Serving your family—it’s almost an uncommon term now days. My grandmother’s house is always clean, always busy serving her family. Even to this day, when she can’t get around much, it’s clean. She takes granddad’s plate to him, pours him an ice cold glass of milk, and then makes her plate. She was always in the kitchen. When she was in her prime, you wouldn’t see her sit down once during the holidays. She was in the kitchen all day, cleaning up while everyone sat down to eat, and then after almost all of us had left, she’d finally eat her food. She would tell us that she wanted to enjoy our company, so she wanted to clean up quickly and then she would sit down and enjoy her family.
Her household was her sanctuary. It was her priority. It was the one job that she was taught to do well, above all else. And you know what? She loved doing it.
I have to admit, being a housewife is not my greatest accomplishment. It is a daily learning experience for me. I am constantly learning new things about being a good wife, a good mother, and a good housekeeper. It’s a continuous process, learning to serve your family. I am constantly becoming. And while we seem to have more distractions in today’s world, it’s no excuse.
The Lost Skill of Serving Your Family
Serving your family is just as much a needed skill in today’s society as is chopping wood, building fences, and being self-sufficient. And it’s almost looked down upon in our society of “everyone can do everything”. But I think there’s something to say about the touch of a woman. The gentleness, even the toughest of women can exuberate. The quiet spirit when making coffee before the sun rises, or kneading bread in the dead of winter.
Have we lost the joy of tending to and serving our families?
Maybe it looks like making your husband his dinner plate in the evenings, or teaching your children how to put their clothes away. Maybe it looks like sewing your husband’s ripped jeans, or even the simple act of freshening up before he gets home after a long day at work. Sometimes it looks like preserving summer’s garden bounty while your babies play in mud puddles—it looks like sweaty kisses and hard work with your hands in the dirt. Other times it looks like laying in bed with your son, talking about all the frogs and lizards he caught today, before his precious eyes fall asleep. Or maybe it’s the simple gesture of rubbing your husband’s back after a long day outside.
But more importantly, it means that you put effort into serving your family—before your career, before your wants, and before your homestead or feminist world views.
Joy That Abounds in Serving Your Family
As I grow as a homesteader, I grow as a homemaker. And there is something that shifts with each passing day. While I often brag about how I tend to smaller livestock on my own and garden on my own, or how I’m a strong and independent woman, the reality is that I am just as any other woman. I am just as any other wife who loves to lean on her husband at times, and who has a husband who willingly allows me to. Because he is just as any other man who values the simplicity of a woman. I am a woman who wants to be loved and who wants to love, but who is not afraid to work alongside of her husband, nor one who needs validation from him.
For me, in all of these years of marriage and few years of motherhood, I have grown to realize that I fall more and more in love with homemaking everyday—with serving my family every day. As each year passes, I get a little better with housework…with home cooked meals…with having a clean kitchen and getting the laundry done.
Many people criticize a modern homemaker. The belief that we don’t have a job or that we sit home and twiddle our thumbs all day is often heard. And while I do have a work from home position, I find my mind wandering more and more to the daily life of serving my household with joy. I find myself wishing I had more time to tend to the ways of my household. I find myself making more time to tend to the ways of my household.
And do you know what is most beautiful? The art of this lost skill, and the joy that abounds within it.
Serving Your Family with Joy
There is so much joy in stepping back and looking at a clean kitchen before bedtime, knowing you won’t be stressed come morning when it’s time to make lunches for those leaving early, and breakfast for those staying home.
So much joy in providing your family with home cooked meals that provides necessary nutrients for their body.
There is so much joy in knowing that you’ve put away canned goods for the winter time, or that the wood stove is going for when the boys come inside from working hard, or that they will never be in want of clothing, because you can mend them. “When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.” Proverbs, 21:21
So much joy in knowing that your husband and children have clean clothes in their closets and drawers. Though, this is one of my hardest chores to complete. I’m a work in progress, what can I say.
There is equally as much joy in teaching your little girls to be helpful, but hard workers as well, and to teach your little boys to be hard workers with loving spirits….and that it’s always ok to love on those you love.
And there is no greater joy than having your husband wrap his arms around you and say, “thank you for joyfully serving your family”. Or having your children hug you and say, “mom, that was the best meal I’ve ever had.”
Biblically Serving Your Family
Through out scripture there were many strong women, many homemakers, many warriors. We all had a place, it was always a different place. But if one thing connected all of us, it is that we made sure we tended to our families and served them if we had a husband and children. I consider homemaking one of the greatest treasures you can provide your children. A testimony of unconditional love and self-giving. A trait that not only builds your character, but theirs. A skill that provides your children with organization, and the knowledge to know how to survive. Because after all, a good homemaker isn’t just doing it all, she’s an example to all.
Listen, we all fail. I fail every single day at being a homemaker. We always fail in some way or another. Some days I am short tempered, I just hide it well. I am ready to throw in the towel and say forget about it. Some days I don’t want to do it—I wake up at 4:30 a.m. to send my husband off to work, and I moan and groan about being up at the butt crack of dawn. Yes, I just said butt crack of dawn. I’m normal…sue me…
But the older I get, the more joy I find it this homemaking skill. Is it a gender role? Certainly. I firmly (spiritually and scientifically) believe that women are more unconditionally loving than men. We are more emotional and tender-hearted. We are driven by different desires. I believe that women offer a character trait and gender trait that a men cannot provide. Just as I feel that men offer character traits and gender traits that women cannot provide. We were created differently in God’s eyes so that we could fit together and fill the empty spots that the other lacks, or be full-filled by the overflowing cups that the other sustains—our cup runneth over. But I also believe that we all must work together in the grand scheme of things.
A Challenge in Serving Your Family
So today, as I challenge myself to continue to grow in the lost skill of serving my family, I encourage you to join me if being a successful homemaker is something you desire. It has taken me many years to finally “desire” to be a homemaker—to love the job of wife, mom, homemaker, homesteader, personal chef, chicken wrangler, harvester, and preserver. It’s not just about putting away laundry and wiping runny noses, making home cooked meals, and mopping the floor. It’s about serving. It has always been about serving your family.
It’s about knowing the ins and outs of home medical needs, and knowing the best ways to preserve and sustain. It’s about understanding the need to have organization, and a servants heart. And for the past several years, it is something I have grown in. And something I will always grow in. Because joy overflows in the midst of it all, and I am forever a student.
That very same joy runs deeply through the veins of our entire household, pumping life into each limb. When our household is in order, all of us are in order. Our minds are less cluttered, there is less tension, there is more time to spend quality time together.
Serving your family isn’t something to be ridiculed, but something to be honored, embraced, and perfected as a skill. It’s especially true if you’re on a journey of homesteading.
And if nothing more, who doesn’t enjoy having a clean house, a home cooked meal, and a happy husband and children.
Kim Lee says
Great article ! My wonderful , beautiful grandmother did the same never ate till we all were done , would circle the table waiting on us all never complained cooked every Sunday and still made it to Sunday school . Truly serving a family ! I am also falling in love with this art ! ?
Lou Lou says
I find so much truth in this, you said it beautifully! I was so unhappy when I was trying to find my significance in the outside world (validation through strangers or high school acquaintances on social media 🤦♀️) It wasn’t until I fully leaned in to my family and home that I found joy in what I consider to be my true calling. I have seasons where I’m better at it than others (I USED to go to bed with a beautifully clean kitchen, lately I’ve saved the sink full of dishes for the next day)but I’m so much better than I used to be! And my family is happier for it, too. Great article ❤️
This is so wonderfully written and is a beautiful testament! I wholeheartedly agree. My husband loves to cook, so he makes most of our meals in our household. He also loves to clean “his kitchen,” so people often wonder aloud at what I bring to the table. Neither of us feel that we have to explain our roles to others because we know that homesteading is a team effort and that we both have strengths to give to the other. Men and women absolutely have strengths within their gender, like you said, by design. So he cooks & cleans the kitchen. Who do you think scrubs the toilets? ? Thank you for sharing!
Derek Abello says
Enjoyed reading this wonderful article. Men are the same way. There are so many lost duties of men that are missing today, but with a little attention and time, as a society we can bring back these honorable duties as men and women.
Connie Maynor says
I whole heartedly agree, women were put here wonderfullly made by God to be a helpmeat for the man and family, sad to say so many youth today will never know the joy of this lost art, I married young at 16 , and have been married to the same man for 37 years, we have to daughters who are wonderful homemakers, because they were taught to be, and are passing it along to thier daughters, thank you for sharing ❤️
Samantha Neufeld says
I truly love this more than words can say! You put in to words exactly how I feel and have never known how to explain it. Thank you so much for sharing this.
I loved this article. Thank you! I went to reference one passage you mentioned, to write down and keep posted in our laundry room (the one about not fearing the snow). I found that the passage is Proverbs 31:21-22, not Proverbs 21:21. Hope this helps. May the Lord continue to bless you and your family…He already has, with your family values!
Dee Middleton says
What an inspiration you are! I am a stay at home wife/ mom and absolutely love it! I love cooking and cleaning and making our shampoos and conditioners and salves, etc. I enjoy spending time in the garden and the satisfaction that comes with knowing I grew what I am cooking. Raising hens is a delight and fun adventure. Amen to the women who are fortunate enough to be able to stay home and tend to the house.
Wow, this hit me straight to the heart. So beautifully written!!! Something that’s been on my heart lately, to enjoy serving my family. To truly see work as a gift, not a chore. Thank you for this beautiful blog. Blessings.
Kirsten h says
I love this! It is a lost art, an art I was never taught. I’m 26 and never thought I’d be in the position I am in…and not only that but loving it. I graduated nursing school and had my first daughter who is now 2. I never thought I would stay home but with a husband who’s a marine it meant putting our daughter in daycare for long hours and not being around either parent, especially during deployment. I pushed that aside and stayed home. At first I was resentful, as I was convinced that I would never want this life. Here I am, loving every single second of it. God must have been tugging at my heart strings and guiding me the right way. Here we are with a garden and chickens, one child and number 2 on the way. I’m learning to bake bread, butter, scratch cooking and how to feed my family the best I can. Cleaning and laundry…well still a work in progress. I seem to get it clean it the putting away lol. Now we are talking about homeschooling. I’m learning the value of serving and how God put me in this okay for a reason. To love and serve our family. Something I was so against my whole life! Lol. Kinda funny thinking 7 years ago I’d scoff at the women I am now 🤣 but I feel I’m more of a women than I have ever been and I am proud that I can do this role, fill my brain with new knowledge, and be there for our children ever step of the way.