Proverbs 14:1 [Prov. 14:1] states, “Every wise woman buildeth her house.” Whether a woman lives in a home of adobe, thatched grasses, or brick and stone, and whatever her circumstances—married or unmarried, with or without children, with relatives or roommates—every sister builds a home. This requires a blueprint, a plan.
General Relief Society President Elaine L. Jack explains the importance of planning in the home: “To a Latter-day Saint woman, the word homemaking has great significance, since every task performed in her home, whether she lives alone or with others in her family, is done in the framework of eternity, and this demands the best we have to offer.”
President Jack continues, “Homemaking includes the warm family relationships, and it also includes the constant concern of every provident homemaker, ancient or modern, for feeding, clothing, and caring for that family.” (Address given in Lethbridge, Canada, 22 April 1978, p. 6.)
What wide range of activities does the word homemaking suggest?
By emphasizing love and learning, we can make daily work in our homes reflect eternal values. President Thomas S. Monson declares that homes are classrooms where family members form attitudes and deeply held beliefs. “Homes are the laboratories of our lives,” he says. (Ensign, Nov. 1991, p. 68.)
A wise woman won’t emphasize perfecting the house over blessing the people who form the family. “Housework and laundry will always be with me, but will three little companions?” asks Pamela Saley of Salt Lake City. “I remember the days when I took time to enjoy my children—spending an hour barefoot in the sandbox, taking a winter afternoon to build a super space station with every Tinkertoy in the house. … These are special memories for me and hopefully will be special to my children as the years pass.” (Ensign, Mar. 1984, p. 33.)
As we build our homes, we value spiritual growth more than material possessions. In the Hapi family in Nuhaka, New Zealand, the parents want to teach their children to be thrifty, make their offerings to the Lord, and live within their means. When the five children in the family complain that their friends have more material things than they do, their mother reminds them, “We are preparing for an eternity, not today, and we cannot take those things with us to the hereafter.” (Sharon Hapi, letter of 25 June 1991.)
How does a woman’s love of family affect her priorities in the home?
How do we implement our plan for building a home based on wisely chosen priorities? If building a home seems to be a task beyond our abilities, we can remember that divine help is there for us if we will only ask. “Whatsoever ye ask the Father in my name it shall be given unto you, that is expedient for you.” (D&C 88:64.)
And in order to keep it all in balance we need to be sure that we have mental, physical, and spiritual health. Former general Relief Society president Barbara Smith stressed, “Ultimately we are responsible for our own happiness. It is our attitude, our acceptance, our intelligent understanding that makes the difference.” (Ensign, Mar. 1976, p. 22.)
We invite you to think of your home as a place to first, exemplify and teach; second, provide healing and refuge from troubles; and third, enrich the lives of all living under its roof.
What are some things we might do to find joy in building our homes?