Owning a Car Doesn’t Mean Someone Knows How To Drive

In the thirteenth chapter of Numbers, we find an account of great sadness. The children of Israel were sending in twelve men to spy out the land of Canaan before they went in to conquer it. That account parallels the challenges that we dads face in raising our families in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Ten of those men failed the test before them, and sadly many dads are failing as well. Let’s look at this section of Scripture together and see how we can avoid the pitfalls to which these men fell prey.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Send thou men . . .” (Numbers 13:1-2a). Here we find that the Lord is telling Moses to go spy out the land. Moses chose a man from each of the tribes. These were leaders in the Israelite community, men of position who were likely destined to become rulers when the elders in each tribe passed away. Likely, they were young enough to be able to endure the physically challenging mission with sufficient maturity to handle situations they might face. These men were the “creme of the crop.”

The spies were embarking on a dangerous journey that would test them to determine whether they were actual leaders or mere figureheads. When a man marries, he instantly finds himself in a position of leadership. However, that doesn’t mean he knows how to lead just as owning a car doesn’t mean a person knows how to drive. As the months and years pass, it becomes obvious whether Dad is a true leader or one who is just filling the position. There isn’t any official training that Dad receives to teach him how to lead his family. The more he has been in the Word and applied what he has read, though, the better prepared he will be to lead his family. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). This will be the basis for wise decisions.

Moses’ directions for the men were that they would, “see the land, what it is; and the people that dwelleth therein, whether they be strong or weak, few or many; And what the land is that they dwell in, whether it be good or bad; and what cities they be that they dwell in, whether in tents, or in strong holds; And what the land is, whether it be fat or lean, whether there be wood therein, or not. And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land. . .” (Numbers 13:18-20).

On returning from their mission, the leaders appeared to be successful in their assignment. There were no casualties, and they brought back a cluster of grapes for everyone to observe the fruit of the land. The excitement would have been tremendous as everyone gathered to hear the report after being gone forty days. “And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan” (Numbers 13:27-30).

We aren’t told who was giving this fearful account to the people, although we do know from the passage it wasn’t Caleb or Joshua. Likely, it was collective and affirmed to be true from all ten of the twelve. Yes, they confirmed what the Lord told them—that it was a land flowing with milk and honey. However, they were giving a negative report that would fuel terror in all the people. Here were hand-picked “leaders” who were fearful and undermining Moses’ leadership along with God’s direction. Moses’ important direction to the spies before they left was that they should be “. . . of good courage.” Yet, they had succumbed to fear.

Have you noticed that it takes COURAGE to be a good leader? It seems to me that it is easy to become fearful as we face challenges. Others can be quick to criticize the decisions we make, and that can cause us uncertainty and concern. Even without criticism, when so many others are making popular choices as they follow the “broad worldly path,” it can make the direction we are heading feel questionable. How will our chil

Posted in: Dad's Corner

Holly Homemaker – Part 2

Last month Holly Homemaker, Part 1, I began addressing a negative comment that resulted from one of our blog posts on Titus2.com. If you missed it previously, here again is the blog post and comment following it.

5 Year Old’s Enthusiasm

chorepack

From a recent e-mail: “I wanted to send this sweet picture of our oldest, Audrey, wearing her ChorePack the first week and getting ready to unload the dishwasher. She RAVED about how she loved the chore pack because it reminded her of everything she needed to do in the morning instead of her forgetting things that needed to get done. We’ve loved the system so far! Thank you for creating it.”

“Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men” (Proverbs 22:29).

Now, for the comment:

“That poor little girl. She’s happy because she’s pleasing mommy—like all children do. She should be out playing with friends, playing dress up or let’s pretend, MAYBE a few small chores here and there—but CHOREPACKS? You people are going to kill that child’s spirit before she’s 7. God forbid she wants to be anything other than Holly Homemaker—do they have ChorePacks for future lawyers? Or Astronauts? I hope that she grows up to realize that she’s worth more than just an unpaid scullery maid/nanny.”

While we didn’t have any trouble discerning the disdainful bias of the comment, we actually liked the term Holly Homemaker. Holly Homemaker sounded warm, loving, and inviting to us—the type of mother I would like to be and a title I would embrace. We want our daughters to grow up in a home where when they are adults, they would choose to stay home with their children, a Holly Homemaker, rather than pursue a career. No amount of salary can compare to the value of nurturing a heart in the Lord Jesus Christ. I know that choice begins with the atmosphere I cultivate in my home and the role model I set before them.

After writing last month’s Mom’s Corner, I had some responses that I thought would be an encouragement to many of my readers, who can sometimes not feel valued. Here are a few of those comments.

“I am a ‘Holly Homemaker’ literally. My name is Holly, and I am a homemaker, wife, mama, homeschooler, manager of the home, and all that is included in that. I LOVE what I do even though it is the hardest job I have ever had! I am so blessed to have been given this career! I cannot think of any other career that has a higher calling! It is AWESOME!!!” Mom A

“I am blessed to be home with my children. I have a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and previously worked as the Legislative Director for the now-Governor of my state. Four years ago, my husband and I adopted two young children out of the foster care system, and I’ve been home with them ever since.

“It is my privilege to raise them in the Lord, homeschool them, and keep our family’s home. Some days I do feel unappreciated, but I wouldn’t want to be any place else.”Mom B “I was only a few hours short of my doctorate in education curriculum and design when I met my husband, and we got married. Previously, I’d made a handsome salary, had traveled abroad extensively, and was very successful in my career. I did not pursue any of that out of choice, but necessity. I was 37 years old before God brought my husband and me together. Upon our union, I immediately became a stay at home wife, and later a homeschooling mother to our son, who is now 15.

“While I was raised by wonderful Christian parents, they did not raise me to believe my place in life was in the home. God brought me to this realization Himself. There was nothing in my past life that equals the joy being a wife and momma now bring.

“The whole time I was single, my dream and prayer was to one day be standing in an old farmhouse doorway, with a baby on my hip, a toddler clinging to my calico dress, as we watched the older children out in the front yard playing—swinging from a homemade swing, climbing trees, and chasing each other as they dodged the chickens running in between their legs.

“While God did not see fit to bless us with more than one child, I am believing in a quiver full of grandchildren one day! My son is being prepared to be the sole provider for his family, knowing being home is God’s highest calling for any woman. I pray he will seek out God’s best for him, in the form of a godly woman who puts husband, children, and home above all else.” Mom C

“I too am a Holly Homemaker and love it. I love the title since my youngest daughter’s name is Holly. I can’t imagine playing the world’s game and having to leave my family every day to serve someone less important than the people I love most!!!

“My earnest prayer is that my daughters will grow to be godly women who enjoy staying home with their families and serving them. They all say that is what they desire, and I am overjoyed that their hearts have been set this way by our wonderful Lord.” Mom D “I consider my role at home priceless!” Mom E

When we think of being a Holly Homemaker, keep in mind Titus 2:4-5: “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” Here we see a list of what the Lord Jesus is directing a young, married woman to have as the emphasis of her life. There are three aspects identified that I can fulfill much better by being a Holly Homemaker than by having a career and those are to love my husband, to love my children, and to be a keeper at home.

By being home I can maintain my house so that it is the haven I desire it to be for my husband and children. I have time to keep up with the household chores like laundry, meals, dishes, and cleaning so that they are accomplished. I am not stressed trying to fit them into a couple of evening and weekend hours.

Staying home allows me to focus on being a loving wife when my husband is home. I can arrange my time so that I am free for family activities and interactions when my husband is available. I am not distracted by other things that need to be done.

Because I have chosen not to have an outside-the-home career, I am able to more fully love my children. This includes having time to spend with them throughout the day. It also means that I can provide them with a home education, which would be difficult, if not impossible, if I had a full or even part-time job.

Perhaps the greatest way I love my children is by bringing them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). I am Steve’s helpmeet in this vital assignment from the Lord. By being home all day with my children I have that many more hours to impact their lives for Jesus Christ by sharing Scripture with them, praying with them, talking about the Lord Jesus with them, ministering with them, helping them apply Scripture to their lives, directing them in godly responses to each other, memorizing with them, and all that is involved in a loving, daily life in a Christian home.

I was quite drawn to the statement from the mom who said she felt her role at home was priceless. If all that we can accomplish in our homes were to be hired out and given a price tag, we could somewhat quantify it, and it would likely add up to quite a sum of money each month. However, the eternal impact we have on our husband, our children, and those around us in our ministry at home is most certainly priceless. Even if the world doesn’t choose to value what Holly Homemaker is doing, may we be women who embrace that calling and joyfully fulfill that role.