Potent Comfort

Love and respect are both very transformative. A loved woman becomes more and more lovely,  and respected men become more and more respectable. We all know this at a foundational level. It is true all over the world that when someone bestows love on something or someone, change is visible. I am not talking simply of emotions here – I mean the action of loving, or the action of respecting. Emotions follow actions, and it is one of the great myths of our time that love is an uncontrollable force, coming and going in ways beyond human control.

Our culture is plagued with women who do not love or respect their own callings.  Loving and respecting your calling at home is almost unheard of. Not one, not the other, but both. When you respect your calling at home, you will not struggle with your purpose. You will not feel wasted. You will feel the value of your work, and have the faith to see its power. But respect alone is not enough to make your work powerful, because respect alone is not enough to give you joy.

Homemaking is not respected in the world – it is held up as something that women with either no ambition or no ability might do. So when a Christian mother chooses to be at home because she understands what she is called to do, she may very easily fall into a low view of herself and her work. It would be easy for her to think, “My lot in life is messy diapers. I do this because I have to, and my church thinks I need to be at home with my children. Personally, I could see myself doing really well in real estate, because at least that is something that I am interested in.” So she begins to do the least possible to get through her tasks to just complete each day.

The problem in this sort of situation is that the woman is at home out of some sort of respect for the calling, but she has no love for it. Without the love there is no joy, and without the joy, the home becomes unlovely.

In another situation we might have a woman who has a lot of love for being at home, but no respect for what she actually is doing. She spends her days scrap-booking and watching reruns. She likes coziness, but not influence; comfort, but not power.  She does not value the force of her position, only the leisure and freedom it affords. In this situation, we see how the lack of respect for what she has turns into a different kind of powerlessness. She becomes irrelevant. If the woman who has no love for her calling communicates nothing, the woman without respect for her calling has nothing to communicate.

God does not want a bunch of women at home with discontent and fussy spirits, and He does not want us at home burying our talent in the ground. The Lord wants us here to do His work, to do what we are able to do. He wants our children to grow up in a place of joyful and loving faithfulness.  If we struggle with joy,  it is not as though there is no hope. We simply need to look for some tangible ways to love our homes, and our calling in them. And if we struggle with fulfillment, we need to look for some tangible ways to respect the work we are doing. Honor your calling by working hard, by pushing yourself to grow, to learn, to give. When you love, the object of that love grows more lovely. When you respect, the object of that respect becomes more worthy of it.

By God’s grace, a home that is full of both love and respect will become a place of joyful influence and potent comfort, a place that overflows with loveliness.

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37 thoughts on “Potent Comfort

  1. Sometimes being loved, respecting your work at home, and loving it is simply not enough.

    Sometimes women are married to men who are bad, and the home is not a joyful place, no matter what they do.

    We must stop putting all the responsibility on women. Sometimes men break their covenant to love their wives as Christ loves the Church, and then there can be no peace in the home

  2. Thank you! I did not grow up in this sort of home, and it’s been hard for me to get here. Recently I’ve seen some encouraging signs that God is drawing me in the right direction, and for that I’ve very grateful.

  3. Rachel, I love it! I love, especially your point about not respecting the role & making oneself powerless & irrelevant. Can I say, good preaching? 😉

  4. Wonderfully said! Loving and respecting your calling avoids both feminism and Victorian sentimentalism about the home. Perfect!

  5. “without the joy, the home becomes unlovely” –so does the woman, so does her testimony. Dear Lord, let us serve and give and work with J.O.Y.

  6. Jane,
    We don’t assume that all the responsibility for a marriage is the woman’s. Far from it! But since this is a blog for women, we don’t address the men. We understand that God holds the husband responsible for the state of the marriage. However, if a woman is married to a difficult (or bad) man, it is all the more reason for her to respect and love her calling in a way that “wins him without a word.”
    Blessings to you,

  7. This message is urgent and powerful! Please, please though could you suggest some ‘tangible ways’ to love and respect our call / homes? I know that I need to address this for myself, but feel lost to know how to begin. I am also aware of so many Mums at my church who are heading back into paid employment citing boredom with home, and diminishing self respect as their main reasons.

  8. This post makes me weep for the lack of love and respect for my calling that I modeled as a young mother. But by God’s grace I am not where I once was. I am praying this heart for my future daughter-in-law.

  9. Very timely reminder for me. Overall I do love & respect my calling….but there are days when it is more of a challenge then others :o)
    We just moved a week ago and since we are stating over in a new city we don’t have much furniture and the limited furniture budget for this month is spend. So I need lots of creativity & enthusiasm to make our physical home lovely this week as well as the atmosphere.
    I just sat down with my Monday morning coffee to strategize and turned to feminagirls for some encouragement….you all didn’t disappoint!

  10. Needed to hear this today. With little ones, my days can be tiring, and I wonder what on earth I could be accomplishing in the course of the day. I have to stop judging my own actions by what I think other people think of them. At the end of the day I am so thankful I am afforded the privilege of being a stay at home mom, and I want to make the most out of every moment. Thanks for giving a little course correction to my day :).

  11. Thank you for this. The Lord is working in my heart on this as well. I am striving not to make a successful day one where I “get a lot done” but one where I’ve been a mom to my children, spoken to their heart on issues and worked on raising them in the nuture and admonintion of the Lord. May I show the joy and love for Christ even when I feel like my husband isn’t holding up to his end of the deal.

  12. This was true for me for a long time. But just when the kids were moving out, husband lost his job. Now we spend long hours bringing in money so that we will not sink into debt or lose our home. We still connect as often as possible, and we do the small amount of housework that keeps things livable (laundry and kitchen). But gone are the days of the family dinners together (except on Sunday afternoon) because we’re not there. Right now I don’t see how I can go back to homebody when he needs me to earn also since his three part time jobs don’t even come close to what his one job paid.

  13. Perfect timing, as always. I struggle with doing both at the same time. I tend to be good at one or the other, and God is helping me to gradually learn how to synchronize both attitudes. Praise God for a gracious husband and patient children 🙂

  14. THANK YOU so much for this post. Michelle Bisesto led me to this blog and I am loving it! I can see that it is going to be a true blessing in my life! Hugs, Lauren

  15. This is so true! I had never thought of the situation in terms of respect AND love for the calling to be a wife and mother. But it makes so much sense, and really rings true. Thank you for sharing!

  16. Glorious! I absolutely needed this today. THANK YOU for this website. It is such a source of strength for me.

  17. The biggest mistake we can make, perhaps, is to think that our work is for another. All our work is to be unto the Lord, even if our “master” is an unbeliever and cruel. It is to God that we stand or fall, for He has determined the conditions of our life. Sarah, the mother of the faithful, waited all those years with her husband for the son that God had promised, and laughed in derision when reminded of the promise. But in spite of infirmity and weakness and even betrayal as in the case of Hagar, God remembered His promise. Eph 6:5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;

  18. What an absolute blessing this post was! I just posted some thoughts yesterday on my blog about the very same thing, but your words were much more clear! Thank you!!!!

  19. Lets not forget our Christian sisters that have families and have been called into the work place–those of us that are blessed to be at home with our children and grandchildren need to recognize that some of us are called to other things in life–and only God is in charge!! Lets give those ladies some love and respect as well!

  20. Kristi – Thank you so much for the encouragement. I am one of those women who believes God has called her into the workplace (I have helped start a Classical, Christian school in my area for the benefit of my own children as well as others). I struggle regularly with not being at home with my little ones and not being able to build the beautiful home I would otherwise like to do. I’d love to hear some words from Lizzie about caring for the home and family in the context of having limited time due to working outside the home. Again, thank you for being so gracious – I realize our consciences may vary on this issue!

  21. I, as well, would really love to get some ideas for “tangible ways to love and respect our call/homes”. Please! Maybe another separate post?

  22. Praise God for giving you this calling! I am 22 years old and single but after reading a few of your blogs, I am so excited for what God has in store for me! A huge role model in my life of what it means to be a woman of God who sacrifices her time and her energy while living a God-obedient life is my mother. On top of that, I’m so encouraged to know that there are still women who loves Christ and seeks to love those that He loves, especially children! Thank you for sharing all that you have so far!

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