I’m sitting at the end of my unmade bed thinking about the book of Titus, my neighborhood, and laundry. Here is the question rattling around in my heart:
Given that the tasks of homemaking are similar for believers and unbelievers (we all need clean clothes and bedding etc), what about a Christian homemaker is intended to contrast a disordered unbelieving culture?
How am I to adorn the gospel as a homemaker, differently than my unbelieving neighbors? How does my homemaking highlight the beauty of God’s design?
Should my house be cleaner, prettier, and more productive than my neighbors? Is God saying through Paul in Titus that you should be able to drive through a neighborhood and tell a Christian home from a non-christian home by the neatness of its landscaping?
How can I do my laundry and make this bed differently than my friends who do not know how precious to God a home tended by a godly woman is?
The way we care for things says something loud about what we value, so I cannot say cleanliness, order, and hominess do not matter and it’s all in the heart. Beauty matters and love shows in your environment. If we claim to be Christians it should show more and more in how we learn to value what God values, the home included.
That’s said, we are all differently gifted, and on an individual journey of recovering the beauty of a Christian home, so it will not look the same in each of us.
I am to contrast my culture, but I don’t think doing so is primarily about performance. I think it’s more about purpose and posture.
What should my purpose and posture be as I make this bed, finish this laundry, clean my kitchen, sweep my floors, and plant seeds for my little garden today?
Stop and ask yourself this question about your tasks today.
The answer will unfold and become more complete over time as I pray and practice, but today, my answer is this:
My PURPOSE in keeping my home is to image the church’s delight in joyfully serving her husband, Jesus, and to embrace the creation mandate to take dominion by cultivating order out of disorder in my environment, as the Father does. It is to imitate him as a loved child delights to do.
My POSTURE is one of humility and willingness. My posture before these tasks needs to be one of openness and ready acceptance of the day set before me by a sovereign God, together with all its limits.
This is what makes us different; it’s the WHY and HOW more than the WHAT.
My chores are not about me doing annoying tasks so I can be less stressed out by my grime or ignoring my tasks because I don’t care today. Rather, they are an opportunity to walk in faith, knowing that a home tended by a woman who understands her priority to love her husband and children, to be kind, pure, faithful, work at home, and be devoted to the Lord (Titus 2), is a form of powerful, quiet warfare. Our warfare illuminates the tangible reality of the goodness of God and his ways. Our warfare shows in tangible reality how beautiful and beneficial home, family, children, marriage, and hospitality are to women and society both. In joyful homemaking we contrast the lie that traditional home and family values are oppressive, unenlightened, and miserable.
Take a moment to think and pray on this as you step into the rest of your tasks today. Your work is beautiful when you glorify God in it, and put on the mantle of willing servant. And no, I don’t care if that is considered the opposite of “female enlightenment”. It’s not.
May your aprons and bibles both be well-worn,
The Remedial Homemaker