Ladies, I write to you in a moment of revelation that we have been deceived. Our deception comes to us from the hand of the Father of Lies who has ushered confusion into the culture we live.
The lie? It’s impossible to be a working wife, honor God, and maintain a home.
I am a working outside of the home wife, and mother of four. I wonder at times, “how am I ever going to do everything my family and home need on top of being away from them for 40 hours a week?” This question has kept me up at night, caused me stress, and frustrated my marriage. At my most defeated, I realized I was trying to execute my God given role without consulting him – at all.
Philippians 4:6 (NLT), “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”
These words are simplistic, and their application, arduous, yet if we want God’s help, we have to come to a point of willingness to listen to what he has already said. Surrendering to Philippians 4:6 and consulting God’s word immediately dispels our misconception. We need to face the truth and destroy any conviction that tells us it is sinful for a woman to work outside of the home. God’s word identifies for us plenty of examples of women who were asked to do the same. They too worked away from the home, (some) had husbands, they were used in God’s kingdom, and they too had a home to keep in order; Deborah (Judges 4-5), Lydia (Acts16:12-15,40), Priscilla (Acts 18:2, 18, 26). The challenge we face is not new, and their example proves its possibility.
Now we understand we are not sinning by holding a job, but it still feels impossible.
The Proverbs 31 woman, a woman King Lemuel’s mother describes not as some dream of impossibility, but of a reality he should seek – a working woman we should all ascribe to be. A woman that has it all together working away from the home and working hard to keep her house and family in order. A woman that does not allow her work to consume her. A woman that accepts her home and family as her first priority. A woman who realizes her job was given for provision, and doesn’t get caught up in climbing the corporate ladder.
Does that mean I can’t seek promotion? No!
Success in the work place is great so long as it doesn’t morph into an idol taking priority over our home. If we can still love our husband, train our children, maintain our home, and take on more responsibility – go for it. We are strong women, capable of MUCH – but we must be aware of how full our plate is before adding more.
Now about that plate… First things first.
Titus 2:5 tells us, “women are to be busy at home.”
But how? We’re stressed, sleep deprived, and our schedules offer no room for home maintenance, yet God’s instruction to us has remained unchanged revealing that it is our mindset that must. For me, I went to God, and it is through extended prayer and fasting that he revealed to me four key areas of focus.
- Healthy eating. When we eat garbage, we feel like garbage. We must fuel our body with purposeful nutrition. It has requirements that need met. If they aren’t, our productivity and health diminish.
- Rest. God created the world and everything in it in 6 days. On the 7th – he rested. Rest is a requirement, and our refusal to do so tells the Lord, we’re smarter.
- Alone time with Jesus– For me, it’s pulling myself from bed before anyone else. For you, maybe it’s your lunch hour, or at night after everyone is asleep. Whatever it is, carve it out – protect it. You’ll be amazed at your clarity.
- Limit Social Media. This isn’t popular, but it is a time sucker! Limit your time, or even step away all together. You’ll be amazed at how refreshed you feel, and how much time you get back in your day.
Focusing on these areas has re-energized my soul, and created a desire to step into my God given role. It has shifted my thoughts of maintaining my home from impossible to doable. It has empowered me to take on each task at hand.
There’s still work to do, so how do we actually get it done?
Four tips of maintaining a home:
- Make a list and schedule it.
- Set a timer for 15 minutes at a time (a friend shared this lifesaver with me!). Work your list and check things off. When the timer goes off, enjoy 15 minutes, and get back to work – or – call it an evening. You’ll be astonished at what can be done in minutes.
- Assign chores to the kids. Age appropriate chores are necessary in teaching our kids responsibility.
- Be intentional. This is the best piece of advice I can give. Be intentional about the time you have. Be intentional about the things you do. Be intentional about the family helping. Be intentional about keeping up the laundry. Most of all be intentional about asking God to help keep your first priority first, and seek his guidance in helping to get it all done.
The amount of stress relief we experience when our home is clean is no coincidence. God created us in his image, we bear his characteristics. He is a God of order. Our desire, like his – is for order, we instinctively crave it, yet we live at superspeed feeling out of breath, schedules so packed that we unknowingly replace our number one priority with committees, teams, meetings, and activities. We all do it, and we all feel overwhelmed when the laundry and dishes backup, floors are un-swept, toilets are nasty, and counters are gritty. We feel our lack of surrender and misalignment to God’s command in Titus 2:5.
It is not God’s will for us to be stressed, frustrated, or overwhelmed in the role he has given. Any such feelings we experience come from our own lack of surrender, understanding, and the Enemy’s attempt to keep us from the integral role we play in God’s perfect plan. Today, we expose this deception, and our own lack of submission by declaring that we can do this because God’s word says.
How about it? Are you ready to accept God’s word? Are you ready to focus, be intentional, and begin the process to fully surrender? If you are, roll up your sleeves and prepare to dish out a whole lot of grace to yourself because getting back to the role God purposed is going to take time and patience- lucky for us we serve the God of patience.