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TOPIC: EXCEL IN HAPPY HOME MAKING

Text: Prov. 31:10-31

Objectives: To lead learners to restructure the affairs of their household for God’s glory.

Memory Verse: Prov 31:27
    She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Introduction
    Life today is far from the relaxed life of 20years ago. There seem to be much to do but less time, rushing to watch a film, to internet, to “Njangis” to attend to husband, children and yourself etc. Which do you do and which do you not do? How can you be an adequate (good enough) mother wife, woman, lady with such a schedule?

LESSON/DISCUSSION

Here are some suggestions which could help you think toward some solutions.
A.    Stress
What is bothering you? Try to find out the source of your stress. Is it the circumstance (condition of your life) or your attitude in handling your household affairs that is the problem? Sit down and reason it out, some women are under pressure while others are relaxed.
Let us study the lives of two women in their homes. Sister Ngosi has two children and a small house. Although her house is neat but she works as if she has four children in a big house. Living, is such a burden to Ngosi. She complains of too much work and no time for herself and the things she wants to do. She works with a heavy spirit. There is never spare time for her to relax. As she finishes one job she hates to do the next.
Sister Eposi has five children. Her home is small, old and very difficult to keep looking clean. She tries to keep it up with eager hands (Prov. 31:13b) as she sings choruses and involves her children too. She creates time to relax – take tea and converse with neighbors, participate in church and school activities.
What makes the difference in the two women? Really, part of it is temperament (natural way of behavior) but notice the difference in their attitudes (the way of thinking and feeling about something). So which woman is excelling in happy homemaking?
Sisters, accept your situation and adjust your activities to provide a relaxed atmosphere in your home. Create time or organize it. Is your home what your husband expects or you yourself love to stay in and others would appreciate? Discuss.

B.    Evaluate Your Schedule
In this case you try to think or list down your activities, look at which one should be done  first and how much time should be given to each one – such as;
-    Devotions
-    Cooking
-    Washing cloches/utensils (dishes pots etc.)
-    Ironing
-    Church meetings
-    Farming
-    Marketing
-    Traveling/visitation/witnessing
-    Socializing with friends
Name the rest. Can you do all of these and still be the relaxed Christian woman, “young diamond” mother or wife in your home? Respond. Determine by God’s help through prayers the priorities for your use of time. Women with younger children should not expect to do what women with already grown children can do.
    Remember that husbands differ. Some have no trouble staying at home with the children and even doing some house chores (house work) while their wives visit friends and relax but some would not tolerate that.

C.    Disliking Housework
What a challenge to plan your work and work your plan. There are two ways to look at work – a good or bad thing. When you feel it is too much and you can not measure what to do for a time it worries you.
You can only love house work if you organize your house work so that you can have enough time to relax with husband, children and friends. In fact it will be wonderful if you pray for God’s grace to enable you have interest for work which you really hate. Some hate farm work, washing etc. what do you hate? I hate ironing but love to wash basins of clothes. What does Ecl 9:10 say? Obey it.

D.    Gracious Hospitality
        Hospitality means to have a friendly and generous behavior towards guest.
    Always give yourself a “new look” and house, a “new touch”. Once in a while re-arrange your parlor, change position of bed, change blinds and decorations in the parlor, do thorough cleaning of the house, surprise your family with a special meal or gifts and make sure you change hairstyles and dress well not only when a guest visits your home. That is, make your home to have a spirit of hospitality (Abraham/Serah). Entertain your guests even if it means giving just a cup of water or express the desire that if you had you would have given something. Be gracious in your hospitality and also teach your family members to do so to young, old, senior, junior persons, pagans, Christians etc. In short be like the Prov. 31 woman.

E.    Money Management
What can bring more joy or cause more sorrow in a home than money – particularly its management? Try to understand each others view point in handling finances.
Tah came from a poor background. Though their income was small, they managed. For the first 5 yrs of their marriage Mrs. Tah accounted for every franc she spent because of no trust by her husband. Through prayers her husband could trust her ability to spend money wisely.
Mrs. Konde was able to save her husband from a financial stress during retirement because she had always planned and saved ahead of time. Her husband always spent the greatest part of his salary on drinks and fun. Can you appreciate the two women?
Mal. 3:10 -12 encourages us to pay our tithes (1/10 of income) to God through our churches and blessings will be poured on us. Giving our money is a test of our love for God. (Discuss how). It is good to see the needs of widows/orphans, Men of God, the needy and try to meet their needs with what God has given you. Remember more money, more responsibilities but save for the “rainy day” (when you will be in need).

F.    Children
What is your attitude towards your children? Do you consider them as God’s precious gifts of life and responsibility to you and husband to fulfill the purpose for which God has give them to you? As in Prov. 31:28 do they rise up and call you blessed? What do they say about your daily behavior – getting what you say or do and communicating your love and God’s love to them? Do they feel good or ashamed to invite their friends to your home?
Seeking the best for your children should be a constant goal. A loving attitude creates freedom and happiness in the home. Build respect into the children for their father even when he misbehaves.
Develop in the children qualities, respect obedience, responsibility and confidence in God. Help direct and guide them to do their house and school assignments. Tell or read to them up-lifting and character building stories of people and events. Teach them how to pray, handle devotions and memorize Bible verses. Give them sex education.

Application
    The Christian home is God’s institution which He loves to see clean, organized, well managed and harmonious (having peace and agreement).
    Let the Christian woman be like the Prov. 31 woman who would not complain or compete with her husband but earnestly and submissively does your part at home.

Questions
1.    What can you do to improve on your schedule?
2.    Does your management of money please God?
3.    Discuss better ways of training your children.
4.    How can you help your children to see the best in their father?