Monday, May 16, 2011

What do Homemakers Really Do?

Florida House, Home School
What Did You Do Today  One afternoon a man came home from work to find total mayhem in his house.  His three children were outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn all around the front yard.  The door of his wife’s car was open, as was the front door to the house.
Proceeding into the entry, he found an even bigger mess.  A lamp had been knocked over, and the throw rug was wadded against one wall.  In the front room the TV was loudly blaring a cartoon channel, and the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing.  In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door.

He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife.  He was worried she may be ill, or that something serious had happened.  He found her lounging in the bedroom, still curled in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel.  She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went. 

He looked at her bewildered, and asked, “What happened here today?” 

She again smiled and answered, “You know every day when you come home from work and ask me what in the world I did today?” 

“Yes was his incredulous reply."  She answered, "Well, today I didn't do it."
Yes, homemakers are rarely appreciated for all we do.  Just try leaving the little tykes at home to themselves for 15 minutes and see what they can get into!   One time, I had to run an errand that literally only took fifteen minutes.  As I returned and entered the kitchen door, there was three-year-old Bryce helping five-year-old Elise with a “cooking project” complete with very sharp knives!  Even with a houseful of teenagers and adults, I rarely leave my home to these rascals (spouse included) for fear of what I might return to. 

Frankly, if the “working class” were as efficient at their jobs as I am at my homemaking career, most folk’s work day would be done in a few hours!  (P.S. Just heard Dave Ramsey quote Lee Iacocca who basically said the exact same thing!!!!)  Doctrine and Covenants 88:119 instructed that Saints in Kirtland establish “a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God.”  These instructions pertained to the Lord’s temple, but the Bible Dictionary in the LDS edition of the scriptures points out that “only the home can compare with the temple in sacredness.”

Homemakers do much more than keep the household organized. “‘It is in the home that true gospel principles are learned and taught.’  …Children must be taught to recognize and seek spiritual enlightenment.  Parents must be consistent and persistent teaching, both by example and in formal instruction.  That way, the Spirit of the Lord will be able to bear witness of the truths parents teach, and it will touch the hearts of children who might be temporarily resistant.”  (“News of the Church,” Ensign, Mar. 1986, 83)

Teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ in the home adds another layer of insulation to protect our children from worldly influences.  ("Mothers Teaching Children in the Home," Elder L. Tom Perry, Ensign 5/10)

Barbara B. Smith, past general Relief Society president, explained that God clearly placed importance “on the work he has given to women to bear and rear children.  He has not ranked the role of provider ahead of the role of bearing and nurturing, but has wisely divided these highest, most essential duties equally between men and women.  There may be exceptions but the pattern is clear:  an ideal home has both a mother-homemaker and a father-provider.” (Barbara B. Smith, “Makers of Homes,” Ensign, Mar. 1979, 24), (See also, The Family:  Proclamation to the World).

While circumstances do vary and the ideal isn't always possible, I believe it is by divine design that the role of motherhood emphasizes the nurturing and teaching of the next generation.  ~Elder L. Tom Perry

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