I recently got a note from my friend Abby, who came a few months ago with her family, to spend the night in our cabin. I happened to be out of town when she visited, but soon afterwards, I met her at a series of lectures I was giving, as assigned, on being a keeper at home at a conference called Polishing the Pulpit. As I read the following, I remembered that our admonition to be “oikouros” (keeper at home) is sandwiched just in between the admonition to teach “sound doctrine” and the reason for being said “keepers” —so the Word “will not be blasphemed” (Titus 2:1-5). The instruction to be “oikouros” is also attached to the characteristic of sober thinking. The young mother is commanded to be sober (or serious) in her view of Christianity. There’s a lot of God’s authority behind our command to be keepers at home. Abby wanted to reflect the importance that God attached to her role in her personal decisions. Here is what she wrote:
I wanted to reach out and let you know what a profound impact your series on being a Keeper of the Home (at PTP) had on me. I have struggled to create the structure in our home that a homeschooling mama of four boys NEEDS. As I have reflected on your words and studied more, a light bulb went off.
I worked as a registered nurse for 11 years before I came home full time. The majority of those years required me to be up and ready very early. I worked in high stress environments and thrived, but being at home was a struggle. As silly as it might sound, part of my solution has become physically putting on my scrubs every morning. I’ve got many questions from friends and family when they have seen me out and about recently, but it works for me. Our days go much smoother when I wake up and prepare myself for my most important work as a mother to our boys.
I suppose in doing this, I am giving my husband and boys the same “best version of myself” that I gave my patients.
I like that phrase “The best version of myself.” Isn’t that what we want to give our families…the “best versions” of ourselves? Now I am not saying that means donning scrubs for all of us, but still, I love that Abby has found her version of venerating the position in her own household.
Because of the situations in which many find themselves in a culture gone awry on so many levels, I always want to add this disclaimer: I realize that some must have primary and supplemental incomes to provide basic necessities for those in the household. I’m aware, too, that not every activity that provides a supplemental income is prohibitive, in every situation, of being a keeper at home. Having said this, I rejoice that many mothers in 2018 are finding their ways home. The best versions of ourselves are always those renderings that are seeking to follow the recipe for sound doctrine so specifically formulated by the Holy Spirit in Titus 2.
And finally, here’s the definition from Strong’s Greek Lexicon for the word the Holy Spirit used—the word translated “keeper at home” or “worker at home”:
g3626. οἰκούρος oikouros; from 3624 and οὖρος ouros (a guard; be “ware”); a stayer at home, i.e. domestically inclined (a “good housekeeper”): — keeper at home.
AV (1) – keeper at home
caring for the house,
working at home
the (watch or) keeper of the housekeeping at home and taking care of household affairs