To Keep…or Not to Keep…the Home: A Pendulum Post

To Keep or Not to Keep the Home - Visionary Womanhood

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 2:3-5 (ESV)

This is the Bible text where we find the admonishment to be “keepers at home” (KJV).  I found a number of other translations as well:

  • “Busy at home” (NIV)
  • “Manage their households” (ISV)
  • “Taking good care of their households” (Aramaic Bible in plain English)
  • “Homemakers” (God’s Word Translation)
  • “Having a care of the house” (Douay-Rheims Bible)
  • “Diligent in home work” (Darby Bible Translation)
  • “Industrious in their homes” (Weymouth New Testament)

Let’s start by defining a few terms:

Home

1. One’s place of residence

2. The social unit formed by a family living together

3. The focus of one’s domestic attention

Manager

1. A person who conducts business or household affairs

2. A person who directs a team

Industrious

1. Constantly active or occupied

Keeper

1. One that keeps, as a protector or custodian

I recently read a declaration of new-found freedom written by a woman who had decided she was not wired for this “keeper of the home” business, and would therefore be trading in her homemaking responsibilities for…other responsibilities.  Ones she felt would be more enjoyable and fulfilling for her, personally.

What impressed me wasn’t that a woman “out there” was triumphantly throwing in her homemaking towel.  That’s a story as old as the hills.  And all the “You Go Girl!” comments following the declaration were also unsurprising.

What made my heart go pitter patter was the realization that this woman…and most of her ardent supporters…were self-proclaimed followers of the Creator God.  You know…the One who wrote those words up at the top of this post.

Reminded me of the very first one in history who decided he would not be beholden to the God Who created him.  He put it this way:

I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the  north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.  Isaiah 14:13-14

Most Christians are secular humanists and don’t even know it.  How can they help it?  Every last one of us has been immersed in secular humanism since we were in Kindergarten.  It’s hard to break free of life long pre-suppositions that have been hammered into our thinking by the surrounding culture.

Imagine all the little Wemmicks running around shrieking, “We will decide what is right for us.  What is good for us.  What will fulfill us and make us happiest.  We know best.  We can take care of ourselves.  We are our own gods.”

Now it doesn’t appear enlightened, wise, or liberated. Just silly.

And that got me thinking about pendulums again.  Let’s take a closer look at this one.

The Stepford Wives Over to the Right

The Stepford Wives was a 1972 novel written by Ira Levin in which the wives of a small town in Connecticut are being slowly turned into mindless, submissive, “perfect” robot-type women keeping themselves, their homes, their husbands, and their families in perfect condition.

I, personally, don’t know any REAL “Stepford Wives”.  I don’t even know anyone who knows any real ones.  Nor have I ever heard of anyone who THINKS they are that kind of woman (although I’m sure we all secretly long to be “perfect”…we know it isn’t in the cards for us.)

Stepford wives probably only exist in the imaginations of women.  And maybe a few men.  But really…mostly women.  In reality, however, there ARE NO STEPFORD WIVES swinging over there to the right.  That’s an illusion.

Some women THINK they have to be a Stepford Wife.  But they don’t.  God didn’t design women to be Stepford Wives.  There is nothing in Scripture that describes this kind of perfect, inorganic, formulaic type of woman.  God didn’t create the “Stepford Wife” box and then throw all women into it.  Satan did.  And then told everyone that God did it.  (He’s a liar, remember?)

So if you are a woman who would like to claim your freedom from “Stepfordom”…go right ahead.  You really ought to, and nobody should hold you down.

Frightened Women Over to the Left

If you look over to the left though…you’ll see masses of REAL women swinging away.  Why so far left?  They are scared.  They are running away from the imaginary Stepford Wives over on the right, trying to get as FAR AWAY from those plastic freaks as possible.  And I, for one, don’t blame them.  Here are just a few of the fears that drive them to swing:

  • Fear of others controlling them…men…and yes…God.  (Fear of being “used”.)
  • Fear of being unhappy during their brief existence on earth.
  • Fear of not fulfilling a higher purpose in life.
  • Fear of being exploited.
  • Fear of missing out on something wonderful.
  • Fear of being unloved and unwanted.
  • Fear of being unknown and misunderstood.
  • Fear of being abandoned.
  • Fear of pain, both emotional and physical.
  • Fear that if they don’t “do” for themselves, nobody else will look out for them.
  • Fear of the future.
  • Fear of death.

Fear. Fear. Fear.

…for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.  (II Timothy 1:7)

I hate to give him any attention, but let’s go back and talk about that old Liar, Satan, again for just a minute.  If the Word of the Living Creator God says that He has NOT given us a spirit of fear…but instead, He has given us POWER, LOVE, and SELF-CONTROL….then that means that all those fears I listed above…are lies.

You might be thinking, “Wait a minute…I don’t just FEAR those things…I’m LIVING those things.  I AM unloved.  I AM misunderstood.  I AM abandoned.  I HAVE missed out on the good life.  I AM unhappy!  These are not FEARS…they are REALITIES.”

Well.  Yes…and no.  You may be unloved, abandoned, or misunderstood by other Wemmicks.  But most definitely NOT by your Creator.  So who really matters?  Are people bigger than God?  Are our relationships with silly Wemmicks more significant and life-changing than our relationship with the all-wise, all powerful, all-knowing God of the Universe?

You see, there’s a little “key” in this.  If you want real power, real love, and real self-control…you need to re-set your “reality” grid.  Haven’t you ever heard the saying, “Things aren’t always as they seem?”  That describes the Kingdom perfectly.  If you want to really live…you have to die.  If you want to be the greatest, you must become a servant.  It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Jesus, the King of the Universe, died a criminal’s death here on earth.  Murdered by the ones He Created.  Failure with a capital F.  Right?

Wrong.  Things aren’t always as they seem.

So what does all this have to do with keeping our homes?

Everything.  Wemmicks will always keep something.  We’ll keep ourselves.   We’ll keep our sanity.  We’ll keep our toys.  We’ll keep our freedom.  We’ll keep our dignity.  We’ll keep our pride.  We’ll keep what we want to keep.

But the ones who choose to keep their homes...keep the world.

And believing what God says…

                   …is the beginning of seeing.

God isn’t calling you to be a Stepford wife.  And God isn’t calling you to a life riddled with fears and running away.  He’s calling you to rise to your strong, powerful, dominion status as life-changers, culture-transformers, and eternity-impactors.  Saturate yourself in His Word.  Invest time in prayer.  Abide in the Vine….and you WILL bear much fruit in due time, if you do not grow weary…

and quit.

 

Natalie Klejwa is a Wemmick, loved by the Woodcarver, wife of 22 years to Joe, and mother to 9 Wemmicks ages 2-20. She is a business owner (Apple Valley Natural Soap), founder and administrator of the Visionary Womanhood blog, publisher and contributing author of Three Decades of Fertility, You Can Do it Too! 25 Families Share Their Stories, and The Heart of Simplicity: Foundations for Christian Homemaking.

You can hear her being interviewed on Kevin Swanson's Generations with Vision radio program.

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