How great a small word can be.
May this collection of quotes humble and hearten you to the sacrifice and joy of homemaking. Taken from children’s books and sermons, icons and unknowns, each delivers wisdom. But prudence is how you will heed it.
The Spirit of a Homemaker. . .
Go out more, keep cheerful as well as busy, for you are the sunshine maker of the family, and if you get dismal there is no fair weather. – Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
As with the commander of any army, or the leader of any enterprise, so it is with the mistress of a house. Her spirit will be seen through the whole establishment; and just in proportion as she performs her duties intelligently and thorough, so will her domestics follow in her path. Of all those acquirements which more particularly belong to the feminine character, there are none which take a high rank, in our estimation, than such as enter into a knowledge of household duties; for on these are perpetually dependent the happiness, comfort and well-being of a family. – Mrs. Isabella Beeton, Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management
The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down. Proverbs 14:1
It’s sad if people think that’s (homemaking) a dull existence, [but] you can’t just buy an apartment and furnish it and walk away. It’s the flowers you choose, the music you play, the smile you have waiting. I want it to be gay and cheerful, a haven in this troubled world. I don’t want my husband and children to come home and find a rattled woman. Our era is already rattled enough, isn’t it? – Audrey Hepburn
“I’m only a housewife, I’m afraid.” How often do we hear this shocking admission? I’m afraid when I hear it I feel very angry indeed. Only a housewife: only a practitioner of one of the two most noble professions (the other one is that of a farmer); only the mistress of a huge battery of high and varied skills and custodian of civilization itself. Only a typist, perhaps! Only a company director, or a nuclear physicist; only a barrister; only the President! When a woman says she is a housewife she should say it with the utmost pride, for there is nothing higher on this planet to which she could aspire. – John Seymour
Let’s be cheerful! We have no more right to steal the brightness out of the day for our own family than we have to steal the purse of a stranger. Let us be careful that our homes are furnished with pleasant and happy thoughts as we are that the rugs are the right color and texture and furniture comfortable and beautiful. – Laura Ingalls Wilder
Stay, stay at home, my heart, and rest. Homekeeping hearts are happiest. – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
It belittles us to think of our daily tasks as small things, and if we continue to do so, it will in time make us small. – Laura Ingalls Wilder
I believe that what woman resents is not so much giving herself in pieces as giving herself purposelessly. What we fear is not so much that our energy may be leaking away through small outlets as that it may be going “down the drain.” We do not see the results of our giving as concretely as man does in his work. – Anne Morrow Lindbergh
The humblest tasks get beautified when loving hands do them. – Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
The power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy and life lovely. – Louisa May Alcott
I’ve always liked washing dishes. It’s fun to make dirty things clean and shining again. – Lucy M. Montgomery, Anne of Windy Poplars
Observe a little girl playing house. She doesn’t hurry to get her work done. She puts her doll in a crib, folds the little blankets, tucks them in carefully, and when she is finished, takes them off and does it all over again. She does the same with a little tea set, setting and unsetting the table, over and over again. She enjoys her work because she is unaware of time. I doubt she would enjoy it if she were to watch the clock. I believe our natural instinct is to enjoy domestic work, as little girls do, and being crowded for time robs us of enjoyment. – Helen B. Andelin, Fascinating Womanhood
The routines of housework and of mothering may be seen as a kind of death, and it is appropriate that they should be, for they offer the chance, day after day, to lay down one’s life for others. Then they are no longer routines. By being done with love and offered up to God with praise, they are thereby hallowed as vessels of the tabernacle were hallowed—not because they were different from other vessels in quality or function, but because they were offered to God. A mother’s part in sustaining the life of her children and making it pleasant and comfortable is no triviality. It calls for self-sacrifice and humility, but it is the route, as well as the humiliation of Jesus, to glory. – Elisabeth Elliot, Let Me Be A Woman
Ordinary work, which is what most of us do, most of the time, is ordained by God every bit as much as the extraordinary. – Elisabeth Elliot
Have regular hours for work and play, make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. – Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
Of all modern notions, the worst is this: the domesticity is dull. . . . Inside the home, they say, is dead decorum and routine; outside is adventure and variety. But the truth is that the home is the only place of liberty, the only spot on earth where a man can alter arrangements suddenly, make an experiment or indulge in a whim. The home is not the one tame place in a world of adventure; it is the one wild place in a world of rules and set tasks. – G.K. Chesterton
The Influence of a Homemaker
Homemakers are the backbone of our society. They’re the ones who influence young people. Family culture is the very beginning of everything. – Betty Ford
Homemaking is surely in reality the most important work in the world. What do ships, railways, mines, cars, government, etc. exist for except that people may be fed, warmed, and safe in their homes? . . . The homemaker’s job is one for which all other’s exist. – C.S. Lewis
Women who marry pass their best and happiest years in giving life and fostering it, meeting and facing the problems of the next generation and helping the universe to move, and those born with the wandering foot are sometimes a bit irked by the weight of the always beloved shackles. Then the birds fly, the nest is empty, and the feet of the knitters in the sun lies the wide world. – Edith Kermit Roosevelt
All great change in America begins at the dinner table. – Ronald Reagan
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 urge 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
Most people have forgotten nowadays what a house can mean, though some of us have come to realize it as never before. It is a kingdom of its own in the midst of the world, a stronghold amid life’s storms and stresses, a refuge, even a sanctuary. – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs. – George Eliot, Middlemarch
As a Wife
A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones. Proverbs 12:4 (NIV)
Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave. – Martin Luther
The most important thing a man can know is that, as he approaches his own door, someone on the other side is listening for the sound of his footsteps. – Clark Gable
Marriage is not a federation of two sovereign states. It is a union—domestic social spiritual physical. It is a fusion of two hearts—the union of two lives—the coming together of two tributaries, which, after being joined in marriage, will flow in the same channel in the same direction. . . carrying the same burden of responsibility and obligation.
Modern girls argue that they have to earn an income, in order to establish a home, which would be impossible on their husband’s income. That is sometimes the case, but it must always be viewed as a regrettable necessity, never as the normal or natural thing for a wife to have to do.
The average woman, if she gives her full time to her home, her husband, her children. . . If she tries to understand her husband’s work. . .to curb his egotism while, at the same time, building up his self-esteem to kill his masculine conceit while encouraging all his hopes to establish around the family a circle of true friends. . .
If she provides in the home proper atmosphere of culture, of love of music, of beautiful furniture and of a garden. . .
If she can do all this, she will be engaged in a life work that will demand every ounce of her strength, every bit of her patience, every talent God has given her, the utmost sacrifice of her love. It will demand everything she has and more. And she will find that for which she was created. She will know that she is carrying out the plan of God. She will be a partner with the Sovereign Ruler of the universe.
And so, today’s daughters need to think twice before they seek to make a place for themselves by themselves in our world today. . . – Dr. Peter Marshall.
As a Mother
How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No. A woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness. – G.K. Chesterton
A mother is a chalice, the vessel without which no human being has ever been born. She is created to be a life-bearer, cooperating with her husband and with God in the making of a child. What a solemn responsibility. What an unspeakable privilege–a vessel divinely prepared for the Master’s use. – Elisabeth Elliot
This job [of motherhood] has been given to me to do. Therefore, it is a gift. Therefore, it is a privilege. Therefore, it is an offering I may make to God. Therefore, it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him. Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God’s way. In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness. – Elisabeth Elliot
You are as much serving God in looking after your own children, training them up in God’s fear, minding the house, and making your household a church for God as you would be if you had been called to lead an army to battle for the Lord of hosts. – Charles Spurgeon
If our children have the background of a godly, happy home and this unshakable faith that the Bible is indeed the Word of God, they will have a foundation that the forces of hell cannot shake. – Ruth Bell Graham
Leave your mark on the world by leaving behind a child who grows up to love and serve the Lord, who then also raises godly children to continue your godly legacy for generations to come. Elizabeth George
As a mother, my job is to take care of the possible and trust God with the impossible. – Ruth Bell Graham
If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do well matters very much. – Jacquelyn Kennedy Onassis
When I had a baby, I didn’t leave the second floor for six months. I nursed my babies. I was a full-time homemaker. I taught them all how to read before I let them go to school. So I gave them that care in the early life that somehow feminists have been led to believe is demeaning and is not worth the time of an educated woman. – Phyllis Schaffly
If I cannot give my children a perfect mother I can at least give them more of the one they’ve got-and make that one more loving. I will be available. I will take time to listen, time to play, time to be home when they arrive from school, time to counsel and encourage. – Ruth Bell Graham
A housewife deserves to be honored as much as a woman who earns her living in the marketplace. I consider bringing up children a responsible job. In fact, being a good housewife seems to me a much tougher job than going to the office and getting paid for it. – Betty Ford.
1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 (NLT)
Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. Then people who are not believers will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others.