As I continue to study Titus 2:3-5, I see that young women need to be trained how to be busy at home:
“Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God” (Titus 2:3-5).
These words are just one word in the Greek — oikouros. It’s a compound word meaning a guard over a dwelling (or home). It pictures someone who is in management over everything that happens in a home, being the one responsible to make sure everything gets done.
Whew! This is a huge responsibility!
So I’ve been thinking about how dangerous laziness must be. If God says that it’s a young woman’s job to guard over everything that happens in her home, making sure it all gets done, then the Enemy would like nothing more than to distract her from this job.
Laziness Destroys a Home
“One who is slack in his work
is brother to one who destroys” (Proverbs 18:9).
It’s certainly understandable why a woman would want to slack off on the never-ending list of things to do in her home. It’s just that — never ending! She starts to feel used and under-appreciated. She complains and feels like no one understands.
“The wise woman builds her home,
but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down” (Proverbs 14:1).
Part of the reason she feels this way is because she is wishing that life would be a little more fun, a little less work. I think we can all relate to this feeling.
“He who loves pleasure will become poor;
whoever loves wine and oil will never be rich” (Proverbs 21:17).
Yet, she will never find any satisfaction chasing pleasure. Our Creator God designed us to work (Genesis 1:27-28). Like a piece of machinery that functions only when it does what the engineer designed it to do, we will only function when we fill our days serving the Master Designer (and others).
When we don’t function as God designed us to, we begin to destroy both ourselves and those around us.
“We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:11-12).
Five Ways to Overcome Laziness
1. Be Bossy with Yourself.
“Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler,
yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest” (Proverbs 6:6-8).
A wise woman is the manager of her home. She has no need for anyone to manage her. Rather than needing to be reminded and reprimanded (usually by her husband), she has self-control.
“Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave… (1 Corinthians 9:26-27).
Yes, some mornings, when she is lying in bed and wishing she could stay there, she has to talk sternly with herself — and mean it! 🙂
2. Get Up in the Morning.
“How long will you lie there, you sluggard?
When will you get up from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest —
and poverty will come on you like a bandit
and scarcity like an armed man” (Proverbs 6:9-11).
It’s really easy to hit the snooze on the alarm clock, isn’t it? “Only 10 more minutes, then I’ll get up.”
Yet a wise woman carefully chooses a reasonable time to wake up in the morning, then she forces herself to stick to it. Consistently. Every. Day.
(Maybe not Sabbath day…) 🙂
3. Plan What Needs to Be Done.
I’m a big fan of making lists. The purpose of a list is two-fold:
- It reminds you of what you really believe is important.
- It helps you actually accomplish something, rather than spin your wheels with indecision.
“The plans of the diligent lead to profit
as surely as haste leads to poverty” (Proverbs 21:5).
>> For ideas, read some of my “time management” posts.
4. Follow Through.
The wise woman does more than plan; she forces herself to actually finish what she starts. There are lots of ways to get better at this, but again, it really boils down to self discipline.
“All hard work brings a profit,
but mere talk leads only to poverty” (Proverbs 14:23).
She doesn’t make excuses.
“The sluggard says, ‘There is a lion outside!’
or, ‘I will be murdered in the streets!'” (Proverbs 22:13).
She puts everything she has into her tasks, remembering why she’s doing it and realizing how valuable her time is!
“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave,where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).
Most of all, she does her work to please her Heavenly Father.
“Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins” (James 4:17).
5. Don’t Give Up.
Even wise women have hard days when they feel like giving up or running away. However, feelings don’t lead her actions.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).
I hope you’ll choose one of these verses this week to post next to your alarm clock. Ask Father for help to be wise — to plan, to carry through, and to continue on. It’s a prayer He’ll surely answer!
Thank you, Anne. I needed to hear this, yet again. Thank you for allowing the Holy Spirit to use you to convict, teach and encourage us. I appreciate you sharing concrete solutions backed up with Scripture. As I prepare for the new school year (our homeschool year begins each July), I feel encouraged that I CAN complete the tasks set before me. After all, self-control *is* one of the fruit of the Holy Spirit!
Hi Anne, some blogs of interest come & go due to not having time to spend in them all but yours is the only one Ive kept (referred to me by a friend) – just had to say how timely for me this post is. Thank you & God bless you Anne.
I’ve been trying to figure out how to get my 14-year-old daughter to be less lazy and more willing to work. I just had to look in the mirror! Thanks for teaching me so I can teach her (by example!).
Just finished mopping and sealing the hardwood floors throughout our house. It really does lift my spirits to work hard and enjoy the benefits of a clean house and hard work!
Thanks for the kick in the pants, Anne. LOVE your blog, especially the Scripture references for every point you make. God bless you for teaching and loving your readers.
Thank you for sharing this. I need to heed what was shared here.
Anne, thank you so much for this post and the verses. This has been something I struggle with and I wholeheartedly desire to “get better”. I’m almost 35 years old and I just realized about three months ago that a lot of my problems (messy house, can’t get kids to start homeschool without a fight, etc) all revolve around my lack of discipline, and worse yet, my lack of diligence on the follow through when I try to set up a system of some sort. I’m going to print this article for my home management binder so I can refer back to it often. I’ll work in memorizing those scriptures too. James 4:17 is the one that jumped out at me (made me feel convicted) most, so I’m going to work in memorizing that one first! Thanks again. This is really helpful!
Thank you for reminding me of these things I know I ought to do.
I have prayed. I will keep praying and these verses are a great help.
The pain of the frustration with myself for not having our home in order, or meals planned, & school prepared, is too great.
I want to do better. I will keep praying;)
Anne, this article seems as if it were written just for me. Thank you so much. I’m going to print it out and keep it as a reminder. I have one question, and it’s not out of criticism at all, but rather out of pure curiosity. I regularly do not get enough sleep, for a combination of reasons. My husband works second shift and doesn’t get home until midnight, so I try about half the time to stay awake long enough to at least greet him at the door and talk to him for a few minutes about his day….also, I have three young children and the youngest (she’s 18 months old) STILL wakes up in the night to nurse; it’s something we’re working on eliminating but it’s taking time….and then, with my hubby on 2nd shift, I kind of “single parent” Monday through Friday, doing bath time, bed time, etc. by myself five nights a week…my whole point is that I am SO TIRED. I know that sounds whiny, but it is the truth. I sometimes can’t seem to keep my eyes open during the day. What can I do to make this better? I WANT to stop being lazy and I WANT to serve the Lord by serving my family the way I was meant to. Help!
There are seasons in life…. Do what you can and remember the Lord gently leads those with young…… Understand and remember too that our children are much more important than a perfect house. Resting is important too! Right now you may need to nap when your little ones nap. Take 30mins to pick up things in the afternoon but don’t stress yourself out…. Remember Mary choose what was better :0) The Proverbs 31 woman’s children were older thats why they rose and called her blessed……. To everything there is a season…….. From your post it doesn’t sound like your lazy it sounds like you are truly busy raising your babies and caring for your husband….. Organize a little and making a schedule has helped me…. Also ASK for HELP when you need it :0) I hope you haven’t been beating yourself up over this post…… @ Anne I really hoped you would have mention mothers with littles….. Some of the hardest years were when I had 4 children under 6 and I used to beat myself up when the laundry monster COULD NOT be defeated….. I lost valuable years because of that….. Children and sitting reading to them is doing something much more valuable then worrying about clothes or vacuuming…. BALANCE….. Do what the Lord wants you to do each day some days when you have a toddler and pregnant with morning sickness those days its ok to let the laundry monster grow he will be there tomorrow but those babies won’t…… In Love!!
You are so right about balance! This post is not meant to be for those very busy mothers of young children. It’s just meant to deal with the heart issue of laziness. Here’s a look at the other side of this issue:
thank you Anne, I needed to hear this again. I thank God for you.
by the way, there are only 5 of the 10 ways to overcome laziness ???
hope to get the rest soon.
Gay Taunton says
Ouch! My toes hurt…you have reinforced what God has been dealing with me about. I enjoy your heart, obedience, and boldness. May you be richly blessed!
Martha Liskey says
A touch on conviction on this blog…. EEEEkkkkkk… I could list off a million reasons why I’m ‘lazy’ or as someone told me ‘un-motivated’ However… unfortunately they are all excuses 🙁 Some valid… Most not… This blog brought a lot of things to the forefront and places a reminder as to why God placed the woman in the home… I REALLY need to do this… Not only for me… However first and foremost for God, followed by my husband, and last but not least my children… How can I raise them properly and expect them to grow doing right if I struggle so hard to maintain the home and life within in? Please pray for me that I find a way to make this happen and maybe make a couple lists this week… Maybe I will invest in a white board…