Good morning, Five Minute Families. Wow, while I have written that phrase many times over the past three years, I have not yet said the words to be recorded. It feels a bit strange to be chatting solo with you today, but as Jim introduced last week, we are doing a series about different family roles wherein he spoke about leading your family well. While that is most often directed to the husbands and fathers, we do know that there are single parent households out there, and mama has to step into the leading role for a season. This week, I am addressing primarily the wives and mothers who are listening, though, again, there may be some households out there where this manager role falls on dad’s shoulders. Ultimately, we want to honor God with the household roles and dynamics we discuss while we remain sensitive to the fact that not all households will fit a textbook mold.
Typically, speaking, however, the wife and mama is the manager of the home. A popular home schedule program back when my oldest sons were still young referred to wives and mothers as the managers of their home. While that somewhat resonated with me, it didn’t make a full impact on me until a few years later.
Jim had a new position where he worked, that put him at home during most school days. It about drove me crazy that numerous times, he would come downstairs and ask about turning on the television or watching a movie. If it happened that he entered the living room while the boys were on break from their homeschooling tasks, he would just start a movie or show them videos on his phone. One day he mentioned returning to the living room to finish a movie with the boys, I was incredulous. I asked him, “why do you always make me the bad guy?! I am tired of being the one who always says no to the shows or “fun stuff” when it is school time.” He apologized saying that he hadn’t meant to interrupt. I couldn’t believe he didn’t understand that he was interrupting and sometimes hijacking the whole school day. He pointed out how different school days looked differently from his point of view, and he never knew that he was interrupting when I had acquiesced to his requests so many times before. He pointed out that he didn’t view me as the killjoy, but as the manager, and he had no idea that he was putting me in uncomfortable situations with the kids. He started asking about “fun stuff” more privately, and I started saying no more often when it was necessary to do so. Most importantly, I stopped resenting him and accepted my manager role more completely.
As a manager of our homes, we need to be mindful of five things:
First, we must always be observant. Consider Proverbs 31:27. In the Christian Standard Version it reads, “She watches over the activities of her household and is never idle.” Other versions say that she looks well to the ways of her household. We must be watching to see what our specific household is in need of.
Next, we must plan well for those needs. The second part of Proverbs 31:27 points out that we should not be idle. If we use our time wisely, then we can easily plan for the needs of our family, and do as Proverbs 31:25 states, and we can smile at the future.
Third, we must be prepared to act. Proverbs 31 is full of actions that the manager of the home might engage in. Please note that Proverbs 31 is not a list of all the things a household manager MUST do, but an overview of the tasks, jobs, side hustles, (you get the idea) that a good manager can stay mindful of.
Fourth, we must motivate our families. Proverbs 31:26 states, “Her mouth speaks wisdom, and loving instruction is on her tongue.” By choosing to share God’s wisdom and kindness with my family, I motivate them to do the tough stuff, and by keeping active as point three illustrated, I set a motivational example for them as well.
And, finally, as manager of our homes, we must teach our children as Proverbs 22:6 admonishes, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Likewise, as in Genesis 2:18, I become a better partner to my spouse, “a helper fit for him.”
Moms, wives, managers of your home - strength and dignity are our garments when we hold tight to God’s hand. The central theme to being a good manager of our home is be devoted to God. No matter what circumstances you find yourself, remember that you are a child of His, created in His image, and He will guide you as you manage your home well. Be blessed!