I am from a generation of women called to careers outside the home. While this movement creates valuable advancements in the form of economic independence, personal achievement and financial reward, it sometimes devalues the role of a woman in defining and sustaining her family’s experience of home.
As a result, we now refer to cooking, cleaning and laundry as chores, and they certainly can be. But, I must confess that I experience a sort of guilty pleasure when I make a fabulous dinner, get all the laundry done (a short-lived milestone) or beat back dirty socks and dog hair to create a spotless living space (even shorter-lived).
Fortunately, the Lord has put in my path a few Godly women who, while they all work outside the home, possess an unabashed passion and prowess for home work. They are among the ranks of those I fondly refer to as domestic goddesses. Here is a brief glimpse of these women at work:
- Meg starts her day by rising before her husband to make fresh brewed coffee and a breakfast sammie for his commute. She cuts fresh fruit for her boys, and makes sure their lunches have something homemade.
- In between conference calls, Lynne packs snacks for her son (and his friends) to enjoy after soccer practice. She always has freshly made salsa in the fridge and pumpkin bread in the oven.
- Tricia makes flashcards to help her daughter study, and has been known to crank out an extra set for her friends. She made 80-plus fleece scarves for her daughter’s band fund-raiser. And she sews her own curtains.
Why do they do it? They have come to know and treasure the secrets of a domestic goddess:
1. Providing nourishment is one of our first and primary roles as women.
Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? (Isaiah 49:15)
2. As mothers, we are the embodiment of Christ’s love to our families.
As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem. (Isaiah 66:13)
3. We are called to serve one another, a calling that begins at home, is modeled for our children and then ripples into the world around us.
Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord. (Ephesians 6:7)
Serve one another humbly in love. (Galatians 5:13)
This is not to say that every woman is obliged to do such things and love them. And it is not to say that men can’t find similar satisfaction in them.
I simply seek to lift up and celebrate these women who quietly reign over their domains with benevolence and good cheer, providing comfort and wonderful memories for their families.
So friends, no more sweeping your domesticity under the rug. Stand proud of who you are and what you do, and know that other women see, admire and seek to share in your secrets. (I can hear those pans rattling in your honor!)