Friday, January 11, 2013

A Shout Out to Housewives

I am pastor who is happily married to a beautiful housewife. And, the more I learn about her job the more I am amazed at her high calling in life. I am beginning to think that it may be a housewife that God has ordained to sit on the right side of the Lord in glory. At least I wouldn’t be surprised, nor would I object.

A housewife is typically overworked, underappreciated, poorly paid, and often despised. Her work is never done, but she is treated by our culture as if she does not work at all. Sadly, success is not measured by dirty diapers and loads of laundry but by income, social status, degrees, and yearly promotions. It is a shame that the world has turned family values upside-down. Although the world does not value housewives, here are a few reasons why we should value them.

1. They are Servants

Cook, clean, laundry and back to back to cooking is just a small portion of the job description of a homemaker. In other words, serve, serve, and serve is what housewives do. Cleaning bottoms and toilets does not seem noble at all. In fact, this is one the lowest of all the positions in the eyes of the world. Low it may seem, but not in the eyes of our Lord. Christ Himself, as King of Glory, did not come into this world to be served but to serve others. The Lord instructs us that if we desire to be first in the kingdom, we must be willing to be last, and if we want to be great, we must be willing to be made small. Therefore, whenever we see someone serve, we should never despise that high calling, because God sure doesn’t.

2. They are Underappreciated

Sadly, housewives are not viewed as valuable and beneficial contributors to society. Amazingly, housewives are often viewed as if they waste their lives sitting at home—as if they do nothing. However, it could be argued that one of the major reasons that society is so dysfunctional is because institutions now raise our children rather than mothers. Unless you are making money, then you are not contributing, so society seems to think.

Yet, it is the lack of appreciation that makes this calling even more beautiful in God’s eyes. It is honorable to work hard when no one notices, but even more honorable to work hard when your labor is despised. God sees all those little hurtful looks and awkward comments, which you receive when you tell others what you do and, don’t worry, God will make sure that your position will be publically praised on the Day of Judgment. Those of you who have denied yourself a career to stay at home with your children and have put the wellbeing of your family above personal aspiration for approval, financial gain, and some false sense of self-worth will be richly rewarded when you hear the praises of God saying, “well done my good and faithful servant”. So don’t grow weary in well doing—your day of praise is coming.

3. They Are Overworked

It is right, ‘a woman’s job is never done’—especially if she is raising a house full of munchkins. Multitasking is not a good thing, it’s a must. A baby in one hand and a spatula in the other hand is common practice for a housewife. The structure and discipline that it takes to order the day’s work around meals, children taking naps and husbands coming home from work are not easy when babies have no regard to time. Husbands come home from work, but wives must continue to work. Not working from 8 to 5, but twenty-four seven is the hours she works each day. Well, at least she has Sundays off? No, not even Sundays are off, and that can be the most difficult of all days of the week because the children have to be clean and tidy by 9:00 am to make it in time for church. Also, training the children to sit still and listen can be an utter nightmare.

But, as with all work comes reward, there is a reward for being a housewife—an excellent relationship with your family. First, there is joy that comes with raising your children. Many women wonder why they are so miserable when they drop off their joy(s) at daycare. Second, there is great reward in changing diapers for a living. What is a more important job than to love, spank, teach, spank some more, and feed the ones that you love the most? Being a professional doctor, cook, or teacher is great—very noble callings indeed. But what could be more rewarding than doctoring your child when he or she falls down, or cooking for the family and teaching your little toddlers how to walk? When your children are raised and out of the home, you will never regret all the long hours spent in the home. In short, life is too short to waste it outside the home.

4. They Have the Greatest Impact upon Those Who Mean the Most—Our Children

What is often overlooked about housewives is the heavy emotional taxation they face on a daily basis. Cabin fever is one thing, but hearing the Devil constantly whispering in your ear that you do not have much of a ministry is overwhelming at times.

Godly women desire a spiritual ministry as much as godly men and we are all prone to judge the value and worth of our lives and ministries by the volume of people we influence. The more people we touch and impact, the better, so it seems. The more people who know and appreciate us, the greater the value we feel we can place upon our lives.

It is not uncommon for a housewife to feel as if very few people outside their homes knows much more than their name. But as the wise pastor understands, it is not serving the universal church at large by writing books and getting a lot of hits on sermon audio that is rewarding, but counseling the new widow as he is about to preach her husband’s funeral. The real ministry is caring for souls that you love and that love you. In other words, the rewarding ministry is not found in a non-personal and emotionally detached service to people we do not know, but ministering and serving those whom we love the most. And although your ministry as a housewife may not expand much further than the walls of your home, your ministry penetrates deeper and often makes a more lasting impact upon people than if you would have written a bestselling book that reached thousands of strangers that was a hit one day and forgotten the next. It is not the amount of people who know you that makes your calling so great, it is who knows you.

On that great day, your children and husband will rise up and call you blessed. Most importantly, God will give more honor to the simple housewife who serves the Lord in fear than He will a thousand preachers who are full of pride due to the praises that he may have received in this world.

5 comments:

  1. A well said, and very true blog article! Glad to read it. I know a couple of women described above, my wife included, and intend to share this with them.

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  2. The Baptist church was established in the Netherlands in 1609 by John Smyth. According to Baptist history, Roger Williams established the church in the U.S. in 1639 in Providence, Rhode Island.

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    1. Although these men were leading figures in their Baptist groups, it is hardly accurate to cite any one man as establishing "the Baptist church" in any particular country, since there are many different Baptist groups with different origins in virtually every country where they are found.

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  3. Most excellent article, my brother. We are all well reminded of the beauty of motherhood and the role wives and mothers play in raising up godly children. My wife had business cards printed when our kids were small, announcing herself as a housewife (some restaurants gave away free lunch if they drew your card from a bowl - so she had cards made). My 24 year-old daughter wants to be a stay-at-home and is getting ridiculed by her in-laws. She and her husband are tight on this, know it is what is right an honorable before the Lord, and hope his family will see the why more than the what.

    Let us encourage one another while it is still today!

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  4. Thank you Jeff for this wonderful commentary. The timing is really great. My mother was a full time homemaker in the Lord, and my wife has been for almost all our married years (nearly 29). We have 7 children, all still at home. Our oldest two are now in early 20's and waiting on a godly husband and building their homeskills. They want to be homemakers, but have taken ridicule from family and others who think they are wasting their time by not going out getting a job/career/college, etc. However, I remind them that they are pursuing the highest calling known to mankind, even above that of the faithful pastor-teacher! This article will encourage my daughters and bless my wife. Our daughters are under pressure, even in the matter of Christian missions, that the home is secondary to their exploring the call to missions, that they must have a "career" to be a missionary wife and mother. ( Something our mission boards may press for, but cannot substantiate with Scripture) The home call for the christian lady is primary. And yes, the reason we have so many decimated homes is due in large part to the homes without a godly full-time homemaker, as well as committed husbands who support their wives and lead the home. I realize that some ladies may have to work outside the home if they are single moms, but the standard that God established in the Scriptures for "keepers at home" is still right and our churches would do well for the Gospel if they began to preach and teach this biblical standard once again. May the Lord awaken many young ladies to the high calling of a fulltime homemaker in a Christian home, rather than to a career. They will have no regrets in this choice in Eternity. They will be called blessed by many and will hear "Well Done" by Him who sits on the Throne. They will be vindicated someday!

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