When you read Genesis 1 and 2, you read about God the Creator. Creating isn’t something that man came up with; it’s how man got here. God created us with His words. And He didn’t just create man. He also created a place for man to live.
As a mom, I’ve brought three boys into the world. That’s not enough for my job as mother. I need to create a place for this family. If I didn’t have children I would still be responsible for making a place; all people need their own place. God did the same thing when He created the Garden of Eden. This work of homemaking is no little thing. It’s the very next work that God does after creating Adam; He made him a place.
I realize that our world places little value on the family and home but we are to have God’s priorities, not the world’s. People need someone to care for them and to care for their place. God has appointed that role to women. (I’m not here to discuss working moms versus at-home moms or anything of the like. We all feel responsibility for our people and our place regardless of our other responsibilities.)
When I read Genesis 2 I noticed three specific things about the place God created.
1. It was beautiful and useful. (Genesis 2:9) There is research about how much better children do in ordered, structured environments. Order is a large part of beauty. Nothing is beautiful thrown into piles or covered with dirt. Disorder dulls usefulness too. I teach my children to pick up their toys but I do put all the books back on the bookshelves for one reason. The books are in the same order. The boys know where they are and they can go get the book they want. If we throw books onto the shelf no one will even use them. I also want my home to be beautiful. I don’t mean magazine-spread beautiful; that’s not my area of expertise. Some people are gifted in that area and you can learn from them! I love to view their homes and get ideas. Work on making your home a place of comfort for your family.
2. Man had a job. (Genesis 2:15) Everyone needs a place of belonging and usefulness. I was sick a few weeks ago and while my husband did an extraordinary job keeping things going it’s not the same. And you know what? That makes me feel good; I want to be needed by my family. I can’t do the work that my husband does for our family. Our boys cannot fill each other’s place. Embrace your place in your family. (See Ephesians 5 and 6 for more on the family.) Give your children a place in the family. Teach them to work and contribute to the family good. I tell my kids all the time that we are a family and a team: that means we work together to help each other grow and learn. We need each other with all of our differences.
3. There were clearly-defined rules. (Genesis 2:16-17). The rules weren’t many; actually there was just one. Children will be overwhelmed by many rules but there should be rules. There were also clearly-stated consequences. Children should know the consequences and they should be applicable in every situation. Set your family rules and stand on them.
(Let’s please also note that God’s rule was broken. We’re insane if we expect our children to never break our rules. Apply the consequences and go on.)
The work of homemaking is a creating work. It’s the first rule of people: have a place for them. We are creating an atmosphere in our homes that will affect our children for the rest of their lives. We are creating a home that will nurture or destroy our marriages. This creating work is important and it’s up to us.