Hope for Society Lies in Finding the Real Meaning of Home: Part 1

“Homes are the springs among the hills, whose many streamlets, uniting, form like a great river, society, the community, the nation, the Church. If the springs run low the rivers waste; if they pour out bounteous currents the rivers are full. If the springs are pure the rivers are clear like crystal; if they are foul the rivers are defiled. A Curse upon homes sends a poisoning blight everywhere; a blessing sends healing and new life into every channel.” -JR Miller, The Family

In my last post, Feminism: The Real War Against Women, I quoted an article in which one line has stuck with me and encapsulates so much truth:

“For the woman to be a ‘homemaker’ was to be an executive over the central nervous system of society.”

Pastor Wedgeworth goes on to say,

The home used to be the place of oikonomia. As it lost that function, the notion that anyone would be stuck there became torment.”

That’s really it.

When a woman says, “I’m a homemaker“, most who hear her think, “laundry, cleaning toilets, changing diapers (which someone else could do just as well)”.

Which is why if a young woman exiting high school answers the “What are you going to do?” question with, “Prepare for my profession as a homemaker”, her answer is received with shock and dismay.

Because we don’t understand home, much less what a “homemaker” should be.

Ponder the term…“The central nervous system of society”. (I like it even better than the overused and trite, “basic building block”.)

What happens when one’s nervous system is damaged? It’s the worse injury possible to a human body, and the most likely to result in death.

But remove the “executor”–perhaps we could compare her to the nerves making it all happen–of the CNS, and what we have is a very dysfunctional and disabled body, a dysfunctional and disabled society.

Yes, there are many, many noble careers and professions. But to hail any more useful than the profession of “executor of the central nervous system of society” is to harm ourselves on a large, devastating scale, and to miss the most profound way to influence the world.

What is home, really? A lot. Too much for one post.

So I would like to, over the next few posts, unpack the details of what Wedgeworth meant:

“The home used to be a center of agriculture, economic affairs, and education….It was to be a master of arts. It was to be a farmer. It was to be a maker. It was to be a temple, a sacrament, a superlative.”

I hope you’ll join me because, as he ends his article, “Gone are the days when things can be decided by force. …We have to do it a different way. We must persuade. Indeed, we must woo.”



21 Responses to “Hope for Society Lies in Finding the Real Meaning of Home: Part 1”

  1. Laura says:

    I think the problem is the millions of kids who were raised in homes where there was no home culture…I am just beginning to realize this. Homes where no attempt was made to create a certain kind of environment. An environment of industry (in a good, creative, productive way) creativity, peace, plenty (in a be-content-with-what-you-have sort of way as opposed to the over-stuffed American plenty sort of way)….why were there kids raised this way? Well, that answer is multi-fold…when society began to be less agricultural, and more industrial, there were no longer garden patches to tend, and the city environment declined and became slummish and ugly and depressing…don’t get me wrong, a dedicated mother/wife can create a haven even in the city…but it’s much harder…when the hubby leaves the home, the motive for the wife is gone…in much the same way it’s hard for me to want to keep things tidy, well-ordered, and peaceful, when my hubby enters his 3, 12-hour workdays, and is gone all day and into the night…because what with the natural selfishness of children, it is the husband who sees and appreciates the peaceful home culture…and if he is not there to do so, the spirit of the wife is somewhat let down…good meals, beauty and so on…toddlers and adventurous boys don’t see or appreciate the skills of the good home manager…at least not at first…Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming the husbands entirely, here…just rambling…i think too, often the wives add to the problem by assuming that if they had a little more of this or that, life would be better, and so the husband leaves longer and oftener to try to provide more, only to incur more scorn from his wife…and so the vicious cycle goes…healthy happy homes can only come about by 2 ways…by having been apart of one and knowing and appreciating its value, or by objectively seeing the folly of home-anarchy and purposefully creating something different…for a great discussion and wisdom of this line of thought, check out http://www.ourmothersdaughters.blogspot.com

  2. Mrs. S says:

    I am presently a homemaker and the only true “hope for society” lies in the redeeming power and love of Jesus.

    • Word Warrior says:

      You are right, Mrs. S and that goes without saying. I hope my title wasn’t misleading. The truth is, in our “Christian culture”, there are a lot of people talking about the love of Jesus and simultaneously destroying the very family God gave them for His Kingdom. His power and love must carry over to the way we live. That’s my heart for sharing this.

  3. Rachel says:

    Oh the scorn I received in high school! I always answered “homemaker” when someone asked what I wanted to do. But you could be “anything” you want they replied (implying homemaker was not worthy of being picked). I was a straight A student and everyone was dumbfounded that I would “choose” homemaker. Even my mother disliked my answer. (She was a homemaker and mother of 5 children and the reason I picked homemaker). She made all 5 of us go to college, and I’m still paying the college loans 13 years later. I never “did” anything with my degree. I was married a year after college and had children shortly after. She is now very happy I stay home with our children but I believe she was caught up in the 90′s “girls can be anything!” hype. She knows and acknowledges home is best, but it goes to show how easily people can have their values challenged. It’s a good thing I was bull headed enough to resist a “career” anywhere else.
    I even had a boy in high school secretly tell me he hopes to find a girl like me (wanting to be a homemaker) to marry and admitted most boys did, but they would never be caught saying that. They would immediately be labeled sexist!

    • Word Warrior says:

      I’m thankful you chose that profession ;-) It’s amazing, too, how the Lord works. I was a feminist; I didn’t call myself that, but I distinctly remember thinking I was going to get a degree and career so I could wear a power suit and tell men what to do ??!?? Now I see how imprisoned I could have been by my “freeing career” instead of the true freedom I have found at home, with much more “power” to change the world.

  4. Amanda W. says:

    I grew up in the 80′s and 90′s with a Christian family, but my mom worked – ahem, had a CAREER, thank you very much – and home was a place to crash/sleep, to eat take out food or the pizza that was ordered in and to do laundry. When times were good we had a cleaning lady who came and took care of all of the “non fun stuff” (my mom’s line) that she was too busy to do. The thing is, I was far from alone in this – many of my Christian high school friends also had similar situations. We were latchkey kids with “important” moms who seemed overworked, who scorned the idea of staying at home (I was had my mom tell me when I was 10 that she could have stayed home financially, but “what on earth would she DO all day? it would be dreadfully boring!”), and truly seemed kind of glamorous as they worked to juggle it all in their expensive outfits.

    So it was a total no-brainer for me to follow that same line of logic and assume that’s how and what my family would look like. My husband and I married young but both began pursuing “important” careers and were totally derailed by our surprise first pregnancy. We agreed I’d stay home until our daughter was 6 months old, and truthfully that was hard enough – by month 4 I was ready to hire someone to stay with her and get back to “important” things (how awful is that?), when SURPRISE! we found out we were expecting baby #2. I spent a week just totally broken over the news – we had just moved and couldn’t afford the expense of having two babies in daycare or a private nanny. I would have to do the dreaded, unglamorous, BORING thing of staying home. BUT, praise God, over the course of my second pregnancy he completely changed my heart, and he grew my love for my first daughter so tremendously and bonded us so that I couldn’t imagine being separated from her. When daughter #2 arrived, I was overwhelmed with how awesome God is that he worked things out in every way to show me how foolish I had been. When expecting #3 he laid it on our hearts to pursue homeschooling, and now we are loving every minute of our journey TOGETHER.

    The problem is, my story is very similar to many other 20′s/early 30′s women/moms, only some never receive that AHA! moment as I did. I’m so thankful I did and can’t wait to see more on this topic, so that I can share with other moms who are struggling with what they know is right, and what their upbringing, society and culture tell them is “right.”

  5. shannon says:

    Hello. I am a new subscriber, about a month now, and am very much looking forward to more posts on this topic. I can very much relate to Amanda W. above. I too was raised in a Christian home but both parents worked and even all the ladies in my church worked outside the home. I hated going to a babysitter so much when I was little. Anyway, my family wanted me to have it “better” and I was the first in my family to go to college. I was very proud of that and never planned to have children because, even then I didn’t understand how to pursue a career and have children. It never made sense to me to have both so I “chose” the first.
    After many years of rebellion to the Lord, I heard his calling me as he brought me to my knees. I am so thankful for that day. After that, I sought him diligently and my heart changed. I got pregnant awhile later and we have two wonderful children and who knows how many more to come. I wouldn’t want it any other way. I wish there were women now, even within my church or circle of influence, who value homemaking.

    My question to you is this, I have many peers who I would love to encourage to stay home. I pray for them to have a heart for home and have them over for lunch in a blue moon or talk about my home but is there anything else to do to help younger women and encourage them without being pushy? I don’t want to push it onto them but I always think back to what if someone would have shown me how great homemaking is…. A couple ladies I know would NOT want to stay home so I don’t even try with them. Thank you

    • Word Warrior says:

      Shannon–welcome! I think what you’ve said–especially just having women/families over to you home in an organic way is the most powerful way to encourage them. A home transformed by Christ is the most powerful catalyst for change. Press on!

  6. Katy says:

    Perfectly written. I don’t think, as a society, we truly fathom how important “home” is. It’s not just washing dishes and doing laundry. If it was, a well programmed robot could easily handle all of that. It is so much more. That’s like saying a car builder only changes oil. No, that’s the maintenance, the true work is so much bigger and important.

    I have family that, while not saying anything to my face, definitely think I made a poor career choice. I get the, “well, when the kids go to school you could then really work”. We homeschool and that’s blowing their minds, which I don’t get since they see such incredible results with our children and their education. I am blessed to live in an area where women generally stay home, even when their children have left the home. My husband wanted this for his family as he grew up with a Mom in the home and a Dad who worked outside the home. He understood it wasn’t just that he had a yummy snack when he got home from school. In fact, those aren’t his memories. His memories are deep and shaped who he is as a man today, and they center on this type of set up in his family life. We talked, at length, about this when we were dating and we both understood how important this was to us. We wouldn’t have married each other if we weren’t of the same mind on this issue(along with others). I don’t think young couples looking at marriage talk about these things enough. It means making very different decisions from day 1 of marriage, decisions that will impact a family’s ability to have this choice in their home. We need to create a home environment where kids know this is the most healthy choice, teach them how to voice why they believe certain things so they can convey that to their future spouse, and then the backbone to stick with that decision when the naysayers come (and they will).

    If feminism supposedly made it so women can do anything they want (and I don’t believe that at all, and this is a prime example why), then why is THIS such a subpar choice? If I WANT to stay at home and be a homemaker, why is that not good enough for others? I bet no one tells a woman that chooses to be a bank manager that her choice isn’t real work or not good enough. What about women who are doctors, lawyers, teachers, cops, and any other profession? If those in the feminist movement truly believe the lines they give, then our choice should be held up as a perfect example of the “freedom” they fought so hard for with women.

  7. Natalie says:

    I’m excited to read your series Kelly. May it woo many disenchanted, disillusioned, and disappointed women to a feast that will give them purpose and meaning that reverberates into eternity.

  8. Ruth says:

    Thanks for doing this Kelly. I love seeing practical suggestions – ‘seeing what it’s supposed to look like’, as we are raising 4 kids and am not always sure! Even being raised in a Christian home, my mom worked during our school hours once we were all in school. She was always there when we got home (NOT bad compared to many situations around the world!) That left a lot of housework for HER (as we didn’t do ANY) in the after-school hours. I have never doubted my parents’ love or sacrifices they made for us but it does sometimes leave me stranded in the ‘home’ department…as home that way does end up being a place to eat/sleep/doyourhomework!
    As a result I am raising my kids differently but love seeing examples of other Christians. It’s encouraging!

  9. [...] the introduction to this series about “the hope for society lying in the real meaning of home”, a commenter [...]

  10. Kirsten Heath says:

    I am thrilled that you’re doing this series, and am looking forward very much to hearing what you have to say, and the blessing it will be to your audience. I don’t totally understand how to stay connected to or subscribe to a blog, but I will try to follow your posts. My heart aches and breaks for the mamas of today who have NO IDEA what they are missing out on by not being homemakers, that they don’t understand what it is to be a homemaker, that dads don’t have the understanding to encourage their wives to become “all they can be” by being homemakers, and the loss and heartbreak when their children reject their core principles of the parents, because they’re being raised by day care workers and public school teachers. Bless God that you’re speaking out, from a heart of compassion.

    • Word Warrior says:

      Thank you, Kirsten! If you hit the little envelope icon toward the top of the sidebar, it should let you sign up to receive new posts in your inbox so you won’t miss anything.

  11. Vanessa says:

    I am looking forward to reading more of these.
    You’re writing is like a refreshing spring.
    I am also new here and I am grateful to have found you and thank the Lord for your writing.

  12. Lisa says:

    I to grew up with a stay at home mom. I didn’t always appreciate that when I was younger but time has brought wisdom on the subject. I have raised three boys and am now raising another child (almost full-time)that isn’t mine. I haven’t always stayed home I did work some while they were in school and there was a year I worked from 3AM until 3pm which my boys refer to as the Horrible year. When I was home I was to tired to enjoy home. If you don’t think a Mother’s role in the house is an important one then you have obviously never been to the funeral of someone who is a mother. Go back to that home after the funeral, you’ll hear her children say..how home feels different, her husband will say I never knew how much she really did and that home will suffer because she is not there. With the breakdown of the home we have witnessed the breakdown of society.Home is the best place there is. When I worked, 95% of the women I worked with would have rather been home but felt they had to contribute to the family as if being a wife and mother were not the greatest accomplishments on earth. Women are the vessles in which our Savior chose to bring forth life, isn’t that proof enough motherhood is the most important job on Earth.

  13. Erin says:

    Great post! I look forward to more! I am reposting on my blog because many of my friends have never read your writing and I think hearing another viewpoint is great “food for thought”.

    http://sharplittlearrows.blogspot.com/2013/02/home-is-where-heart-is.html

  14. [...] Part 1: Hope For Society Lies in Finding the Real Meaning of Home [...]

  15. [...] Part 1: Hope For Society Lies in Finding the Real Meaning of Home [...]

  16. [...] Part 1: Hope For Society Lies in Finding the Real Meaning of Home [...]

  17. [...] is likely the most important post in our HOME series. As I listened to my husband read Charles Spurgeon’s devotion, these words flooded my heart [...]

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