The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish pulls it down with her hands.
For years I have struggled with how to make my home a beautiful, tranquil environment that my husband would love to be in. Originally I think the issue was that I just didn’t notice dirt or dust! It took an American missions team coming to our house and one of the ladies cleaning my stove to make me realise that it was dirty – that’s how bad I was!
Another problem was that I love to serve God and I love to help my husband. Well… serving God is what my husband does. So I try to help him with ministry, and everything that isn’t directly related to that always seems very unimportant in comparison (although I know it’s not!)
Then we started having children and moving house, so after the last 8 years of having 3 children and moving house 5 times, I’m still catching up J. But at least I am finally starting to notice the dirt, which is a good thing, and I am also finally realising that I need to move our home further up in my priority list.
However now that I have 3 kids who I am homeschooling, and other ministries on the side, it seems like a battle that is already lost to try to sort out and tidy the house, and I’m usually a lot more conscious of the negative aspects than the positive!
At the Pastor’s Wives Retreat I went to recently, there was a panel of experienced Pastor’s Wives for us all to ask questions of. One question came out, “How do I make my home a refuge?”
Most of the ladies in the panel answered this question in their own way, but one answer in particular (I can’t remember from whom!) stuck out to me for how practical and sensible it was. And how I’d missed it!
‘Talk to him and say, “Give me a priority list.
What is most important to you?”’
This is so simple, so true and yet so deep at the same time! Because for us to make our homes a refuge for our husbands can be completely different from one family to another. As Cathe Laurie wisely pointed out, some people were raised in a tidy house so they like everything tidy. But others might find the atmosphere and your attitude the most important.
So as I went home and realised as usual that there was so much to do, instead of doing my usual and either just pecking away at small parts hopelessly or giving up, I changed my ploy. I asked my husband, “What is most important to you for me to do?”. And started on it!
Ultimately though doing what is important to him may not help me personally, in making a difference to my husband I know it is good for both of us. After all that is what I am for, to support and help my husband – not just in ministry!
If you want to try this in your home, why don’t you go and ask your husband today, “What is most important to you for our home to be a refuge?”. Then figure out one practical thing you can do to help accomplish that, and when you can put it into practice. This last step can really help with getting your goals into realities!