It is the end of August and many of us women find ourselves in the middle of a very full schedule. Our days seem to overflow with more to get done then we have time for. Sports, school, social events and the usual change-of-season activities will consume our time if we allow it. Ladies, my encouragement to you today is this: manage well.
As a woman, you are in a position of management whether that is your desire or not. God has assigned you a leadership role within his framework for the family. It makes no difference whether you feel “called”, equipped or adequate. The role is yours. I want you to pick it up and carry with it wisdom and grace.
In a Christian home with the biblical complementarian structure, it can be difficult to understand what our specific functions are. We are called to submit to the leadership of our husbands (Eph. 5:2), and we do so with gladness and trust in our Lord. Does this now relieve us of any leadership burdens or the responsibility to direct family life? Not at all.
You may be surprised to learn how much of the responsibility of family life rests on our shoulders. One of the teaching points older women are to help the younger women learn in Titus 2:5 is how to be “working at home”. The Greek word for this, oikourgos, can be translated as “keeper of the house” or “taking care of household affairs”. Another good example is found in 1 Timothy 5:14 where Paul encourages the younger widows to remarry, “bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander.” The Greek used here is oikodespoteō, which translates “to rule a household, manage family affairs.” These are strong directives from the Lord.
As women we are to manage our homes. This authority (yes, authority) is given to us as a responsibility from God. Understand this is done under the headship of the husband (1 Cor. 11:3); our authority comes under his authority, but this does not decrease its significance or vitality. In fact, it increases it. If we direct and manage our homes well, what a blessing that is to our husbands and families!
This makes good biblical sense when we look at the standard given in the woman of excellence in Proverbs 31. She (this perfect woman who does not exist) is the epitome of a woman managing her household well. Her life is the fruit of a heart devoted to the Lord and I encourage you to study her. Proverbs 31:27-28: She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:” This smart woman has her act together and is actively managing a household, because of this everyone around her is blessed.
Do not equate managing with having a clean house (oh, my, I would fail often!). That factors in (caring for what God has blessed us with), but it is not the core of this role. Managing a home well includes being organized, managing time and schedules, coordinating activities, providing for needs, being wise with finances, keeping the priorities of the family in place, setting boundaries, maintaining discipline and much more. Above all, it means pointing others continually to Christ and ensuring all you do as a family and in the home reflects that priority.
The directive to be a “keeper of the home” applies to all women. Whether you are young, old, single, married, with or without children, living in a mansion or an apartment. All women must manage their household well, whatever it may look like. Although unpopular because of societal pressures, this command from God to manage our homes will best be accomplished when we are actually there, present at home. Unless authentic necessity dictates otherwise I encourage women to grab hold of this awesome responsibility from God and run with it. Be home, be present and hone your home to be an instrument of the gospel and a launching pad for ministry.
Ladies, step up to this task, understanding what hangs in the balance. Reading further in Titus 2:5 we are told we work at home “that the word of God may not be reviled.” In 1 Timothy 5:14, we manage our households to “give the adversary no occasion for slander.” We stand guard over the hearts in our home by lifting the Word of God high and fending off our adversary. What a position of tremendous influence assigned to us by God!
So stand strong in the power of Holy Spirit and walk in obedience to what you have been called to. Through Christ, strive to be an Excellent Woman and manage well.