Home. The word can be meaningful and lovely. Or painful and ugly. One’s perspective of home is usually formed by a mother. Even if a situation is frightening or unpleasant, a family commonly looks to the mother to inspire hope. To let them know everything is going to be alright.
God created women to be nurturers. That’s why children frequently run first to their mother when they are hurt. They trust her to take care of them. It’s also why most women have a desire to make home a place of comfort, love and beauty—a place where others feel welcomed and safe.
In Genesis 2:18 God said, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.”
Many times the word helper in this context elicits raised eyebrows and indignant huffs among women. But the original definition of the word God uses, ezer, means essential counterpart, indispensable companion, or corresponding strength. Rather than denoting weakness, it implies fortitude.
It’s a warrior-word.
One of the best illustrations I’ve seen of this is an architectural component called the flying buttress.
Commonly used in Gothic architecture, [it] provides essential support that preserves the architectural soundness and integrity of a building. These buttresses bear the weight and relieve pressure from the walls, allowing for higher ceilings, ornate latticing, and more windows. Like these powerful structures, a woman provides an undergirding strength within the context of relationship that empowers another to become and achieve things that might have otherwise been impossible. She is an essential counterpart providing necessary load-bearing support. –Ezer: Biblical Femininity, p. 21
God created us to be the load-bearing support in our homes. We provide the structural framework laid on top of the already level foundation of unconditional love. When sturdy beams are fastened to the foundation, studs can then be attached and up righted, allowing the home to take shape. These studs provide the strength needed to hold the weight of subsequent floors and the roof. Because of this, most walls sustain the integrity of a structure, making them an essential element that cannot be removed without being replaced with another type of support.
I’m a big fan of HGTV. Many of the shows are about renovating older homes and bringing them up to date, creating beautiful living spaces for families. Open concept is the desired plan for most of these homeowners, requiring many of the existing walls to be removed.
When contractors, however, realize one of these walls is an all-important structural wall, chaos ensues. They bring in the structural engineers who have to design solid, and sometimes cost-prohibitive, beams to replace the wall the homeowners want down. They look at various ways to make the plan work. But in the end, the wall must remain if an alternate solution isn’t found.
Many times we see ourselves as insignificant, convinced we can be easily replaced by a maid or a nanny in the day-to-day humdrum of life. Our role can feel unrewarding and thankless. We wonder if anyone would even notice if we weren’t there, except that there’s no food, clean laundry or someone to pick the kids up from school.
Let me assure you—you matter. You’re just as important as those strong structural walls that keep a house from crumbling. The love and time invested in endless cleaning, cooking and helping with homework do make a difference. Your husband and children may not say it often, or maybe not even at all, but you are essential in sustaining the integrity of your home. And, believe it or not, your children need you even more as they grow into adulthood. Don’t think you aren’t important to them anymore.
If you feel like you’re drowning in responsibilities and want out, turn to the Bible. God’s word can help you overcome your weaknesses. When others need to lean on you for support and you’re exhausted, incapable of mustering the strength, look to God. He is faithful. His word promises that He will strengthen, help, and uphold you with His righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10). He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). You are precious to Him.
Don’t give up. You are the manifestation of God’s grace and power in the place He has you—undergirding your dream home.
- Think of all of the things you do for those you care about. What special touches can you add to seemingly ordinary tasks?
- Read 2 Chronicles 15:7. Write the verse on a notecard and put it somewhere you will see several times a day. Let it encourage you.
- Ask God to give you the strength to fulfill your mission as a godly woman. Your influence will make a difference for good in your home as well as your community.
Let’s build Kingdom homes together!