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.

With Joy,
Lady Jen

1 comment:

    The Proverbs 31 Woman :

    10An excellent wife, who can find?
    For her worth is far above jewels.
    rare, precious
    11The heart of her husband trusts in her,
    And he will have no lack of gain.
    12She does him good and not evil
    All the days of her life.
    Her Character
    as a Wife

    13She looks for wool and flax
    And works with her hands in delight.
    works joyfully
    14She is like merchant ships;
    She brings her food from afar.
    goes extra mile to get choicest goods
    15She rises also while it is still night
    And gives food to her household
    And portions to her maidens.
    16She considers a field and buys it;
    From her earnings she plants a vineyard.
    enterprising, prudent with money
    17She girds herself with strength
    And makes her arms strong.
    18She senses that her gain is good;
    Her lamp does not go out at night.
    good steward
    19She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
    And her hands grasp the spindle.
    Her Devotion
    as a Homemaker

    20She extends her hand to the poor,
    And she stretches out her hands to the needy.
    compassionate, generous
    Her Generosity
    as a Neighbor

    21She is not afraid of the snow for her household,
    For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
    22She makes coverings for herself;
    Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
    23Her husband is known in the gates,
    When he sits among the elders of the land.
    24She makes linen garments and sells them,
    And supplies belts to the tradesmen.
    Her Devotion
    as a Homemaker

    25Strength and dignity are her clothing,
    And she smiles at the future.
    26She opens her mouth in wisdom,
    And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
    Her Influence
    as a Teacher

    27She looks well to the ways of her household,
    And does not eat the bread of idleness.
    manages her home
    28Her children rise up and bless her;
    Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
    29"Many daughters have done nobly,
    But you excel them all."
    Her Effectiveness
    as a Mother

    30Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
    But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
    31Give her the product of her hands,
    And let her works praise her in the gates.
    Her Excellence
    as a Person

    ~ Proverbs 31:10-3