Are you wrestling with what it means to be a homemaker? Luckily, God defined it for you! It’s up to us to model what God wants as we work to serve our families.
When I tell people that I’m a homemaker, I’m usually met with a double take.
To which I respond, “I stay at home full time with my children.”
And that’s usually understood.
So where along the way did we forget what a homemaker was?
Luckily, God’s definition of a homemaker hasn’t changed! By studying that definition, we can get a clearer idea of what a homemaker is, what they do, and why being one is so important.
What is a Homemaker? Here’s God’s Job Description
One of my favorite parts about the Bible is the fact it explains itself. What’s even cooler is the fact that the Greek the New Testament was written in is a dead language, meaning it isn’t used anymore.
That means when we study the Bible, there aren’t any social or cultural changes that have happened that would impact the text since it was written. So long as we understand the culture of the time, we can understand what the words mean! And we can’t twist them out of context.
So when we look at Titus 2, where some translations use “homemaker,” we can know what it means!
Titus 2:3-5 (NKJV) says “3. the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things – 4. that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5. to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.”
The Greek for homemaker is “oikourgos,” which means “the watch,” or “keeper of the house.”
Other translations may say “keepers at home.” The translation is also understood as “a domestic.”
Duties of a homemaker
When you think of duties as a homemaker, what do you think of?
I usually think of everything that cycles in a home. Making sure everyone has clean clothes, meal preparation, grocery shopping, and the like. It seems like these consumables take up the bulk majority of what a homemaker does every day.
But the more I study about homemaking, the more I realize how large a part domestic arts play!
Domestic arts can include candle making, dressmaking, painting, and even bread making.
So think of all the other things you can include in your homemaking duties! Is there a baked good or a meal you can perfect? Is there a product in your home you can replace by making it yourself? Is there decor you can make yourself?
By no means do we need to disregard our daily tasks! Be sure to include household chores on your list of homemaking duties, too.
Other household duties could include paying the bills, cleaning, cooking, social activities like children’s sports or play groups, meal planning, and tending to children.
Am I supposed to be a full-time homemaker?
Let me be clear – there is nothing in Scripture that says a woman is supposed to stay at home as her principal occupation.
So while the stay-at-home mom may be the goal, there’s nothing Biblically that says it is a command. That’s a key thing to remember as we’re studying Scripture and applying it to our lives! We must clearly distinguish between God’s commands and our thoughts.
If you are wondering about being a full-time homemaker, I would encourage you to ask yourself the following questions:
1) How will I keep God as a priority as a homemaker?
2) Am I passionate about this work?
Humans are easily dissuaded. So it’s easy to look at the beauty other women are intentionally sharing online and think, “Well I’d sure like a piece of that pie!”
But the grass isn’t always greener on the other side!
So when you’re considering being a full-time homemaker, remember that children will be at foot all day long, dishes will pile up, and bills need to be paid.
But if you have your “why” figured out, the trials that will come with homemaking won’t matter! Your “why” will keep you going!
3) Are we financially ready to do this?
If you’ve been around here for any amount of time, you know how passionate I am about being debt-free!
That being said, I’m passionate about everyone being debt-free. Especially if it allows the woman to be a full-time homemaker.
If your home is dependent on a dual income to cover bills and other necessities, being a full-time homemaker will be a curse, not a blessing. You can (and should!) find ways to cut your lifestyle or increase your husband’s income.
Now you aren’t putting yourself in a risky financial situation, or causing undue stress on your family!
Managing your home first comes with responsibility. So weigh the pros and cons and make a wise decision!
If you’re looking for ideas for how to live off of one income, I wrote a whole blog post on it! I give you practical tips, like shopping second-hand, starting side hustles, and shopping off-brand products. But I also offer tips for the heart, like learning to practice patience, learning to practice contentment, and not comparing yourself to others.
Check out 23 Tips for Living Off of One Income (Without Credit Cards) for more tips!
A Homemaker’s Responsibility
I think we think of 1950s homemakers when we think of a homemaker’s responsibilities. We think a home-cooked meal and a tidy home are the key tasks homemakers should complete every day.
I’d like to challenge that.
If we look to Proverbs 31 as a key passage of Scripture for homemakers, a home-cooked meal and a tidy home was the least of the Proverbs 31 woman’s worries!
She is always working (verse 27), earns an income from home (verse 24), cares for the needy (verse 20), and grows her work (verse 16).
Our work as homemakers can have a greater impact than making sure the laundry gets done. And I think that’s what our responsibility as a homemaker is about – impact.
How is the work we’re doing, whatever that work is, going to impact someone else and show them God loves them?
Homemaking is an art that focuses on others, not on self.
Consider drawing inspiration from Proverbs 31! Here are a few ideas to get you started – make nutritious meals for a new mom, pray for your church family, engage with older family members regularly, run errands for neighbors, and create a peaceful home environment.
The True Value of Her Unpaid Job
Social media trends aren’t something I normally focus on. But this one I think proved an excellent point.
If you would pay a myriad of organizations to cover homemaker services (think cleaning, cooking, watching children, etc.), then the work a woman does as a stay-at-home wife (and/or mother) is worth something.
Now mind you, this trend is focusing on the monetary aspect of homemaking. In this day and age, we will pay people to perform the tasks women are doing for “free.”
But I want us to keep our eyes on Christ.
Even though the world is telling you that the work you’re doing is “free labor,” that doesn’t take away its eternal significance.
Sure, being your boss in your own home and managing your schedule is great. And having the flexibility to paint with your children on a random Thursday morning is wonderful.
But it’s the seeds we’re sowing in their hearts as we build their foundation of what family is that matters.
Want to ditch your career goals for a more honorable job?
I don’t believe that homemaking is a calling. I believe that it is God’s design for the home. And while there are circumstances that would prohibit some from pursuing it, I believe every woman should pursue homemaking if they’re able!
But that doesn’t remove the concern you may have about becoming a homemaker!
If you feel like you’re lacking the skills to be a homemaker, you aren’t! They are skills that you can master with time and dedication.
Let’s take cooking for example. Instead of saying “I want to learn how to cook,” you could say, “I’m going to learn how to cook from scratch.”
When you’ve mastered cooking from scratch, move to baking. When you’ve mastered baking, host a dinner party!
All the skills you master as a homemaker have an incredible way of building on each other.
If you’re looking for other skills to work on, check out 20 Simple Homemaking Skills for the Modern Homemaker.
If you’re already a homemaker, but you feel like your position as a single-income family is threatened, there are other things you may be able to do to stay single-income!
If you aren’t already, consider shopping second-hand. You can also shop off-brand products and avoid purchasing single-use products.
You can also check in with your heart and see how you’re dealing with things like envy. If you ignore the latest trends and consistently practice gratitude, you may find yourself at peace with your homemaking journey.
For more tips on how to live on one income, check out 23 Tips for Living Off of One Income (Without Credit Cards!)
What do you think about homemaking?
Comment on this blog post and let me know!
I love engaging with other homemakers, but I also love hearing from women who work outside the home. There’s so much we can learn from each other as we grow and learn more about our respective crafts.