1 Thessalonians 4 8 Therefore, he who rejects this instruction, does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.
The home so to speak is not purely physical. Consider this: the Word explains with respect to women that their adornment should not be merely outward.
1 Peter 3 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.
Following this example, we can see (or ask God to give us eyes to see) how the adornment and characteristics of one’s home are not merely physical as well. In the gospels Jesus instructs His disciples to watch for unrighteousness or in other words to guard against anything that is not of God.
Luke 12 35 ‘Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning. 36 like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when He comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at table and will come and wait on them. 38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night. 39 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. 42 The Lord answered, ‘Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43 It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44 I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.
This instruction from Jesus has direct applications in the home. Jesus indicates that in order to keep unrighteousness out we must actively guard against it. The Lord uses preparing your home to be ready at all times as an analogy for preparing for the coming of Jesus and the judgment that is to come for all who did not during their lifetime plead the cross of Christ as payment for their sins.
The Word also appoints women as “house rulers” or managers of the home with special responsibility for overseeing the home. https://www.biblegateway.com/verse/en/1%20Timothy%205:14 This does not mean the woman is tied to the home and cannot leave but rather she has special responsibility for seeing to it that the home is taken care of as the home is a place the Lord designates to be a particular beneficiary of the woman’s skills, professional ones as well.
1 Timothy 5 9 No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, 10 and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the saints, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds. 14 So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander. 16 If a woman who is a believer has widows in her family, she should help them and not let the church be burdened with them, so that the church can help those who are really in need.
This scripture lists numerous areas of work considered godly for women who are part of the household of faith to be engaged in. At this point, you may have stumbled over the part where I said the home should be a particular beneficiary of a women’s skills, including her professional skills. This is not about working for free, necessarily, but rather about what sphere of influence your work time and attention go towards. A woman’s professional skills in the sphere of the home can be used for economically fruitful activity, such as savings that it takes a full-time designated house rule to pull off because of the time to research, etc (I recently did this with our cell phone bills, for instance, There is NO way I could have given the necessary time to the task if I had another job that got most of my attention and the plan I, by the grace of God, was able to work out will save us $100’s in the coming year alone!) or even converting labor she does for the benefit of her home into a business or economic transaction like the women in Proverbs 31.
Notice how the 1 Timothy scripture above describes areas of work for women not the skills needed for them. The beauty of the task God has given to women in managing the sphere of the home is that women play an active role in both writing the job description and doing the job. In the home systems are not intuitive (the systems that can keep a household running functionally need to be invented from the ground up like computer coding to build a website) and the work needed to be productive is not nearly as obvious as it may be at a bank for instance. Consequently, the woman’s creative genius is particularly needed to craft an agenda of what work even needs to be done to manage the home. This should sound like every woman’s dream job: you map out what needs to be done and then do it because who better to do the task than the same amazingly accomplished woman who wrote the job description. Your work will automatically be essential because it is unique and for the most part you are your own boss, excepting the spiritual leadership your husband or godly male authority at church provide. Finally! A job that looks very much like you get to be large and in charge but minus the crippling effect of pride that separates you from God. God wants you to shine! Only within his parameters so He can get glory from it while you get blessed by His good plans for you.
Here are some examples to think about how “professional” skills may be adapted to benefit the sphere of the home: If you are an artist or interior designer you may make things look “pretty” but that is certainly not all women. If a woman is into statistics she may use her expertise to graph patterns in her own home like what trends lead to petty fights and what trends lead to prayer and greater camaraderie around Christ Jesus. She may also analyze how time is spent in the home and whether there are activities that consistently “waste” the time of members of the household and so should be dumped. Women with engineering backgrounds may, if they do not have any special needs to accommodate in their own homes, help single moms or vulnerable families with children with disabilities design the interiors homes in a way that allow the children greater independence and their care takers less burden for instance. These are just a few ideas, but really the sky is the limit. It is up to the women, or house ruler of the home, to use her brains and creative inspiration to figure out what roles her home needs her to play in the first place.
In my home, as the Lord has led me, I don’t really do that much cooking and cleaning. I manage our household finances and refer to myself as the CFO lol. Financial management includes coming up with creative ways to save $1000’s a year, which is like my salary except even better because it cannot be taxed! I am human resources when my husband needs to change jobs or evaluate the one he is currently in. I help him maximize his earning potential by being flexible about where we live for his job prospects, in addition to assisting him in identifying jobs particularly with excellent salary potential and with navigating the politics of working towards raises and promotions. I am well suited for this job as I have a very similar higher education background in the fields he works in. I am an “MD” and “RN” in the home when duty calls. Honestly, I am not super knowledgeable in the sciences but my law background means I know everything. Just kidding. Really I have the research skills to look things up I do not know which I am very grateful for. This saves us times waiting on doctors who may take forever analyzing test results and it also allows me to compare medications and search for drug interactions without my household being completely dependent on a single medical professional’s opinion of what we need. I have an online health business where I qualify for the commission earnings by being a customer. I try out health products and use them to manage tension in our home and reduce our dependence on medications.
In terms of loving those outside my household, I try to come up with creative, Christ-centered ways to serve the homeless or really anyone I run into in a vulnerable situation. The Lord blessed me with seeing the miracle of a street woman, who the Lord placed in my path to minister to, be sober from drug use for 3 days after using drugs from age 13 to 52 by the power of JESUS alone. I brought her food and nice body products on several occasions. My husband I spent hours praying over her and I would read scripture aloud to her on the sidewalk so that Jesus could help her overcome the spiritual depression she was suffering from on the street. God provided an amazing victory when one of the times my husband and I met with her she told us that she had seen the man nearby engaged in demonic activity and that she was really uncomfortable with him being near her on the street. My husband and I went straight to the Lord in prayer and prayed in the Spirit that Jesus would show up and scatter any darkness that may be nearby. When we opened our eyes the man was gone and we did not see Him again. Peace came over the three of us as well. Glory to God who does all things good! The Lord also used me to rescue a homeless woman from a toxic and very violent relationship with a drug addict out of a domestic violence situation just in time. He is SO faithful! I could not do these things in the name of the Lord without the focus and flexibility of turning my heart and my skills towards the sphere of the home and the care of people. My husband and I count Christ, and this goal that is clearly supported in scripture, MORE worthy than the fancy vacations or luxurious retirement that a generous salary I could be making instead of being devoted to the work God outlines in the Bible for women would afford us. We KNOW our Father in Heaven owns the entire heavens and earth and our souls as well and we delight in receiving our reward for any sacrifices we make here directly from Him in the hereafter.
Luke 12 33 …Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Unfortunately, the climate of my home falls apart when I am not vigilant to care for it and the needs of the people in it. Doing dishes and laundry, for instance, do have their place. God just spoke to me today that planning for the physical needs in the home is part of spiritual warfare. When I stop running baths for us with hand picked soothing and healing essential oils tension rises and things go south quickly. I sometimes stop because no one except the Bible, which I listen to while I work, is telling me that what I am doing in the home and for the care of others is work. I get a lot of recommendations to take on a part time or full time job in addition to being a believing wife, The reality is I feel like I have several full time jobs already lol.
God’s instructions for preparing one’s home for the coming of the Lord God speak the directly to the work of women who the LORD God commission to be managers of the home sphere or “house rulers.” God says to vigilantly wait for His return during this time when we do not see Him with our eyes and when it can be hard to sense His presence, let alone His will. During that waiting, He desires for us to live faithfully for Him and to wisely manage the resources He has given us for His glory that He may find us doing what He wants, or faithfully serving only Him, when He finally does return. What better place to live this out than in our homes! Remaining pure is one of active devotion towards God, not merely the absence of so called evil or unrighteousness. In this way, ladies, God is calling you to be actively guarding your home environments against all moral unrighteousness. It is not enough to merely wish or hope or dream of your home environment being pure or upright. These are fighting words Christ is using as He describes guarding against sin! Jesus warns us there is a battle ahead to be won at great cost.
1 Peter 5 8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
James 4 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn, and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
If you are unconvinced that the devil is a foe of yours who is to be taken seriously but an absolute joke in the face of God let me refresh your memory with some epic showdowns between God and the devil who is already defeated by Jesus Christ, Revelations 12, thanks be to God, in scripture!
Genesis 3 14 So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
Luke 14 Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute. When the demon left, the man who had been mute spoke, and the crowd was amazed. 15 But some of them said, ‘By Beelzebub, the prince of demons, he is driving out demons.’ 21 ‘When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. 22 But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusts and divides up the spoils.
Luke 24 1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’
Revelations 20 10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
The LORD has an astounding track record when it comes to battles against the devil. Basically, God always wins. The devil gets some epic pot shots though, like tempting God’s precious children to sin in Genesis, oppressing God’s chosen nation in Egypt in Exodus, and crucifying the Son of God in the gospel accounts. However, the LORD God Almighty comes out on top thus the enemy of God is no match for the LORD!
While God is AMAZINGLY awesome we earthlings are only awesome within finite parameters. We are made in God’s image however we are not God, Genesis 1:26-27. Thus devil is a foe we should not take on without the Lord going before us. Kind of like how a little kid would not pick a fight with a bully a few grades older than him without his older brother being there who is a few grades older than the bully. An imperfect analogy but you get the point. The Lord’s famous final words to His disciples in the garden really sums up this concept.
Matthew 26 41 ‘Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.’
While God has amazing victories over the enemy we crumble when left to resist the tempter by our own strength. We as managers of the home need to be praying constantly over the home and the people in it that God would deliver from temptation and idolatry, and that God would save us to Himself.
Genesis 3 1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’ 6 When the woman saw that the fruit was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
Acts 5 1 Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2 With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet. 3 Then Peter said, ‘Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God.’ 5 When Ananias heart this, he fell down and died And great fear seized all who heard what had happened.
I believe that God is calling women as “house rulers” to stand guard against any moral backsliding, complacency, or hopelessness in their homes. This does not mean being the person to fix every issue. However, this does mean being on the front lines to sound an alarm at the slightest hint of backsliding and then passionately seeing to it that something gets done about it. Who would know better the moral and spiritual temperature reading of the home than the person who naturally pours over every detail and every person in it? Perhaps if we divert some of (or all of!) our passion for nagging our husbands – or children or aging parents (you fill in the blank!)- and nit-picking every little thing they do that in the slightest way offends our standards for cleanliness – or fashion or putting away dishes or whatever – and redirect it towards standing guard against worldliness and sin in our homes we may actually be able to change the world! Or at the least, there is a better shot at in watching out for the things Christ cares about than being a nitty gritty stickler for how long our kids watch their hands before dinner or where our husbands leave their dirty socks. Ladies who want to save the world. Here is your chance! One home at a time.
James 1 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it- he will be blessed in what he does.
A wise woman can use her creative genius and organizational skills to build in reminders of scripture in her home and to plan ways to incorporate the Word in the life of her home as a way of helping all the members of the household be doers of God’s Word, and no only hearers.
Do you want your home to be blessed? Then make sure that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Savior of you home, even if that means you are the only person acting like it.
The peace of God be with you and your home in Christ Jesus!