Meet Barbara

When I started my little blog, I had no idea who would visit here. Over the months, I’ve been blessed to hear from a wide variety of readers: grandmothers, singles, moms with kids of varying ages, and even some guys (married and single). I especially appreciate the humble men who visit here! I pray that God will use what you read here to increase your appetite for godly womanhood in your wife or future wife. The lady in your life (or who will be in your life) is blessed to have you!

Godly womanhood is the noble pursuit of all, even guys who want to encourage biblical values in your daughter, wife, girlfriend, sister, or the gals in your church or small group.  And it’s not something that just happens! Ladies can be raised in the home of a godly and devoted wife, mom and homemaker and still not have the training and skills to manage a home.

copyright: Perfect Plan Resources

Like my friend, Barbara (not her real name). She grew up in a home where her stay-at-home mom and hard working dad sought to raise their children to love the Lord. They were actively involved in their local church and regularly had people in their home. Barbara learned at an early age to help out with dishes and other household chores, and was happy to help entertain her younger siblings. While she was eager to attend college with hopes of becoming a physical therapist, her greatest desire was to be a wife and mother.

During her teen years, though, Barbara’s life became busy with school, youth group, babysitting, hanging out with friends, and sports. Family meal times often happened without her and household responsibilities increasingly fell to Mom and the younger siblings. When asked to help out with cleaning or helping with her siblings, Barbara apologized for not letting her parents know about the test she was studying for, the birthday party she was attending or the extra practice the coach scheduled.

Then came Jason. Her parents were happy to see their relationship blossom and saw him as a good choice for their daughter. In time, they were married and Mom was excited about watching her daughter become a wife and homemaker. The early months were fun and exciting. Even though she was working full time, Barbara used wedding gift cards to decorate their small apartment and enjoyed cooking several nights a week.

Before long, though, the apartment was regularly messy and meals consisted of drive-thru take out or microwaved frozen dinners. Jason wasn’t complaining, so Barbara figured he either didn’t really care or understood that she was busier than either of them had anticipated prior to the wedding. Plus, they had agreed that he would help out so he didn’t mind ironing his shirts or pitching in with cleaning.

Barbara’s busyness was not the issue: it was what she was busy doing. During a book study with some ladies in her church, Barbara was encouraged to start keeping track of how she was using her time. She didn’t realize the number of hours every week she was spending on her computer, watching television, and splitting errands up throughout the week that could have been combined into one outing. When she evaluated their food budget, she was surprised at the number of nights per month they weren’t eating at home and realized that even home cooked meals were thrown together without much thought.

In talking with her mom about what the Lord was doing in her heart, it hit them both that Barbara just didn’t have the practice or skills to manage a home. Barbara asked her mom to help her learn how to plan meals, stop overspending on their food budget and devise a cleaning schedule. She was excited about how these new initiatives would help her become a more organized and devoted homemaker!

Yet months later she was discouraged. The plans they made together just weren’t working. Being more organized was much harder than she anticipated.

Barbara’s understandable discouragement came because she started at the wrong place. Her desire to respond to the inward stirrings to be a more responsible homemaker were an evidence of her humility. And her urge to do something in response was the correct one.

But the changes needed to begin not with meal planning or a cleaning schedule but deep in her heart. With the help of others, Barbara started asking herself questions like:

  • Why does the Bible elevate homemaking as the worthy pursuit of the godly woman?
  • Why is it important enough to be listed as one of the main things younger women need to learn from older women? Hmmm…isn’t it just supposed to come naturally?
  • How does responsible, skillful homemaking glorify God? Is it really that big of a deal as long as things look nice when people come over?
  • Does diligent homemaking have to look the same in every family? Why or why not?
  • What did the use of her time say about what she valued and prized as important?
  • If he knew she wouldn’t react defensively, what would Jason say are the things he would like to see changed in how she cared for their home?
With the Holy Spirit’s help and after careful study of the scriptures, Barbara caught a vision for homemaking for the first time. She repented of some sinful attitudes and patterns of laziness (as defined by “doing what I want instead of what I ought” according to a pastor friend of ours) and began to find hope in God’s power to change her heart. Consequentlyher former temptation to give up when she lacked motivation was replaced by hopeful trust that God was doing a work that He (not she!) would complete.
Like Barbara, perhaps you have struggled with putting the cart of new ideas and “I’ll try this” attempts to be an effective homemaker before the horse of having a grace-informed vision for seeing your home as a place for ministry that glorifies God.
Proverbs 29:18 warns that “without a vision the people wander aimlessly.” While homemaking certainly isn’t the context for this warning, the principle is helpful: without understanding the value and purpose of being hard working “keepers” of our homes, we will wander from one idea to the next — and likely give up when sin patterns, lack of training or discouragement set in.

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