Tuesday, July 8, 2014

What Is The Heart Of The Home?

Today's women seem to have no idea what "keeper at home" means. Up until the last few generations, all mothers all over the world knew what that meant... They were home with their families taking care of them. One woman commenting on my blog spelled this out very clearly ~

Maybe we need to take a look at not only the letter of the law {the specific, literal, physical actions and directives of what the law demands} but also the spirit of the law {fulfilling the intent of the law, which involves not only our physical bodies doing something but also the content of our hearts.} Please pay careful attention to these definitions, as I am not using these terms to water down the letter of the law in order to make way for the flood of "what-ifs" and exceptions that we can so easily put our focus on to the exclusion all else. What I'm saying is that Jesus, in every example of a person coming to Him thinking he had fulfilled the law, that he had checked the boxes, discovered there was something even more required! 

As a wife and mother, I could lock myself in my house 24 hours a day and never leave, and say that I am a keeper at home, all the while being completely absent mentally and emotionally from my family. The dishes might even get done and the floors mopped, but even though I am physically there, I can be absent. The box is checked, the letter of the law is fulfilled. We all know that is not the intent, or spirit of the law. So, what is the spirit of the law in this case? What higher purpose is the Lord calling us to? 

Lori and others have written much about the purpose that is being fulfilled when we are keepers at home. I will summarize to say that there is something incredibly powerful happening in our homes when not only our bodies are residing there, but also our hearts. When we are looking well to the ways of our OWN household, we are not ONLY enabling our husband to go out and provide, to slay dragons, to do what God has called HIM to do, but WE, ladies, take on the powerful mantle of changing the world by shaping and molding GENERATIONS for the Lord in a way that NO one else can. We are able to carry out the mandate to disciple our children--in our homes, when we walk along the way, when we rise up and when we lie down {Deuteronomy 11:19}. So, yes, we may be seen out and about, but look who is right beside us---our little ones. Where are our hearts? Right there with our families. 

Truth be told, this is not always convenient, or without extra work--training and disciplining children is hard work and requires diligence and perseverance! Repetitive tasks can be monotonous at times, and there is often little appreciation shown for all those tasks that go unnoticed by all {but our Father!} But, if you are missing the mark of your calling--the very thing you were created to be as a wife, how can you truly be fulfilled? 

Should we not aspire to so much more than checking the box, but rather to greatness in our calling? Going beyond what is "required," walking the extra mile? Striving to be the biggest blessing to our husbands and families? Because of this, I believe that our actions and decisions we make should spring forth from a desire to fulfill not ONLY the letter of the law, but also the intent of the law-the spirit of the law. Of course we cannot do this in our own power, but by His Spirit. Of course we will at times stumble and fall short. Thank the Lord for His grace and mercy that covers us and allows us to get back up and start again! 

When it comes down to it, each family will look different in how this is carried out. Maybe a woman is fortunate to have loving grandparents living nearby. Maybe for a few hours a week she has the opportunity for the children to go to grandma's house so she can pursue an outside interest, or *gasp* work a couple of hours outside the home. {Some husbands would not be okay with this, and some would think nothing of it. The most important thing is that we wives are yielding to our own husband's leading and vision for our families!} Maybe the mom runs a small business from her home. Maybe the whole family travels with dad for several days out of the week. Mom is obviously not anywhere near her house, but the intent of the law is being fulfilled. Her heart is with her family. She is physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually available, caring for her household. 

I just want to challenge each of us, including myself...Where is your heart? I pray that we can answer that we first and foremost have our hearts set on Jesus--walking in grace and in the joy of our salvation, desiring to be obedient to His commands and bringing Him glory. When we truly understand God's wise and loving plan and obey without fear, I think we will naturally find our hearts turn toward our husbands and children. Renew your mind in the truth of His Word. He is trustworthy in what He has established. He has not left us in the dark about this beautiful, practical, generationally-minded plan for the wives He so intimately knows and so fearfully and wonderfully created. 


A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.

Ezekiel 36:26-28

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