Better A Dry Crust Of Bread

GUEST ARTICLE

Better A Dry Crust Of Bread

 

In the years before I married I spent much time writing and talking with young women encouraging them to prepare to be Godly wives and mothers and homemakers. One of the questions I’m often asked is: “What can I do to prepare for marriage? What sorts of things should I put in my hope chest?”

Proverbs speaks of a woman who must have had some impressive hope chest preparations. If not, we at least see that she was the homemaker of a large and lovely home. Perhaps, she had a home comparable to those we see in glossy magazines. Picture with me the mosaic halls, the brilliant oil lanterns, the ornately carved reclining chairs, and the gilded goblets. This was a woman who knew what she was about in keeping a home. But something was missing—so much so that her husband found it “better to live alone in the corner of [the] attic than with [his] contentious wife in [their] lovely home.” (Prov. 25:24)

As I’ve spoken with the girls who hope to be the wives, mothers and homemakers of the future, I’ve slowly begun to realize that many of the preparations so many girls make are not for marriage, but for being a homemaker. Of course, it is exciting to put some things aside for a future home, and to learn skills to one day use in keeping a neat and tidy home. I’m all for daughters preparing in practical ways to keep a home, cook meals, and attend to the family’s clothing.

 

But I’m also a bit concerned that so much focus in this preparation for womanhood is spent on the homemaking aspects, and so little on the marriage and mothering relationships. Being a homemaker and being a wife or mother are two VERY different things. Just because a young woman has learned how to clean, cook, sew, and wash doesn’t ensure that she’ll be a good wife. Proverbs speaks about another woman whose simple provision of a bite of dry crust was more desirable than a fine feast because it was eaten in peace and love. (Prov. 17:1)

How much better it would be to marry with not a single hope chest item and a total lack of homemaking skills, yet a true, dedicated, unselfish heart that is committed to loving and serving a husband, than to be a well-qualified homemaker totally wrapped up in self!

 

Am I saying daughters should throw homemaking aspirations to the wind? Not necessarily; homemaking skills have their place. But heart preparation to be a Godly wife will go much farther than any gourmet cuisine or any special talent in decorating; much farther than laundering and ironing services, or keeping an impeccable house. When the stuff of earth—the house, the clothing, the food (in short, the things that we consider to make up the duties of the homemaker)—is all taken away, the only thing that will count is what the heart has built…..

 

— Brook Wayne

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