Monday, June 27, 2011

Lesson 16 - A Heart That Weaves a Tapestry of Beauty

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. – Titus 2:4-5

Let’s look at what this scripture is telling us…

The meaning of “that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children” is, that they should instruct them to have their desires and passions well regulated, or under proper control.

In Eph. 5:25, Paul directs husbands to love their wives, and in Eph. 5:33, the wife to reverence her husband, and here he says that it should be one of the first duties; the wife should love her husband.

All happiness in the marriage relation is based on mutual love.

The second half of our text scripture is “To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

To be discreet – This means to be pleasant, calm, self-controlled. Chaste – means to be pure - in heart, and in life. Keepers at home – means to be characteristically attentive to domestic concerns, or to duties in the families.

To successfully make the home of our dreams and God’s call a reality, we have to be there, working and weaving on it every day!

Homemaker = home lover

Weaving a tapestry of beauty in our homes also calls for action. This project called “home” takes effort and time each day.

The effort and the activity – the time, the work, the care, and the mental and physical muscle – combine to make a home beautiful.

How does a woman who wholeheartedly wants to weave a tapestry of beauty in her home begin?

Understand the beauty and blessings of God’s will for you.

Understand that homemaking can be learned.
Who are people that you can talk to for tips on cleaning and organizing that can help you with your own home?

Be home more often.
Organize your outings.

If you have a job outside the home, consider these two ways to be better organized so you can spend more time at home. First, run errands on the way to and from work. And second, use your lunch hour!

We have talked about what we are working to improve in our lives as we strive to have a heart after God.

1. Preparing ourselves spiritually and physically by setting aside time alone with God.
2. Having meals together at the table for special family time.
3. Work to improve the mood in the home…more positive and uplifting than negative.
4. Consulting with our spouses to see if there is anything we can do to lighten their load.
5. Keeping a neat and orderly house.
6. Responding positively to our spouse.
7. Seeking to meet our husband’s needs.
8. Putting our spouse before our children.
9. Personally meeting and greeting each family member as they return home.
10. Being predictably happy.
11. Preparing special meals to make for special time with spouse and/or children.
12. Grow daily in the areas of the Lord, marriage, family, and homemaking.

For the past three lessons we’ve focused on building our home and watching over our home and working on our home.

We’ve concentrated on learning what this means and how to do it. And we’ve been challenged to do it better and do it faster.

All summed up, these lessons thread into our tapestry the knowledge of God’s truth, a right attitude in our heart, and the skills in motion to make up the beginnings of a beautiful tapestry called “Home”.

In lesson 13 we talked about creating an atmosphere of refuge, warm hearts, and positive reinforcement. Tell me of your efforts.

What has worked well and what has not worked so well?

In lesson 14 we talked about eliminating idleness. Tell me of some things that you have eliminated from your life these past few weeks to work towards this goal.

Have you uncovered some hidden idleness or time robbers that you may not have realized existed in your daily schedules?

In lesson 15 we talked about time management. Tell me of some things you have done to improve your time management.

Tell me some things you attempted that didn’t work too well for you.

This lesson has dealt with the call to action in building our homes. What do you see will be your greatest challenge? What ideas to you have to overcome this challenge?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

15 - A Heart That Creates Order from Chaos

I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. – 1 Timothy 5:14

Time management seems to be an on-going battle that we struggle to find that perfect plan of action to attack it and overcome it.

In 1 Timothy 5:13, we have the account of the young widows of Timothy’s church were “idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they shouldn’t”.

Our actions may be the only Bible a lot of people ever read, and those actions can cause people to think and speak poorly of Christianity. Of course, when we are very busy, we have less time to be gossips and busybodies.

What does the word “guide” mean? To guide a house is to be the head of or to rule a family, to guide the home. The woman who manages her house is not the head of the home, her husband is if she is married, and God is if she is not. Instead, the woman is the householder or the home manager.

Every day we are called to manage what God has given us, what He has provided through our husbands’ efforts and our own.


How does a woman who wants what God wants, a woman who wants to know order instead of chaos, a woman after God’s own heart, manage her home?

First, understand that home management is God’s best for us.

God isn’t asking us to like being a home manager or even to feel like managing our home.

He is simply calling us to do it.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. – Romans 12:2

Second, decide to take home management seriously.

He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. – Luke 16:10

How well you and I maintain our personal relationship with God, how devotedly we love our husbands and our children, and how effectively we manage the home indicates how well we would manage a ministry.

If we manage our homes effectively, we will have time to be involved in church ministry in some capacity. You may not be able to be involved in all the ministries, but you will be able to be involved in something at church. Order emerges out of chaos when we schedule what’s important.

Third, live as though you will be accountable for the condition of your home and the use of your time…because you will!

What does your spouse find when they enter the house? Calm or chaos? Peace or panic? Palace or pigpen? Evidence of preparation or procrastination?

Let’s reflect on a time when we entered a hotel room. What greets us? Order. Quiet. Cleanliness. You see the vacuum tracks on the carpet. The bed is made. The last sheet of toilet paper is folded to a point. No TV or stereo blares. The room is a sanctuary.

Let’s look at 12 Tips for Time Management

1. Plan in detail.
     Have a planner and write everything down in it. Try planning twice a day.

2. Deal with today.
     Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. – Matthew 6:34

3. Value each minute.
     Know how long it will take you to complete each task in your home. Then decide if the task is the best use of the time.

4. Keep moving.
     Keep moving and you can cross one more thing off your “to do” list. A body in motion tends stays in motion…a body at rest tends stays at rest.

5. Develop a routine.
     Cut down on indecision by doing the same thing at the same time each day…it will conserve and generate energy. Try to put as many tasks as possible into a routine.

6. Exercise and diet.
     Exercise increases metabolism, creates energy, causes you to sleep better, and contributes to a positive attitude.

7. Ask the “half the time” question.
     If you only had half the time to do the task, what shortcuts would you take? Take them.

8. Use a timer for everything.
     The timer will help you to allow less time and will be extremely motivating to try to beat the clock in your tasks.

9. Do the worst first.
     Doing the worst task first will keep that heavy cloud of dread from hanging over you all day. Once you have this worst task done, you will have a better attitude and more energy for the remaining tasks.

10. Read daily on time management.
     Just five minutes a day will help motivate you. Look for blogs, books, magazines, or simply read these steps every day.

11. Say no.
     Keep to your plan and say no to distractions created by yourself and others. Only move to plan B if God is moving you to it.

12. Begin the night before.
     Plan the next days meals, clothes, etc.
     Clean up the kitchen.
     Run the dishwasher.
     Tidy up the house.
     Prepare lunches and meals.
     Defrost meat.
     Sort the laundry.
     Put things you, your spouse, or children will need to take the next day by the door.

Before we leave the subject of order in the home, let’s take a look at the heart of the home…your heart!

What is your attitude toward your home and your housework?

Is your heart in tune with God?

Are you desiring what He desires for the management and guidance of your home?

Do you want to be the home manager God wants you to be?

Do you acknowledge that managing your home enhances the lives of those you live with…and that a well-organized home makes for far better service to the Lord and His people?

Ask God to help you move toward better management – and don’t worry: Slowly but surely counts.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Lesson 14 - A Heart That Watches Over the Home

She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. – Proverbs 31:27

What does it mean that she looketh well to the ways of her household? It means that she inspects the manners of all her servants, that she may check what is amiss among them, and obliges them all to behave properly and do their duty to God and one another, as well as to her. She does not intermeddle in the concerns of other people's houses; she thinks it enough for her to look well to her own.

My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. – Psalm 5:3

Morning prayer is our duty; we are the fittest for prayer when we are in the most fresh, and lively, and composed frame, got clear of the slumbers of the night, revived by them, and not yet filled with the business of the day.

When you and I pray and as we watch over our homes, we must do so with the fervency and earnestness that Elijah did in 1 Kings 18:41-44 when he prayed for rain seven times and had his servant look out for the rain seven times until there was an answer from God.

This prophet and other like him spent their lives waiting, watching for God to fulfill the promises they’d spoken on His behalf. We are to be just as fervent as we make our houses homes and care for the people in them.

Then we will be able to see and celebrate when God does His part – the answering, the blessing, the changing!

Looking Over the Functions of the Home

Specific things we are to watch over in our homes: safety, health, cleanliness, security.

What about recording, saving, supervising, giving, spending, and stretching money?

Then there are the clothing needs and maintenance, the appliance warranties and service contracts, and the food planning and preparation, schedules and events and trying to anticipate future needs.

How can we place ourselves before God so He can grow in us hearts that effectively watch over our precious homes?

1. Understand that this role as helper and guard is God’s plan for you.

Proverbs 31:10-31. Doing the work of watching is part of God’s perfect plan for me and you as He grows us into women of excellence.

2. Begin watching over your home. (versus the eating of the bread of idleness)

3. Eliminate idleness.

     Major time robbers:

      Procrastination
      Inadequate personal planning and scheduling
      Interruptions by people without appointments. (This includes telephone calls but does not include your children!) Your children are the best investment of your time!
      Failure to delegate
      Poor use of the telephone
      Reading junk mail
      Lack of concern for good time management
      Unclear priorities

Which robber will you corral this week as you become a more alert, better watcher over your home?

Think of three real ways you can eliminate idleness today…and in the week or weeks to come.