Note: This is focused on the significance of being a homemaker. I wrote most of it before Stephen was born. In later posts I may address the significance of being a mother and of being a layperson.
Marriage is expectedly not what I expected. I imagined a world where my husband and I would spend all day reading the Bible together and stay up all night praying together and host Bible studies for lost people all the time in our home. And when we weren’t doing those things, we’d snuggle by the fire. I don’t know why, but I didn’t factor big time-stealers like “daily responsibilities” and “work” and “sleep” into the equation.
All of my unmarried life, I had been reminding myself of the urgency of the hour and how I needed to pour myself out for Jesus. So when I found myself spending the majority of my days within the same 800 square feet, cleaning things that would only get dirty again the next day, and cooking things that would only nourish us for a few hours, I felt like I was wasting my life.
In short, my mindset has had to change a lot. I had unrealistic expectations of my husband, my children, and myself. I think I wanted to be a married woman with the Biblical womanhood of a single woman. I’ve learned that growth is so much more than increasing in intellectual and emotional knowledge of God. In 2 Peter 1, we are told to add to our faith virtue, knowledge, self-control with steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love. Without these things our knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ is “ineffective or unfruitful” for the kingdom.
I wanted to have the knowledge and the godliness, but virtue and the other items on the list were far less appealing. I had probably never worked hard in my whole life. I hold grudges like you wouldn’t believe. I don’t even have the discipline to force myself to try new foods.
Before I got married, I totally overestimated my own maturity because I didn’t really see the whole scope of what maturity is. I would elevate one aspect of godliness over other aspects that weren’t as enjoyable or easy to me.
So when I got married, I thought that cooking and cleaning was so insignificant. But as Betsy Ricucci writes, “In God’s eyes, there is nothing more significant than servanthood.”
Christ was such a servant! (See Philippians 2! Oh my goodness!) He humbled Himself, became a servant, and gave His life for us. We have the privilege of giving our lives for Him through the outlet of serving our husbands in the home.
At one point I told Peter I don’t really want to be a Proverbs 31 woman anymore.
He asked me, “Then who do you want to be?”
I replied frankly, “Paul.”
Paul was Christlike, yes. But the Proverbs 31 woman also beautifully follows Christ’s example...of servanthood.
Here is another Biblical truth that has struck me recently: Peter is my brother in Christ, of the household of faith, so in serving Him I am serving the Body for God’s sake. (Isn't that what pastors do?)
1 Timothy 6:1,2 talks about how slaves should “regard their own masters as worthy of all honour, so that the Name of God may not be reviled. Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the grounds that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved.”
So slaves must whole-heartedly honour their masters, especially if they are brothers of the faith. I am called to something so much better than slavery, so how much more should I honour my husband, who is my brother and not only Christ’s beloved but my very own!
By serving Peter, I am not just serving Peter. I am serving Christ, and I am serving the body! I am contributing good service to someone God loves very deeply. This is no small calling!
The LORD has been giving me such gladness over this lately. (It was a long battle for the first year of marriage and nagging discontentment still rears its ugly head sometimes.)
Wives, be encouraged. There is so much significance in what you are doing. And there are a lot of things you can still do from home that extend service to people outside of your home. I'll have some practical tips for that later.
Single women, enjoy your singleness! I am so grateful for every single day that I did not have to worry about serving my husband. God used those years to fill me.
I heard someone wisely advising a young man who was interested in getting married sometime soon, "Sow now. You will reap later."
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My name is Hope.
I'm 25, married to a rad guy, and raising three little people ages 1,3, and 5...and I'm now expecting my fourth. I like chartreuse, calligraphy, Coke Icees, childbirth, crocs, Studio C, and...alliteration.
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Articles I've Written on Other Sites:
Youth Ministry's Family Blindspot - Christianity Today