Homemaking is the art and science of creating and maintaining the home to be a pleasant and productive environment for the glory of God.
I've underlined certain words I felt were key to the concept and practice of this definition. These will serve as foundations for the directionality of the Reviving Homemaking blog. The following is a generalization of each term as is applied to homemaking:
Art: Many words come to mind when I consider art- expression, discipline, appreciation, skill, perspective, diligence, beauty etc etc. In her book The Hidden Art of Homemaking, Edith Schaeffer contends that art is not bound to the professional realm, but is also "found in the 'minor' areas of life. By 'minor' I mean what is involved in the 'everyday' of anyone's life" (pg. 31). Homemaking is multifaceted in it's potential for the creation of art. The objective is to simply come to see it as such. And so, just as an artist would we observe the works of others past and present within the realm of homemaking with an appreication and enthusiasm. We also diligently work to discover and develop our own canvas so that we may create something that is uniquely ours, and in that be there something beautiful. We all possess some level of artistic or creative talent. As Schaeffer says, "although your art or talent may never be accepted by the world as anything 'great', and may never be your career, it can be used to enrich your day by day life: enrich it for you, and for the people with whom you live" (pg. 48).
Science: Homemaking involves far more than the "how-to" of practice, but also the "why." Even when Home Ec was commonly taught in schools, it was done so as a science. Today, it is still being taught as a science in select universities but under a new name- Family and Consumer Science. The greatest example of use is within the kitchen. We may know how to follow a recipe, but do we know why each ingredient is important? How do we determine proper nutrition? How do we decided the best use of our financial resources? Science examines the "whys" behind the elements or actions within our home so that we may be more knowledgeable and skilled to complete the tasks further. Home Ec courses featured a lab. The home serves the same purpose for discovery. The mundane may become a little more enticing when we desire to learn the science behind it.
Creating: Proverbs 14:1 says, "The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down." The home environment will exist to some extent, but for it to flurish it must be effortfully created. This is a verb and ought to be treated as such. We are not bound to the trapping of circumstance or poor demonstrations experience previously. Within our homes we possess the ability to construct or destroy the entities of home and family. We set the tone for our home environment and even our days. God's grace is sufficient! 2 Corinthians 12:9 states, " But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me." With hearts focused on serving the Lord, the home can be created to be something beautiful.
Maintaining: Again, verb! Maintaining the home environment is to anticipate and behave preventatively. Otherwise, I'm forced to scramble to complete the task at the cost of my time, attention, energy, and resources. Maintenance is far more effective! We've invested in the creation of the home environment, and so it next must be maintained. Here too, I recall the words of 2 Corinthians 12:9. The Lord has given me this home and family to care for, and He will also give me the strength to complete my role.
Next week, we'll complete the definition of "homemaking" by looking at a few more key terms- home, pleasant, productive, glory of God.
Review- "What is Homemaking?" (part 1)
Up Next- "What is Homemaking? Part 3"