Godly Homemaking wisdom for a peaceful and joyous home life. . ..
"Faint not; the miles to heaven are but few and short." -Samuel Rutherford
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From "On The Banks of Plum Creek"
"After Laura and Mary had washed and wiped the dishes, swept the floor, made their bed, and dusted, they settled down with their books. But the house was so cozy and pretty that Laura kept looking up at it."
- Laura Ingalls Wilder
Human Frailty of the Godly Soul
"The life of Luther might suffice to give a thousand instances, and he was by no means of the weaker sort. His great spirit was often in the seventh heaven of exultation, and as frequently on the borders of despair. His very deathbed was not free from tempests, and he sobbed himself into his last sleep like a greatly wearied child."
"As for her, like most women, she had but one ambition. To be a good wife and a good mother, and to be beloved by her husband and children, was all she asked. [She was] a busy, affectionate, cheerful little housewife, whose voice would never be heard in the streets, but whose memory would always live in a few faithful hearts."
- Elizabeth Prentiss, 1800's.
A married woman who stays home. This is a lifelong vocation. It is an old-fashioned term, and something to be proud of. Not a "domestic engineer." Not a "home manager." An old fashioned housewife, who keeps the home, and abides there. - Mrs. White
Before American Feminism took root in the 1970's, women looked forward to marriage, family and a home of their own. A Girl would spend years learning to cook and clean and take care of a home. She might gather special things for her future life. She hoped for a future as a wife and a mother. When that day finally came, it was like her graduation. The moment she stepped into her first place, whether an apartment or house, she got right to work.
She dressed nicely, did laundry, baked, cooked, grocery shopped and kept a nice home. She catered to her husband and followed his wishes, just like a secretary would assist her boss. There was a mutual respect and admiration - each contributing much needed skills to the marriage. Each had their place.
These old time housewives took great pride in their work. And they were grateful. The husbands wanted their wives at home. One common saying was heard by these good men, "I don't want my wife working." A husband wanted the home kept. He didn't want his wife running around, getting into trouble, gossiping, or working to earn the living. He wanted his wife dependent on him, which in return helped make her sweet and gentle and thankful. If she became discontent with the income he earned, or tried to run out and earn the living, she was usurping his authority - she was criticizing his role. A good wife learned to adjust her housekeeping to the lifestyle her husband provided her - whether in a small, humble cabin or a grand mansion.
A wife who was sheltered and protected in the home, the kind who loved being there, this wife was the joy of the family. Her sweet spirit was surrounded by her loved ones. She was there for all their troubles and turmoils. She was there to nurse them from the pain of the world. And they dearly loved her! She was not distracted by schemes of getting rich, or finding herself. She was not lured away by the local mall or the endless luncheons put on by women's clubs. She was home and happy and cherished. Why was she cherished? Because she was grateful and humble and willing to serve her family.
When a housewife acts like they did in the old days, eventually it brings out the chivalry in a man. It makes him want to protect and care for her. But her actions must be genuine, and they come from years of trial and error. The good wife is motivated by her desire to do her part, without any reward. But, the reward does come.
Something went wrong, over the years, when these old time housewives stopped setting the example to the younger generation. The young people of today prefer sloth, messy homes, and co-habitation over an old fashioned home life. They find no pride in keeping a nice home. I wonder if this is because some feminist came along and whispered in their ear, that the floor does not have to be scrubbed or that it was okay for dust to accumulate. Her whispers told the wife that she deserved better and she wasn't being treated right. Feminist trickery was designed to make the wife unproductive and take away her work at home. So she would be free to run around, or get into her husband's business and try to usurp his role. I wonder if these little, subtle steps, slowly eroded the yearning for a godly family. I wonder if this breakdown started with being tricked into running off and neglecting the home.
[Edited update - (several hours after this was posted, and after several negative comments.)
- This post was written as the "ideal," many Christian Mothers strive for. Obviously not all women want this kind of life. Read what helps. Ignore the rest. Comments on this post are now moderated. Very few will be published.]