Friday, January 9, 2009
Castle vs. Palace
My dabblings in the study of castles is by no means extensive, but what I have learned seems to be a fitting analogy of the Proverbs 31 style home to which God has called us. Many people suppose that I am speaking of a palace or a manor when I mention a castle. On the contrary, I am not painting a picture of a opulent lifestyle as the standard by which we should run our homes. There is one fundamental difference between today's luxurious palaces and the castles of yesterday functioning as they were originally intended.
Castles were primarily built for defense while palaces were primarily built as showcases. Modern home magazines major on the showcase value of our home. Everything in perfect condition, pristine and untouched. Beauty to be admired but never marred by real living. Castles did double as homes for the lord and lady, but their aesthetic touches were few. The main purpose of a castle was to protect the lord's family from danger.
Figuratively, we as Christian families are endangered in a world that attacks the Biblical roles of men, women and family. Our homes are not places to sequester ourselves indefinitely, but they do provide a respite from the onslaughts of a secular culture as a place to refuel for our real work in preparing a lost world for eternity. This is an idea straight from the pages of God's Word. As women, we are called to keep the home. This doesn't mean necessarily to clean the home or to keep at home. It means to guard as a shepherd would keep or guard his sheep: to lovingly, tenderly manage the home and the people that live there. I see the mother not as a weak doormat of a wife who slaves away to make her husband and children happy, but as the strong guard of her home ready at a second's notice to banish anything or anyone that would threaten the spiritual well-being of her family.