Tag Archives: Holly Homemaker

Holly Homemaker – Part 5

The Holly Homemaker series has managed to draw itself out to encompass quite a few articles.

It started from a blog post on Titus2.com and a negative comment about that post. By now you are probably very familiar with the blog post and comment, but in case we have a new reader or you want to refresh you memory, here it is one more time.

5 Year Old’s Enthusiasm

chorepack

From a recent e-mail: “I wanted to send this sweet picture of our oldest, Audrey, wearing herChorePack 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 lovedthe 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.”

From the blog comment, we are left with the feeling that the author believes that if a child is given more than a few small chores to do, he will not have any playtime. This is really far from the truth. After the first Holly Homemaker Mom’s Corner, the mom who had originally sent us the photo of her five-year-old daughter with her ChorePack unloading the dishwasher wrote to us. She was a little taken aback at the assumptions that were made in the blog comment concerning her daughter’s activities. This is what she said.

“I was so sad to hear about the woman who commented negatively and was thrilled to see your response. The sad thing is that the commenter does not even know the full story. We also use your scheduling system, and there is plenty of time scheduled for my daughter to play dress up, babies, play with her sister and brother, do school, and crafts, etc. I think this woman has no idea what your ChorePack system is about and the time actually involved in them. My daughter DOES want to be a mommy when she grows up and like you, I think it honors the Lord for her to do so.

“As far as how much time the chores take, my daughter is five so she is responsible for eight things in the morning: praying (she can’t read yet), getting dressed, putting PJ’s away, making her bed, brushing her hair, filling the cat’s water bowl, unloading the top rack of the dishwasher, and brushing her teeth. ALL of this takes her less than 20 minutes in the morning; sometimes she even gets her little sister dressed in that same amount of time.

“We also have an afternoon ChorePack where she waters our two houseplants, makes sure her room is picked up, puts books and toys away, sets the table, and is the kitchen helper if it is her day (she trades off with her brother). I would say this one takes her a maximum of thirty minutes because she usually helps me train our almost two-year-old in picking up her toys as well. So chores ALL DAY take less than an hour which leaves eleven hours for fun and school since the children are up from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“I didn’t even know how to turn on the washing machine when I went to COLLEGE. I had to have my mom come up and show me how to run it when she was visiting the first week. How sad! You would think my mom would be anti-chores since she did everything for us, but she loves the idea that we are training our children on how to keep up with themselves and be responsible, God-fearing adults.” The five-year-old’s mom

The precious, little ChorePack-using girl’s mom gives us a good perspective of what her daughter’s day looks like and how much of it she is spending doing chore work. The jobs are reasonable to her age and capability. Her mommy is helping her invest her time in productive activities like chores and school while allowing plenty of time for play.

To be honest with you, I wonder if the children who will grow up to be lawyers and astronauts aren’t quite possibly the ones who are learning to work at home rather than the ones who are addicted to TV, movies, and Xboxes.

I remember a conversation we had with one of our neighbors who drives a public school bus. She told us that she asked the children on her bus how many of them played outside. Only two raised their hands. She decided to give them a “play-outside challenge.” We had recently had a seven-inch snow, and there was still a lot of snow on the ground. She told her bus children that when she came to pick them up in the morning, she would give a reward to any child who had built a snowman by the bus stop. There was only one child who responded to the challenge of building a snowman that was visible on the route the next day. That child was treated to a McDonald’s Happy Meal.

When children are given chores to do, they are learning to apply themselves to a task that needs to be accomplished. They have something productive to do with a portion of their time. With practice at their chores, they become responsible, diligent, thorough, careful, and efficient. They also learn how to manage their time. All of those are qualities that a professional will need just as much as the Holly Homemaker needs them. The children who learn how to work at home will have the perseverance and determination to apply themselves to difficult tasks they will face in adulthood–whether that is starting a business, becoming an astronaut or lawyer, or raising a family.

Sadly, the children who grow up without being encouraged to work will likely choose to avoid work in their adult lives. They will perpetuate their childhood into their adult years and wonder why they struggle so much. Remember from the March 2011 Holly Homemaker Mom’s Corner where the professional couldn’t find young employees because none of those who applied for the jobs knew how to work?

Those who haven’t learned how to work will not be qualified to be the leaders of their generation because they have set their hearts and affections on fun and games rather than industry and service. Chores and working don’t kill a child’s spirit, instead they develop, enhance, challenge, and produce the kind of spirit that will make that child successful as an adult. It is the children who are left to sit in front of the TV with their XBoxes whose spirits are being killed. Those spirits are being sucked into the mire of self, mindlessness, and entertainment. Could it be that these children are developing the appetites that will make them be “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God (2 Timothy 3:4)?”

Here is one more comment that I wanted to include in this series:

“When we learn to work together and when the children work before they go play, we are all happier plus Mom might be freed up enough to play with them.” Mom O

I agree with Mom O that as the children pitch in to help in their homes, Mom’s workload is lightened. This allows her not only her more time to play with her children, talk to them, and read to them, but it also helps facilitate a more joyful, content overall attitude. A happy mom is often the foundation of a happy family.

In the past, Steve and I listened to those, like the negative blog commenter, who would want us to choose not to give our children chores but rather simply let them play and have fun. We also evaluated the results of that kind of parenting, and we didn’t like the results. We saw appetites developed for self and entertainment but we desired our children to have appetites to serve. Working helped our children toward the servant’s heart found in Scripture. “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13).

Others, as they have shared through this series of articles, have seen the bad results of children not learning how to work, as well. This was usually from personal experience in the area of not having been given chores as they were growing up.

When we did a survey of Christian families before writing Managers of Their Chores, overwhelmingly we heard back that these families wanted to teach their children how to work. About 75% of the respondents came from families where they were not required to do household chores, and they felt that decision by their parents had hindered them as adults. They didn’t have the skills they needed or the attitudes toward work that they wanted. They simply weren’t equipped for what they would face as adults. These families are making different decisions for their children, decisions that include a positive attitude toward chores and teaching their children to handle chore responsibility.

I think in this series we have now covered each of the concerns the negative blog commenter had about a five-year-old having a ChorePack to help her do some household chores. I am happy that I can be a Holly Homemaker and that one of the things I can do being home with my children is to teach them how to work. We want our children equipped for their adulthood through the skills they are learning when they work in our home plus the work ethic that comes with chores as well. May we be women who look beyond the cries of the world that says a child’s days should only consist of fun and choose to prepare our children for life.

Holly Homemaker – Part 4

This month we delve once again into a comment that was left on our blog in response to a blog post. We didn’t approve the comment on the blog, but we saved it so that we could address the concerns that it was raising. If you’d like to read the previous articles in this series, please do so. Here is the blog post and the comment that is the basis for this series of articles.

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.”

I have addressed the benefits that I have found in my life of being a Holly Homemaker and how we would like our daughters to choose to be Holly Homemakers when they are married. Last month we started evaluating the part of the comment where the author indicates that she/he doesn’t think a child should have more than a “few small chores here and there.” Obviously a five-year-old unloading a dishwasher is beyond the chore criteria that the blog commenter would feel is reasonable. In the previous article, we observed that in real adult life everyone will have daily, household responsibilities. Learning to do chores as children simply prepares our children to handle those tasks as adults and to have positive attitudes toward them.

One mom wrote to me and listed the chores her children are doing and why it is critical to her that her children learn to work. Here is what she said.

“Today, my four-year-old washed the breakfast dishes and loved it. My six-year-old also does dishes, some sweeping, and setting/clearing the table. Between them my ten and nine-year-old sons sweep the kitchen, keep the house vacuumed (except for the master bedroom and basement), do the garbage and recycling duties, clean the garage, do other yard work as asked, clean the bathroom sinks and toilets daily, take care of the dinner dishes most nights, and sometimes cook a simple meal here and there.

“Recently a neighbor asked if the two older ones would be interested in helping her clean the stables of her little horse farm. She’s getting older and is unmarried. They were very enthusiastic even when they had no expectation of reward. I doubt that if it weren’t for the chores they have to do at home that they would be very eager to perform what they know will be reasonably demanding labor. “Our ‘chore life’ is not perfect, but it’s a long way from what I grew up with. I can remember moaning and fretting about small tasks until my mom gave up, and in the end, I don’t think I had any household responsibilities by the time I finished high school!!

“Anyway—all this to say: CHORES ROCK!” Mom I

When I e-mailed to ask permission to use Mom I’s testimony about chores from her childhood and chores for her children, she sent me a bit more of the story. This is what she said.

“After I emailed, I was thinking also about how my mom said when I was in my early teens that I should make a meal once a week. I just sort of ignored that, and nothing happened. Some time later my mom suggested maybe I should make a meal once a month. I didn’t pursue that either and eventually the whole matter was dropped. At the time I was thrilled. So of course when I eventually needed to make meals, I was quite lost, and still had the sense that this was ‘not my job.’ Perhaps that’s some good coming out of the fact that my mom didn’t persevere in having me do chores—it made me realize that it’s important to me that my children learn how to work! :)” Mom I

From Mom I, we have the perspective of growing up in a home where the children were given no chore responsibility. However, coming to her adult years and motherhood role, Mom I was not prepared. From this experience, she is choosing to raise her children in a different manner by teaching them how to work at home. From that decision, she is already experiencing children who can contribute a substantial amount of help to the household chores, and they are also being sought after for their diligence and skills by others even though the children are only nine and ten. In addition, these nine and ten-year-olds are excited about working to help the neighbor even though they aren’t expecting to be paid. “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13). Don’t you think that those are children who have the potential to be whatever the Lord Jesus calls them to be in their adult lives?

This is another testimonial that was sent to me after the first Holly Homemaker article where the mom was raised in a home without being taught how to work. She shares the results of that kind of childhood and what she thinks about a five-year-old who is learning to do chores. “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise” (Proverbs 6:6).

“I want to thank you for your ministry. I have several of your books and the scheduling has refined what I was already doing immensely. I also have the Chore book and the online ChoreWare program which has helped me tremendously. It has helped me not just with the kids’ chores but with my own housekeeping and getting organized. Which leads me to this month’s Mom’s Corner.

“I was raised by a single, working mom. She was too tired at the end of the day to care about the house, dinner, or even me. I was an only child. When I was asked to help out around the house, which was rare, I was defiant and lazy. When I got married and then had children, I found that I had to learn EVERYTHING on my own about how to clean and maintain a home. It has been hard.

“This five-year-old girl that you used as an example—what a blessing for her to be taught the basic things any person (man or woman) will need to know in her grown up years to maintain a home and feed herself and her family. In her childhood, she will become so engrained in dishwashing and laundry and mopping floors and staying on task, that she will be free in her grown up years to pursue other interests or even schooling and a career if she should choose without losing her school papers because she never learned to be organized, without eating fast food hamburgers because she never learned to prepare herself healthy meals, and without wearing her clothes for the second or third day in a row because she never learned to keep up with her laundry. Our culture says that children need to be free to play and do what they want to do when they are little, but then complain if they grow up to be lazy and living off welfare.” Mom J

The next testimony comes from the perspective of observing the results in young adult’s lives when they haven’t learned the basics of how to take care of themselves when they are on their own. As I read this testimony, I wondered about how gently a Marine Corps soldier would teach a new recruit how to clean his barracks room versus a mommy working with her little children.

“Today I read the Mom’s Corner for March and have to total agree with Teri about teaching ALL children responsibility. Whether we stay home and are ‘Holly Homemakers,’ love this name, or our daughters and daughters-in-law stay home and are ‘Holly Homemakers,’ all our children need to be taught to clean up after themselves and others plus be a team player. As a Marine Corps wife of eight years, I have seen MANY a young Marine come in and have NO idea how to do any of their cleaning or laundry because Mommy always did it for them. I’ve watched my husband have to in-detail train a nineteen-year-old Marine how to clean his barracks room—a task that our seven-year-old son and three-year-old daughter already know how to do in our home. I pray and hope that the Maxwell Family will continue to encourage families in training their children in simple things like chores and responsibilities and that we moms will continue to raise godly children who know how to clean up after themselves!” Mom K

The final comments I want to share with you have to do with the value of chores in helping children develop a servant’s heart. “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17). Mom L wrote after she read the first Holly Homemaker Mom’s Corner and the negative comment about the blog post.

“How sad to think of children trained to self serve. What a giant chain and ball parents are putting on their children when they choose not to teach them to work and serve others. Thank you for ChorePacks and the helps you give to families.” Mom L

“I have enjoyed your articles about ‘Holly Homemaker.’ When I read the negative comment, I thought about my college roommates. These people never felt the need to pick up after themselves, do the dishes or their laundry. Needless to say, our home was a pit, and I was very unhappy. If the mess had been limited to their room, it would have been fine, but it even poured over into our shared space. Many times I waited for them to feel the need to do the dishes, to the point of them stinking up the whole house. It never bothered them. My point is this—everyone learning to do their share is important because someday we are going to live with others—whether it be a college roommate or a spouse. If we can learn to think of others by picking up after ourselves and sharing the load, it is just one less area of potential conflict. I don’t want my children to be the inconsiderate roommate or the person who expects their spouse to pick up their dirty socks off the floor. Chores can teach a lot about life and living at peace with others!” Mom M

As our children learn to work in our homes, we are teaching them how to work throughout their adult years. This life preparation will be transferrable to many areas in their lives. In the process, they will be learning positive attitudes toward work and developing a servant’s heart. Teaching these skills in our homes makes the transition to independent living for our children easier and less stressful because they know what needs to be done and how to do it. In addition, they are not waiting for others to take care of them. May we be mothers committed to giving our children the tools they need to be successful adults, including teaching them how to work.

Holly Homemaker – Part 3

We are continuing a series of articles inspired by a comment that was made in response to this blog post that we had on our Titus2.com blog. Here is the post if you care to refresh your memory, and the comment follows.

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.

In this article, I would like to move into the realm of whether or not chores are important for a child. I had planned to address this topic as the series continued, but the responses to the first two articles were quite articulate. They provide other voices and other experiences beyond my own so I will start with what some of them shared with me.

“I have just read this month’s Mom’s Corner, and I wanted to say thank you for the great encouragement you are to all of us, ‘Holly Homemakers.’ Yet, another thought crossed my mind as I read the negative blog comment you had received. The idea that ChorePacks (or chores in general) are for the purpose of training up future homemakers, or even strictly for the purpose of getting the housework completed, is absurd. Are there ChorePacks for future lawyers and astronauts? Absolutely! Those ChorePacks are filled with things like . . . unload the dishwasher, do the laundry, clean the windows, take out the trash, make your bed, and other things. Chores are not designed for the sole purpose of lightening Mom’s load and training up Holly Homemaker. In assigning chores, we are teaching CHARACTER, not simply achievement and tasks. We are giving our children the tools they will need to succeed in becoming whatever God calls them to do. I would be completely negligent in my duties as a parent if I were to send my grown sons off to university (should the Lord require it) to become medical doctors if I had not first taught them how to cheerfully, and without reminder, make their beds in the morning and set the table for dinner. THAT is why, even at 5 years old (and younger), EVERYONE has chores at our house, the future professors, doctors, lawyers, missionaries, and, yes, even my little Holly Homemakers in training.” Mom F

“I just read the Holly Homemaker article. Thank you! It was interesting also that my twelve-year-old son was here and noted my response to the negative comment. He isn’t particularly fond of chores but does them willingly. I pointed out to him something that you didn’t even mention. My job as a mom is to teach my children, not only school (we homeschool) but life skills. One day my sons will leave this house—whether with a wife or on their own—and they need to be able to keep their home clean and running properly. They need to learn how and one day be able to do all the things that I do. If they can learn to enjoy chores, the better off they will be! This is true of a woman who decides to be a lawyer or astronaut also.” Mom G

“The first thought that came to my mind when I read that negative blog comment was, don’t future lawyers and astronauts need to learn how to do dishes, too?  Don’t they need to learn the values of hard work, self-discipline, or consistency?

“People these days are continuing to lie to themselves if they think that having a ‘carefree (irresponsible, child-centered) childhood’ really develops good leaders and professional workers. My husband is a professional engineer with a tremendous amount of responsibility and many employees. He handles vast amounts of taxpayer money every year. He is a rare find, as he takes this responsibility very seriously, and invests enormous amounts of time to make sure he is making the best possible decision for all of his fellow citizens affected.

“Notably, in the past two years, he has hired about seven new employees . . . five of whom were RETIRED professionals. He has had to find older men who take pride in their work, because there are no younger men with the expertise or work ethic he requires. The other two new hires did NOT have college degrees, but were men who expect to work hard to earn a living and respect authority . . . rare qualities these days. I bet all of these people had chores to do as children!

“Interestingly enough, it is my husband, the ‘professional’ who most often cleans the pots and pans after dinner for me. It is an expression of his love for me and takes one thing off of my never-ending list of things to do, as a stay-at-home mother of five young children.

“ALL children need to be brought up in a way that will help them enter adulthood with the much needed (and much lacking these days) life skills of taking care of themselves, their belongings, and their surroundings so that those things are second nature, habits. That way they will have more time to learn other things and devote to making ‘a difference’ in this world, whether it be by staying home and raising the next generation or if it is as the business or government leaders of our nation. No one is as effective as they can be when they were taught irresponsibility as a youth.” Mom H

I would agree with these ladies who wrote to me. Our children need to learn to do chores in our homes because these will be skills they will be using throughout their lives in whatever capacity God calls them to. “It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth” (Lamentations 3:27). Helping with household chores is really not even a very big yoke to be born. I want my children prepared for their adult lives and to look back on their childhood with gratitude for that preparation. May I encourage you not to let the world convince you that work is harmful for your children but rather to evaluate the reality of life and set them on a path toward success. Next month we will continue our discussion with more about the importance of teaching our children.

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.

Holly Homemaker – Part 1

Not long ago we received an e-mail with a testimonial from a family who had just started using ChorePacks, a chore system detailed in our Managers of Their Chores book. We used that e-mail as the basis for a blog post on Titus2.com. Here is that blog post.

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).

While we had several positive blog comments about ChorePacks from other ChorePack users, we had one negative comment. We chose not to approve that comment on the blog, because there was so much we wanted to say in response to it, and that required a greater investment of time. Here is the blog 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 chore packs 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.”

The world devalues the woman who chooses to forgo a lucrative career to stay home and raise her children. People often hold the same derogatory attitude that is portrayed in this blog comment. Their thinking is that the woman who wants to be home with her children is, as this blog commenter described, nothing more than an “unpaid scullery maid/nanny,” indicating she has no value. Untrue! The raising up of a precious life in Christ is of far more value than the highest paid executive’s take home pay!

However Scripture holds up another standard. “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” (Titus 2:4-5).

Holly Homemaker: I really liked that title! I delight in being Holly Homemaker, and it brings me joy when my daughters say they want to be wives and mothers. I don’t view myself as an unpaid scullery maid/nanny even if others do.

In reality, I don’t think I am the only one who values being home with my children and chooses that over a career. Here is a recent e-mail I received.

“I am writing to update you as I had asked for prayer several months ago regarding selling my chiropractic practice to become a full-time ‘keeper at home’.

“Guess what, a wonderful young doctor bought my practice! I am now at home full-time and no longer employed outside the home. I am thrilled! And, I’m very, very thankful to God for allowing this and orchestrating the details as only He could have done. Now that I am home, I realize how much I have to learn! But I am excited about being home and being more engaged and available as a wife and mother.”

This is an educated, professional woman choosing to give up her career for something she sees as more important than that career”being home with her children. She doesn’t sound to me like she would consider herself an unpaid scullery maid/nanny. However, I think she would happily don the title of Holly Homemaker. I regularly hear from women who are giving up all that their higher education earned them in a career as a doctor or lawyer to become a Holly Homemaker. They are esteeming the riches of full-time investment in their children’s lives to be greater than the accolades and financial rewards of their professional career.

With the unprecedented growth of broken homes, we Holly Homemakers have the opportunity to offer our children the security and nurturing that even secular psychologists say is important. We avoid the time pressures that working moms face of trying to accomplish everything at home plus be at work for eight hours or more each day. We are our own bosses, and we set our own schedules.

I know there are many working women who are doing so because they have no other choice. They long to be able to be home with their children. They pray that the Lord will provide a way for them to do so. If circumstances allowed, they would instantly become a Holly Homemaker filled with joy in doing so.

For those of you who are Holly Homemakers, we want to affirm the decision you have made to invest your life in the lives of your children. We hope you will take joy in that role and not let the world devalue in your heart what you are choosing to do. For those who would like to be a Holly Homemaker but can’t at this time, we pray that the Lord will soon open those doors for you. We have heard many wonderful stories of Him answering those kinds of prayers. Next month we will continue this discussion.