Most women have an ideal of what their home should look like. It tends to resemble something out of the pages of a magazine or off my Home Decorating Ideas & Inspiration Pinterest board.
Some are able to achieve this, but a vast majority of women are quite dissatisfied with the state of their homes. This is particularly true of women who have purposefully chosen the title of “homemaker”. They rarely seem to keep a home that meets the standard they envision in their minds as “the way it should be”. This is even more evident when children are thrown into the mix…and doubly so when those children are homeschooled.
Titus 2 presents a picture of what young married women are to be doing (much more so than Proverbs 31 which presents an ideal), and when you look at the ESV version, you see,
“working at home”
as one of the things older women are to be teaching the younger women. Nowhere in those verses does it say you are to be keeping a perfect home. It doesn’t speak to perfectly organized shelves or immaculate kitchens. It says “working.”
Working (or “keeping”) is a process and does not imply perfection, or that if you do it right, it will be perfect. You are simply to be doing it rather than avoiding it.
The passage also speaks of loving your husband and children. If God chooses to bless you with children, your home will forever be changed. As a Christian mother, it’s your job to adjust to the changes with grace – toward yourself AND your children (and yes, even your husband). Your house will be a different sort of clean, and your “working at home” will take on a new flair. And again, it isn’t going to be perfect.
I recently watched a BBC documentary entitled Time Warp Wives. At first, I was intrigued as the women on the show gave tours of their homes and lifestyles, some 1930s, but most 1950s. I found myself wondering where the children were, and musing about how insane it would be to try keep up that kind of lifestyle with kids in tow. Toward the end of the documentary, I learned where the children were.
There weren’t any.
Most of the couples had chosen to forgo having any children in order to keep up their lifestyle. Their immaculate homes, crisply ironed clothing, perfect hair and nails, and ultimately fake sense of reality, were more important than the real (and often raw) beauty of bringing children into the world and raising them.
It was a sad commentary on the price of “perfection.”
As followers of the Lord, Jesus Christ, we seek Him with all our being, but perfect we are not. We are made perfect in Him. The translation of that for the housewife is a woman who is constantly striving to do her best within her realm of responsibility out of love for those God has placed in her life and out of reverence for the God she serves. It has nothing to do with looking just so or meeting some arbitrary standard. It has everything to do with surrender, grace, and a desire to be a living sacrifice.
Look around your home…does it speak to the love you have for your family? Does it glorify the Lord? Remember, “perfect” isn’t the goal!