How Can I Be the “Keeper of the Home” God Wants Me to Be?
by Sheri Graham
THE MAIN THING: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” – Matt. 6:33
I didn’t know what the Lord had in store for me when I began the journey of homeschooling! I am happy to say that I am learning so much – not just about how to be a teacher, but the Lord is revealing things to me about how to be the Mom and wife He has called me to be. If you are carrying a heavy load you are finding hard to bear or if you just need some encouragement for your daily life – this is for you. I will try now to share what has been on my heart.
The first thing that needs to be done is to sit down and ask the Lord to impress on you what your purpose is – for your home, for your school, for your life. I believe we want what is best for our children and our family. We want our children to love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love their neighbor as themselves. As homeschooling moms, we also want them to be educated so they are equipped to face the world once they are on their own. However, we tend to over-commit and in doing so, we carry a much larger “burden” than God intends for us to carry. Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people cast off restraint.” If we don’t set in place a purpose then we have nothing to guide us.
Matthew 6:33 states that if we seek God first and His righteousness, all these things will be added unto us! What a promise! Think about it – it makes so much sense! When we truly love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and love our neighbor as ourselves, everything else will fall into place. Our focus needs to be on our relationship with our Lord, our husband, our children, and our neighbor. I would encourage you to sit down and spend some time in prayer. Write down what your purposes are – you can start with Matthew 6:33! The next step is looking at the commitments you have and evaluating them to see if they are fulfilling one or more of these purposes.
As homeschoolers, especially, we have a lot of activity in our homes! We don’t have much “down” time as we go to coop meetings, music lessons, geometry class, PE, etc., in addition to church activities, family activities, etc. Previously we talked about writing down some purposes that the Lord has impressed on you – now we are going to look at the commitments/responsibilities you have. Sit down and write down EVERY commitment you have (be detailed on this, including commitments relating to church, home, homeschool, being a wife & mother). Once you have your list complete you will probably be surprised (as I was) by the many things we have committed ourselves to. Now, take your list and ask yourself these questions (these were taken from an email by Cindy Rushton):
Do these commitments –
- prepare my family for God’s call?
- bring quiet and rest for my family?
- contribute to my family ministry?
- build memories?
- mature me and my family in the Lord?
- allow for a slow pace for my day?
The next step then is determining which commitments need to go. I desire to have a simplified life, one that has a slow pace and a home that is peaceful and Godly. Once again, our focus needs to be on our relationship with our Lord, our husband, our children, and our neighbor. Take advantage of every moment we have with our family. Don’t allow your “commitments” to crowd our time and cause us to neglect those God has called us to love and care for. Keeping your purposes and the above questions in mind, go through your list and check off commitments that don’t work toward those purposes. I know this won’t be easy. If you are like me, you have a hard time saying no because you want to please everyone and don’t want to make anyone unhappy. As the Lord has revealed to me though, there is a season for everything. Just because I may have to let go of some “good” things that I have been doing, doesn’t mean I will NEVER do them again, just that right now the time is not right. Pray for guidance as you take these steps to fulfilling the purposes that God has for you and your family. I believe the Lord will give you wisdom and will bless you and your home because you have sought Him.
KEEPING YOUR HOME
“The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the younger women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chase, KEEPERS AT HOME, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the Word of God be not blasphemed.” Titus 2:3-5
Hmmm…..what exactly is this Titus 2 woman? What exactly is a “keeper at home”? I believe God has called us to do so much more than “keep” our house clean and orderly. “Keeping” means: holding, restraining, preserving, guarding, protecting.” BE THERE for your husband and your children. Take the time to sit and listen, play, laugh, learn, read . . . love your husband and children. Let your home be a place where the Lord reigns and His peace is evident each day. We must keep balance in our life, not allowing “over-commitment” to crowd out the joy in our home. God has abundant life for us – are we letting things get in the way of the BEST that God has for our family and us?
We need to simplify our life so as not to be overburdened – and stick to the MAIN THING! (Matthew 6:33)
Another thing the Lord has been impressing on me relates to homeschooling. Am I so concerned about educating my children that I neglect to train their hearts? Remember the MAIN THING (Matt. 6:33)? In our schooling if we make our relationship with the Lord top priority “seek Him first and His righteousness” then the rest of school will fall into place “all these things will be added unto you.” How can you teach a child to do a math problem or to read when he has not learned respect for his parents and will not sit and listen? How can you teach a child who is always complaining and is never content? Do you see what I am getting at?
Let’s not get all wrapped up in “educating” our children that we neglect to do the most important thing – train the heart – to love the Lord will all our heart, soul, mind and strength and love our neighbor as ourselves. Our focus or goal should not be to have the smartest kid on the block, or to have an 8-year-old in 7th grade, but to train our children and equip them to serve the Lord. I am not saying that we don’t educate our children, but that we keep things in perspective – putting the Lord first in ALL things. Sometimes we forget that we need to put God first in everything – including our homeschool!
Thank you for listening to me share what has been on my heart. I pray that you have found encouragement! I pray that you will His perfect peace in your daily life and in your home! What blessings He has for us – we just have to slow down to enjoy them!
God bless you as you serve Him!