"A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands."---Proverbs 14:1(NLT)
Great lead quote...
NO WONDER Satan lies and tells women that homemaking doesn't need to be a priority...
He is THE LIAR (John 8:44) and thief (John 10:10), after all!
Random question. How many of you know women who keep an immaculate house? It's clean. It's comfy. It smells good whenever you walk into it. It's...basically the kind of place that you immediately want to take a nap in once you walk into it because it's so...warm and inviting. It even feels safe.
Me? I only know a handful of women who get down like this. Thankfully, my mother was one of them. Aesthetically, the homes (we moved...more than once) that I grew up in we all of the things that I described. Plus, my brother and I *couldn't wait* until Saturday night because it was pretty much the only time we could eat anything that even resembled junk food. Translation: my mother cooked every night.
Where am I going with this?
A few different directions, actually.
For one thing, when it comes to doing things that are based in the Word, more and more, I'm getting out of calling myself "traditional". No, the more appropriate word for honoring Scripture is *biblical* and, as it relates specifically to how God defines womanhood and femininity (I Peter 3:1-6)? Being able to make a house a home is certainly not exempt.
Just look at how some of the verses in Proverbs 31 describe how a *virtuous woman* (Proverbs 31:15) keeps her home:
"She is like the merchant ships loaded with foodstuffs; she brings her household’s food from a far [country]. She rises while it is yet night and gets [spiritual] food for her household and assigns her maids their tasks."---Proverbs 31:14-15(AMPC)
"She fears not the snow for her family, for all her household are doubly clothed in scarlet. She makes for herself coverlets, cushions, and rugs of tapestry. Her clothing is of linen, pure and fine, and of purple [such as that of which the clothing of the priests and the hallowed cloths of the temple were made]."---Proverbs 31:21-22(AMPC)
"She looks well to how things go in her household, and the bread of idleness (gossip, discontent, and self-pity) she will not eat."---Proverbs 31:27(AMPC)
This defines things that she did for her actual *house*...
I also like the way she took care of her *home*:
"The heart of her husband trusts in her confidently and relies on and believes in her securely, so that he has no lack of [honest] gain or need of [dishonest] spoil. She comforts, encourages, and does him only good as long as there is life within her."---Proverbs 31:11-12(AMPC)
"Her children rise up and call her blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied); and her husband boasts of and praises her, [saying], 'Many daughters have done virtuously, nobly, and well [with the strength of character that is steadfast in goodness], but you excel them all. Charm and grace are deceptive, and beauty is vain [because it is not lasting], but a woman who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord, she shall be praised! Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates [of the city]!'"---Proverbs 31:28-31(AMPC)
These are the verses that jump out at me that define the "Proverbs 31 Woman" as being a homemaker. This doesn't mean she wasn't somewhat industrious/enterprising too. Check it:
"She considers a [new] field before she buys or accepts it [expanding prudently and not courting neglect of her present duties by assuming other duties]; with her savings [of time and strength] she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard."---Proverbs 31:16(AMPC)
In fact, one of my favorite entrepreneur wives is Caleb's daughter, Achsah:
"Then Caleb said, 'Whoever attacks Kirjath Sepher and takes it, to him I will give my daughter Achsah as wife.' And Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, took it; so he gave him his daughter Achsah as wife. Now it happened, when she came to him, that she urged him to ask her father for a field. And she dismounted from her donkey, and Caleb said to her, 'What do you wish?' So she said to him, 'Give me a blessing; since you have given me land in the South, give me also springs of water.'
And Caleb gave her the upper springs and the lower springs."---Judges 1:12-15(NKJV)
To me, it's a reminder that since Proverbs 18:22 tells us that a wife is to bring FAVOR to her husband, even as single woman in preparation for marriage, we need to have our stuff in order. Debts paid. Credit history/scores straight. Clear about what our individual purpose can---and should---bring to the table.
This is *extremely important* because I know far too many wives who basically thought that so long as they were cute and liked having sex, there wasn't too much more they needed to offer a man/their husband. Yet their professional/financial life are in so many shambles that...in many ways they proved to be more of a *liability* than an actual *asset*. And that? That directly contradicts how the Word says that a wife should be.
That brings me to another reason for this post...
Not too long ago, I went into the home of a man who remarried...not too long ago. Everyone who knows me knows that I STRONGLY STAND with the Bible on how divorced people are to address their relational status (click here, here and here, for starters--I Corinthians 7:10-11, Romans 7:1-3, Matthew 19:1-12, Malachi 2:14-16). This isn't about remarriage, though.
Anyway, I remember when the husband first got engaged to his second wife. Some fellas I know said that from a *physical* standpoint, she was an "upgrade". Eh. Maybe. Beauty's in the eye of the beholder, though. Right? ;)
Yet when I walked into their house? I actually asked another guest if the couple were planning on moving or something. I was told "no". That kind of threw me because I knew they had been married for a while, and no matter how physically beautiful his wife may be, nothing about the house felt like a home. Pretty much at all. It was cold, messy and not very inviting.
To me, it was symbolic...
Home: a house, apartment, or other shelter that is the usual residence of a person, family, or household; the place in which one's domestic affections are centered; any place of residence or refuge
Synonyms: central, familiar, at ease, at rest, in the bosom, in one's element
(As far as "in the bosom" goes, that's biblical too. Proverbs 5:19[NKJV] says this about a man's wife: "As a loving deer and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times, and always be enraptured with her love.")
Probably most of us have been to a single guy's house before. Even if it did happen to be clean, what usually is the takeaway? That it needs a woman's touch, right?
As I'm preparing myself more and more for my own future husband, something that I am petitioning the Lord about (I John 5:14-15) is to become the kind of woman who *adds so much more* to his life! I don't want him looking at me and thinking, "I mean, I love you and I'm glad that I can now have 'legitimate sex' but...that's about it." No, I want my husband to have documented evidence, if and whenever needed, that my being in his life has blessed him beyond measure! That there is not one category where he can't say, "Hallelujah! Shellie being here has changed everything in the best way possible!" HIS. HOME. INCLUDED.
That brings me to this...
I believe I've shared before that I really like something the last boyfriend I will *ever* have in this lifetime once said to me: "Shellie, a woman should be her man's sanctuary." Does that sound sacrilegious? It shouldn't:
Sanctuary: a sacred or holy place; an especially holy place in a temple or church; any place of refuge; asylum
Some of us need to be reminded of the fact that it shouldn't only be our husbands who see us as a "sacred or holy place". I Peter 1:16 commands us to "be holy" because the Lord is holy and I Corinthians 6 states this:
"Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s."---I Corinthians 6:18-20(NKJV)
And, as far as being "a place of refuge"? *double sigh*
Refuge: shelter or protection from danger, trouble, etc.; a place of shelter, protection, or safety; anything to which one has recourse for aid, relief, or escape
There are far too many husbands I know who feel as if their wife is ANYTHING BUT...
To them, she's actually more like this chick:
"It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop [on the flat oriental roof, exposed to all kinds of weather] than in a house shared with a nagging, quarrelsome, and faultfinding woman."---Proverbs 21:9(AMPC)
Scripture says this.
SCRIPTURE. SAYS. THIS.
If you are already this kind of woman (James 5:16), that could explain a lot of the reason why you're not yet married! A wife is to make a man want to come up, not prefer to be anywhere else but!
And that's kind of the main point of all of this...
A verse in Scripture that I really like a lot is "He grants the barren woman a home, like a joyful mother of children. Praise the Lord!" (Psalm 113:9--NKJV) Barren does just mean "not producing or incapable of producing offspring; sterile". It also means "unproductive; unfruitful" and "lacking" and remember what James 1:4(AMPC) assures us: "But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing."
Proverbs 3:33(NLT) tells us this: "The Lord curses the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the upright." There are MANY wonderful things that come with being single. MANY. Yet this blog is specifically for women who desire marital covenant. Therefore, *never forget* that this is a season (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11 & 14) of preparation. In the areas where we all are lacking in what it needs for us to truly feel at home first (some women are always out in the streets because even they don't really feel at home...at home) *and then* provide our husband/family with a proper-biblically-defined home---spiritually, physically, emotionally AND literally/tangibly, this would be the time to do it!
How are your finances?
Is your house (and car, guys seem to really pay attention to that) clean?
Are you a calm or dramatic kind of woman?
Can you do more than boil water?
Are you thriving in your purpose?
Does your house feel like a home?
Would a man feel like you are a safe place for him...right at this very moment.
God knows what he's doing, and how he's choosing to do it, AT ALL TIMES (Psalm 18:30-31).
Psalm 37:23 tells us that a good man (and woman's) steps are ordered.
Rather than looking at this as a season of wanting a man and not having one...
Choose instead to see it as a time to make your lifestyle a "home sanctuary" for "him".
Proverbs 18:22(AMPC) says, "He who finds a [true] wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord" and as a wise man once said, "This means SHE'S ALREADY A WIFE when he finds her."
Sign up for a cooking class.
Take a business or finance course.
Deal with any emotional instability or relational drama you might have (please).
Have fun making more of your house a home! Even now.
My family lives in South Africa. When my mom came to stay with me a couple of years ago, it was HIGH PRAISE hen she told me that she got why I liked being in my house so much; that it felt very "homey". When a *woman* can feel at house in your home? Especially an elder woman (Titus 2:1-4)?! That's saying something!
Be at home with God...
So he can make you into the ULTIMATE HOME SANCTUARY for your husband?
His Purpose, His Presence, His Peace...