“What we are at home, that we are indeed.”
It is so true, isn’t it? We go to the grocery store, smile at the passing strangers – and some how when we are out of the home we are our ‘nicest’ selves. There is something saddening about thinking of how we are in the intimate moments of our lives. The snippets of time when we are stressed out, tired, or frustrated seem to be more common than we would like to believe. And in the secret places of our hearts and heads we are not who we want to be.
The wife who puts on a fun dress for her girlfriends, talks cheerfully at church, then goes home and berates her husbands and snaps coldly at her children… this is not who we want to be. But somehow so many of us are. When no one is watching we are our worst selves. And worse than that – we are worst with our most cherished loved ones.
So what does the Bible say about what we are to behave with our husbands and children – and by extension – while at home?
Titus 2:3 “Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanders 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.”
We are supposed to love and have respect for our husbands – even when we don’t think they deserve it – even if we are tired and had a long day with the baby. Ephesians 5:33 “However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” We are commanded to this and by doing this consistently, we can help showcase the great love God has for His people. The unbeliever who looks onto a family with a submissive and respectful wife will be in awe. The love and joy that bursts from the homes of those who glorify the Lord in all they do is captivating. You can be a part of that. God uses us, followers of Jesus Christ, to glorify himself. It is through our desire to honor and glorify Him that He is best showcased. I love how John Piper put it, “God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him.” In other words, when we delight in God we best ‘show Him off’. Psalm 37:4 tells us that those who delight in the Lord will be given the desires of their hearts. For the stay at home mom who has a husband who doesn’t appreciate (or notice) her hard work, children who are wild and on the loose, responsibilities beyond what a normal person can handle – this verse should give you great comfort. Depend on the Lord. Cherish the Lord. Worship the Lord. And through actively obeying His commandments (like respecting your husband) He will give you the desires of your heart… perhaps even desires you didn’t know you had. Psalm 37:23 “The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way.”
We are to love our children. This may seem like an easy box to check but think of how you speak to your children? Is it harsh or cruel? Are you short tempered? What about time spent together? Do you selfishly take your children to the park so you can catch up on mom time and become frustrated with them when they want your attention? Do you stare at your phone on texts, Instagram, SnapChat, or Pinterest? Do you stay up all night to ‘unwind’ then fail to do your tasks as a mother and a homemaker the next day because you’re too tired? Whether we want to admit it or not, these things are unloving and we are called to behave differently. We are our children’s main caretakers, their teachers (Psalm 78:5-8), and are called to raise them up to honor and glorify God as well as to obey us and His commandments. (Col. 3:20) (Deut. 11:19)
We are to have self control. Why is this important? Because this is what the Bible says of people without self control.
“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
Being without self control is like being a city without walls. (Proverbs 25:28) God gives us the ability to have self-control as a mechanism to defend ourselves against sin. We must have self-control in all corners of our life, whether it be our relationship with our husband and children, our eating habits, or our spending. Without self-control we are even more susceptible to the temptations of sin – any and every sin. Think of being without self control as a ‘gateway drug’… it just opens us up to opportunity after opportunity to get sucked in deeper.
Titus 2 also instructs us to be pure. The greek word for this use of pure in the Bible is ηαγνοσ. It is used 8 times in the Bible to convey not only a purity of oneself, but pure in our passions, purity in our marital bed, purity in our thoughts, and in our intentions. To be pure in our desires of the flesh. To be modest. To be innocent. This applies to way more than our sexual relationships prior to marriage. 1 Timothy 5:22 tells us to be pure from partaking in the sinful activities of others. I think that is how this word is best explained. Abstain from sin – flee from it – run as fast as you can. 1 Peter 3:1-2 says, “Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct.” Peter is literally saying “Act respectfully and pure and you will glorify God, you will lead others to belief.” How cool is that?
Working at home.. this is a tough one to address in a world that demands a 2 person income to sustain a house. But I must plead with you to obey your Heavenly Father and to bless your husband and your children by working in the home. Proverbs 31 says it all – the woman described in that passage has many tasks, all to sustain her family and care for them in a way that ONLY she can. God designed us to be helpmates, homemakers, nurses, teachers, cooks, and playmates. This subject itself could be a book (I’ve read several excellent ones lately if you would like recommendations), but the bottom line is that there are heavenly rewards for taking care of our families at home. Sacrificing the well being of your children and husband so that you can chase career goals is not biblical. And those who contest that are compromising with the world.
“Kill them with kindness” as the saying goes…but really it should go “Save them with kindness”. How truly amazing it is that God can use our obedience to be a shining light for His kingdom. The last sentence of this Titus 2 paragraph says “…so that the word of God may not be reviled.” When we speak in kind tones, when we pull our resources together so that we can be a blessing to others in need, when we act sacrificially – we are showcasing God’s kindness towards us, the same kindness that has forgiven us of our multitude of sins. We are showing others the great love of Jesus. Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) and we are called to put on “the new self” (Col. 3) and to kill the sin in our hearts.
Lastly, we are called submit to our own husbands. The ‘s’ word often gets hush-hushed because the negative connotations our culture has tagged to it. NO, submitting does not mean that you are lesser, it doesn’t mean you have less rights, it doesn’t mean that you have to stay in an unsafe, abusive situation. It doesn’t mean your husband may demean you or that you must obey his every word. Submitting does mean fulfilling our roles as helpmates. Submitting means leaving the final decisions up to our men and praying for them, that they may seek the counsel of other godly men and of God. This, too, could be an entire other article. But I will leave off with this.For those of you who are struggling with the ‘s’ word… ask yourself these questions. Do you like to be in control? Do you like to make all the decisions? Do you see your husband as a leader? Do you see him as capable of leading? The answers to these will reveal your heart on the matter. If you are in sin and desire to be the head of your home, you will fight submission with everything that you have. Pray to God today that he would give you a heart of submission and a joy in being your husband’s helpmate.
By behaving this way in our homes we can, and will, bring glory to God’s name. We will do great things for His kingdom. Would you pray with me?
Dear Heavenly Father, our merciful and gentle Lord. I ask that you would give us all hearts of repentance and the desire to obey your Word. Allow us extra portions of grace as we seek out the sin in our own lives. Bring down Your Holy Spirit upon us and give us the wisdom, strength, and perseverance to observe your laws. Encourage us to live for You and to do Your will. Father, I ask that through our motivation to obey your Word that you might use us to bring others to know You – that you would use our obedience to save souls. I pray that each woman reading this would have the heart to receive it and would not be discouraged by her sin, but instead would feel immense joy in Your love for her. I pray that you would give each woman reading this a renewed fire to learn about You and serve You and love You. Thank you Lord for the opportunity to share of myself with these women and to honor and glorify You in it. In Your Son’s holy and precious name I pray, amen.