A Heart Toward Home ~ Encouragment for Moms

I hope the following article is an encouragement to you today. If so, leave a comment and let me know your thoughts. There are a lot of demands on women today, and some days, I am exhausted and weary. I need the Lord’s strength daily. Anyway, I just wanted to encourage you, today….whatever demands on your time, however full your schedule, when weariness seeps into your bones, and your mind can’t process one more thing….hold on, dear sister. Hold on…to the truth of God’s word, to the faithfulness of His promises, to the rest He has for your tired body and your weary mind and soul. Press on, hold on, hang in there, and rest on God’s promises for you…

Written By Kelly Gerken

Originally Published in The Women’s Edge Newsletter , used with permission. All rights reserved.

But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine; that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love in patience; the older women likewise, that they maybe reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things – that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.~ Titus 2:1-6

This scripture reminds us that it doesn’t always come naturally to us to love our husbands and children, caring for our homes the way God intended us to do. We must be taught these essential skills by the wise women who have lovingly worked as homemakers before us. Through their example we begin to understand the rewards of submitting to our husbands, of faithfully training our children, and of keeping our homes.

The trouble is, there seems to be a great lack of example in this current time. For the sake of liberation, women are buying the lie that there’s something more out there, in droves. Don’t get me wrong, I realize the necessity for a second income in some situations. Many women may have to work outside the home for the only household income. I also understand the temptation to gain a sense of worth that comes from the satisfaction of a job well done and the reward of a pay check. It’s sometimes more satisfying than carting an ungrateful teenager around or changing another dirty diaper.

The point here is not to judge those who must work outside of the home. The point is to realize that whether our full time job is as mother and wife or mother and wife plus, the important question is…which direction is our heart pointed toward?

How much effort do we put toward making a home? Do we put our family’s needs above the priorities and demands of our work, our friends, our me-time? While it’s important to refuel ourselves and nurture our physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental needs so that we can lovingly give to our families out of abundance, we can also get carried away with our own selfishness. It’s essential to keep our priorities in check. My friend Betsy once said, “Me-time is overrated.” And while I love a bit of lunch-with-girlfriends indulgence now and again (and understand the need for it), I have to agree with Betsy.

It’s interesting how we think shirking our responsibilities will bring freedom and happiness when true joy often comes from being poured out and completely willing to give and serve others. One translation of Titus 2:5 uses the words to “be busy at home”. Many of us are stopping at the word “busy.” We have busy down pat…we can talk on the phone, wash the dishes, change a diaper and read email at the same time. We can prepare our presentation, get ready for work, schedule a dentist appointment and pick up five children for baseball practice. These abilities are good and necessary, and they are a way we have been equipped by our Creator for the work we are required to do. But are we just busy, or are we busy making a home? Where is the passion of our hearts?

We must pray for the young mothers to have hearts turned toward home…hearts that nurture and love their children, hearts that want to bring blessing to their husbands, hearts with a vision to make homes a haven for their family. This takes time, commitment, perseverance and training. More experienced wives must take their calling seriously, to come alongside new wives and mothers and train them in the safe-keeping of their families.

This is an art form that must not be lost. For the sake of the future generations of our children and our children’s children, we must turn our hearts toward home, resisting the urge to be pulled away by one more thing…one more worldly idea that offers an empty promise. Beware lest anyone cheat you through the philosophy and empty deceit according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. ~Colossians 2:8

What does it look like to have a heart toward home?

It begins with a balance of our time, energies, goals and desires. First and foremost our will should be in line with God’s will for our lives.

Our priorities should be in this order:

1. To love, serve, please, worship and walk with God.

2. To love, honor, submit, and pray for to our husbands.

3. To love, train, nurture, and pray for our children.

4.To attend, support, pray for and serve in our church family.

5.To meet the demands and pray for for our outside work and/or ministry.

If our priorities are out of order and our time and commitment to them is not in balance, that is a reflection of the attitude of our hearts. We must keep ourselves in check, like the psalmist asking God “Search me , O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)

Where is the reward for all of this serving you may wonder. I give to my family… I serve and I pray. I discipline my children, and all I get is more disobedience. I love my husband, and he’s tired and cranky after along day at work. I do the laundry…and all I get is more dirty clothes. First of all, I hear you sister, and you’re right. Sometimes there isn’t a whole lot of glory in serving our families. There’s hard work, ungratefulness, cranky days, and more work. The rewards are not immediate, and sometimes are few and far between. But, I know a woman who has seen the hand of God in the lives of her children as a result of serving as their prayer warrior. She not only has seen God work in her own children, but in the lives of an entire community as she weekly, faithfully prays for their school. She may never know this side of heaven all the dangers that these children have been saved from, all the sorrows prevented as a result of her diligent, righteous prayers. What if she had been too busy to pray? What if her heart had been turned away from home?

I know another woman who prayed for ten years for her husband to go to church with her and serve the Lord. She loved him though the gut-wrenching grief of the loss of three out of five children. She loved him when he couldn’t love her back. And she prayed him home when he thought about turning his heart away. Now, he sits beside her every Sunday morning drinking in the truth of Scripture. God has healed all that was broken and given back one hundred fold of joy for every tear that was shed in that marriage. What if she gave up? What if she said, “I don’t need this. There must be something more for me out there.” She would have missed the blessing of her life.

I know what you may be thinking. This is a lot to ask…giving up my selfish “needs” to serve my family. There isn’t much glory in it. The women who’ve remained obedient to this calling, keeping their hearts toward home would tell you that they wouldn’t trade God’s ways of blessing them…His answers to their desperate prayers for any amount of glory and satisfaction that this world has to offer.

When you can’t do it one more minute…when you are tempted to give up and turn your heart away, remember…we serve a God who is able and willing to equip us. He promises to complete the work He has begun in us. All we have to do is trust Him. He knows our needs better than we know ourselves.

O LORD, You have searched me and known me.You know my sitting down and my rising up;You understand my thought afar off.And are acquainted with all my ways.For there is not a word on my tongue,But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.You have hedged me behind and before,And laid Your hand upon me.Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it.~ Psalm 139:1-6

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