“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,” Joshua 24:15.
Not too long ago I had a conversation with one of my mentee’s about the importance of proper balance in our lives as it relates to what we pour out for others. While we have a responsibility as Proverbs Women to be helpful and resourceful for those around us, we must never lose sight that our first ministry is to God and then to our household. If we are constantly giving to others but not keeping our homes properly aligned, we are out of order and it is only a matter of time before burnout will take over and the feelings of being overwhelmed, exhaustion and fatigue set in.
I remember one time when I was in ministry in Phoenix, AZ I was so exhausted and not feeling well. My mentor asked me what I had been doing and as I listed the never-ending needs of the kids I ministered to, she corrected me. She shared insight with me that still resonates in my heart. She said if the helping I did only encouraged them to be more dependent on me, then I wasn’t doing my job correctly. If the needs I was surrounded by consumed my home life at the end of the day, then I hadn’t yet learned how to minister effectively. What she was teaching me was that in all of our doing, we must point others to Christ and not create a dependency on man. All that is going to do is lead others to disappointment, and lead us into sheer exhaustion! While we are to bear one another’s burdens, we carry them to the only One who can handle them, Jesus Christ.
As women, we are gifted with this amazing ability to multi-task and do it well, I might add. However, let’s be mindful of what we put our hands to. We haven’t been called to everything but rather specific things and in doing so we bring honor to God, our families are blessed because we know our boundaries, our homes are filled with peace, and our personal lives reflect the grace it is supposed to.
For the married women: If you are married, you have a ministry within your home to your husband first and then to your children. Your home is the oasis of peace where your husband walks in and finds refuge. Your countenance is the safe place where your children look to find stability. I’m not saying that hymns and high notes are playing sweet melodies in your house 24/7 and all is perfect in the “Jones’ home” at all times, but what I am saying is that as the woman of the house you are to support the standard of Godly living for your home and you do this by maintaining proper balance.
For the single women: I really do not understand where society thinks we have more time than married women. It is simply not so. ESPECIALLY if you are a Kingdom woman! Most nights my head hits the pillow in gratitude for the rest that is about to bless my life after a nonstop day! Now, while it’s true that our time is not divided between a spouse or children, the fact of the matter is, we are all given 24 hours and whether married or single just determines how those hours are spent. So, even if you don’t have a husband to tend to or children to care for, you still have a home that needs to maintain order! If it is your desire to be married, then you are getting the prime opportunity to practice. I’ve heard it once said that, “Your married life will only be as successful as your single life.” In other words, the habits you live by now as an individual will reflect what you contribute when paired with another.
Why is balance for the home so important?
Peace and Stability: I don’t know about you but when things are out of balance in my life, I do not function well at all. Order brings a sense of peace and stability. While there are some things that happen throughout our day beyond our control, there are many things we CAN prioritize and provide preparation for.
Joy and Strength: Balance is key because it keeps us in a healthy place spirit, soul and body. When our homes and/or our lives are out of balance it tends to steal our joy from us. Ladies, we NEED our joy, that is where our strength comes from! The joy of the Lord IS our strength! If our joy is robbed, our strength is depleted. While we are called to serve and sacrifice we are not called to stretch ourselves so thin that there is nothing to give our God, our families and yes, ourselves! Out of the overflow of what we receive from God’s presence do we distribute to our families and beyond.
So, how do we find balance?
Personal time with God: we should have a standing appointment with God daily where we love on Him and in turn get our instructions and recharge for the day. The Bible says that His mercies are new EVERY MORNING so that tells me that there are things I face today that I need fresh mercy for. I can only receive that when I spend time in God’s presence. In His presence there is fullness of JOY and as we said earlier, His joy is where our strength lies.
Prioritize: What can you eliminate from your day that would not be a detriment to you or your family? Ignoring your spouse is not on the list. (smile) Be there for those people and things that matter most!
What you invest in today, you will one day receive a return! Only you can determine what those priorities are. Get your notepad out and make a list and do not feel guilt over what you simply cannot do in this season!
Practice: Practice a schedule! Find what works for you and what doesn’t. If you’re married, this should be decided upon together so that your goals are in proper alignment and each of you have an understanding of what your commitments are outside of the home. Come in agreement and put it into practice.
Be of good cheer, ladies! There is much for us to do and each of our roles is vital. When our individual homes are in order, we make HIS HOUSE all the more glorious!