When I was in high school in the early 1980s, there were classes that taught students how to be good homemakers. There was the option to choose either Cooking or Sewing. It was a no brainer to me: my parents owned restaurants, so I felt I had that one in the bag. I was excited to learn all about sewing, something I’d never done before!
I also took a complimentary class at church, Young People Willing Worker (YPWW), which was known as A purity class. The class taught that after you get your allowance, you offer your tithe and offering to God, save some, then treat yourself. I can recall learning how to dress and carry myself as a holy young woman. These teachings included practical instruction such as when to wear a slip, what color underwear to wear under certain color outfits, maintaining decorum, and keeping your rooms clean. As a literalist, I took most of those teachings and transferred them into my young marriage. I wish I could say I implemented ALL the knowledge, but I jacked up big time with overspending. I married so young, at only 18 years old, that many of these lessons were still fresh in my mind. It saddens me that this type of training has gone undercover to a certain extent. I know we all want to be relevant and progress with the times, but we should not minimize the value of good housekeeping, budgeting, and cooking, nor should we neglect training the next generation in these simple principles. I understand there are many who are exhausted from working full-time jobs and there are also stay at home parents who are overwhelmed, but we can’t forget home economics training.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV)
Being a parent is hard work! Teaching our children takes time mixed with patience. While we are teaching them their alphabets and numbers, let’s not leave out the importance of being a homemaker. Regardless of whether you’re a full time or part time working parent, please instill these teachings in your sons and daughters. Your home doesn’t have to be spotless but there’s something to be said about having a clean home. I was saddened when I listened to a prominent speaker proclaim that she can’t cook but she thanked God for takeout; she went on to explain that the calling on her life doesn’t afford her the time to be sweating over pots and pans. She also doesn’t have time to clean her home, so she hires someone to do that. The audience erupted in cheers at these statements. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of those perks, but let’s not become so busy with work, ministry, or whatever distraction you can think of, that we neglect the simple home economics and basic life skills (cooking, time management, budgeting, and even grocery shopping) because we need to pass it along to the next generation. A good, homecooked meal goes a long way, as does teaching your children how to cook and be responsible little ones, in the hopes that they will be grown up to be responsible big ones. My son was in the kitchen just as much as, if not more than, my girls. I taught all three of them the same thing. Their dad instilled the financial piece while I instilled the domestic.
It’s easy to think that the work we do outside the home carries more weight than what’s being done inside our homes. Sweeping floors is no less significant than leading a board meeting. Everything we do should be to glorify God – that includes teaching our children to be good stewards over their homes and their families. No matter how trivial your daily tasks may feel, home economics still matter.