We received many thoughtful, humble questions on this topic of homemaking, so I put them to Mom for an impromptu girltalker to girltalker interview.
Nicole: What about cases where a husband does not value the wife’s role as home manager or where he abuses the biblical mandate and expects her to do more than is warranted in Scripture—how should a woman respond?
Carolyn: I would encourage the wife to ask her husband if they might study God’s Word together and prayerfully consider: Are we fulfilling our roles and responsibilities in a manner that is consistent with God’s design? If the husband is unwilling to have this conversation, or if after talking they still disagree, the wife should request that they get counsel from a godly couple or a pastor. If a woman is married to an unbeliever, I would encourage her to seek pastoral wisdom as to how to reflect the gospel in this tricky situation. As women, we must remember that sometimes the most helpful thing we can do for our husbands is to get help from others.
Nicole: We heard from several women who suffer from illness, ranging from mild to severe. A young woman with diabetes who does not yet have children but works full-time explains her dilemma: “I have made a schedule for daily cleaning so I don’t have to do it all at once, but there are just days when I am so tired. I’m trapped in this-no-man’s land. I know I need to get housework done, but my husband has asked me to just spend time with him and rest. What do I do?”
Carolyn: Do what you can and do not worry about what you cannot do. Our Heavenly Father, who has called you to be a home manager, has also, in the mystery of His sovereign wisdom, allowed physical limitations. You glorify Him through your desire and efforts to reflect His design even in your weakness.
I would encourage you to develop a strategy for managing your home that minimizes your physical activity and makes it easy for your husband to participate. Simplicity is key here. It may be helpful to ask other women for creative ideas in order to develop a basic yet effective plan. But after you’ve done all you can, receive your husband’s extra help with gratefulness!
Nicole: Another women explained that she has been very ill over the past year and hospitalized five times. “Right now I can barely walk and can not even cut up my own food,” she explains. “My husband is wonderfully serving me by running our household with the help of my church family. I long to be the one running my home. Biblically, how am I to be a homemaker during this time? This may be a long-term problem for me. I am trying to work out God’s will for me as a wife and mom in this situation.”
Carolyn: I feel as if I am standing on holy ground as I hear your question. Your longing to serve your family, even in the midst of your severe physical trial, brings great glory to our Savior. Although severely limited physically, your heart is running hard after God’s commands (Ps. 119:32). I want to follow your example.
And I pray you will find comfort in these words from Charles Spurgeon: “Unerring wisdom ordained your lot, and selected for you the safest and best condition. Remember this, had any other condition been better for you than the one in which you are, divine love would have put you there. You are placed by God in the most suitable circumstances. Be content with such things as you have, since the Lord has ordered all things for your good.”
While I don’t pretend to understand, God has ordained these circumstances for your good, and the good of your family. He has appointed for you to glorify Him through suffering and for your husband to glorify Him as he shoulders your duties in the home. But he has also supplied abundant grace for you to endure and your husband to persevere. Rest assured that together, you are bringing much glory to God.
(We will answer one final homemaking question tomorrow, so stay tuned.)