Monday, January 10, 2011

Holiness For The Housewife

“But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.””  1 Peter 1:15-16

This verse made me smile this morning, because it's almost like the ultimate form of peer pressure.  "If I can be holy, you can be holy."   And yet, it's true.  Jesus showed us that it is possible to live a life holy and pleasing to God- and if He can do it, we can do it.

I'm reminded of that catch phrase WWJD- What Would Jesus Do.  Oh my, if those people who proudly display those letters knew what they were displaying!! People usually use that as a reminder to be kind- to show some grace, but do they really know what they are showing the world on that bracelet?  Gosh, if Jesus were there, and He saw that woman in the grocery store rolling around in a wheelchair, he wouldn't just help her get that box of crackers from the top shelf- he would reach out his hand with love and tell her to get out of that wheelchair and be healed.

WWJD Indeed.

I'm thinking about this idea of holiness this morning, and I can honestly say that in my present role in life- I have a hard time wrapping my head around this. I am just a housewife- and a mother who happens to also teach her children.  I suppose I can be holy in the things that I choose to teach my children- when we learn, we often learn about how different subjects in life relate to the Bible, or we learn what God has to say about a particular subject.  But what about the rest of my day?  How do I display holiness while I'm doing dishes, folding laundry, or cooking dinner?  Is it holiness to clean the floors and wash windows?   Well, I don't know.  But I do know that God's Word tells me to be busy in my home.

"These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, 5 to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes,"  Titus 2:4

My home could use some busy-ness indeed.  I spent part of this past weekend- well,most of it actually- lying on the couch dealing with a migraine, and while I was lying there unable to really function more than opening my eyes, I saw that my home is in a bit of disarray.  Oh, if we received a phone call from someone who asked if they could pop over, we could have the house presentable in about 30 minutes or so- but it would be a mad scramble, and we would have to rope off the upstairs.  Once upon a time- and if you go way back on my blog you'll find it- I had a mostly clean home.  And this was with very young children!  I took great effort each day to clean my home so that it was always company ready- and ready to practice hospitality.

"and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the Lord’s people, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds."  1 Timothy 5:10

My home is not really hospitable, and I need to get it that way.  THAT, to me, is where holiness begins for a housewife.  While I'm cleaning, I can also work on my prayer life- as I can pray without ceasing.  I can think thoughts on God and about different verses He has spoken to me.  I can listen to great worship music and fill  my mind with praise and adoration for God.  I can do all these things while I tackle dust bunnies and spiderwebs.

But I can't do all these things when I'm sitting at the computer for a good part of the day.

I've been thinking about doing a fast for the beginning of this year for some time now.  I was thinking on it at the beginning of December, trying to decide what kind of a fast I wanted to begin my year with, and I just wasn't coming up with anything that struck a chord with me.  Nothing that felt like it was right for this time.  My self-imposed deadline to begin a fast was the 10th of this month- my thoughts had been leaning towards a 21 day fast to the end of the month, but I just couldn't decide what.  This weekend, while I was flat on my back with a migraine it struck me that a food fast just was not going to be the answer this time for health reasons, and I almost despaired about what exactly I would fast.  Perhaps I wasn't called to fast this time around. 

And then my computer behaved badly.  I had to turn it off and it wouldn't turn back on.  Argh! I've known that my computer needed a new power supply, but here it was, the moment, and I was annoyed with myself.  How do I function without MY computer- without all my bookmarks and tools?  Yesterday we took my computer to a friend to fix it, and I'm sure he'll work on it quickly for me, but in the meantime, yesterday I felt a little lost.  I used Abigail's computer and Andy's computer to check e-mail and things like that, but it just wasn't the same.  And then it came to me.  If I was feeling lost without my computer- perhaps it was time for a little pruning.  I've done an internet fast before, and it was difficult.  It was hard to limit myself to only necessary internet and e-mail.

How does a housewife practice holiness?  By listening when God speaks.  And by getting up from the computer chair and tending to the tasks that have been assigned to her.  He has been convicting me about my home that is not ready to practice hospitality, and He has taken away one of the biggest obstacles standing in my way.  He will help me to focus on what I need to focus, and when my 21 days is up, I will be ever so much close to being the woman that HE wants me to be. 

But no worries my friends, I will still be blogging.  I will blog, and I will still check my e-mail.   I am thankful for the added computers to the home that allow me to continue to function with the basics.  It is His provision that put these marvels of technology in our home, and I need to remember that they are tools meant to enhance our lives- not tools to control our lives. 

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