Yesterday I introduced you to Barbara. She taught us the importance of having a biblically informed vision for our homemaking before we rush into all the practical ways to take care of our homes.
Something the Lord has been reminding me of lately is that my home is a place of ministry. It’s not just where my family sleeps, eats and showers. The Christian home is the context where the love and presence of God can be experienced on a regular basis. A place where the gospel is lived out in tangible and life changing ways.
So many women see ministry as that which happens outside of the home. I am tempted to do that, too! When our church’s small group meeting ends and sweet fellowship transpired, I feel blessed to have witnessed such personal and Spirit-led ministry. During worship on Sunday morning when people are cared and prayed for, I am filled with joy at the ministry that took place.
I’m re-learning that some of the most effective ministry that happens in my world is in my day-in-day-out life as a homemaker.
Ministry is what happens with God visits His children with His empowering, comforting, hopeful, convicting, instructing presence. What more regular place can this happen than in the warmth of our own homes?
Being a homemaker is the call to make a home where Jesus Christ is welcomed, honored and given free reign to pour out His love and presence! Whether the home we are making is a college dorm room or a large five bedroom house, we have the awesome opportunity to create a pleasing and pleasant environment where the Spirit of God is free to move; friends and family are served; forgiveness, patience and hope is experienced; and the distractions of unnecessary clutter or the embarrassment of disorder don’t prevent us from opening our homes to whoever the Lord brings. Beginning with our own family.
This is the kind of vision that has recaptivated my heart.
Having a ministry minded vision for homemaking didn’t come easily for me. During the early years of marriage I saw homemaking as a list of chores to get done so I wouldn’t be ashamed if someone showed up at our house unexpectedly. I enjoyed an orderly environment, but as a pastor’s wife I valued ministry outside the home as the “really important” stuff that happened in our lives.
Over time and with the help and example of godly women in my life, I began to see that the primary goal of effective home management was not to get more done, but to get the right things done. I learned that having a ministry mindset to my homemaking duties gave me inward motivation to create a culture of love and service to my family and friends. I learned that busyness doesn’t equal ministry. I can be busy all day doing things that don’t contribute to the culture I longed to create.
And I learned that while my vision for homemaking needs to remain constant, my season of life requires flexibility. During various seasons of my life (pregnancy, up night after night nursing a newborn, caring for sick children or relatives, special projects that required an unusual amount of time or energy, difficulty sleeping, etc) I simply couldn’t/can’t keep up…and I’ve needed to be ok with that!
But when my vision is in tact, I am able to bounce back from these “off” seasons to a renewed commitment to embrace the joy and privilege of being a woman called to make a home for my family and friends..saved and unsaved.
Being a godly homemaker requires a lifetime of sacrifice. We cannot do this on our own. Yet the One who laid down His life for the sake of others can give us the strength to do the same. Living a life laid down is no easy thing. But as Christians, we have access to a throne of grace where we can run to find mercy and help in our time of need (see Hebrews 4:16 ).
I have been running to that throne quite a bit recently. And I’m getting lots of help. I love it.