Imagine you were a printer by profession. You’ve been printing for well over a decade, and you love your job. You’ve found it to be productive and fulfilling. You have passion for striving for excellence in that profession: you use the best inks, the highest quality paper, and you only print for companies you believe will help make a difference in the world. You do it because it means a lot to you, and nothing compares to how you feel about being the best printer you can be. If you had to pick a profession again, you have no doubt—you’d do it all over again.
However, what if about 75 percent of the population despises the printing profession and thinks that printers are doing a serious disservice to their clients, draining the world of structure and creativity. Everything you love about the career you’ve dedicated your energy towards is continually put down by others. Society has a bias against printers. Would you maintain the affection and passion you feel toward your profession and still find a sense of high reward for a completed job?
I invented this imaginary scenario using a profession my husband used to have—printing—to shed light on something I consider an important but unpopular profession: being a homemaker and rearing my children at home.
I feel passionate about molding my two beautiful girls into loving human beings. I’m not saying every family should do this, but for our family, that task has also included homeschooling them. It’s been my career for well over a decade, and it is by far the most important job I’ve ever done or will ever do. Yet we live in a world which doesn’t recognize it as being a productive and important job. As recently as March 20, Australia’s Daily Telegraph website posted an op-ed by Sarah Le Marquand, the founding editor of their “RendezView” feature, where she proclaimed her beliefs that “we should make it a legal requirement that all parents of children of school-age or older are gainfully employed.” The title of the piece was an attention-getter: “It Should Be Illegal to Be a Stay-at-Home Mum.”
And while I’m learning not to be deterred about what people think, this viewpoint does affect how all stay-at-home mothers, including homeschooling mothers, are perceived. And it affected me.
Surrounded by this sort of sentiment, I started to believe a lie and even had swallowed it whole, only to realize later how wrong I was. I began to associate being “at home” as being a bad thing.
Sometimes I would be accused of being “at home” too much—often by a person who did not know me at all, but only knew that I homeschooled my children. I would often react defensively, describing the many activities we did as a family outside the home.
Understanding the Blessings of the Home
But, really, what is your home to you? Is it such an inadequate place to spend time?
Consider that Satan hates the family unit and wants to destroy families. We see in society his influence to separate family members. Strong families are the building blocks of a successful, long-lasting society (cf. Exodus 20:12). Problems often stem from broken families. No wonder Satan has declared war on happy, intact families, trying to tear them apart.
Against such an attack, the home can play an important role. A good home is the place where a healthy family can deepen its roots. God cares about it so much that He commands wives to be homemakers (Titus 2:5) to help ensure the home’s health and stability. He even commanded ancient Israel that a man with a new wife be “free at home one year”—without the usual societal burdens of serving in the army and other business—to help set a loving foundation for a strong marriage (Deuteronomy 24:5).
Home is a place of protection, privacy, security, happiness, enjoyment, acceptance, and other blessings—where an eager mind can soak up knowledge and instruction. The home environment is a place where families can grow closer, read together, and discuss what’s on everyone’s minds. In healthy homes, God’s word is read and talked about—in fact, in our changing society, the home is the one place we can most fully and openly teach about God in a safe, close-knit, family environment. Home is where family—and extended family—is truly cared for in piety (1 Timothy 5:4). At home, delectable meals are enjoyed together and there’s a continual building of harmony among those blessed to live there with each other.
Home will be where there is laughter while playing card games. Our homes (and the homes of others) are where friends are served and can enjoy meals together. Home is where out-of-town guests and family members come to visit. It is a sanctuary where families can rest, learn, and grow. Home is truly glorious!
The Lie Starts Early
I’ve been deceived in the past, as many others are, to believe that home is not the place for a mother to be—that being at home is shameful. I cannot even begin to list all the places I’ve picked up that notion, and it is apparently becoming ingrained very deeply in the various parts of our society.
For instance, I think back to when I was young and in school, where the idea of women being “in the home” was looked down upon. I was taught in the classroom that a woman’s place was not in the home, as if it was a degrading place to be. That message seeps deeply into our society.
Yet, being “in the home”—being a homemaker and caring for my kids—has been the most fulfilling job that I have ever experienced. Literally nothing compares—and that’s not to say it has been easy! Living on only one income can be a real challenge, and for some families it may be impossible in their current circumstances. Some single mothers have to work two jobs just to make ends meet. Those mothers who find that they must work outside the home to help their family survive deserve praise, as well. And even when we can make it work with one income, we can find ourselves worrying that our children won’t “get enough.” (And some people will tell you that.) We all have to evaluate before God what our family is truly capable of achieving. But, sadly, our world doesn’t even present a one-income family with a stay-at-home mom as a real possibility for young women to consider and hope for. That is a tragedy.
In today’s society, it takes looking with the eyes of faith to see the profession of homemaker as one with superb rewards—a profession that is supremely valued by God!
Turning an Accusation into Praise
The reality is that our homes and our families are a blessing! They are a good thing! And being “keepers at home” (Titus 2:5, KJV)—wives and mothers who can pour their passions into taking a very active role in their children’s education, building their home, and strengthening family relations—is a wonderful opportunity.
To me, the scriptures make it clear that the next time I am accused of being “just at home” with my daughters, I should thank the person for noticing and take it as a compliment! Please do not believe the lie that being at home is shameful. When people note that you are at home part or a lot of the time, say “thank you.” After all, you are accomplishing much! We should learn to do that—to just say “thank you” and to be confident.
I’ve long seen myself as pro-God’s Word, pro-God’s Ways, pro-life and pro-family. And now, I’ve added pro-home.