Housekeeper

            Paul instructed older women to teach the younger women to be keepers of the home, or workers at home. The operation of the house is the responsibility of the wife. Such management is seen in Proverbs 31 in the description of the excellent wife. It is unfortunate that this vital work is treated with disdain today. I feel sorry for those who look down their noses at an inspired command of God. But, regardless of their attitude toward God’s assignment, it remains the responsibility of the wife to run the home. She will answer to God for how well she carried out her duties.

            Just as the husband is responsible for the incoming funds on which the family operates, the wife is responsible for managing the outflow of those funds. This is why the wife is compared to a fleet of merchant ships (Proverbs 31:14). Money is not a limitless resource. It must be used wisely to bring the best value. Just as a merchant will travel great distances to get a good bargain, so must a wife work at getting the most for the funds that she has available to her. At times this will require her to use her household to produce additional funds (Proverbs 31:16-18, 24). She might take a portion of her money and invest it so that the investment can bring in additional funds.

            Just as the wife sometimes helps the husband with the support of the family, the husband should help his wife with the care of the household. Just because the home is the wife’s responsibility does not imply she must do all the work. And women, be thankful when your husband helps you with your duties. View the help you get as a kindness and not a responsibility, just as a husband must see his wife’s earnings as an aid and not a responsibility.

            A woman manages her home (I Timothy 5:14). Again we see this illustrated in Proverbs 31. “She looks well to the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness.” (Proverbs 31:27). The wife described here provides the meals and assigns tasks to the household (Proverbs 31:15), she monitors the family’s funds (Proverbs 31:18), and she makes sure there is extra to help the needy (Proverbs 31:20). She provides clothing for her family and is involved in the teaching of her children (Proverbs 31:21-22, 26). Surely these are not meaningless or menial duties!

            Yet, there is another way that a woman rules her home. The wife also sets the tone and attitude of the household. Have you ever noticed that when Momma is grouchy, everyone is in a bad mood? And when Momma is happy, everyone is cheerful? The wife is the center of the home’s emotions.