I wrote this post when I first had Jack (about three years ago) at Every Square Inch. But, as I read it the other day, it was a good reminder to me of what I want to continue to strive for in our home. I’m learning that the older my kids get and the busier I get at my part-time job, the more my “end goals” for my family can get buried under “busyness” and “the daily grind”. Living with “the end in mind” requires me to refocus and reflect at times on our vision for our family. Hope this is an encouragement to you as you think through your own “end goals” for your home and/or family.
I’ve never been a person who aspired to be a stay-at-home mom. In fact, my impressions of that profession were that you had to be someone who loved to sew, clean, work on craft projects, and other assorted tasks/skills that I just personally don’t enjoy. Underlying my judgmental attitude toward it all, I think, is that I didn’t quite see how I could really be “making a difference for God” while being at home all day. On an even less noble and honest level, I realized that this job is something that is not very valued in our culture. Stay-at-home moms don’t get accolades, and I, quite frankly, didn’t like the idea of that.
Now, after almost a year of staying home with my son (Note: well, now I’ve been at home with one or both kids for over three years), my “tude” is changing a little. In fact, I love it. I haven’t sewn or crafted anything, although cleaning is hard to avoid. I’m also beginning to learn more about how being in this line of work actually can “make a difference for God” or bring glory to God. Now, it is true that there aren’t many public accolades here, but God is helping me to slowly learn to find my approval from Him not others (but that’s for another blog post another day.) Back to the subject at hand…One of the ways stay-at-home moms (well, all parents for that matter) can bring glory to God is to make our homes a place that reflects God. Allow me to explain what I mean.
Charles Spurgeon wrote a great little devotional about how God is our home (look up Nov. 10, 2007 to read it on this link.) He wrote about the verse: “The eternal God is thy refuge.”—Deuteronomy 33:27. He mentions that “dear to our hearts is our home, although it be the humblest cottage, or the scantiest garret.” At home we “feel safe,” “we take our rest,” we can let down our guard, and it “is the place of our truest and purest happiness.”
Now, I ask you, what do you think of when you think of home? For me, the idea conjures up warm memories of racing down the stairs Christmas morning with my siblings, playing games around the dining room table and making fun of each other, eating mom’s home-cooked meals, and working on late night school projects with my dad. The idea of “home” is certainly “dear to my heart,” and that’s partially why the description of God in verses like Deuteronomy 33:27 are so meaningful to me.
You see, if that feeling when we think of home is similar to what Spurgeon described, then we get just a little glimpse of how wonderful it is that God is our refuge, our abode, our home. On the flip side, I imagine that it may be a barrier to understanding this metaphor in Scripture if we don’t have a safe, loving, comfortable home to grow up in. If we don’t long for that feeling of “home,” then perhaps it may be hard for us to long for God as our home. That is where I think my role as a stay-at-home mom comes in. I have an opportunity to create a home that—imperfectly, of course–reflects God as our refuge.
The practical application of this principle probably looks a little different for each of our families. But, I’m starting by praying that God would help me to build a home environment, no matter its physical location or size, where He is magnified and where my family feels His safety, rest, comfort, love, and joy when they are here. Ultimately, I pray that my family would long for God as their refuge as they, by His grace, experience these things in our home.