The Household, not the house.

” She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.”

So far we’ve had small glimpses of this lady’s ceasless work inside the four walls of her home. Now the Lord sums it up by saying, “She looketh well to the ways of her household.” Maybe that’s actually the secret of her success. She’s observant , perceptive and watchful over her family needs. The Hebrew word tsaphah which is translated ” looketh well ” means to lean forward and peer into, to espy, look up or investigate, to observe, to be on the lookout, to wait and keep the watch.

What is that the lady of the house is so watchful about? To us, looking well to the ways of her household probably brings to mind freshly scrubbed floors, sparkling windows and “everything in its place” I’m sure sure she had an eye on those things as well. But this word “household’ is most often used to refer to the people who live inside the house rather than the building itself. In Genesis 18:19, God said He knew that Abraham would command his household after him in obedience to God. Joshua 7:18 says ” And he brought his household man by man…” In this very chapter, we’ve seen the word household used to refer to the people who live in the house. ‘… she giveth meat to her household… She is not afraid of the snow for her household for all her household are clothed with scarlet. ”

Even those of us fortunate enough to be stay-at-home moms can get this out of perspective. (While I know that there are some ladies who could use a little prodding about the cleanliness and appearance of their dwellings, in most it is laziness or selfishness and not a over emphasis on her husband  and children that are at the root of the problem. )

How many full time housewives take pride in their houses instead of their families? How much time is spent on the cleaning and decorating and gardening in contrast to meeting the needs of our children, and being available to our husbands? Most of us are just too busy with outside responsibilities to do anything but keep up with emergency level housework and then collapse in exhaustion without even talking to our families, let alone listening to them.

While I’m sure that God’s ideal had a tranquil organization to her household, it’s very plain to me that the house was to serve her family and not the other way around. “This house is clean enough to be healthy, and dirty enough to be happy.” I’m not against your house being clean enough an enough to be attractive and enjoyable, either, as long as it can be lived in peacefully.

Mrs. Cathy Corle wife to Evangelist Dennis Corle