Dignity and Sanctity of the Home

First things first.


This is the attitude I have had for the last few weeks that has lead to an absence of blog posts. It all started with the True Woman conference in Ft. Worth a couple weekends ago. This incredible women’s conference put on by Revive Our Hearts, a ministry run by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, challenged, encouraged, and inspired me in so many ways. While I walked away with many things, the biggest was a strong conviction about the importance of cultivating our home.


Unfortunately, I had not realized the way that our home and family had slowly become second place to other ministry goals and priorities outside our home. I guess I had justified this because we don’t have kids yet and it’s just Jimmy and me. Maybe it was also because Jimmy travels so much it seems I am the only one at home a good portion of the time. Whatever my reasoning, God has called me to be a cultivator of our home, I had been abstaining from my role in this area.


Although my first reaction was to come home and blog about the conference, I knew that I first needed to get my priorities straight through a few practical things. The first order of business was to clean our home. Unfortunately, it had been several months since I had intentionally cleaned our house. I had created a habit of simply cleaning an area when it got out of hand. Secondly, I began de-clutter and decorate our house in some small ways I had been putting off. Thirdly, I set our kitchen table and begin looking for recipes to cook that week. Again, justifying my actions because it is just Jimmy and me and I have a full time job, I had not been cooking meals at all. Cereal, hot dogs, and frozen pizzas had become our regular dinner meals.


These things may seem like small, menial changes, but I think they make a huge difference in the atmosphere of our home. When I think about my house growing up, I see how these little things made my house a place of life and peace. My mom always kept the house relatively clean and cooked on a regular basis and overall cultivated the atmosphere of our home. Although I might not have noticed those things every day, it created an overall environment of welcoming warmth that was attractive and wonderful to come home to. It made our house a sanctuary I looked forward to walking in to after a long day filled with peer pressure and hard classes. I truly believe that her small efforts in the care of our home made a big difference in my well-being as I was growing up.


Just because we don’t have kids yet, doesn’t mean that my husband is not important enough to also deserve this kind of home to come back to. He has never complained once about the lack of meals or general uncleanliness, but he is noticeably more excited about coming home when those things are in place. God has designated women as the primary influencers in our homes, and that is a role that I had slowly begun to abdicate.


Thanksfully, I am now beginning to understand and take seriously the dignity and the sanctity of the home. Devi Titus explains the dignity and sanctity of the home well in her book, “The Home Experience” (a great book I purchased at the conference):


“The dignity of the home is seeing and experiencing its worth by those who are touched by it. Webster says dignity means “worthy of recognition due to a change in character and appearance.” Combining worth with character and appearance defines dignity. A home that has dignity sets standards in order and creativity with the godly characteristics of love, honesty, and loyalty. The sanctity of the home is its purity in heart and purpose – its wholeness and holiness in tone and mood. home is a duet of devotion and worth – devotion to God while valuing one another. Home is the sanctuary for the human soul to be recharged, renewed, refreshed, and restored. Home should be our most treasured asset. however, more and more women are devoting much of their energy to pursuits outside the home. Unfortunately, the ambitions of “earning a higher education” and “pursuing a career” have undermined home values, priorities, and interests.”


Though I would have liked to have blogged more in these past two weeks, I am glad to have put first things first: namely our home. What good is it to be an excellent and frequent blogger, or an excellent minister to the high schoolers I work with, if I have forsaken investing in the very thing that is the basis for human development and the home base for our family? Gratefully, my priorities are back in line, as they should be: God first, family second, everything else following.

18 Comments

  1. Kay Taylor

    Your article speaks to my heart. I am a 76 year old grandmother who constantly prays with her husband for our children and grandchildren that they will do God’s will in their lives. We pray that God will protect and guide them in all that they do. You expressed so well what my husband and I believe. However, we are heart broken as we see so many broken homes even in our own family. May God Bless You.

  2. Dismayed

    I am dismayed that a bright, intelligent young woman would feel that the most they have to offer their family is a clean home. A housekeeper could be hired to the same end (this not only blesses the family, but blesses someone else with employment). There is nothing Godly in diminishing your value to your family and community.

    1. Sharon

      It’s not a matter of “housekeeping”. I think it’s being purposeful in our activities. I am basically the COO (chief operating officer) of my home. I determine the atmosphere I want to create for all who come into my home. Whether it’s my family or guests that visit. The Proverbs 31 woman had “servant girls”, so there is nothing wrong with help if you can afford it. But I think the point here is that the responsibility is ours and it is easy to get distracted. But the rewards are great when we determine the need and follow through.

      I thought the article was excellent Kelly.

  3. renee

    amen! how un-american, non-liberal, and politically incorrect it is to say that women should be the ones to put their home in order and pursuing careers and self-ambitions impacts the home, marriage, and family (often negatively)…but who cares! it is a christ-like perspective that matters, and though we go against the grain, god is glorified above all and our home is blessed because of it. “The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish (woman) pulls it down with her hands.” prov. 14:1

  4. Again, I love the positivity in this blog and look forward to more updates of you and future family life!

  5. christina

    Kelly,

    My name is Christina. We met at the April concert where Jimmy opened for Natalie Grant in PA – was it 2008 or 2009? Anyway, after the concert, u & I had a special time of prayer & fellowship; we exchanged emails & life stories (like the health issues I’d been having since the wreck that totalled my car).

    By the time I got internet access after moving, I’d lost your email, but I’ve thought about u often & remembered u in my prayers. I’d really like to catch up, so please shoot me an email. I’d be happy to send u a pic of us to jog your memory as I’m sure u meet lots of people;) I can give u my number if u have a chance to chat as well. Hope to hear fom u soon, & love the new website:) Congratulations on your pregnancy as well!

    In Christ,
    Christina

  6. Great post! It brings a lot of things about our home to light for me. I’ve been feeling this tug about “keeping house” for a while and this really made it click. My husband just started a new job where he’s gone a lot more than usual. I want him to have a happy, love filled home when comes through the door. It really made me think of how my best friend growing up would tell me she liked staying at my house more because it felt more “homey”. I now know exactly what she meant…

  7. Sheridan Henson

    Thanks for sharing this Kelly! Our culture doesn’t seem to value this wonderful responsibility and as a result young women everywhere are abandoning it! While everyone may have different personal standards for what “cooking” and “cleaning” are the home is truly our responsibility as wives and moms! I pray God gives us joy in the process!

  8. p.s. I love you Kelly! I love your blog!

  9. Amen, amen. Thankful for this time that we were able to sit side-by-side and be instructed and encouraged in cultivating our homes.
    May we open our homes and share our tables to love our neighbors, too.

  10. Heather Nicole

    Thanks for this post Kelly! I’m a single college student without a home to care for myself, but you definitely got me thinking. 🙂 I’m living with a family from my church this semester and I’m really starting to realize how much I appreciate the wife’s careful diligence in keeping everything SUPER clean, to the point where I tease her sometimes. But it really does make a huge difference! Her house is so inviting and comfortable. I know exactly what you meant by the atmosphere created by a loving wife’s attention to details that can seem relatively unimportant compared to outside ministry concerns. Just made me think that it is a real privilege to be able to create a place of rest for your family and even for entertaining and refreshing other saints. The rest of the world wants us to think that being a housewife is demeaning and unfruitful, but it’s just the opposite!!

    Congratulations on your pregnancy, may God continue to bless you and Jimmy! (And isn’t it awesome that we can be sure he will, all through eternity?)

  11. Stacey

    I also have 5 kids aged, 7months to 7 and there are many times when the cleaning and the clutter gets out of hand and then life in general seems to get out of hand. When I focus my attentions on the ministry of taking care of my home and family God blesses us with a much more peaceful home and attitude and we are much more able to extend our ministry outward. And I am sure we do not even yet understand all the benefits we will gain by it. Blees you Kelly in your marriage and with you new bub (when she arrives.)

  12. We have five children, 10mo to 8 years, we home school, and my husband is serving in the Army in Afghanistan. There is never a more important role for a wife and mother than being a cultivator of her home. In Judaism there is the idea that the home is a “small sanctuary or tabernacle.” The idea being that this is were we serve the Most High. When I think of my home in this way cleaning and cooking take on new meaning.

    For anyone struggling with cleaning, cooking or de-cluttering. http://flylady.com/pages/welcome_main.asp put me on the right track about 6 years ago.

  13. Kelly, thanks. 🙂

    I’ve had quite a bit of frustration regarding my home.. and felt it was more of a chore or duty that I was just stuck with.. cursed with, even.. than something just begging to be molded into treasure. For some reason, thinking of my household in this different light has giving me the motivation I needed to do what I was designed to do.

    Thanks for sharing what you learned!

  14. Karen T.

    Hi Kelly!

    This is something that I had a (very simple) revelation about earlier in the year. I was reading Leviticus and I was thinking about how God instructed the Israelites to keep their houses clean (even to the point of destroying them if they couldn’t get rid of mildew). And of course Proverbs 31 gives us that wonderful description of a godly wife.

    I came to realise that keeping my house clean and my family well-fed and well-clothed was an important ministry in itself. By being organised, and keeping a well-run household I’m in a better position to be hospitable, charitable and flexible. With 3 young kids the house is never pristine, but it’s usually in a reasonable state that I can welcome anyone inside at very short notice. I have practised my cooking so that I can confidently have people over for a meal without stressing myself out. I manage our budget so that we can give with a full heart. The house is hygienic so we don’t get sick and the clothes are washed quickly so we have what we need (even if it’s sitting in the basket waiting to be folded!).

    And like you mentioned, creating a warm and welcoming home for my family is the best way to show them they are loved and cared for [I guess this is one area I need to improve on… being a bit kinder when asking my boys to pick up their dirty socks!]

    Keeping an organised house isn’t a glamorous job but it is what enables all the other things to happen effectively. But of course, it needs to be done with a grateful attitude – not to be houseproud or covetous of beautiful things – but to create a spirit of generosity and hospitality in order to share the love of Christ.

    Have fun creating your sanctuary Kelly, you’ll reap the rewards many times over in the years to come.

    Karen
    xo

  15. love this! so well said!

  16. Kelly…love this piece and completely agree with you! Praise GOd for how He gives us wisdom to live a life of no regrets!
    love you friend
    tristie

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s