Monday, May 8, 2006

In 1905, Theodore Roosevelt gave a speech to the National Congress of Mothers, On American Motherhood, in which he stated that "the primary duty of the husband is to be the home-maker, the breadwinner for his wife and children, and that the primary duty of the woman is to be the helpmate, the housewife, and mother."

It's interesting that we modern keepers-at-home have generally spurned that word, "housewife" since it seems inevitably to be preceded by the phrase "just a," and so, in the effort to give ourselves a title that sounds better, we've taken over what used to be the man's title.

Calling the man the home-maker is certainly a Biblical idea. Jesus said to his disciples, "In my Father's house there are many mansions.... I go to prepare a place for you. (John 14:2)" Christ makes a home for his Bride, and earthly husbands, who are to imitate the Saviour, should see their priority to be to make a home for their brides.

Then, the bride, as her husband's helpmate, keeps the home and rules it - she is the woman of the house, the housewife. I think we should reclaim this word and restore it to dignity.

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