Are You Willing?
Proverbs 4:13 says, “Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go; keep her; for she is thy life.”
There is a principle in this verse that has caused me to ponder ever since I recently read it. The passage is actually part of many verses on the value of wisdom from Proverbs 4, but the principle of this statement can be applied to so many things in our lives, from spiritual to practical.
As a single lady, wife or mother, much of our day is spent doing all those things that make a house a home. Sometimes, we can be overwhelmed with these tasks. It might be that we lack the skills, because we did not have adequate training as a young girl, and so really do not know how to get it all done. The other side of the coin is that maybe we are just lazy. Laziness can be found at any age. Laziness is often accompanied by choosing to do what you want to do, rather than doing what needs to be done.
As we approach this subject, may I say, I hope this is “instructional,” and you will not “let it go,” but ask yourself, “Is this me?” If so, apply the principle and see your home and life change. We have had much teaching on this principle, so we have little excuse to not be better at it. I know that many “Titus women” are open to helping someone that might be overwhelmed with their home tasks. They can offer instruction and examples of how to be the best wife and mother possible in this area.
Again, this principle can apply to so many areas of our lives, but as a wife and mother I ask you, “Are you always aware of and concerned about these things:
The cleanliness and appeal of my home- Do you make it a matter of doing all that needs to be done, so your home is neat and clean at all times? I am not suggesting “white glove” clean….but I am suggesting that as a wife and perhaps mother, you make it a priority to have a tidy, organized house. Are your floors clean? Is the bathroom clean and tidy? (Would you be happy if a visitor wanted to take a shower in your bathroom?) Are things (toys, shoes, coats, etc.) picked up and put away at the end of the day? Have you ironed your husband’s and your children’s Sunday clothes? Are your counters cleaned- or do you find dirty dishes in the sink and counters messy ALL THE TIME? Are your appliances free of spills and crusted food? Are your windows clean- especially patio doors where little fingerprints land? All of these tasks require attention and diligence, and need to be a priority. Even if you are single, learning these things is helpful to live a less-stressed life, and to prepare well for marriage and family.
How about the laundry? Is your laundry almost always washed, dried, ironed and put away weekly. Do not get in the habit of leaving it in baskets, clean, but the process not finished. Or worse, yet, do you have piles of dirty laundry in several places in your house? If you have to move piles of laundry to walk through a room, sit on your sofa or climb into bed— this is plain laziness. Getting this done is part of your domestic duties. Make a plan to do laundry on certain days and stick to it.
BEFORE YOU EVER LEAVE THE HOUSE for errands, doctor’s appointments, going out for the evening, etc., could you say your house is basically in order? You should be able to come home to a neat home. Walking around toys, stepping over dirt, having counters so messy or dirty that you cannot put your groceries on them, should not happen! To have a tidy house, you have to have your house in order. Sometimes, to be honest, you may have to STAY home to get all done that needs to be done. Gallivanting and doing fun things does not take precedence over principle. Think priorities!
My appearance- As a child of the King, have you purposed in your heart to always look your best? Are you conscientious about your appearance? Are you neat and clean each day? Is your hair the best it can be? So many women seem to “let things go,” after they are married! Work hard on being “gorgeous” for your husband. It is IMPORTANT! How about your weight? Most of us struggle with those few extra pounds all the time, and others have just let it go for years, but are you doing something about it? Can you choose healthier foods? Can you just say “NO” to sweets and other high carbohydrate foods? Can you get out and walk/bike….not once in a while, but do this with regularity? Can you make this a priority? Again, I’m not saying TWIGGY, but healthy! A great side effect of exercise is that you’ll have more energy to do all the tasks that need to be done.
My happy obedience to my husband’s requests- Do you do what your husband asks? Do you know what he prefers as to how he wants his home to look? Sometimes, we openly or subtly (?) refuse to do what he asks. Does he like to come home to a fairly tidy home, and you looking your best? Does he hate something (messy bathroom, clean or dirty clothes lying around, dishes not done, counters not clean) and you know it, but you do not work to be better at it? Does it cause friction between you? I can share with you that if I didn’t have a plan for supper each day, if the laundry task was not completed each week, if my house wasn’t tidy, my generally sweet, kind, easy-going husband would have a problem with that. It hasn’t been a difficult thing for me, because I was raised that way…..but for some have to really work hard at this, desire it, make it a priority, and refuse not instruction! Think about what your children are being taught, ever so subtly, if you are never concerned about any of these areas. Making it a priority can make it happen.
Being willing to apply principles is the basis of doing right in every area of our lives. If you have “time” to do other things, like hobbies, Facebook, watching TV, gallivanting with friends, etc., then you have time to make a house a home. Doing what YOU WANT TO DO is very selfish. Many ladies do not see the value of making their homes a priority. They still want their “freedoms” in many respects, but guess what: being a wife and mom might mean giving up those “freedoms,” to do what is right!
I am not the one to tell you what days to wash clothes, or what meals to prepare, or when to change your sheets, but I can tell you that each of these things need to take priority in your home. It would be good if we all asked ourselves, “Am I willing to apply instruction and principles from the Word of God, as well as teaching and preaching, and instruction from good friends, to make my home what God would desire?”
Being willing and obedient to this principle is the key. The outcome of having a home that is basically clean and tidy, well-decorated, and calm is a HUGE BLESSING to all family members. It’s wonderful to have a wife/mother that has a sweet spirit (because she has things done, and is not frantic), looks her best, and has PUT HER FAMILY’S NEEDS FIRST! Please ask the Lord to reveal your need in this area. Being a wife and mother demands that we put these principles first. Just like you might ask someone where the best sales are for clothing, ASK someone to help you if you are overwhelmed and aren’t quite sure how to change. Anything worthwhile takes WORK, but it will be worth it. Guaranteed.