Guarding the Home
I have been working my way through Titus using the new Give Me Jesus journal from Well Watered Women and a few days ago I got to chapter 2 vs 5.
"to be self-controlled, pure, workers at home, kind, and in submission to their husbands, so that God's Word will not be slandered."
Paul is talking to Titus and giving him instructions about the people in the church, how they should behave and who should do certain things and what that all entails. At this point he is speaking about "older women", (This is a whole other post I should do but it doesn't only mean in age, it can also mean in maturity. I've met plenty of aged women who aren't as mature as someone half their age.) and how they are to teach the younger women. This verse is an incredible take on what and where a woman's place is in the home and it is not at all what you are thinking right now!
Let's start mining for some meaning here. The phrase "workers at home" is actually one word in the original Greek, "oikourgos" which means to guard; be "ware". When you look at Webster's the definition of "guard" it is— one assigned to protect or oversee another, an act or duty of protecting or defending and "beware" is - being defensively watchful. The Greek word can also mean "keeper of the house". Keeper or one who keeps means protector, warden, custodian, retain in ones possession or power, preserve and maintain. Part of what we are to learn is how to protect our home (family). That's a pretty weighty responsibility Paul is putting on our shoulders.
As women, mothers, wives, we are particularly adept at holding things together. If you'll notice that when the matriarch of a family dies it seems that there is a tendency for falling away or re-grouping. Losing a patriarch is horrible and certainly leaves a gaping wound but when the grandmother or the mother are gone, it's just different. A woman really is the glue that holds the family together. When you view that reality, even in our culture, in light of this verse you can see why Paul would put this charge of protecting the family on the women. We do this in so many ways we don't actively realize.
Women tend to have a heightened sense of discernment, aka "women's intuition". We instinctively know how to nurture in ways our male counterparts just don't. This is not a mistake or something to be corrected. We are created the way we are so that we can "become one", whole and fully functioning as God intends. This doesn't mean that the men don't also protect, they have their own commands, but today we are talking about a woman's role in the family. A woman tends to sense when something isn't quite right with someone in their family and most often are the ones to mediate or go to that person and try to find a solution.
While I think many of the ways we actively protect our family are wonderful, I think we need to look at this from the spiritual side too, a side that perhaps gets frequently overlooked. Paul tells us that we do not wage war with physical weapons but rather with spiritual weapons. We must be in battle and on defence in prayer for our families. Truly guard them, us, in prayer. Keeping our spirit eyes open to the prowling lion that goes around seeking to steal, kill and destroy.
One thing I struggle with most is busyness. I have determined that busyness is the enemy's greatest weapon in our culture. He doesn't have to use the vile things as in the past, though he still does I'm sure, but in our generation (especially the church world) his job is so much easier. He just has to keep us busy. We don't see it as a sin so it slides right under the radar but make no mistake, it is stealing, killing and destroying each one of us and our families when left unchecked. What's even more twisted is we often wear busyness as a badge of honor, importance and success. We will be perceived as important if we tell people we are "so busy" or the one that gets me is that you have to be busy otherwise you're failing as a mom. "You don't have time for quiet time because you're house is a mess, laundry has been sitting in that chair for 4 days and needs to be put away, you need to play with your kids or they won't feel you love them." #momguilt, is a real thing. Lies, all of them, and I'm left exhausted from the busyness awaiting me before the day even begins.
Who has time to quiet their soul before the Lord when I'm behind before I ever get up.
We are busying our families right into the enemy's hands. But what I'm learning is that busyness is a lie that I'm choosing to believe. Every time I choose an item on my "To Do List" before I choose to spend time in the Word I'm actively believing the enemy's lie and, whether I realize it or not, I'm leaving my guard post. If I'm to guard and protect my family, particularly in prayer, yet never have prayer time or quiet time with God, then I'm not guarding or protecting them. I'm choosing something other than the real wellbeing of my home.
How do you fix this busyness issue? I’ll let you know as soon as I have it figured out. The one thing that I keep coming back to in nearly all of my issues in life is that I can’t do it. I can’t figure it out. I’m not qualified to figure out the fix. It’s only when I turn to the Lord and say “I can’t do this. I don’t know how. You have to help me with this.” Only then does it become possible for me to overcome whatever it is I’m facing. He must be the source for all the answers I seek.
I was listening to a Beth Moore podcast last week and she said something along the lines of this thought. We will never be qualified for whatever it is we feel we are called to do and that’s because we aren’t. But with the Holy Spirit we are made competent. It is only through His power that we are enabled to do these things. So, for me I have to ask Him to help me stop with the busyness, to realign my priorities so that they align with His. I KNOW He wants me to put time with Him first in my life and in my day so I ask Him to help me to do it because let’s face it, in my own strength, I’m gonna be laying up in the bed until the last possible moment. But with His strength I can choose what’s better. I can choose to set my alarm and get up. I can choose to suit up for battle. I can choose to be on the defense for my home and marriage and family. I can choose to be a “worker at home“ by warring for my family in prayer.
Will you join me? Will you choose to have the courage to ask the Lord to help you to be a better guard? I earnestly want that, for you...and me.