Thursday, September 24, 2009

Running a Dynamic Household-Part 1

Running a Dynamic Household

Proverbs 14:4 provide moms with lots of encouragement. It says, “Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, but much increase comes by the strength of the ox.”

The book, “Womanly Dominion-More than a Gentle and Quiet Spirit” by Mark Chanski says, “Step into an “oxless” barn. Look, there are no muscular beasts which do the great work of plowing up a field for planting. But it’s immaculate here. The manger is clean, no feed slop, corn dust, or beastly saliva. In fact, everything is spic and span. You could eat off the floor-no hay or mud. There are no unsightly hoof prints, manure piles, urine puddles, or buzzing flies. The smell is antiseptic and fresh. Everything is in perfect order.

But there is a downside to this tidiness. Outside the barn, the acreage is overrun with weeds. The fields are untilled and uncultivated. The grain cribs are empty. You see, there’s no ox to cut open the soil with the plow blade. And so, no seed was hidden, and no harvest was reaped. There’s no “increase” here. Poverty reigns and the cupboards are bare.

Now step into the “ox-inhabited” barn. Whew! The manure. Urine, hay, mud and flies make it anything but fresh and sweet in here. Here comes Farmer Elimelech with a shovel over his shoulder to clean up the mess. He’s late this morning. He was up at two a.m. to help deliver an ox calf. It’s a huge task to feed, house, and look after these enormous beasts. Why does he put up with all the grief, messiness, and aggravation? It’s as the Proverb says, because “Much increase comes by the strength of the ox.” “Increase “ is revenue, yield, income, harvest, or gain. These mighty plodders knife open the soil, enabling the nestling of the seed in rows, resulting in the eventual swaying of wheat and barley, the overflowing of barns, the rolling of full wagons to the market place, the piling of the kitchen table high with bounty, and the providing of riches of one’s family and heritage.

Sure, the barn is not very tidy, immaculate, or fresh smelling, but the yield, the increase makes it a far better barn than the first.

In a nutshell, Proverbs 14:4 teaches that enduring and worthwhile gain comes only at the cost of draining upheaval. The modernized version is: "No pain, no gain.”

Derek Kidner entitles this proverb, “Neat but Negative.” Think of the dear woman who dreams of an immaculate house, uncluttered by the tramplings and inconveniences of a small or large herd of messy offspring. Kidner comments: “Orderliness can reach the point of sterility (uselessness). This proverb is not a plea for slovenliness, physical or moral, but for the readiness to accept upheaval, and a mess to clean up, as the price of growth.”

"With the oxen of children in our domestic barns, an immaculate lifestyle will prove illusive."

More tomorrow...


Rachel and Family said...

HA! I'm your first comment. I beat everyone else.

Great post!! I loved this too... and my what a messy, stinky, barn I'm in... some days more than others!

I also liked the stupid ostrich and her eggs. In Job I think.

Toni Floyd said...

I'm loving this article! I'll take this "messy barn" over an immaculate one any day! My four little ones are worth it! God bless you and love ya! Toni

candy said...

How true. Your home will eventually get cleaned but for now enjoy the little ones. I was a keep the house clean mama, I am now a spend all the time I can with my grandkids. They grow way to fast. So much learn'n to do first.
Hi, Rachel hows little Mary doing?

Cat said...

I love my 'schedule' to clean because, if something comes up, I can skip the schedule and do something more productive for God's kingdom. An interesting post, Stacie, very thought provoking in the analogies.

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

Where are all those HTML's On there? They weren't their last night!

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

Great post! I'm was just thinking about this as I looked around my living room last night. It was tidy, but I could see what dustings of finger prints on the speakers. Instead of wallowing in the fact that I don't have a perfectly clean house, I chose to think how much I would miss seeing the evidences of my children around the house when they grow up. Weird on the HTML thing? I struggled with trying to get a signiture on my blog post this morning. Finally gave up. I'll have to try it again when I have more time. said...

oh darn, I thought I was being given permission to let my house be as messly as a barn! LOL!

But seriously, what a great message.

Hey, thanks so much for saying hello!

It is always terrific meeting other firewives. I am adding you to my firewife side bar! That way we can keep in touch.

It's a unique life...but I love it.

Looking forward to following :)


Leah said...

How refreshing! Fingerprints and food on the floor are the sign of a great day in our house! I've had to make a conscious decision to STOP apologising 'for the mess' when people pop over in the day. Clean up is a family effort and we usually get there by the end of the day!! Enjoyed your article in the AR mag too, thanks for your continued encouragement to us Mama's :)

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