Talking about homemaking can be polarizing. Some natural Martha Stewarts find it easy and others wonder why we are stepping back a few centuries creating women who only thrive behind a dishwasher or sink. That’s not what I’m going for here. I believe that homemaking is much more than simply knowing how to sew or being a good cook. Sure, those are part of it, but even if you only serve canned food and never sew a curtain you can still make a house a home and teach your daughters to do the same.
Now is a good time to
What exactly is a homemaker?
1. It’s not a Stepford Wife.
First off, all of us do not feel perfectly at home in the role of Mrs. Beaver. Some of us do. Still, at the end of the day, it is normally the mother’s responsibility to keep the home in order, prepare the food, and take care of the day to day things that come out. Whether you prefer fancy soufflés for dinner or you shove a frozen lasagne in the oven, you have the opportunity to do so excellently and with love.
Being a homemaker does not mean we are always dressed in pink gingham and pearls and ready with batches of cookies and herbs from our hanging herb garden for all the neighbors. However, it does mean that we run our home smoothly and with forethought. It means knowing what our family needs. The Noble Wife plans and prepares in a way that enables her to live in the present without worrying for the future (vs 21, 25, 27). Not because the future isn’t important, but because she is prepared for the future. This will look differently in every family.
2. It means hospitality in some form.
Part of being a homemaker is being hospitable and generous with others (see verse 20 for the Noble Wife’s example). Your home doesn’t have to be perfectly decorated, spotless and have a guest book at your entry table to do this. Opening your home to those in need of a good meal, encouragement or love is part of practicing hospitality. Does your house and your family focus on the needs of others? I know in the busyness of life we often find it hard to make time for others. I believe the Noble Wife’s example shows us she puts her family first and is productive at home, but also thinking outwardly.
3. It means fostering a certain environment.
I don’t know about you, but when I read about Noble Wife: Saint of the World, I begin to feel a little inadequate. However, there are many qualities she possesses that I too possess and many others that I actively strive towards. And I’m sure it’s the same for you. Much of the passage is spent detailing her activities. She brings good, not harm, to her husband. She plans, cooks, spins wool, and invests. She makes her own linen, helps the poor, and dresses in style and quality.
She creates and sells, watches carefully over the goings on of her household, and her children and husband praise her. I’m sure the things you do for your family will be of a great variety and be both similar and different to those of the Noble Wife. That’s okay! What is important is that we are busy thinking of our family, providing for their needs, living in the present in a way that helps our family be prepared for the future. She makes beautiful things. She wears beautiful things. She is productive financially for the family as well. She is not idle. The best way we can model this for our daughters is to live it.
4. It means teaching practical skills.
Perhaps the noble wife taught herself how to spin wool, flax, linen and whatever else she is sitting around spinning. However, I’m sure her daughters are learning a thing or two from her. I think as mothers it’s important for us to pass on the skills we have (whatever they may be, no matter how little or insignificant we think they are) to our children. Start with the things you love. Be it inside the home, outside the home, or out in the marketplace.
Pass on your knowledge and skills to your kids. Spare them the trouble of having to figure it all out on their own. It would be a great shame to have much talent in an area and not pass that on. Equip your children for adulthood. Women will need to know various things and men will need to know various things. Much of those things will be interchangeable. If you are much more handy in the garage than in the kitchen, good! Teach your daughter about a car engine, changing tires, or building things. Those are productive and highly useful.
5. It says the Fear of the Lord is more praiseworthy than beauty.
I believe this verse brings huge encouragement to many women. No matter how good looking you are, as a mother, there will be many days when you feel fat, ugly, and generally unattractive. Perhaps when you’re pregnant, trying to shed pregnancy weight, or are exhausted from a late night with the kids. Ultimately, God is interested in our character and the purity of our hearts towards Him. It is a far better lesson to learn how to fear God than to learn how to make a perfect cheesecake.
It is through our relationship with God that He shapes us into the people He created us to be. Better for our children to have the Almighty God to fall back on than their domestic prowess. Let us live in a way that glorifies God and honors Him. It will not always be easy. In fact, it’s probably mostly not easy. Or maybe that’s just me. I’d rather be busy and productive and ‘suffer nothing from laziness‘ (vs 27) like the Noble wife now during this season while my children are under my house than to have all the time in the world in 40 years and realize I wasted it.
Why not take some time and think about the Noble Women and Wives that are in your life. Perhaps you can encourage them and praise them for their efforts. Sometimes a kind word or acknowledgement of hard work can be just enough to keep us from growing weary and giving up.