“Every wise woman buildeth her house” (Prov. 14:1). A woman may live in a home of adobe, thatched grasses, wood, brick, or stone. She may be married or unmarried, with or without children. Whatever her circumstances may be, every sister builds a home. This requires a blueprint, a plan.
Relief Society General 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.
“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.”
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. “Our homes are the laboratories of our lives” (general conference, October 1991).
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 toy in the house. … These are special memories for me and hopefully will be special to my children as the years pass” (Ensign, March 1984, page 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 five children to be thrifty, make their offerings to the Lord, and live within their means. When the children complain that their friends have more material things than they do, Sister Hapi reminds them, “We are preparing for an eternity, not today, and we cannot take those things with us to the hereafter.”
How does a woman’s love of family affect her priorities in the home?
If building a home seems to be a task beyond our abilities, we can remember that divine help is available to us if we will ask. “Whatsoever ye ask the Father in my name it shall be given unto you, that is expedient for you” (D&C 88:64).
In order to keep it all in balance, we also need to care for our own mental, physical, and spiritual health. Former Relief Society General 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, March 1976, page 22).
We invite you to think of your home as a place to exemplify and teach, provide healing and refuge from troubles, and enrich the lives of all living under its roof.
What are some things we might do to find joy in building our homes?