Posts Tagged ‘children’

Biblical View of Women

God Made Woman

On the sixth day of creation, God created a woman from the rib portion flesh of man. In Hebrew, man is ish and woman is isha. God named the man ‘Adam’ meaning from the ‘red earth;’ and the woman’ He named was ‘Havah’ meaning to ‘give life.  When the man saw the woman, he knew she was bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh (Genesis 2:23). In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Havah were spiritually equal in the eyes of God. God put a high value on the woman because she would bring life into the world. God also promised that through the ‘Seed of woman’ redemption for all mankind would come. They were physically equal as the woman was created complement the man. This is the reason a man leaves his mother, and a woman leaves her home. They are to ‘cleave’ to one another and become ‘one flesh.’

Matthew Henry, a minister and author, was born in Wales but spent much of his life in England. He is known for his volumes of Biblical commentary. He wrote this now-famous poem about man and woman in their perfect created state:

“Women were created from the rib of man to be beside him, not from his head to top him, nor from his feet to be trampled by him, but from under his arm to be protected by him, near to his heart to be loved by him.”

After the Fall

Once sin entered the world, the relationship between man and woman changed.  Because the woman did not heed the command of God, but enticed her husband to sin, she would need an authority over her –– to protect her from being deceived again. Though the woman would desire equality with her husband, he would be in authority over her.  God explains this consequences of the woman’s sin:

“To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pain in childbirth. You will bring forth children in pain. Your desire will be toward your husband, but he will rule over you” (Genesis 3:16).

Inequality between man and woman came about because of sin.  This inequality is manifested in broken male-female relationships and marriages. From a more deeply-rooted sin came ownership of women.  This is not a Biblical view, but a godless one.  Nations other than Israel bought and sold women, especially when they were collateral damage from war. Kings  made alliances with other kings through intermarriage without considering the value of their own flesh and blood. This is how King David accumulated so many foreign wives and these intermarriages caused great dysfunction within his family.

Protection of Women

The Torah governed the community of Israel. Everyone was to be treated with respect and kindness — from the intimate relationship of marriage to relationships in the marketplace (Exodus 20:1-17). For example, if a man married a second wife, he was not to deprive the first of “her food, clothing, and marital rights” (Exodus 21:10).  If two fought with each other and happened to hurt a pregnant woman so that her unborn baby dies, the man must be fined. He must pay the amount set by the woman’s husband and confirmed by judges” (Exodus 21:22).

A woman’s purity and propriety was protected by her father, brother or husband (Deuteronomy 22:13-29). Today, women, women have sold their propriety and moral behavior for sexual promiscuity. Virginity is frowned upon if not blatantly mocked.   Sexual activity outside of marriage, whether it is fornication or adultery, has become normal activity rather than sexual sin. What was once sacred between a man and a woman, husband and wife has become less and less valued.

God had consequences for men who raped virgins or married women.  According to Torah, the man must take responsibility for their actions against women.  It may seem a little absurd today that marriage would be required for raping a virgin, but if we still lived by this simple rule of law, perhaps fewer men would rape women and fewer women would flaunt themselves before men.

Unfortunately, women no longer want to be under the protection of their father, brothers or even husbands. Why is protection considered wrong? Instead, they act and speak like ‘sailors’ as my mom would have said. When they are treated rudely or roughly by men, they refuse to take responsibility for themselves lowering the standard of womanhood. God gave instructions to regulate the relationship between men and women after sin destroyed the partnership. Can He protect women if they live contrary to His commands for purity and morality?

Timothy describes a godly woman. She dresses modestly, with decency and propriety. She doesn’t wear elaborate hairstyle, gold or pearls, or expensive clothes. This doesn’t mean a woman can’t keep a nice hairstyle or wear precious stones, she is just not to bring attention to herself physically; she is to draw people to God with good deeds. She is to be worthy of respect, temperate and trustworthy in everything (1 Timothy 2:9-11, 3:11).

Abraham Protects Sarah

Abraham told Sarah to lie to Pharaoh about being his wife.  He didn’t want her taken from him and raped. This is what foreign kings did to foreign women. They took whomever they wanted; they raped and pillaged. Sarah was safer from such barbarianism if she were Abraham’s sister because men, even barbaric ones, knew they had to ask for a woman’s hand in marriage.

Israel was never to do the same things as foreign kings in a war. Many times the Israelite warriors were commanded to destroy everyone, including women, so immoral practices wouldn’t happen.  If an Israelite man took a foreign captive woman for his own, there were still rules. The woman had to be allowed a month mourning the loss of her family so she could faithfully enter the community of Israel.

What About Hagar?

Hagar was Egyptian and most likely served Sarah when she lived in Pharaoh’s palace in Egypt. Hagar returned with Sarah to Canaan when they left Egypt and became Sarah’s maid. Some scholars suggest that Hagar was actually Pharaoh’s daughter and given to Abraham, as a wife, as an appeasement for the debacle with Sarah. If this is true, another foreign king give away his daughter to make a peace alliance.

Hagar does become intimate with Abraham and gives birth to Ishmael. Eventually Abraham sends her away because Ishmael ‘played’ with Isaac.  The Hebrew word for Ishmael’s actions is the same word for ‘rape’ found in the account of Dinah.  Abraham had to make a difficult decision regarding not only his son, but the woman, Hagar. Ishmael means ‘God hears’ so Hagar is not left alone; God was with her.

The Rape of Dinah

Dinah, the only daughter of Jacob, was raped by Shechem. Though Shechem loved Dinah and wanted to marry her, Jacob couldn’t think of an acceptable ‘bride price.’  Dinah’s brothers came up with the ‘bride price’ –– the men in the city needed to be circumcised.  Shechem agreed because he wanted to marry Dinah.  While all the men in the city were in pain from the circumcision, Dinah’s brothers, killed all of the men and removed their sister from the city.   Dinah’s brothers avenged their sister after a rape (Genesis 34).

Paying for a Bride

A ‘bride price’ is not about buying and selling a woman, but giving the father something for the loss of his daughter.  It also tests the true affections of the man for the daughter. Shechem who was a gentile was willing to be circumcised to marry Dinah. Jacob worked seven years to marry Rachel and then seven more after he was deceived into marrying Leah.

Yeshua paid a ‘bride price’ for his Bride. He didn’t pay for us with gold or silver, but with his blood. He paid the ‘bride price’ to our father, the Adversary, with his life (1 Peter 1:18-19).

Queen Esther

King Xerxes was from a pagan culture and used women for his pleasure. When he was done with them, he removed them just as he did with his wife Vashti. Esther was taken to the palace and prepared to be either the next Queen of Persia or join a harem ending the possibility of marrying or having children. Through the protection of God, Esther became Queen.  

Her position gave her the power to sway the King to show favor on the Jewish people, and to stand against the treachery of Haman.   Because of Esther’s courage, the Jewish lineage of Messiah was not exterminated. Esther could have been abused by this King, but God protected her to save His people.

Deborah, the Judge

Deborah was a Judge in Israel because there were no men courageous enough to fight the Canaanites.  The Canaanites used temple prostitution to appease their gods.  This was not done in Israel nor could it be done in the Promised Land.  There are only a few songs recorded in the Bible: The Song of Moses, The Song of the Lamb, The Song of Miriam and Song of Deborah (Judges 5).

The Moabite Woman

Growing up in Moab, Ruth lived with child sacrifice to Chemosh and temple prostitution.  She would have seen and known families who offered their children on the altar of fire.  Maybe she watched as brother or sister put on the burning altar to appease this pagan god. Even the King of Moab offered his child, the crown prince, as a sacrifice (2 Kings 3:27).

When Ruth had the opportunity to leave Moab with her mother-in-law, she didn’t just leave, she embraced Naomi’s God, people and country. In this strange land, she would no longer have to appease a god who required murdering children. She would have the opportunity to find protection and ultimately marriage with a kinsman-redeemer in Boaz. Her baby would not be sacrificed on a burning altar, but grow up to be the grandfather of King David.

Obscure Strong, Courageous Women

There are many strong, courageous women in Scripture. Asher’s,daughter, Serach, is believed to have sung for Jacob when he was told that Joseph was alive in Egypt. Her singing revived his spirit (Numbers 26:46).

Jemimah is one of Job’s daughters. After he lost everything, at the end of his life, God restored his life. He was given three daughters and gave them an inheritance, Jemimah was one of these daughters (Job 42:14).

Tamar should have been given Judah’s last son in a levirate marriage. She dwas considered righteous for deceiving Judah in order to continue the royal lineage (Genesis 38).

Asenath, the daughter of a pagan Egyptian priest, married Joseph and learned about the God of Jacob. She gave birth to two sons: Manasseh and Ephraim who became part of the Tribes of Israel (Genesis 41:45).

Miriam had the responsibility as a little girl to watch her brother float in the Nile River.  She asked the Egyptian princess if she should find a nurse. Many decades later, after crossing the Red Sea, Miriam the prophetess took out the tambourine and led the women in dancing (Exodus 15:20).

Rahab was a prostitute who lied to protect the spies who came into Jericho. When the Israelites came to Jericho to destroy it, she and her family were saved. She married Salmon and became part of the lineage of Messiah (Joshua 2:1-24).

Huldah was a prophetess in Jerusalem who told the King of Judah that he would not see the destruction of the city (2 Kings 22:14-20). There are three gates named after her that the Jews used to enter the Temple area to worship God.

Ya’el  killed Sisera by slamming a stake through his head delivering Israel from the troops of King Jabin (Judges 4:18-22).

Hannah, after waiting many years, gave birth to a son. She relinquished Samuel to the priest to be raised in the Temple.  He became a powerful prophet in Israel anointing David to be King (1 Samuel 1:21-27).

Miriam’s womb was filled by the Spirit of God and she became pregnant out of wedlock. Joseph remained faithful to her and married her. She gave birth to the Messiah of Israel, the ‘Seed of woman’ that will one day crush the serpent’s head (Luke 2:4-7).

Anna was a widow and prophetess who spent her days in the Temple. When she saw Yeshua at the redemption of the firstborn, she told people that the liberation of Jerusalem was at hand (Luke 2:36-38).

Phoebe was a deaconess in the congregation of Cenchrea, a seaport of Corinth where Sha’ul had his hair cut for a vow. Phoebe offered financial help to those in the Body who needed it including Sha’ul.

Lydia lived in Thyatira and was a dealer of purple cloth. Purple cloth was valuable and expensive –– equal to silver. She was a gentile, a God-fearer. When Sha’ul preached the message of Yeshua, Adonai opened her heart. She persuaded Sha’ul to stay in her home (Acts 16:14-15).

Eunice, Timothy’s grandmother taught him Torah on her knee. When he grew up, he put his faith in Yeshua and traveled with Sha’ul (2 Timothy 1:5).

Women found the tomb empty and proclaimed the message of Yeshua’s resurrection. A woman washed Yeshua’s feet because he forgave her sins. Martha had faith to believe that Yeshua could raise her brother from the dead.

Women and Authority

The world has a skewed view of women and the church which doesn’t teach Torah has embraced this view. Young girls are taught that their God-given role as daughters, wives, and mothers, has less value than having a career. Titus outlines the roles of older and young women, the ‘keepers of the home.’ The Greek word for ‘keeper’ is ouros and means ‘guardian’ (Titus 2:3-5).

Women, mothers especially, have relinquished their guardianship over the home. Instead of protecting their children from the evil ways of the world, they open the door and walk out. They allow others to ‘guard’ their sons and daughters while justifying the desire for the ‘equality’ lost in the beginning due to sin.

Because the woman was deceived, God decided she needed a ‘covering.’ This doesn’t negate her value as seen in the women above, but she needed protective ‘authority.’

Sha’ul teaches the Corinthians about the line of authority: God, Messiah, Man and Woman (1 Corinthians 11). This is the governmental order of God’s Kingdom that keeps chaos and confusion out. Being under authority doesn’t mean women have no authority, just that they is under authority like a man is under the authority of Messiah and Messiah is under the authority of his Father. Remember the Centurion? He told Yeshua that he didn’t need to come to his home to heal his servant.  He knew Yeshua was a man under the authority of God; and as a Centurion under authority, he understood that when a command is given, it is followed (Matthew 8:9). 

Be Transformed by the Renewing of Your Mind

“Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]” (Romans 12:2 Amplified Version). 

The Bible says that women are weaker than men but that does not make them less valuable. In fact, Peter says that husbands must treat their wives with respect so that nothing will hinder their prayers (1 Peter 3:1). In Hebrew, Proverbs 31 is called the Eshet Chayil or the ‘Woman Warrior.’ Women are not less equal to men, but co-heirs in the Kingdom of God. In Eternity, there will be a restoration of all things, including the relationship between man and woman that began in the Garden of Eden.

©2020 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

Proverbs 9:1-2 – Carving the Weekly Pillars

“Wisdom has built herself a house; she has carved her seven pillars” (Proverbs 9:1-2).

When my children were young, I read aloud the Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  One of the books describes Ma’s weekly activities.  She would wash on Monday, iron on Tuesday, mend on Wednesday, churn on Thursday, clean on Friday, bake on Saturday, rest on Sunday.  As a child, I remember my mom also outlined her week with washing on Monday, ironing on Tuesday, shopping on Wednesday, cleaning bedrooms on Thursday, cleaning the main part of the house on Friday, baking on Saturday, and resting on Sunday.

As I considered these two women, Ma Ingalls and my own mother, I saw that they had created a pattern for accomplishing their work and then resting.  In their own way, they had “carved out their seven pillars.”  Although both of these women rested on Sunday and not the seventh-day Sabbath as commanded, it was an illustration for me to begin to “carve out my own seven pillars.”

 The Crown of a Home is Godliness

“Likewise, tell the older women to behave the way people leading a holy life should …. They should teach what is good, thus training the younger women to love their husbands and children to be self-controlled and pure, to take good care of their homes and submit to their husbands.  In this way, God’s message will not be brought into disgrace” (Titus 2:3-5).

Along with honoring our husbands and teaching our children taking “good care of their homes” is part of a young woman’s way of keeping God’s name from being blasphemed; the Word of God from being maligned.   To ‘take good care of the home’ means to keep the home neat, orderly, and clean, one of the foundations of a godly home.

To be a ‘keeper of the home’ means the ‘home’ becomes the center of the woman’s world. Friends are wonderful blessings, but after God created Adam and Eve, He didn’t give them friends; He gave them children.  Too often outside activities  become the focus of life, and the family and the home become lost in the activities. Turmoil and an unkempt home becomes the consequence.  In our modern-day culture, everything from school to sports to church activities take the place of the family focus, table fellowship, and the home tabernacle where the father becomes ‘priest.’

The Life of a Home is Contentment

As I raised my children, my most important daily goal was to complete all the day’s chores before my husband came home from work.  Evening family time was set apart for eating together, sharing about the day’s events, reading books, and preparing our children for bed.   I did not clean, shop, school or extra-curricular activities after 4:30 p.m. so we could spend quality family time together with Daddy.

We had no satellite television so our children could only watch shows pre-approved by me or my husband. As the age of technology advanced, our children had one hour of computer time each day –– one hour.  They did not receive a cell phone until they were driving and had jobs. We lived miles from any town they needed to be able to get in touch with us if something happened.   We never used technology or television as a ‘babysitter.’

With small children at home and home schooling, I knew it wouldn’t be easy to accomplish a lot in one day.  I broke down weekly goals into daily activities that I, along with my children, could do each day as part of their ‘training.’  By the end of each week, we could look back with contentment and see that we had completed another weekly cycle that ended with some well-deserved rest.

A friend had a painting that described a home’s beauty, joy, dignity, and hospitality.

The Beauty of a Home is Orderliness

One of my Mom’s favorite sayings was  “Don’t worry about tomorrow – tomorrow will worry about itself! Today has enough trouble already!” (Matthew 6:34).  She always made sure our house was ‘in order’ before she went to bed so she didn’t have today’s messes tomorrow.  I followed her example and taught my children a similarly.  Every day all toys were cleaned up before lunch, before  afternoon quiet/nap time, before dinner, and before bed.  Bedrooms were neat and tidy and all dirty clothes were put in laundry baskets before climbing in between those cozy sheets and snoozing off to sleep.

I trained my children from a young age to clean up after themselves.  I read To Train Up A Child, by Michael and Debby Pearl, and they postulated that if a child could get something out, they were quite capable of putting it away.  It works for a child of any age.  Even a baby who can only sit and dump something out of a bucket can pick it up and put it back in.  You turn the bucket over and show them how to pick up the objects and drop them into the bucket.  It becomes a game.  I tried their idea; it worked.  From that day forward, there could be no excuses for not putting something away. I never had a ‘trashed out’ toy room, living room, family room or child’s bedroom.

I have been blessed with a dishwasher and I trained my children to clear their dishes from the table and put them into it.   If I had not had a dishwasher, I would have trained them to wash their dishes and put them in the drainer.  Too short to reach the sink?  Stools and ladders are great inventions. There is no reason to have dirty dishes stacked to the ceiling, an unkempt kitchen or dining room table, except for a lack of child training.

Children will rise to the standard you set. They are more than willing to help so that they feel part of the family.  Too often I have visited homes with small children only to  hear the mother apologize for the condition of her home.  Hearing those words always grieved my heart, because as a woman of God, she is called to be the ‘keeper’ not the ‘excuse maker.’  She is commanded to teach and train her children. Excuses are nothing more than abdicating her responsibility and handicapping her children for life.

I grew up in eastern Pennsylvania near the Amish country where families have many, many children.  I have never visited an Amish home where there was a mess that needed to be justified.   Amish mothers train their dozen or more children to be neat, orderly, and to help take care of the home –– inside and out.   Each person had chores and everyone did their chores, even if it was little Miss two-year-old shaking the front door rug every morning.

Every day after we finished school, textbooks were put back on the bookshelves.  I have heard people make the excuse for school projects cluttering the home: “Home is where they’re learning.”  This is true of home schooling, but also part of homse learning is ‘cleaning up’.  When I make dinner, I do not leave a mess for someone else to clean up.  When I sew, I do not leave all my pins and scraps of fabric laying around.  If I’m painting, I wash my brushes and put my paint away.   I don’t leave messes on the counters, floors or furniture just because it’s my home and I can.  Because it is my home, there is order before I head off to my cozy sheets, too.

One of my favorite verses for encouraging my children in orderliness has been “God is not a God of disorder, but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33). Look at creation; everything is in order.  We are created in God’s image and we can choose order or disorder in our lives.  We can choose to live in chaos or the beauty of orderliness.

The Joy of a Home is Dignity

My children were always dressed nicely, had their hair combed, and faces washed. Though it’s easy to just ‘hang out’ in pajamas or ignore a child’s messiness, I taught them to have self-respect and dignity which gave them joyful smiles and light in their eyes.

My children woke up, dressed, and made their beds before ever leaving their rooms. They would eat breakfast, brush their teeth, and begin their morning chores: emptying the dishwasher, feeding cats, dogs, horses, fish, shaking rugs, or gathering their laundry.   This started a routine that now, as adults, they are disciplined and faithful to their jobs and employers and have the ability to maintain orderly homes.  Each of them have thanked me for teaching them to clean because they have lived with roommates who had no clue, no training.

I never allowed my children to choose their own outfits until they were an appropriate age.    My reason was not to stifle their creativity; art class, playing outside in dress ups or making roads in dirt was their creative expression.  I wanted my children to have dignity in public (and private) and look like they had a mother!   This meant clean clothes, clothes matched, and were just clothes in general.

My children were not allowed to take their clothing off and run around naked.  It didn’t matter if it was the sweltering heat of summer.   My children never removed their clothes except to take baths or change into sleepwear.  I knew people who thought it was fine to allow their children to express themselves in this manner – even removing dirty diapers wherever they happened to be at that moment in time.

For one family who justified the removal of clothing and naked children, they had a ‘wake up call’ at a movie theater. During the film, two of the children removed their clothing and started running up and down the center aisle naked. The father was completely mortified and should have been. Adults don’t run around naked; children shouldn’t either.  Parents, especially mothers, are given the high responsibility to train our children to live in the world in a dignified manner, teaching them to honor their own bodies with the joy of dignity.

The Blessing of a Home is Rest

“So there remains a Shabbat-keeping for God’s people.  For the one who has entered God’s rest has also rested from his own works, as God did from his.  Therefore, let us do our best to enter that rest; so that no one will fall short because of the same kind of disobedience” (Hebrews 4:9-10).

As our family began growing spiritually, we learned about the Biblical Sabbath. I carved my ‘seven pillars around preparing for the Shabbat. I wanted my weekly work completed so I could enter into the same Sabbath rest as my heavenly Father.

My Daily Pillars

Pillar One.  Prepare wisely for the week ahead.

The first day of the week, Sunday, became my day to organize the  upcoming week’s homeschooling activities.  I would make copies of lessons, prepare tests, collect supplies for science experiments or art projects.   I would update my records for each child to keep them current with state requirements.  I would make sure I was ready to enter the week prepared so there would not be  confusion and stress because ‘the teacher’ was not ready.

As the Scriptures teach, money was dealt with on the first day of the week. At my husband’s request, Sunday was designated to deal with finances: pay bills and give to ministries.

Sometimes,  no matter how prepared, the schedule or plan would change and I had to learn to go with the flow.  Sickness, a sudden revelation during Bible study that became an all-day teaching time, my husband needing me to attend to something he could not, a surprise visit, a phone call or just realizing we all needed a sunshine or snow day, could change daily plans.  Most times, I came to see that Yeshua had a plan that wasn’t mine and His was so much better.  Still, there was a plan, and had I not followed it most of the time, I would never have ‘kept my home’ nor would I have educated my children.

Pillar Two.  Attacking the mountains of clothes.

As with both Ma and my mom, Monday became wash day.  From the time my children were young, they helped with the laundry.  First, they each had their own personal laundry basket and were trained to throw their clothes in it.  They started by watching me do it when I undressed them and then I had them do it.  For my first son, I made a basketball hoop over his laundry basket to make it fun.  Dirty clothes strewn around their bedrooms never occurred in my home and socks, for some strange reason, always had partners.

Sorting clothes for a toddler is a fun way to teach colors and organization.  Even folding clothes for a toddler can become an hour long (or more) busy activity.  As my children got older, they were responsible for using the washing machine, the dryer, folding their own clothes, and putting them away.

My oldest son remembers using a little ladder to climb up to the washing machine to remove his clothes.  He would lay across the top of the dryer and reach into the washing machine for his clothes.  He would throw them in a basket on the floor and then climb down the ladder.  He would open the dryer and throw the clothes in the dryer and climb back up the ladder to turn on the dryer.  The best part was that he taught his little sister the system too!    When I had older and younger children, they were paired together: one older with one younger helping each another do their laundry.  (Side note: My children never played in the dryer.  It is an appliance. Just as I would not let them play in the washer, the oven or dishwasher.  The dryer and the life-threatening hazards it presents made it off limits!)

I had a friend with eight children who told me that laundry was the biggest headache in her life.  I suggested she pair an older child with a younger child and give each pair a day in the week for doing their laundry together.  After about two months, she called and told me that her home had been revolutionized.  There were no more mountains of laundry and each child was learning how to take care of their own clothes. She also began to see special relationships building between siblings.

Pillar Three.  Free day to iron out other details.

I do not iron.  So, Tuesday is not ironing day for me.  For those who like to iron, Tuesday is a great day to iron.   When I had babies, Tuesday was another laundry day –– diapers.

I mill my own grains so Tuesday became the day for filling up canisters of grain, flour, and maybe even baking cookies.  Tuesday became my  kitchen organization day.  I also planned meals and prepared my two-week grocery list so I would be ready for ‘Pillar Four.’

Pillar Four. Merchant vessel goes afar for food (Proverbs 31:14)

Since I have been married, I have lived a minimum of 30 minutes from any town where I could just run to grab a gallon of milk or a head of lettuce.  Planning has always been an important part of grocery shopping.   My mother made lists for two weeks at a time and I followed her example.  I made meal lists for two weeks and developed my grocery lists for everything including toiletries and other home/children necessities.   Once I had a computer, budgeting for food and non-food items became easier.  I made a database with everything that I bought in each different store and the aisle order in the store.  Every item had a price, and after sorting the lists, I had a ‘grand total’ of what I was going to spend.

As our family delved more into healthy eating, I felt many times like the Proverbs woman who “is like those merchant vessels, bringing her food from far away” (Proverbs 31:14).  From joining co-ops to traveling to store warehouses for different products, or driving to an egg, chicken or grain farm, my shopping took a full day to accomplish.  Living away from big cities, I learned how to set aside time and money to shop when those opportunities arrived and we were in a big city for a day.

As I was home schooling my children, they would go with me wherever I needed to go.  They went to dairy farms, chicken farms, and produce farms.  I never left any child at home when I shopped or picked up orders.   Though I can say that it wasn’t always easy, my children learned shopping etiquette and manners through each experience. In the grocery store, they learned to hold onto the cart so they wouldn’t get separated from me.  They learned self-control; they were not allowed to ask for anything that was not on my list –– most especially the items that were on shelves at their eye level for the very purpose of challenging weak-willed parents.    As they grew older and could read, I would break some of my lists in parts and allow them to shop along with me.  Eventually, in their young adult years, they would go off and do half of my shopping.  As adults, they are experienced shoppers and know how to buy the best and healthiest food for their money.

Pillar Five. Good hygiene for the home

As I have always had more than one bathroom, cleaning them became the Thursday event.  Whatever bathroom you used, you learned to clean.  Tubs were sprayed down.  Toilets stirred.  Sinks scrubbed. Mirrors once again became mirrors.  Towels were washed and replaced on the towel rack.

Pillar Six. Sabbath preparation day.

I did not teach school on Friday. It is the ‘day of preparation’ for the Sabbath.

My children would order their desks, their dresser drawers, their closets, and their shoes. They would vacuum the bedoroom carpets as the finishing touch.  Once a month during the ‘new moon’ week,  bedding was washed and bedrooms dusted.

One of the most incredible things that happened as each of my children turned 12 was the sudden realization that if they kept their bedrooms in order every day, they wouldn’t have to do it on Friday.  Friday became a free day –– the reward for being good stewards ––  a blessing for me from years of training, reminding, training, reminding, and training.

I cleaned my home every Friday.  New Moon Friday, I would dust. Anything that needed to be put away was put away.  All floors were vacuumed, swept, and mopped.  All kitchen towels, napkins, and place mats were washed.  Trash cans were emptied and all garbage removed from the house.  Animal pens that needed to be cleaned were cleaned and feeders filled if necessary. 

My two daughters’ preparation activities involved setting the Sabbath table.  This meant putting a white table cloth on our dining room table along with golden candle sticks with white candles, our best dishes, silverware, napkins, and wine glasses. They learned how to set a formal table as our guest of honor was Yeshua.

I would bake bread, make a special dinner, and dessert.  Everyone would bathe and dress to bring in the sunset to start the Sabbath.  The week’s work would have been completed by sundown –– laundry, school, shopping, cleaning, sewing, organizing, vacuuming.    As a family, we would enter the holy Sabbath with lit candles, homemade challah bread, glasses of wine/grape juice, blessings over the wife, children, and family. And singing.

We would rest from all our weekly work on the Sabbath.  We had time as a family to read and study the Word of God.  My husband and I taught our children about God’s  commands and how to live them out in their everyday lives.  We had time to read about the life of Yeshua and how he is our example in living out the Scriptures.  We had time to pull out tambourines, guitars, flutes, recorders –– and dance.  We were able to worship the Creator of the Sabbath in our home with our children.

The Glory of a Home is Hospitality

Pillar Seven. The Sabbath.

One of the greatest blessings of ‘carving our weekly pillars’ around Sabbath was the freedom to invite others to share in the fellowship. I always knew my home would be in order, food would be prepared, and our hearts ready for guests. These times of hospitality became opportunities to teach others about the Father’s physical rest from his creative works and the joy of our spiritual rest in Yeshua.  When the Sabbath was complete the next afternoon and the sun began to set, we were refreshed, recharged, and ready to begin our weekly pillar cycle again.

“[Wisdom] has prepared her food, spiced her wine, and she has set her table.  She calls from the heights of the city … ‘Come and eat my food!  Drink the wine I have mixed!  Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of understanding” (Proverbs 9:3-6).

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