Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Oikodespoteo

Carmon at Buried Treasure Books has been blogging for 6+ years; that's ancient in internet years. ~smile~ You have to stop by and read her "Top Ten Ways To Be Productive At Home". I love how Carmon raises being a keeper at home to not just an art, but an educational endeavor.

I was talking with a friend yesterday about the "mood" of our homes. It's something I struggle with, because too often, I let my emotions, circumstances, frustrations, etc. get in the way of my mood.

The Greek word for "keeping house" is "oikodespoteo". It's not just good enough to have an orderly and organzied home. We also set the tone. "Dad decides what to do, Mom decides how we feel about it." A constant "temperature" in the home is more desirable than cleaning with Mrs. Meyers. (Though Mrs. Meyers' cleaning products can certainly produce a better mood--but I digress--)

In this article, Sonya from Simply Charlotte Mason, says this:

My husband John thinks in word pictures, and several years ago he described a word picture that has stuck in my mind ever since. He explained that some people are like thermostats and some are like thermometers. A thermostat regulates the temperature and atmosphere of the home. It is set to a constant temperature, and if the atmosphere around it heats up, it kicks in and gets that temperature back to normal. On the flip side, a thermometer reacts to the temperature and atmosphere around it. If the air around it heats up, it heats up too. In other words, a thermometer is controlled by its atmosphere; a thermostat controls its atmosphere. There’s a big difference.


Great advice to remember. Charlotte Mason's term of this is "always serene". Proverbs 31:25 deems it "she smiles at the future". I suppose the "future" could mean more than just "next week" or "next year", but perhaps "in the next five minutes". I aspire to be smiling and serene about the future, and only with the Lord's help.

My blog is mainly devoted to issues of motherhood, but to be honest, I could never be half the mother I am without my husband. My focus naturally turns to my children, and homeschooling, etc., but in reality, my husband should be the main focus, after Christ, of course. Lovely the way that's laid out for us. I do think that having that "right tone" in our home is essential to our husband's well-being first and foremost. It's also God-honoring.

On Carmon's list, she emphasizes the importance of serving our husbands, in order to be productive at home. There's been a list of "50 practical ways to bless your husband" saved on my email for quite some time. It's a great list, and I want to share it. In keeping with "oikodespoteo"--"keeping house"--, let's remember the order: Christ, husbands, children, home. I need to remind myself of this.

50 Practical Ways to Bless Your Husband

1 -Get up early to see off my husband or serve him coffee,etc
2 - Make him breakfast and lunch for him to take to work
3 - Start his car and let the heater warm up/or a/c cool down while he gets dressed
4 - Get dressed and smelling good before he gets home
5 - Same for children
6 - Get the children excited for his return
7 - Leave him a note for him to find
8 - Have the wonderful smell of yummy food filling the kitchen when he returns from work
9 - Iron shirts for him to wear
10 - Make sure he always has clean clothes!
11 - Tell him he is handsome, smart, PRAISE HIM
12 - Tell him you love the way he calls your little boy "Son"
13 - Try and respect when you see he is tired or stressed and DO NOT add to it
14 - Try and give neck rubs or foot rubs (after a shower ~smile~)
15 - Try and have a clean or cleanish house for him
16 - Try and school the children well (his family has and will always reflect on him)
17 - Discipline the children well while he is gone so he can enjoy them when he is around instead of having to be a disciplinarian
18 - Try and stay fit and healthy for him
19 - Try and be frugal and budget. Show you really respect how hard he has to work for this money
20 - Bake cookies or treats for him to take to work for his coworkers
21 - Keep his nightstand clean
22 - Polish and shine his shoes
23 - Plant flowers, keeping the outside of his castle looking pretty
24 - Do not nag.
25 - Encourage him in his hobbies, not complaining that he spends money on it.
26 - Bless his family, sending notes, etc
27 - Keep the refrigerator clean
28 - Refer to him before making any decisions
29 - Make sure to do the errands he asks you to do while he's at work, make a note so you don´t forget.
30 - Have the table made and candles burning when he returns
31 - Clean out his car
32 - Clean out your car before he is to ride in it
33 - Dress in a feminine way (personal opinion that men love it when women look feminine)
34 - Make sure and grocery shop on days where he doesn't need to come or watch children
35 - Learn new recipes
36 - Make his favorite dessert, healthy or not
37 - Leave a message on his voicemail saying how much you love and miss him
38 - Decorate the house, while he's asleep, for his birthday
39 - Save money and organize the holidays all year so Christmas is not crazy
40 - Organize, organize, organize
41 - Take up a hobby (husbands love to say "my wife made this")
42 - Patch up holes in clothes, check shirts to see if any buttons are missing, and fix them
43 - Pray for him daily, fervently, constantly
44 - Teach your children songs and scriptures so they can show Daddy
45 - Be creative and open to him in all the "private" things of your marriage
46 - if you watch TV, record his favorite show if he is late
47 - pray, pray pray, pray, pray, pray
48 - say something nice about his mother/father/ family (Bless w/ your mouth)
49 - teach the children to pray for daddy
50 - Be on guard against the enemy! (satan)

21 comments:

L.L. Barkat said...

Keep the refrigerator clean. Ah. Hmmm... Well. Isn't there a place for surprising him with nicely-cooled science projects? ;-)

Andrea said...

LOL, L.L.
Obviously, this list is not a *formula* but a guide. I don't even know who wrote it, I just pasted and copied. There are some good ideas here, though.

Anonymous said...

And what exactly does he have to do for himself?

Andrea said...

Ai yi yi....

Anonymous said...

seriously i was only joking. all these are wonderful ways to minister to your husband and a wonderful example to your children.

Terry said...

This is a good guide to remembering to esteem others more highly than ourselves. Every husband and marriage is different so there may be things on the list that may not apply in every individual family. I do admire the principle.

Kendra said...

ouch : )
a good ouch.

anya said...

i suppose there was some convicting stuff in that post, since halfway through that list tears were springing to my eyes. how frustrating to me that so many simple and easy to implement concepts seem to be the ones i forget, or most quickly drop from my priority list. although my children are amazingly wonderful-i know there are way to many times i focus on their needs while neglecting those of my husband. thank you for that post-and those easy reminders of how i can daily show my gratitude and love for all my husband does for me and my family.

Monica said...

Thank you so much for this post. It is going to be an inspiration to me today. So many times I forget to do the small things that bless my husband.

AIMEE said...

so many times I ask myself "would I treat a girlfriend who lived with me with greater sensitivity and consideration than I do my husband?" That's usually a reality check. I can easily dump all my problems on him, whine and complain, and feel like he owes ME for all I do for the children. I have been pondering lately how I can make him my priority before the children...it certainly is tough when the children are very young and needy...more to trust and believe the Lord for! The impossible is possible with Him.

Mary Brooke said...

Andrea, this post is truly inspiring to me. I am really enjoying your blog as I delight and learn about loving my husband, mothering and home. Ditto on all the above responses. Our children are 5, 3 and 11 months and I am trying to discern how to do it all myself versus getting my husband's help with the chores at night....

It is so great to "fellowship" in this way...things I already know about, but rarely have people to share the passion with.

I made your seared chicken with/rosemary the other day and am happy to try the scalloped potatoes too.

Some other things like are: fix a nice meal with nice china, cloth napkins, candles, etc. on a somewhat regular basis....planning a special alone-time breakfast with all the above or a netflix-and-take-out night (children go to bed early).
Mary Brooke in Atlanta
Oh, neat thing, I get to fellowship/hear from Sonya Shafer occasionally here in town and have gotten to attend conferences with Catherine Levison , Sally Clarkson and the general Charlotte Mason conference in NC...great stuff!

Christine said...

Ahhhh, you speak such wisdom! I'll have to check out those links. And I'd like to be the thermostat, but lately I've been a thermometer. Ugh!

Mrs. Pivec said...

Beautiful! What wonderful reminders as well as new ideas. Thank you!

Katherine@Raising Five said...

I love the list, except I'm quite sure every husband would put #45 as #1. (sheepish grin)

So much of this really just means we need to stop being passive, expecting him to always be the one to take initiative. OUCH!

Goodlikeamedicine said...

What a GREAT list! I love getting my hands on stuff like that! :)

Goodlikeamedicine said...

Oh, the passive/agressive/initiative topic...

I just listened to this message yesterday and was so blessed by it and reminded of this! thought i'd share...

Elise said...

Love love LOVE this post! I printed it and bookmarked the links for my early morning time - such a good start to the day.

As for what the husband does for himself - that's not what this is about! The focus is on becoming a servant ourselves in every way - who cares about how others receive it? We are being refined... and it is so good.

Thank you, Andrea.

e-Mom said...

Wonderful advice! Marriage Monday has a new home at Chrysalis. Please consider entering this post for others to read. Hugs, e-Mom

Ann V.@HolyExperience said...

Andrea?
Printed, and in my Bible for everyday referrals.

What a humble privilege to learn from such a community of women. You bless.

My genuine thanks...

Beka said...

Andrea,
I'm new over here but I've enjoyed reading some of your posts this morning. This one, in particular, I really loved. I am going to print it out, in fact. Such excellent things to put into practice as we strive to be excellent wives. And the quote about the thermostat/thermometer... wow. Thank you for sharing all of this.

bluemountainmama said...

oh man... i'd have to get a tetnis shot before i cleaned out my husband's car!!! :) and i like to think of our house as "our" home, not HIS castle, and enjoy beautifying it because it's our sacred space, so to speak. :)

but there were some good ideas in here... it really is the small things, i think, besides the obvious of keeping up home and hearth.....