1. Treat it as a job. Get up, get dressed for the day, just like you are going to work, then approach the day as working from home. It is better to do this rather than stay gross just because you’re staying home. Then work hard and be industrious.
2. Realize that although your work at home is more important than any other “career,” it doesn’t have immediate or tangible rewards like a pay check, positive feedback, or people thanking you, like work does. You don’t see the results of your work as you did at your job, such as in my profession as a labor nurse: the woman delivers, or the baby is healthy, etc. Or for a conference coordinator, for example, you would see that the conference went well, the people thank you, etc. Instead, at home, you have to see the rewards of your labor differently. At home, the baby doesn’t thank you, instead he cries, and you change him but he poops again; the floor you just cleaned he just dirtied and it looks like you never cleaned it by the next day. The sink is full of dishes to be washed again, the kid you disciplined for something is doing it again the next day… So it’s a very different life when you are used to a career. It is harder work, without pay or thanks or immediate tangible rewards. Yet the rewards are spiritual and eternal- a soul for Christ! You will never affect any person at work to the degree you affect your own family. The rewards aren’t seen for many years. God will reward you. Serve and be aware of Him in the lonely times.
3. Follow God’s formula for successful mothering: 1 Tim 2:15 “Women will be kept safe through child bearing if they continue in faith love and holiness with propriety.”
1. It is a safety for you, your character, your sanctification, to be at home raising children under the authority of your husband, if you approach it in faith.
2. It is a safety for you, your character, your sanctification, to be at home raising children under the authority of your husband, if you approach it in faith.
3. Faith – Knowing that this is what God wants you to do, and do it according to God’s word.
4. Holiness-guarding your heart against sinful thoughts, attitudes, behaviors (sometimes harder at home where others don’t see you, or in your heart where no one but God sees), because these will get sown into your children
5. With propriety, that is, sobriety, soundness of mind, sanity, self control (also used in verse 9) not crazy, doing what is proper. See the gravity, the weightiness, of the situation you are in and the pivotal role you play at home.
4. The submission of the woman to her husband is a necessity and a safety for her due to the fall of woman. Ellicott states this in his “Commentary for English Readers:” “Though their life duties must be different from those of men—yet for them, too, as for men, there was one glorious goal; but for them—the women of Christ—the only road to the goal was the faithful, true carrying out of the quiet home duties he had just sketched out for them. In other words, women will win the great salvation; but if they would win it, they must fulfill their destiny; they must acquiesce in all the conditions of a woman’s life—in the forefront of which St. Paul places the all-important functions and duties of a mother.”1
Woman was deceived first, her sin was acting independently of man, so woman’s redemption and coming out of sin is through submission coming under man. Raising children puts us at home, not out getting a name for ourselves and an income making a living and having an independent life. Now we become dependent on a man’s income, and his success. Our work is to build his name and success and make ourselves subservient. This counters our fallen nature and is a part of keeping us “safe” from our sinful tendencies. It elevates the man and his career. We take care of his kids. It’s part of the redemption order for women designed by God.
5. This restorative effect requires that we continue a life of faith, love, holiness, and sobermindedness. We shouldn’t get stuck because we are home. We should keep growing in our faith as it says in 2 Pet 1:5-7. “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.”
The promise has that condition, “if,” or it’s not beneficial. We must continue in these qualities, it is not automatic. Indeed, we must “work out our salvation with fear and trembling,” while God “works in us to will and to act according to His good pleasure.” The Expositor’s Greek Testament puts it this way, “That is her normal and natural duty; and in the discharge of our normal and natural duties we all, men and women alike, as far as our individual efforts can contribute to it, “work out our own salvation”.”3
1 Tim 2:15 “…if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.” Faith declares that this place in the home is where God has placed me for now so that is where I am serving Him! Love is the laying down of your life, goals and identity for the sake and benefit of others in the home. Holiness is greater in a place where no one else is watching but the Holy Spirit, your husband, the holy angels, and your kids. There is more opportunity for personal holiness out of a desire to please God not man. This purifies your motives.
Propriety is a quality of having a sound mind, and alertness. You are alert to the fact that what you do at home is MORE important than what you do at work. There is greater spiritual warfare, there are greater eternal consequences. Character is formed in your children by your example to them. Home is your base for ministry, not work. Even though you may continue to be employed outside the home, it is understood to not be your primary job. You must change your mindset from work based ministry to home based ministry. We should not long for our former country, like the Israelites who said “Take us back to Egypt”. In the home, GOD has promoted us to a higher, greater, deeper level of ministry. We must be sober minded, alert to the higher level of spiritual warfare, because Satan wants to destroy marriage, family, and children, and your role is pivotal in this. The woman was deceived first so be spiritually alert! Ellicott states, “She must besides, if she would win her crown, hold fast to the Master’s well-known teaching, which enjoins on all His own disciples, men as well as women, faith and love, holiness and modesty. The last word, “modesty,” or discretion, or sobriety (all poor renderings of the Greek sophrosune, which includes, besides, the idea of a fight with and a victory over self), brings back the thoughts to the beautiful Pauline conception of a true woman, who wins her sweet and weighty power in the world by self-effacement.”1
6. You must apply those attitudes toward home and family that you did at work and toward others. (i.e. industry, being alert etc) Your focal point of ministry has changed from the work place to the home. Now what is important is how you keep your home, how you raise your kids,and how you treat your husband, NOT what a good employee you are, how good you are at your career, promoting career, making money,self promotion. It is good for our character to be put in that place. Meyer states in his New Testament Commentary, “because of her care for her children, she is preserved from many frivolities.”2
Beware of your particular fallen nature as females. Worldly people may not understand this view, they may rather think you are lazy or unproductive. They don’t understand submission or God’s ways, or that you can’t form your child’s character if you aren’t there to do it. They have a different view of productivity, that is, the economic value of women rather than our nurturing value. To see the latter value requires faith because it is not tangibly or immediately rewarded.
Remember what God says about ministering to children: “whatever you do for the LEAST of these, you do unto Me.” Matthew 25:40 What is more “least” than babies and small children? They have no lobby group, no economic base, no financial clout or political voice. In fact, the very word “infant” means “without a voice.” This is true in many ways: they cannot talk of course, but they have no voice in society. They can be brutally murdered in their mother’s womb because they happen to be “inconvenient” or have a genetic “defect.” This “right” to be killed in the womb by the mother is loudly and strongly promoted and defended by Supreme Court Justices, but there is no voice for the baby’s life. There is, however, very loud lobby groups defending brutal criminals from the death penalty, but not these innocent tiny babies. They have “no voice” in getting their needs met; they can cry of course, but it takes a yielded, willing, and responsive mother to respond to her infant’s needs, interpret the cries, and anticipate his needs.
This passage describes mere beasts offering their bodies for their children’s care and satisfaction, contrasting people who may withhold themselves, their bodies, their time, to keep it for self rather than be used for the needs of their children and families. Let us take this lesson from nature.
~Marie-Celine Farver RN BSN IBCLC RLC © 2014