One evening when my husband had to work late, I tucked the kids in for bed, cleaned up the house, and decided to crawl into bed early to do some reading. My heart was heavy and I knew I needed some Scripture to meditate on, and I was also looking forward to reading “Heaven at Home” by Ginger Plowman.
Our day had been sort of long and hard. A play date that I had hoped would be an encouragement to the kids and myself left an unpleasant, wafting discouragement in my spirit. The women and children there were hospitable and friendly enough, but I left feeling very flat. From the tone of conversation, I gathered that to these women, children were too incredibly burdensome and ah! What a hassle (with said “hassle” in earshot, playing innocently). Husbands? They really just don’t understand. Pregnancy? Ugh, never doing that again. Then there’s the “advice” – you know, the “you’ll never sleep again” or “you think thats bad?” comments from experienced, embittered women. Such cynical tips are a far cry from the glimmer of hope and encouragement that young women need.
Usually after spending time with other women I am so happy. But this time I came home deflated. Wondering.. was I just tired? Had I been boring company? Why did I feel this way? And then I realized…
When we act and speak as if loving our husbands and children is anything less than beautiful and honorable and worthy of respect, we fail our sisters in the Lord, and we risk dishonoring the word of God. I was failed that day, and I probably failed others since I did not recognize what was happening and turn the tide of conversation. (Lord help me next time!)…
It was refreshing that evening to read again from Titus 2: “Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.”
Sisters, let’s encourage other women to love their imperfect husbands and their sometimes-unruly-children! To work at home! Not grumbling over household chores, but preparing their home to be a wonderful haven of rest and joy for their family. Our culture is enslaved to luxury, even if we would never “stoop” to drunkenness, but as believing women, we ought to esteem and embrace, rather than despise, work in the home. And let’s speak life to that new mom in the dregs of post-partum hardship; she may need kind words from you so that in her exhaustion she can share kind words with her husband.
We all have hard days. Expressing our struggles is one thing. But let us not be malicious, or teach through our words and attitudes that “what is good” in life is independence, freedom from family responsibility, or interesting and stimulating career opportunities. Instead let’s encourage one another to be sensible (in finances, goals, attire, and every aspect of homemaking), pure, kind, loving. This calling is clear and from the Lord. Even our attitudes are teaching the women around us.