Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Cultured Society of Home

Library of Congress:  Currier and Ives four seasons of life- old age, 1868

In a biography about Abigail Adams, we are told that her father had a vast library, which she used as the main source of her education at home.  A home ought to be a place where solid, appropriate learning takes place.

 If a family has money, they might spend it on quality literature - classic titles by Dickens or Austen.  They might consider it wise to have a selection of titles from earlier days, such as those published by "The American Tract Society."  These were Christian stories of faith and family that were often read by the fireside. 

We have been told that Abraham Lincoln came from a very poor family.  The only book available to him was the Bible - but what a book! 

The key in a godly, cultured home, is not just what we "have" but what is not there.   If time and money are spent on meaningless trivia or meaningless amusements, one loses the time to invest in a sweet, wholesome society at home.    Money is often wasted on consumer goods, including processed foods, excessive toys and technology.  This is an investment into the type of society you are creating in your home.  We must be selective and careful to choose what we want in our homes.  When one selects the furnishings or the drapery or the decorations for a home, one is setting the mood for the type of home they will have.  Is this not also true for the types of things or activities that go on there?

Mothers can gently lead the family into a sweet and cultured home by her own cheerful interests in that which is good and noble.  I understand that the world has seeped into our homes, in this modern day; but Mother's interests can be carefully introduced.   Some mothers may listen to a muted version of Italian Opera while she bakes in the kitchen.  Others may have a sermon about the family playing in the background while she does the ironing.  Some may be reading the Bible, at the kitchen table and sipping on tea, while the children play.  Her actions and her interests will seep into the hearts of her family. 

The Amish have a way of making homemade furniture and foods that modern families think take too long.  The wisdom in the making is that it breeds peace in the heart and provides a gentler way of passing on skills to the younger generation.  Time spent doing this type of work at home with our family is precious and will reap goodness.

While we mothers clean and decorate our homes, may we think of ways to create a beautiful society at home.

Mrs. White

From the Archives:

Some Ideas - Getting Along in Marriage

Always striving to be this - The Old Time Housewife

Happy Days as Grandmother - Walking the Gardens with Baby


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Mrs. A said...

Wonderfully worded, Mrs. White! I agree with you whole heartedly here.

In our own home we don't have the vast electronics and gadgets beyond a laptop and a small tv without cable/satellite, and the kids must p[ay with toys and use imagination, read, or go outside. We keep older books, and the kids aren't fond of them, as there are no vampires/witches/etc as they are taught to love at the public school...but the classics are there to read, as well as some homeschool books that I collected when I did do some homeschooling. The bible is prominent, and I keep sermons and Christian radio going regularly,and at times play the bible on audio in the background as well through the day.

Thank you for the encouragement!

Noelle the dreamer said...

Bravo Mrs. White for a heartfelt post! So glad to see we are not the only one to feel thus! (That photo could be about ourselves minus the husband's business suit...Ex-RAF hubby says never again!)

gail said...

Hello Mrs White,

Thank you for the wisdom in todays post and I couldn't agree more. Have a lovely day.

Blessings Gail.

Jenn @ Beautifulcalling said...

How beautiful and how true. I love the idea of "what is not there" though it can prove to be challenging to make sure that "stuff" is not there when it comes to family and relatives - especially when they don't share the same vision!
We have wonderful inlaws that live overseas so when they come for a visit, often then want to buy to show love.
I'm thankful that my husband has suggested more "doing of things" than "buying of things" and pray that his mama listens! :)

Unknown said...

This is the first time I've been on your blog. I saw this post and it made me feel so warm and happy. It really goes to show you that we as mom's don't need much to make a difference in our kid's lives.

Chrissy88 said...

I love this post. It really describes the kind of home I am striving to have. I have a ways to go but these kind of ideas are little seeds of wisdom to my heart.

Housewife59 said...

I really liked this post Mrs White, especially, " Her actions and her interests will seep into the hearts of her family." Thank you : )

Ceil said...

Hi Mrs White! Yes, it all begins at home, right? Society is built and guided by our children, and their children after them. May we be supporting them, and giving them good things at home.

Karen Andreola said...

The Man-of-the-House and I traveled to attend the memorial service of a relative in Quincy, MA. While we were there we visited John Adam's historical home. Next to the house, on the small remaining plot of land, is a building the size of a two car garage. This is John Adam's large library. I was impressed. Abigail's son became president, too. It would be interesting to know what he had and didn't have in his bringing up.
Thank you for your encouraging ideas.
Karen A.