creatively about my role. God has given me specific gifts to help in my homemaking and wants me to be creative about using them!
It gives me encouragement to know that I don’t have to look just like my friends. I don’t have to be the perfect housekeeper or make gourmet meals every day to be within God’s Plan.
3) Crafting a Perfect Home
I do so much teaching and training on different aspects of homemaking and I think one huge temptation of ours as women, is to make an idol out of our homemaking. To view our home and the things we do within it as a way to earn favor from God. Or if we just work hard enough than we can have that spotless kitchen 24 hours a day, perfect kids who never act up, especially in public and especially at church, an ideal marriage with a husband who leads our family perfectly, and me, the perfect Proverbs 31 woman, doing all of this and more – in high heels!
Honestly, that sounds pretty darn good! I wouldn’t mind a home and a life like that. But through the Gospel, we are reminded that life will never look that way. The goal of our Gospel-Centered homemaking isn’t to attain the perfect home or the perfect family.
“The notion that the Christian home is a perfect or near perfect place is decidedly not Biblical. The parents in the home fail; often they fail miserably. They fail one another, they fail their children, and they certainly fail God. The children fail too. They bring home report cards with Ds and Fs, throw temper tantrums in the shopping mall, and try to eat peas off their knives when the preacher has been invited to dinner. Husbands and wives quarrel, get irritated with one another, and sometimes have serious misunderstanding. Of course, there are accomplishments too; but the point that I want to make is that conditions frequently are far from ideal. That is the realistic picture of a truly Christian home.” – Christian Living in the Home, page 10
You live in a house full of sinners. YOU are a sinner and no matter how hard we strive or train or learn or grow, we will never run a perfect christian household and that’s fine! All believers are in a life long process of sanctification. Of learning and growing closer to God and we should be teaching our kids that along the ways as well.
Jay Adams goes on to say, “A truly Christian home is a place where sinners live; but it is also a place where the members of that home admit the fact and understand the problem, know what to do about it, and as a result grow by grace…The Christian home, then, is a place where sinful persons face the problems of a sinful world. Yet, they face them together with God and His resources, which are all centered in Christ (Col. 2:3). Sinners live in the Christian home, but the sinless savior lives there too. That is what makes the difference!”- Christian Living in the Home, pages 11, 13
4) Knowing How to Be a “Good” Homemaker
What ideal should we be striving for? What does a good homemaker look like?
So now that we’ve established who is a homemaker, how do we know what a “good” homemaker does? I’ve always found the Proverbs 31 woman to be very encouraging, but does that mean we have to work from sun-up to sun-down buying fields and sewing our own clothing?
Do you have to love cooking to be a good homemaker? Does your house have to be spotless and totally organized to be a good homemaker? Maybe you hate crafts and sewing will never be a hobby of yours. Does this somehow make you “less” of a homemaker?
No, because for the most part these little things don’t matter. In the light of eternity, does it really matter if you know how to sew an apron? No.
And yet – practical homemaking skills can be important. But it’s not so much about the mundane chores of the day or adopting a hobby. It’s about the atmosphere in your home. If your house is knee deep in clutter, is your family able to focus on Christ? Are you able to serve and extend hospitality?
Speaking of practical homemaking skills – My online training academy, My Homemaking Mentor, is open right now, but is closing down enrollment April 3rd. Enrollment will be closed until the Fall and the price will be going up then. If you have been wanting and needing help in your homemaking from a Christian perspective, then I highly recommend you come check it out! The academy has 15 full courses taught by various mentors and you get lifetime access!
If your family is malnourished, lacks energy, has trouble sleeping, and suffers from sickness due to poor nutrition, is this glorifying to God? If you are so stressed out, frazzled, and completely overwhelmed with the state of your house and responsibilities that you are not loving to your children and husband, is that glorifying to God?
So what does it take to be a “good” homemaker? Focusing each day intentionally on God.
Choosing your priorities within the home that are Christ-Centered and will draw your family closer to God instead of pushing them away from Him.
5) Learning How to Be a More Efficient & Effective Homemaker
Knowing what you need to do to become a more effective homemaker, really depends on you, your personality, and your family.
Let things go. If you are really uptight when it comes to your homemaking, you might need to loosen up a bit and let things go. Maybe you need to leave the sink full of dishes and go outside and play with your kids or spend the evening with your husband. Maybe your schedule needs some more flexible elements to it and some days need to be focused less on your house and more on the relationships in your life.
Become more disciplined. Instead, if you are totally overwhelmed and feel like your whole house is falling apart, then maybe you do need to focus a little more attention on your house.Maybe you need to spend some time investing in your homemaking skills. If you feel lost on how to keep your house clean, or cook more nutritious meals, then it might be time to invest a little time and energy into learning some of these skills better.
Learn From Other Women. God knew that women need to be in relationship with one another when He inspired Titus 2. We can’t learn this all on our own. If we keep plugging away each day, feeling completely overwhelmed and lost, we won’t just wake up one morning and know how to juggle it all. (HINT: This is where our online training academy comes in handy!)
God designed us to be in relationship together. Learning and growing together to create an atmosphere within our homes that glorifies God. (Promo the academy closing soon!)
So what’s a homemaker to do?
We need to first recognize that homemaking is a ministry. It’s how we pour into our families (even when we are elbow deep in dirty dishes and mountains of laundry). It’s how we raise the next generation to know God and love Him. It’s how we then branch out and have effective ministries through our husbands and then also into our neighborhoods and communities.
And second, we need to treat our homemaking as a ministry. An amazing thing happens when we make that mental mind shift. We go from surviving each day as we wade through housework to thriving within our homes and marriages by having Gospel-focus and intentionality with each thing we say yes too.
We need to study God’s Word and see His priorities for our lives. Then we apply that to our own homemaking ministries and start setting goals, objectives, and most importantly, priorities within our homemaking.
It’s about discovering how we can have effective homemaking ministries within the four walls of our homes and live with a passion for Christ and His will for our lives.
Now, if you are not sure about the Gospel, what exactly that means and why it has such a powerful impact in our lives, then I want you to go all the way back to episode #12 of the podcast. I do a thorough overview and how that impacts our roles and lives in the home so I want to encourage you to go back and listen to it.
And another related one that would be really good to review is episode #38. In that episode we talk about the need for theology in the life of the homemaker, so that’s an important one as well.
Free Proverbs 31 Scripture Cards
If you want to join me in learning more about the Proverbs 31 woman and memorizing the passage, then please download my FREE Scripture memory cards! You can download, print out, and start memorizing today!!
Book of the week:
Christian Living in the Home by Jay Adams
Build a strong, christian family can be so difficult. It can be so hard to know what this should even look like, let alone how to handle trouble and conflict in our marriage and in parenting. This book is a quick read, but gives you a very good foundation for christian living in the home. I highly recommend it!
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