Raising An Older Woman

by Veronica on January 28, 2011 in Purpose

“A woman’s place is in the home. She should go there right after work.”  That is the mantra under which many modern women were raised, and under which many still live.  This way of thinking is prevalent even in the church.

Yes, Scripture calls, even commands, the Christian woman to work.  But, it is the home that is to be her primary sphere of influence, ministry, creativity, and hospitality.  It is in the home that our talents and God-given gifts can be best and most fully utilized to bless our families, friends, and the culture at large.

There are a number of reasons or situations in which a wife and mother might find herself working outside of her home (whether temporarily, or indefinitely).  This does not release her from the biblical calling to be a homemaker.  While at work, she should do her job with integrity.  But, the primary focus of her time and energy still must be within the realm of her home.

But, lest we begin to think more highly of ourselves than we ought, stay-at-home wives and moms are not off the hook.  Just because we do not work outside the home does not always mean that we are working at home.  It can be very easy to fall into the trap of laziness, or idleness at home – neglecting the very thing we have been called, and (by God’s grace, and our husband’s hard work) freed to do – in favor of the television, the newest best-selling novel, a hobby, or simple over-commitment to activities outside the house.  Just because a stay-at-home mom stays (too) busy, does necessarily mean that she is a worker at home.

Proverbs 31:10-31 gives us a vivid picture of a creative, industrious, diligent, hard working woman who is valuable to, and trusted by her husband.  She is praised for her work (by both her husband and her children).   Far from being an unattainable illusion or an outdated stereotype, she is exactly the type of woman that we should strive to emulate!

Scripture is very clear when it calls women to be “keepers at home.”

Older women are called to be an example to the younger women, 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.” ~Titus 2:4-5

1 Timothy 5:14 further illuminates this command to work at home, when Paul says, “So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander.”

I am scared and saddened to think about the opportunities that our adversary (Satan) will have to revile (some translations read “blaspheme”) and slander the church because we have added to the confusion and compromise surrounding the priority of the home.

We often hear the words of Titus 2 quoted in the context of women’s ministry within the local church.  And, while it should be applied there, that is only part of the equation.

I can think of no better theater for this older/younger woman dynamic to play out than in the real-life, day to day setting of the Christian home, and more specifically in the relationship between a mother and daughter.

Any mother will tell you that the years go by so fast.  We need to be intentional about using the time we have to train our daughter to be feminine, gracious, pure, self-controlled, modest (in speech, behavior, and dress), and to love her family and home, and to be a skilled worker there.

Because, if we don’t, who will?

As their children grow up and leave home, more and more “older women” are joining the workforce, making them less available to share their wisdom and experience with the younger generation.

I know that some feel that raising a 5-year-old to be intent upon being a housewife when she grows up is somehow limiting her options, squelching her talent or creativity, or otherwise fostering unrealistic expectations of life.

What if she never gets married? What if her husband passes away, or leaves? What if she just wants to work?

I do not know exactly what God has in store for her life, or how He will choose to use her in the future.  But, I do know that I can trust Him to answer each of those questions in His Word: 1 Corinthians 7:8-9, 1 Timothy 5:3-16, and Titus 2:3-5.

As mothers (and perhaps mothers-to-be), we must look beyond the here and now.  We must think biblically and multi-generationally about the implications of our choices.

Ladies, we are training the next generation’s “older women”!

And, if we start now, when our daughters are young, to cultivate a heart and love for their families, and to instill a biblical passion and vision for the priority of the home…

Just imagine how many “older women” there will be for, not just our daughters, but for our granddaughters to learn from!

By Veronica,  A Quiet Heart

Veronica

Veronica is pastor’s wife, a homemaker, a homeschooler, a mommy…and above all, a sinner saved by grace.  Amid the chaos and clamor of life, it is her desire to have a quiet heart. One that is passionately obedient to God’s Word, and content in the roles, responsibilities, blessings, and trials that our Heavenly Father, in His infinite wisdom, has seen fit to give… Veronica blogs at A Quiet Heart, challenging herself, and others, to think biblically, obey passionately, and live contentedly. She can occasionally be found on Facebook and on Twitter @AQuietHeart.

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{ 31 comments }

Angela @ Homegrown Mom January 28, 2011

Thank you so much for these points. I am often scolded by a relative for all the possible scenarios you listed above! I know what I believe, but it is nice to be reminded 🙂

Jenny Baker January 28, 2011

Now that I have memorized the recipe finally, I am ready to teach my 6 year old how to make banana bread!

Great article!

Thanks!

Lady Rose January 28, 2011

Veronica,

This was an excellent article! I loved every word of it!

I really appreciated the reminder about that although we are able to stay at home, that doesn’t mean we are given the liberty to be “lazy” or involved in “business” that does not contribute to the home, family, or community. As someone who is a “late-blooming” Homemaker, I often need to be reminded of this, as I sometimes fall into my “slump days,” but when I begin to realize the blessing that I have to be a Homemaker, I “get back to business.”

You’re also correct by stating that we need to train daughters to have a love for home, families, and children. These lessons need to be restored into Christian homes again with the hopes of a better future for the next generation.

Thank you for posting this wonderful article. I am sure that many women will be inspired and encouraged by it. I know that I sure was. 🙂

-Lady Rose

Amy January 28, 2011

I have just read this and realised that I mainly think of myself as a ‘younger’ women with a whole lot to learn, but I am also an ‘older’ woman who is training her daughters.
Although I have been training them I never really thought about it like that before.

Thank you.
A.

Carmen at Old House Kitchen January 28, 2011

Great post! Well said! Our oldest girls go to a crochet/sewing lessons with an older lady from church. She enjoys having them and they enjoy learning from her. I can crochet and sew but I’m not anywhere near her abilities. They enjoy visiting and sharing about their day and crafts. I hope to be a woman like her some day.

Kendal January 28, 2011

Thank you so much for this post!!! I have three girls and this is my desire for them! Raising homemakers is so politically incorrect in this age….so sad! We must have eternal perspectives, always! I have received so much flack on my blog from posting posts just like this. The idea of stay at home daughters is so offensive to some.
Thank you for speaking such Truth!
http://www.thefatherknowsbest.com

caroline January 28, 2011

This is beautiful! Thank you! I do agree that no matter where you are in life (working or staying at home) you need to put your main focus on your home. ESPECIALLY if you have children at home. And Beyond the thought of raising our daughters to be housewives, we are teaching them VALUABLE skills (some that have been lost with modern women) for them to have as they enter adulthood. Knowing how to cook, sew, clean, shovel snow, take care of children – these are priceless skills that not all women know! I hope that my girls, no matter where life takes them, know (through my exapmle and teaching) that your home and family are the most important aspect of life. PERIOD. Thank you again for this wonderful post!

Kasey January 28, 2011

I was just thinking about this very thing the other day. I was wondering how to encourage my little ones to seek homemaking, rather than a career when the world is screaming everyone needs a 4 year degree and a viable career in order to be an assest to society. Thanks for the post : )

Tina January 28, 2011

Great post! I have two daughters so far, 3 and 6. And a 3 months old boy. My husband and I feel it would be doing them an injustice if we didn’t instruct them, train them on the roles of being wives/mothers, husband/father in the future. Because the likely hood is great that will be the position in life they will obtain. And as Voddie Baucham said in a sermon once…if that is not the calling for their life, they have lost nothing by being trained for it!!! (paraphrased).

Renee January 28, 2011

Amen! what a great post!!!!

I Live in an Antbed January 28, 2011

So true! We must be intentional about casting the vision, with joy, for our daughters-in-training. Very well stated, thank you!

Jessica January 28, 2011

Thanks so much for your encouraging words! I feel so inadequate at teaching my girls homemaking, but that still doesn’t release me from training them. One question I’ve always wondered though is what do you think is the balance when you have for boys and girls in your home? I have one boy and 2 girls, and I desire to teach the girls homemaking, but I don’t want my boy to feel as if he’s being left out, but we also don’t want to “domesticate” him too much either(we are planning on homeschooling too.) Any advice?

Tammy January 28, 2011

This was a wonderful article to read. Thanks for the reminder to be “busy” at home. It is also encouraging to know there are other mothers out there who believe in teaching homemaking skills instead of encouraging a 4 year degree that can set them back financially for years!

Natasha January 28, 2011

great post. I want to be a good example to my girls of a productive homemaker. I want to be good at my craft. Now to train our boys to want to bear the sole responsibility of providing for a household. Many men out there want their wives at work. I don’t have any boys, but when and if I do I am going to instill in them at a young age how proud they should be to have the responsibility of providing for a family. Good thing they will have a great example, my husband 🙂

Melissa @frugalchristianliving January 28, 2011

Very well said! I needed to hear the part about “just because we are home doesn’t mean we are working hard.” Guilty. Thanks, my sister!

Mrs. V January 28, 2011

I know all to well the modern ideas behind homemakers. My husband receives grief from both his male and female coworkers about my position, thinking that either he has me chained to the stove or that I do nothing but eat bon-bons all day. But those who come into our home can see the truth clearly, which is such a important thing. I was very blessed to have such a good example of strong womanhood in my mother to watch. She is a hard worker and I very rarely saw her rest throughout the day. She was always doing something to better the home environment or take care of the church (she is a pastor’s wife). I hope to continue on the lessons she taught me. What a nice post.

Toni January 28, 2011

“just because we are home doesn’t mean we are working hard.”

Ouch!
I needed to hear this today. Thank you.
Blessings,
Toni

Babychaser January 28, 2011

Veronica,

Thanks so much for this. You are so right… especially about laziness and idleness in the home. My daily struggle!!!

How I wish that more older women were still at home and available to come along side me.

Blessings,
Babychaser

Rachel January 28, 2011

great article- I enjoy sharing the joys and fulfillment of serving our family with what God has given me with my daughters. I think that joy is contagious and it is so super sweet to see them develop a passion for home and family at such young ages- even if in their own, unique ways. thanks!

Maureen January 28, 2011

I was a career-minded woman working in mid-level management when God called me to himself at the age of 34 and turned my life around. I became pregnant with my oldest immediately thereafter, a daughter, and was only allowed to be home for 9 months with her before being sent back to work. That was really hard. By God’s grace, through biblical teaching in our church, He showed me my real job (at home) and gave me a desire to be at home. That desire was brought to fruition with the birth of our second child (a son) when my daughter was three years old and I left the workplace. All of a sudden, I was a homemaker, with no idea of how to go about it. I knew how to do all the tasks, but was undisciplined and lacked self-control – a leftover from my sinful habits begun in my youth of preferring reading and fun over serving in my family. So, here I was, wanting to please God, and trying to raise my children in a way that was very different than how I was raised and growing up with them at the same time. I look back and realize that I had a lot of independent thinking and pride in my life and no “older woman” to reach out to for help because of that. But God, in his infinite grace and mercy, blessed the desires of my heart for my daughter to become a godly woman after His own heart, and placed others in her life as models for areas where I was still struggling. My daughter is in her twenties now, and I marvel at how God has placed in her the knowledge and desire to serve at home until He brings her a mate and has deeply planted in her heart His principles of waiting on Him for that timing. It has been amazing to see God work in both of us. I still struggle with “wasting time” instead of being intentional about my work at home and am still easily distracted by doing “projects” for my church etc., however, God is still at work in my life and I agree so heartily with this article. I just turned 60 this past year and am still learning. To God be the Glory – He never gives up on those with willing hearts, even though they may be weak in the flesh.

Joy @ Graceful Words January 28, 2011

What a wonderful article, Veronica! As a mother of three daughters I am reminded often that I am their mentor, and it is a very sobering yet beautiful thing. Thank you for sharing this!

Rhonda Devine January 28, 2011

” not working hard at home”~I think that is why many times culture views homemaking as a lame job. Our homes should reflect our diligent effort in making it a vibrant, productive place; being a manager over a home encompasses so many skills~it is a rewarding, full time job.
Great post!

Amy @ Homestead Revival January 28, 2011

You’re speaking about my passion at Homestead Revival™. Our generation just didn’t get this (for the most part) and we are running the risk of losing our influence if we don’t model it and live it out in our own homes. While God always preserves a remanent, now is the time to instruct and make disciples that understand and desire the Biblical roles of women, beginning with the Church. Thank you for addressing a topic that is so important and can not be repeated enough – including the admonition to actually be busy at home and not just blogging!

Alexxus K. H. January 28, 2011

Hello! I just wanted to say that I love this blog – my mom showed it to me awhile back, but this is the first time I’ve actually got on here and read it. Amazing! I’m a 13 (almost 14) year old girl, and I have a hard time with following God’s plan for women as a homemaker and helpmeet. For so many years, while I was in public school, I was apalled at the idea of being a homemaker, and even thought the term “helpmeet” was insulting! Slowly but surely though, God has changed my heart and I look on this God-ordained role I hope to take one day as impowering, lovely, and the best job any woman could ever have. Some people don’t think that girls can get femminism into their heads at a young age – oh yes they can! I am proof of it – by ten years old I was a strong-headed femminist, who degraded men, and while I still wanted to be a wife, I wanted to be a working woman, and wanted to bring in my own income, my own everything, and be “independent”. God had news for me: it could never work that way. This perfect, idealous plan I had in my head was not God-created, nor was it really God-approved. God put women and men where they are suppose to be for a reason.
Sorry if I have rambled on – just my thoughts I thought I would share. =)

Meridath January 29, 2011

Thanks for the mention of moms that work outside of the home and making it clear that it is not always by choice and does not make us any less of a homemaker, mother, and wife. I think both moms that work at home and moms that work outside the home face so many challenges and it is a tough, but amazing and rewarding job, no matter which situation you are in.

My husband lost his job 2 years ago and has since been unable to find employment that would allow me to quit working. But God works in amazing ways and has blessed us so much in the past 2 years, He has used this as an opportunity to work in Rick’s life and he is now attending school to become a Christian counselor.

I am often frustrated by what I feel are 2 conflicting roles in my life, breadwinner (a position which is not at all comfortable for me) and homemaker. But I know our God is a kind and loving God who sees my pain and frustration and is carrying me through this season of life.

Again, I appreciate the recognition that working outside the home and being a homemaker are not mutually exclusive.

Love & prayers!

Melissa January 29, 2011

I think also that if we weigh this in practical terms we come out ahead with home as our priority. Without a job I merely lack money, but without training at home, I lack the skills to create a loving, restful home for others, including extended family and those to whom we are called to witness. Money or even a solid retirement fund is not our legacy!

Sadly, I did not get this training at all when I was young and had to learn it all once I had a baby and stayed at home for the first time ever! It makes daily life much harder than it should be. (I’d love to see a series on making up time in this fashion for those of us who started late!)

While I think condemning others for having or not having a job outside the home can easily become a thing of legalism, I do know that putting home as my main priority (after God and my marriage) will always be blessed. And I think that by asking “where is the blessing?” we’ll find our way.

Kara Shepherd January 29, 2011

I loved reading this! My husband is in youth ministry while attending seminary and I homeschool our 4 children. We are the only family in our church that homeschools and have come under a bit of scrutiny for our lifestyle. In fact, in lieu of a raise my husband was told that I should find a job – at the time I was 8 months pregnant with #4. I feel that homemaking is my calling and I am so grateful that we are able to make it work on a shoestring budget. But I also admit to not always managing my household in a way that is pleasing to God (perfectionist tendencies abound). After reading this, and the comments, I feel a renewed since of mission. I have 2 fabulous daughters who I pray will want to make their home their mission field, too. Thanks so much for sharing!

Anne Belley January 31, 2011

Great encouragement! We have seven daughters (and two sons). We are thankful to have been taught that it is a blessing for our daughters to serve at home! I also appreciated your comment about being called to WORK at home. Sometimes it is easy to slip into a rut, to let housework pile up because we are busy with the “more important” tasks of homeschooling, etc. Thank you for the reminder that we are not to neglect our calling by getting caught up in other endeavors..or in lazing around! Sometimes, because my older daughters are so capable of running the home and teaching the little ones, I DO get lazy, and lose the perspective of being a Proverbs 31 woman. Having a schedule is SO important, and so much more motivating that just “winging it” from day to day.

Louise January 31, 2011

I have always worked outside the home in some form another. I also made sure my kids were in the kitchen making bread, cookies, as well as a salt dough map of Brazil! They have learned to do their own laundry and others as well. They went to church dressed, good manners, served in the youth group and now they even attend while they go to college as well as volunteer in the community! (Not a lot of young college folks do, even devout Christian folks). I know this sounds like bragging but hey they are awesome kids and my husband and I LOVED (still love) being parents.
Don’t be too hard on us moms with jobs at home as well as outside the home. I am wondering about the women who sold purple cloth at the city gates. Sounds like a “working mom” to me.

Jess February 14, 2011

You are really disturbed.
That is all I have to say, even though I know you won’t post this since all the comments are biased I imagine you weed out any rational ones.

Linda Doty February 14, 2011

There is nothing any more insulting to a stay at home mom than when someone says “oh, you don’t work?” There is no harder job than being a stay at home mom. I stayed home until my children were well into school. I always said I didn’t have them for someone else to raise. My daughter was questioning career or no career prior to her marriage. She had one year of college and was getting married. I told her it was up to her if she wanted to continue her education, but there was nothing any more important than staying home and raising her own children. She now has 4 spanning 3 to 13 so she is very busy.

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