As with all of my previous studies in this series, I am going to begin with sharing what I learned when I did a Greek word study of the word "homemaker." I feel that looking into the original Greek is very important because it gives us much needed insight to the original meaning of the text. Having a better understanding of the text allows me to make accurate applications as I strive to live my life for Christ.
The Greek word used here is oikourgus. This word, according to Strong's, Thayer's and Vine's, means:
1) caring for the house, working at home
a) the watcher or keeper of the house
b) keeping at home and taking care of household affairs
c) being domestic
It's obvious to me that God desires for women, especially those who are married and have children - as they have already been mentioned in this section of scripture (Titus 2:4) - to be at home and attend to the domestic needs of the home. What He desires for women who are single is made clear in 1 Corinthians 7:34 "There is a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world—how she may please her husband." God desires for unmarried women to focus their lives in service to Him. A woman who is married has another person she must consider, her husband. Pleasing and serving him is second only to her service to God.
Before my husband and I married I had graduated from college with a bachelor's degree, worked most of the way through college, and was a substitute teacher at my elementary school. I had been out in the workforce since my freshman year of college and was used to being very busy. I also feel it's needful to mention that these years were not my best years spiritually, but rather some of my weakest. Being around worldly people who do not exercise godly principals can be very draining, discouraging and damaging to a young woman's faith (no, it doesn't have to be if she has made her faith her own and stands firm on God's word, but I hadn't reached that point yet).
After we married I was fairly content being at home and taking care of the home. He was working a few hours of overtime a week, we were settling into an apartment together, and spending a lot of time just hanging out and learning more about each other. Once we bought a house and moved into town things changed. He began working 16-20 hours of over time a week and once we were settled in, I was running out of things to do and missing the interaction I had with our previous neighbors (who all happened to be young couples who were members of our congregation). My husband and I decided I could have a part-time job, as long as I stayed on top of my duties at home. This worked for a while, until work wore me out so much that Ryan was getting my "leftovers." Once we realized this was going on and how detrimental it had been to our marriage I quit my job and began working for a couple we worshiped with. I was working about half the hours and the environment was much less stressful. This, too, worked for a while. Then things came up and I left that job, too.
By this time I was actually missing being able to just be at home and take care of the things here. I had grown spiritually and my desire was to be the woman God desired me to be, rather than the woman the world expected me to be. I've now been a homemaker for about six months and have never been happier. I have ample time to attend to the basic needs (cleaning, cooking, laundry, etc.) and am able to enjoy other things like my blog, decorating, organizing, etc. I also have more time to devote to strengthening my personal relationship with my Heavenly Father, a blessing I truly treasure! Being a homemaker also allows me the opportunity to spend time with my sisters in Christ, most of which are also homemakers, during the day, without taking time away from my husband. I'm also able to do other forms of service for others that I would not have time to do if I was out in the workforce. I feel truly blessed to be able to be a keeper at home.
Now, many of you may be thinking, "how do you do it financially?" My husband works in a factory and brings home a little over $600 a week when he works 18-20 hours of overtime. His overtime has been cut recently, so as you can imagine he's bringing home a lot less these days. Even with the overtime, he doesn't make a lot when you take into consideration a mortgage payment, auto insurance, utilities, etc. Basically, we don't have a lot, but we have what we need. We have made the choice to do without most of our wants so that I am able to stay home. This has taught us to really appreciate the things we do have, and to genuinely enjoy the simple things in life. We eat almost all of our meals at home and at the table. Our dates consist of going for walks, reading God's Word, attending Gospel Meetings, Bible studies with others, and working in the yard together. We are very happy with the life we have chosen for ourselves, as we are confident it's a life that is also pleasing to God. We are happier now than we have ever been before!
If you're a homemaker, then I encourage you to thank God for the wonderful blessing He has created for you and is enabling you to enjoy. If you're not a homemaker, then I lovingly ask you to consider the quality of your relationship with God, your husband, your children and your brothers and sisters in Christ as well as your level of contentment with the physical possessions of this life. (1 Timothy 6:6)
May we all grow closer and closer to God with each new day He blesses us with.
Linked @ Titus 2 Tuesday @ Cornerstone Confessions