Making Our Homes Employment
As women who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ, God calls us to the most important task of being a keeper (guardian) and worker at home. This is to be our business, our employment, that which occupies us. We often think of employment in its narrowest sense: a job we go to in order to get paid. But here are some broader definitions that are instructive:
something we keep busy at
something we work at
something that engages our attention
something that occupies our time
something that we devote our time and energies to
something we do to serve others
something we use advantageously
We are to use all our time, our skills and talents, our gifts, our creativity in this God-given calling of homemaking. All our mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual energies should be employed and devoted to this great task: Homemaking. It demands our whole heart and soul and body.
We are not simply housemaids or housecleaners (though it can sometimes feel like it). We are homemakers. We are creating atmosphere, a place where the Spirit of God has the utmost freedom to work and move among us. We are working to present a home that manifests the Presence of Christ. This requires the best we have to offer, the whole of our effort.
As I look around our home, I see areas that do not manifest the character of God. He is calling me—and all of us—to something higher. This is where our work must begin—in those areas that are out of alignment with His character. Is there disorder? Then, by God's grace, let us "lift up the hands that hang down and strengthen the weary legs" (Hebrews 12:12) and take up the task of bringing order to that place. Is there dirt and uncleanness? Then let us strengthen our arms (Proverbs 31:17) for the task of scrubbing.
It won't all happen in a day. No, in fact it is a job that continues for a lifetime. There will never come a time when the task is done—and stays done. We live in a fallen world, which means the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics applies to our homes as well: entropy, or the "gradual decline into disorder", increases over time. There will always be a "degree of disorder or uncertainty in a system." Is that not the constant struggle and battle we face each day?!
Even if we cleaned and straightened our houses perfectly, walked out, locked the door behind us, and went away for a couple weeks, it would not stay clean. When we came back, there would be dust and spider webs. An untended house begins to deteriorate, just as an untended garden is taken over by weeds.
It is the task of tending that God is calling us to. This will take all the loving attention we can give, day-in and day-out. As we give ourselves—the whole of us—to this holy and honorable employment, we will begin to see the Life of God manifest in our homes.