“But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.” (Titus 2:1-5 ESV)
I’ve been taught to tell stories from the beginning, and this one has quite a start to it. It’s not every day that one encounters a woman who stays home full time without having young children, and the question I hear most often is, “Why in the world do you do this?”
“This” is something I have only transitioned into doing for the past seven months, and by 2012, I should be able to stay home full-time. The Lord has graciously provided the opportunity for me to pursue my heart’s desire as a worker at home and I couldn’t be happier! This journey has been quite a challenge so far and I’m certain more adventures await as I seek to obey the Lord’s calling on my life.
Having been raised in a Christian home, reading the Bible at home as well as in church, I had certainly come across this passage from Titus many times. I’ve heard it preached from the pulpit and discussed in Bible studies. However, as a young woman I was urged by my parents and later by my husband to work outside the home until children came along. It never occurred to me that working outside the home could be a detriment to my family rather than a blessing. Certainly I felt the conflict of work obligations and home obligations, but it was not until I had spent a few years working away from home that we really noticed how the lifestyle had started to affect our family.
Having both of us work meant both my husband and I came home tired, and neither inclined to invest much in the work of keeping the home. I’ve always loved to cook, so I kept us fed, but lacked the time to cook the healthy and fresh meals I would desire to make. In addition, it would be fair to say that housekeeping standards slid embarrassingly low at times and I especially had a hard time focusing my heart on the home. I found it very difficult to make a house a home when the majority of my day was spent focusing on someone else’s business! As I am sure many of you are thinking, this is not an uncommon situation, so I just figured this was what modern life was like and that I would need to learn to live with it.
Then one day, I spent some time talking to a childhood friend of mine. She’s a military wife, and one of those amazing people who seems able to immediately find a church home and plant herself happily at every new duty station they encounter. When we spoke this time, she bubbled over with excitement as she told me of a Titus 2 class that she had been invited to teach along with another mother in her church. As she spoke about the studies and activities planned for the young girls of the church, I started to see a window into another way of life – and I liked what I saw.
After we finished speaking, I pulled out my Bible and started to read Titus 2. As I hit verse 5 and got to those words, “…that the Word of God may not be reviled,” a chill ran down my spine. I knew deep in my heart that the Lord was beginning to realign my priorities with His. In this passage, wives were clearly encouraged to value and invest in their homes in a way that I never had before. I also knew that while my working outside the home allowed us some “extras”, it was not a true necessity for our family. Would we be challenged without it? Oh yes, but not utterly undone. In addition, the expenses of my job in terms of professional wardrobe, commuting and the like were a drain on our resources and that had to be taken into account as well. Thinking and praying over this, it became obvious that our particular situation did not require me to work full-time outside the home and my doing so was making it more difficult to turn our home into the haven I wanted it to be.
I felt convicted on this subject, but didn’t know what to do. I prayed to God for His forgiveness and for Him to show me the way to live according to His will in this area of my life. Though I desired to, I knew I couldn’t just quit my job cold turkey. I had the sort of job upon which other people depended and if I suddenly left with no notice, I’d throw them into the lurch. I also had another problem: Even though I wanted to spend more time keeping the home, I had trouble picturing what that would look like. Since we do not have children, my first thoughts were of cooking, cleaning and helping my husband. Having more time to cook would be nice, and cleaning and helping my husband both were certainly necessary, but I hardly saw how those could fill complete days!
After studying and praying through Titus 2, Proverbs 31, and other related passages, my husband and I began working out my transition home as well as how I would order my life as a worker at home. The wealth of books and articles by Christian authors on this subject have also proven deeply helpful as well, so long as I read prayerfully and am mindful of checking them against Scripture.
As you can imagine, moving from a full-time job to keeping the home has been quite a transition. I’ll be writing entire posts on all the many lessons I’ve learned about homekeeping as well as the lessons in humility, perseverance and ingenuity that this journey has required. I’m still very much a work in progress and I value hope and encouragement on the journey as much as I do wish I can extend the same to you. I’ll be posting more detailed stories in the future and would love to answer your questions in the comments as I go along. Thank you!
[author] [author_image timthumb='on']http://desiringvirtue.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/lotv.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]After several years of trying to balance the management of her home with being a professional woman, Amy is in the process of transitioning home to serve primarily as a homemaker. She now lives with her husband in the Washington DC area where she is enjoying the challenges of figuring out how to make a house a home. Hint: It’s requiring a much broader skill set than she or many other people would have ever dreamed! In her spare time, she enjoys travel, reading, and serving in her church. You can follow her adventures at MakingAJoyfulHome.blogspot.com.[/author_info] [/author]