Friday, February 25, 2011

Home Management: Some things that make for a peaceful attidue

Proverbs 31 tells us two important things about the worthy woman:

1) She was clothed with strength and dignity and
2) She was able to laugh at the days to come.

The most loving of home managers are women who are at peace with themselves. They do have strength and dignity to sustain them during trying times. They are confident in the future and do not fear what might happen.

When our minds are torn by things such as insecurity, fear, and bitterness, our attention is divided as well. We are not able to look well to the ways of our household. We may try to love our husbands and children but find that we cannot get past our own pain well enough to love as we want to.

So, the question for us is, how can we as home managers cultivate the inner peace that we need?

1) We must look to God for peace, for strength, for dignity, and for hope for the future. Peace within comes from peace with God. Phil. 4:4-8
2) No home manager (in fact no person) lives entirely up to her own goals. When you fall short, ask forgiveness if sin was involved or if you hurt someone, even inadvertently. If it was merely a mistake, let it go. Once you've dealt with a shortcoming, forget the past and press on. Phil. 3:8-9
3) Don't try to live up to unrealistic expectations from the media or our culture. Be careful what standards you absorb from the culture around you. Let God's word be your standard.
4) Humbly learn from other women, particularly those who can train you according to Titus 2. But, be encouraged by an excellent example rather than discouraged. Don't compare yourself in such a negative way that you become discouraged. Each woman has her own home and her own family; her own strengths and her own weaknesses.
5) Cultivate a sense of humor and a sense of proportion. Don't make mountains out of molehills, as the saying goes. In our pursuit of excellence in the home, we mustn't become uptight. Children will remember the love and joy and peace in a home more than they will remember whether or not lesser things were perfect.
6) One reason that the worthy woman could laugh at the days to come was because she was prepared. We can't prepare for every event in life. However, we can do our best to be organized and to keep a well-stocked home so that life will flow as smoothly as possible.
7) In our planning, we must be flexible. We can't be thrown off course emotionally if our day doesn't go as planned. In fact, many days will not go as planned. Be open to whatever a day brings, and, then, get back on course if you need to.
8) Sometimes, peace comes only by appealing to God and surrendering to His will in focused prayer. We can take our example from Jesus, who prayed intensely before going to the cross. If He who was sinless needed such prayer, then how much more do we!
9) Sometimes, issues from the past tempt us to be fearful, anxious, or easily angered in the present. One clue that this is happening is that our reactions to present happenings are out of proportion -- either too extreme or too numb. We need to do what we can to resolve these issues through prayer and the wise help of a friend or counselor.
10) Sometimes, fatigue, hormonal changes or illness can tempt us to be overly moodiness. At those times, it's good to realize what's happening and to take ourselves in hand, so that we don't allow our circumstantial emotions to control us. At the same time, it's wise to do what we can to better our physical health, such as to get more rest, eat more nutritious foods, get fresh air, and to exercise.
11) Remember that both tears and laughter are healthy in their right time.
12) When we feel anxious or insecure, our instinct may be to try to control our life more tightly. We may even try to control other people in unhealthy ways. Yet, true peace comes from surrendering to the Lord and letting go of the impulse to control everything. God does give us the gift of self-control, and He does expect us to exercise this gift as is appropriate. Yet, we must remember that we exercise self-control under the umbrella of His ultimate sovereignty. That's a good thing, for He is all-powerful, all-wise, and great in mercy and love.

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