Have you ever heard someone say, “If I ruled the world, things would be different!”? How about, “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world?” Did you know this saying is literally true? The ones who teach the next generation are the ones who decide who will rule the world and how it will be governed. Who rocks the cradle in our culture today? Public schools, government caretakers, strangers…. There are very few women left who understand the extreme importance of their role as wives and mothers – and as daughters or grandmothers.
Did you know that God gave women a special role as co-heirs of grace to help take dominion of the earth, to rule it, to bring up godly children, and to help make His kingdom beautiful? Let’s turn to Genesis 1:26-28: “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’” As you see, God made man and woman together—mankind—to rule the earth and take dominion. Mankind is male and female together; each one with a different and beautiful role. And each role complements the other
The ideal woman of Scripture was described by a woman!
Feminists today like to dismiss the Bible as “just a bunch of rules made up by men to keep women oppressed.” But do you know who gave us the picture of the ideal woman? King Lemuel’s mother did! Look at Proverbs 31:1: “The words of King Lemuel, the utterance which his mother taught him.” It is mothers who are to teach their sons—not just their daughters—what kind of woman makes the ideal wife and helpmate.
We all know about that wonderful Proverbs 31 woman. She manages an entire household, ordering exotic foods, planting vineyards, commanding servants, creating beautiful clothing for herself and her children, teaching with kindness and wisdom, demonstrating godly ability in her special role. But the entire Bible is filled with women we can admire and model ourselves upon. Think of Sarah, who willingly accompanied her husband on a long journey to a strange land, calling him “lord” … even when he made some foolish decisions! Think of Abigail, who quickly pacified King David with her hospitality and humility after her husband, Nabal, had insulted the king and his men. Think of Esther, who risked her life to save her people by spreading a feast for her husband and his chief adviser, showing her ability to work within the king’s laws even when she needed to ask for something that would break a new law he had just passed. And there are countless others, including John the Baptist’s mother Elizabeth; Mary, who humbly declared to the angel, “Be it unto me according to your word” when she was told she would give birth to Christ; the women who provided Jesus with food and shelter; Lydia, who invited the church to meet in her own household.
What ties all of the great women of Scripture together? Some were beautiful; some were not. Some had opportunities to do something amazing; others simply did what was right at hand in their own families. What they all share is a common bond of obedience to God’s Word, joyful submission to their special role, and a willingness to be used of God in the way God designed for them.
What Is Our Role at Home?
So what’s so great about being at home? How could serving at home possibly be important in the grand scheme of things? After all, isn’t staying at home just about doing dishes, cleaning floors, and wiping runny noses? What’s so important about all that? Friends, this is exactly what Satan would like us to think about the woman’s role in the home. He is delighted when the home is reduced to a list of chores. The feminists of the 1960s called homemakers “parasites,” “drudges,” and “mindless drones.” Those are actual quotes! Is the woman at home a drain on society? A mindless parasite who just slumps along from one menial task to the next? If this is your idea of homemaking, it’s time to change your vision. God’s vision of the keeper at home is so beautiful, so all-encompassing, and so vital to the health of our world that it cannot be reduced to lists of chores. Let’s look at what the home is about.
First of all, the home is a tiny world—a cosmos all to itself. Do you want to rule the world? God has given you the entire universe of your home to manage and “subdue.” You as the homekeeper are to manage the house (I Tim. 5:14 commands young women to “oikodespotein,” which literally means “be despot of the house”). Just as your husband is king, so you are the queen of this realm. Your job is to make your kingdom a small picture of God’s greater kingdom – a kingdom in which the subjects are in order and obey their king; a kingdom where beauty shines in every word and deed; a kingdom that welcomes friends and strangers with abundant hospitality and gracious care. Do you find our current culture disgusting and revolting? Look around at the homes that make up our culture. There is the root of the problem. Homes that are emptied of their meaning and purpose create the culture in which we live. When homes do not have creative, happy, intelligent mothers, their occupants go elsewhere to learn how to behave, to learn what music to love, to learn what art to imitate. Are you building culture in your home? Are you training your children to be the image-bearers of God in this world? This is your calling.
The home is also the place where those who will later run our nation are trained – or not trained. Do you want honest, upright, able men to guide our country’s future? Those men are sitting in high chairs today in your dining room. They are digging trenches in the flowerbeds. If we do not want another generation of greedy, power-hungry politicians, we must nurture and train the leaders we desire within our own homes.
The home is also where future queens learn how to rule their own kingdoms. Are your daughters learning by example all that goes into the management of your family estate? It doesn’t matter if you live in an apartment or in a grand house; your home is truly your family’s castle. Do your daughters see you as queen and ruler of your realm or as a slave reluctantly doing enough to get by? The future of the home depends upon the example you are giving your daughters.
Our homes are also the frame for a very special picture that has been entrusted to Christian husbands and wives. Paul wrote that marriage is meant to be a picture of Christ and His Heavenly Bride, the Church. Our homes set the stage for this picture and how it is presented to our world. Does your home reflect a wholehearted devotion to its King—your husbands and fathers? Does your home show a tender love and care for its Queen—all of you wives, mothers, and grandmothers? Your home can either lie about Christ and His Bride, or it can tell the Truth. The Truth is that the King provides for His Bride, lays down His life for her, and honors her with His own Body. The Truth is that the Bride adores the King, delights in serving Him, and rejoices at His return.
Finally, the home is meant to welcome strangers and saints, to provide shelter, warmth, food—all the things that make up hospitality. Romans 12:13 says, “Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” I Peter 4:9 tells us to “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.” The older women who are given as our examples in I Timothy 5 are commended for showing hospitality. Hospitality isn’t about fancy dishes, nice tablecloths, five-course meals, or special occasions. Sure, there is a time and a place for all the nice table settings. We love to use them in our home, because they make a meal extra special. But hospitality can be shown with paper plates and sandwiches. The key element is an open heart, a loving home, and a willingness to serve others. Is your home open?
Exhortation for All Ages
Little girls, do you know that you have a special role God has made just for you? Do you know what a privilege it is to be a daughter in a Christian family? You have the opportunity to bless your parents while you are young that you might never have again. By your joyful obedience, you proclaim Christ to the world! You can bless your brothers and sisters by showing them kindness and practicing womanliness now, while you are still growing up. You can especially be a blessing to your mothers, helping them to fulfill their callings in showing hospitality, making home a haven, and demonstrating the love of Christ for His Church.
Wives, our world tells you daily that the best thing you can do to help your husband is to leave home and earn that second income. What is really sad is that our economy and our political structure have now been built around the model of the two-income family, often making it extremely difficult for a family to survive on a single income—or at least making it a sacrifice. It’s considered “radical” today to declare that God created wives to serve their own husbands at home and that the wife at home has a vital role in the health of our culture and our nation. But your role isn’t one your husband can easily replace. He can’t just buy a “stay-at-home” robot – nor would such a machine be able to take over the tasks that are central to running a hospitable, welcoming, beautiful home.
Mothers, do you know what a priceless and irreplaceable role you have? No one else can fulfill your role. Oh, they can try, and today our society is structured around replacing mothers with daycare workers, “experts,” and “professional childcare givers.” But you really don’t need studies or graphs or statistics to tell you what you already know deep down. Every child is different, and no one can love your child like you do. No one has your child’s interests at heart like you do. And the bottom line is that God has not called anyone else to fulfill your role in bringing up your children to know Him, love Him, and obey Him.
Grandmothers, aunts, cousins, friends – do you know what a vital support role you have in God’s kingdom? We all need your shining examples, your instruction, your patience, your experience. The Bible tells us that the older women who have successfully brought up godly children and created hospitable homes are to teach the younger women. Where are the older women today? Where are our teachers? We need you more than ever, because the skills, attitudes, and beliefs that you uphold will be lost if you do not pass them on.
I’d like to close by reading a speech given earlier this year by a homeschool graduate. I hope it will inspire you to see that passing on a vision of godly womanhood is absolutely vital to the health of our families and the Church at large. I hope you will see how one faithful mother can have an impact that will affect generations. It is, after all, the little things that add up in the making of men and women. Holding a child on your lap, reading out loud, extending your hand to the elderly, listening to someone who needs a sympathetic ear—these things all add up as we work to build a culture of kindness, beauty, strength, and wisdom. Do you want to rule the world? Start ruling your homes!
This article comes from a talk originally given to a local homeschool group by Mrs. Chancey.