Here At the Well, the goal is for us ladies to encourage one another to live out the admonitions of Titus 2:4-5, which tell us 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.”
“Keepers at home” is also translated as “workers at home” and “busy at home.” But sometimes I wonder, is there such a thing as “too busy?” Particularly now that we have moved to Africa and so much of my day is spent in manual labor (much more so than it had been in America), I sometimes feel as though I am neglecting the higher priorities: time with my children investing in relationships and discipleship, attention to homeschooling, and so on. This is not really new, as I’ve always had a “Martha” personality; even in America I would typically find something to “do” when faced with a few free moments. And then I would wonder how time had gotten away from me and why I hadn’t sat down longer and read more books to my littles, snuggled on the couch with a child who had a headache, or taken a few more minutes to really listen during a conversation with one of my older children.
I’m constantly trying to live in the balance between being busy at home and loving my children–both admonitions of Titus 2, which for me seem sometimes to conflict with one another. Loving our children means spending time–but that’s time not spent in home management. Yet we have to do both. Here’s how (on my better days) I’ve found success in this:
- Integrate. Work with your children; invite them to participate, even if it’s not always “helpful” or if you know it’s going to actually result in more work. It’s great for fellowship and relationship-building and also offers an opportunity to train your children in homemaking skills.
- Invite. Even if there’s a task that’s too hard to for my littles to be involved in, I invite them into my “space” and just talk with them (or sing) while I work. Sometimes it’s easy to brush them off to try and get things done faster, but in my better moments I remember Deuteronomy 6:6-7, which is all about talking to our children about the things of the Lord at all times of day–while we engage in all of our necessary “doings.”
- Be Interested. No matter what’s on my “to-do” list, I make sure to show interest in what my children are doing. Even if they are rather independently schooling while I work, I will walk by them and pat them on the back, ask how things are going, see if they’re doing anything new, or need prayer. Often during the littles’ afternoon naps, the big kids enjoy “free time” and get involved in their own pursuits. If I’m not careful, I make too much of this time being “busy.” But it’s nice when I take the time for even a short break and wander out to where the older children are: to talk, see what they’re up to, and engage them briefly. No matter how busy things get, we need to stay connected.
It’s a challenge to balance busyness with relationship-building, but both are necessary if we’re going to honor God and raise our children to serve the Lord and love others. How have you managed to integrate both of these aspects of home management? Leave a comment so that we can encourage one another to press on in these vital callings today!
By: Cindy Carrier