Home Is Where Our Hearts Should Be

A few weeks ago I wrote about six toxic mistakes I had been making on Facebook, and many women told me how much they could relate to the unhealthy relationship with Facebook that I described. The principal error I had mentioned was simply that I had been wasting too much time on the social network that I could have been using to do chores, spend time with my family or do wage work. For women in particular, never before has “going house to house” been so easy with the advent of fast internet and smartphones, and housewives are tempted moment to moment with idleness and distractions.

Since I have resolved to not go on Facebook until after my chores are done for the day, my productivity has dramatically improved. But to be honest, I don’t think it’s entirely just avoiding Facebook, because I could have just have easily filled that space with Pinterest, Twitter or Instagram, Amazon Prime videos, blogging, or chatting (as I do use my Messenger desktop app throughout the day). Distraction is so available these days its just ridiculous, and there are many human and spiritual forces that are just dying to keep keepers of the home from their duties.

The truth is Facebook isn’t the problem, it’s idleness. I’m sure some women talk on the phone, others read magazines or browse Pinterest, some watch soap operas and others go to the mall with their friends. (Some women probably even spend too much time with women’s Bible studies or ministry outreach. Just because it’s church-related doesn’t mean it should take priority over household duties.) It’s far easier to avoid housework than it is to do it, although I’m starting to realize that avoiding housework seems to take just as much energy. It is true that I greatly enjoy discussing faith, culture, politics, Scripture, conspiracies and what have you on Facebook, after all, finding other like-minded believers through Facebook entirely changed my life for the better. I also enjoy Pinterest, reading, blogging, working out, talking to my mom on the phone. But there was a time, before having kids, before having a job, when I truly enjoyed housework, and I am slowly rediscovering the simple and incredibly rewarding joy of keeping my home.

Facebook was simply where I chose to spend my idleness, chose to spend my energy that should have been allocated for my homemaking. Housework should not be something we need to be distracted from because it should be something that we have our heart in. The Proverbs 31 woman “looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness” (v. 37) The reason we can quickly idle away so many hours in the day on Facebook or with other distractions is because that is where we are putting our energy and where our hearts are.

Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

I seriously cannot express to you how lovely it has been simply pouring myself into my chores at home. I’ve always really loved being a homemaker, but over the years, with two kids back to back and now working on a computer making the easy distraction of social media all the more tempting, housework had become something I had just gotten used to never having time to do. But simply shifting my focus back to considering housework as my primary occupation has made me realize how much time I really did have for it that I had been wasting on Facebook! Embarrassing, yes, but I am praising God for this discovery and for making me so sick of social media that I turned around and found so much more satisfaction and joy in what He has called me to do.

When I put my heart into keeping my home, taking care for little details and pouring myself gladly into the day’s tasks, it is pleasurable and joyful and I find that all that time I spent seemingly de-stressing from a demanding life were really creating more work. When I am eager to see if I need to fold laundry or tend to my sourdough starter or put the dishes away rather than if someone has commented on a post or responded to my last message, I can easily pass my time and have a clean and peaceful house at the end of the day with little to no sense of missing out on any social media excitement. It’s all still there. I find the less time I spend on Facebook the less I even want to.

There is even a deeper spiritual significance to this and I speak as someone who has felt great conviction on this subject recently. I want to admonish all of us wives, and I include myself in this, to be as focused on our spiritual housekeeping and our marriages as we are on our distractions of choice. If not significantly more so. Imagine if you prayed as much as you checked your news feed. Imagine if you shared as many concerns with God as you do status updates with your friends. Or if you spent as much time thinking about your husband as you do browsing Pinterest. Children are easier to pay attention to, because they are little and adorable and have no qualms crawling in your lap and insisting you pay attention to or feed them. But our husbands, marriages and homes, all so intricately connected, need that attention, that nurturing and care just as much. This is what it means to be a homemaker, a housewife. Our vocations are our marriages and we serve our husbands, and by proxy our Lord, by creating a haven for the men who provide for us so that they are better equipped to support, love and guide us as husbands.

does-not-eat-bread-idleness

Our homes are not where we’re stuck all day, our homes are a privilege to be in. We ought not to look for reasons to avoid the duties that come with staying at home but use our home as a reason to avoid distractions. We all need to relax and take time to ourselves and we should find time to do so, but we should first learn to rest in the Lord. Another Facebook mistake I had mentioned was taking my troubles to my girlfriends online before taking them to the Lord. Before we go to the phone, or the fridge, or the computer to vent, we should first go to the Cross. In just a few weeks of practicing this principle I can tell you that every single area of my life is more Spirit-led and Christ-focused than it’s been in a very, very long time. And it’s only really highlighting how much more growth I have to do-and how many more household projects need my attention!

At the end of the day, learning to take pleasure in our roles at home is learning to take pleasure in God’s role for us. God’s plans for His people are not only spiritually rewarding, but practically rewarding too, and as we were created to be helpmeets for our husbands we can find true fulfillment in keeping our homes. The world sees homemaking as dull and oppressive, but really, a properly kept home is the backbone of a strong society. Children have a safe place to learn and grow, husbands have a safe haven from the harsh world, and wives have a place to serve those they love the most. Their husbands, their children, and the Lord.

Please join me in making an active effort to shut off digital distractions and keep our physical and spiritual homes attended to.

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4 Comments:

  1. Wow! I needed this today! Thank you so much. While I got lost on FB, the bread I was rising, went too far all over the kitchen counter. I need to do some stepping back also. Thanks again.

  2. Wow! I needed this today! Thank you so much. While I got lost on FB, the bread I was rising, went too far all over the kitchen counter. I need to do some stepping back also. Thanks again.

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