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Joy In Homemaking 
by pamela spurling

Our pastor had a good message for us for Mother’s Day. Interesting… the passages of Scripture he chose are passages I study frequently and to which I refer many times. He gave examples of godly mothers and memories of his own mother. He shared the fact that anyone can be a *house keeper*, but a *home maker* is entirely different altogether. I began to think back on times I worked outside our home. I was trying to be a worker *in* the home and a worker *out* of the home… it was very difficult and many days I failed at both. Why? Because I was a house divided. The LORD God in His wisdom has written in His Word a fully complete guide for us----we read in 2Timothy 3.16-17 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." Amazing: "thoroughly furnished unto all good works." I was thinking how we look for examples to follow. Patterns to duplicate in our lives. We know what the Word says and yet as hard as we look, we find few living examples to follow. I remember that last time I worked outside the home… our first two children were very young. I thought the best thing would be to take a job cooking for a daycare center up the street from our home. It was a logical "right" thing to do. It was just up the street---I could walk and save the gas… I was not consulting the Word on this one… I was consulting logic… much like Eve consulted logic: Genesis 3.6 "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food…" I saw this job would provide money for our family… I could get daycare at a greatly reduced price… "and that it was pleasant to the eyes…" The job looked good to me… it was up the street… I was with my children…it really brought no harm… I liked cooking there… What a blessing it was to finally have the truth revealed to me and the LORD took me through a series of events that "forced me" to see it was time to quit my job. What an unbelievable peace I experienced. Amazingly, it was immediately after turning in my letter of resignation I discovered my prayers and longings were being answered: I was pregnant with our third child. She was the gift the LORD gave… one of the reasons, I believe was obedience to Him…which is why one of her names is Grace. God is so gracious to us---so patient toward us. So what does all that have to do with being a keeper at home? I listened to our Pastor share… in addition to the other Mother’s Day messages I heard… the theme kept recurring---keepers at home. But what does reality say? We look around and see that keeping a home is not enough---that it doesn’t "work" for many women. Even long time "keepers at home are becoming discouraged and enticed to leave the home." But the Word says in Titus2.4-5, regarding the older women’s teaching the younger, "That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed."

Being a keeper at home looks to me to be a Scriptural mandate… yet what so we see in the church today? What are the keepers at home to do? Like I have inferred many times, I see the sad results of leaving the Word for the world… and that is that generally, women don’t know how to be keepers at home… and whenever one doesn’t know how to do something very well, unless there’s a tremendous drive to press on… a strong motivation to stay the course… women are not going to find contentment in the home and will look for it elsewhere. It seems to not matter the most what the LORD says in the Word… the world is winning in many homes. The world *seems* to offer things the home will never yield. The money we need, the stuff we want, the fellowship for which we long… The world *seems* to offer the answers and yet look at the sadness and the discontent in women’s lives. After spending so many years at home with children and looking at what is going on in the world---I just shake my head wondering how to reach women with what the Word says…maybe you think about all of this, too. Perhaps this is also a burden on your heart. How can sisters in the LORD be reached? I wonder how sisters in the LORD cope with all the temptations and the rest of the worldly thinking. I know the tide is against this thinking and the Truths of the Word are neglected and overlooked as inappropriate or inconvenient to today’s lifestyle. But then, wouldn’t much of the Word of God fall into that category were we to reason that way? I pray as I write and rewrite this, that you will join me in praying for the restoration of Scriptural living in our homes. My heart is heavily burdened for this. In addition, I know one thing is for certain… and here is a test you might understand… as I look back on the days of our marriage or in my life… I never look back and say, "Hmmm, I sure wish I’d worked a few more days…" Instead, I know I have often said, "Hmmmm, I sure wish I had been home for this or that event… for that naptime… for that run in the yard… for that push of the swing…" And on Mother’s Day as I saw those two boys---men now--really, I thought back on the couple of years I thought were so important to spend out of our home working. I will share another time the temptations to compromise that were present in the place in which I worked---the Christian center… and the potential damage to our marriage because I was doing that which seemed expedient at the time---not being obedient to the Word and not remaining a keeper at home.

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A Standard in the Home

I like John MacArthur. I like that he is a serious student of the Word--- I like that I can count on him to have a line, a standard. I like that he is a diligent student of the Word. I like that he is a no compromise sort of guy. When he makes a statement, I listen. Even when I don’t agree with what he is saying, I still appreciate him---knowing that he has spent a good deal of time in the Word dealing with the matter at hand. Oh, and another thought---I sure don’t mean that I wish Christian men would talk like, act like, look like, think like John MacArthur, but I pray men would take seriously what the Word says and obey it. I know that making a statement like that puts me in a certain "camp" and I am not saying that every person ought to be a fundamental or independent Baptist---but, what I am saying is that more people ought to know what and why they believe and then live it. *From the Word* not from simply following tradition. Then, live it everyday. Live it everywhere. Having said all that, and knowing that my saying that won’t effect change… what might we do to be the helper of a godly man? What might we begin praying for in our husband’s lives? What way may the LORD be prompting in us to live that would be a right influence or help in the life of our husband. I ask myself this question from time to time…"Is my husband attempting to live godly and is there something I am doing that is making his choice difficult?" (Is he trying to rise early and do I keep staying up too late? Or, is he trying to memorize Scripture and I keep talking to him? Or, is he trying to keep to a schedule and I keep having conflicts with it?) I suggest this type of examination because we are to be a help meet or fit for our husband---not the challenge to his life. So then…what changes are in order in our own lives? What have we been up to lately that really ought to change? What have we been meddling in that we ought to walk away from? Are we spending the time in the Word that we ought? Do we rest in the presence of the LORD---to listen to Him and wait on Him? We won’t hear a voice we don’t know… and we won’t follow a voice we can’t hear… and we won’t walk the path if we haven’t paid attention to the directions.
We sure like our stuff, don’t we. If there’s a way that seemeth right unto us---we sure do like to hang on to it, don’t we? I have been thinking about something John MacArthur said on the radio a few weeks ago. He said, "Sometimes people get angry at God over their circumstances," but he asked, "are more upset by our own misfortune than our sin?" Oh, I mull this one over and over. Then remember how I share with you how we often see coincidences when we are faced with a concept? You know---using the definition of coincidence as being: when the Vertical meets the horizontal. Anyway---here’s one more… my friend was visiting with me at about that same time and was talking about a very closely related subject and she used a statement from her own study that has also stayed with me… and it went something like, "do I love my obstacle more than I love the LORD?" or, "do I love my obstacle more than I hate the sin?" That has to be ""chewed on," and mulled over a bit before you begin to see the deeper meaning and the many obstacles to obedience in our lives. What belief system am I subscribing to that is really contrary to what the Word of God says? Am I willing to make the sacrifice or the necessary changes to bring my life in line with the Bible? Am I willing to take a risk to stand up for what the Word says? I am I willing to lose my reputation to gain what I cannot lose? It is almost amusing to me to write this to you today after having done this myself just this less than a week ago. I felt led to say some very hard things---I will never regret the words that were shared--- I wish it weren’t my mouth that uttered them…but I tell you with my whole heart, I would share them again this minute if I heard the LORD’s call again. Sometime I will share with you some of the thoughts and feelings that have accompanied an obedient step of faith and the results that have come from that step. Remarkably, I have had a flicker of joy through it all----not happiness---but joy. A sweet friend has often said, "Happiness depends on happenings----Joy depends on Jesus." What kind of home would you have were you to choose to be joyful---regardless the circumstances you might be facing?

pamela spurling ~ The Welcome Home ~ 2000

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