Ever wonder how to be a good housewife in today’s world? I mean, is there really a place for a traditional housewife in the 21st Century?
I guess that really depends on your definition of a “good” or traditional housewife.
The Bible has a lot to say about how to be a good housewife, and it doesn’t exclude having a productive job, or mean we can’t do a lot of things that tend to get bad press.
Between Proverbs 31 and 1st Timothy 2, there is a lot of solid information on how to be a good housewife. Anyone who expects to fulfill all of those things all the time, though, is overextending themselves. Because all of those other verses, about loving one another, and resting on the sabbath, watching our tongues, etc. also apply to us.
Today, I want to talk a little about how a traditional housewife can still exist today, and how we can do this well!
Please note that this post contains affiliate links for your convenience. If you make a purchase through one of the links, I may make a small commission. I only recommend books and resources that I’ve enjoyed personally, or believe that you would like. You can read my full disclosure here. You will also find information on Scripture translations there.
How To Be a Good Housewife
If you really want to know how to be a good housewife in today’s world, you have to start with asking which parts of the traditional housewife role are timeless. Because some stereotypical qualities are not right or helpful, and some are. And sorting out which ones are which can be tricky.
What Makes a Good Wife?
Well, starting with an equal partnership with a God-fearing man is a must. Because all the effort in the world to be a good wife won’t matter in the long run if you are pouring into a life-sucking relationship.
Remember, if you read it in context, Proverbs 31 was written to a MAN, and the first half is about how HE should behave. The second half of the chapter talks about what kind of wife he should look for, that he should try to be worthy of. Not that she should try to be all of those things all the time.
If you’re in need of wisdom and discernment, healing, or outright help, I would start with Bare Marriage, Wilderness to Wild, and Andrew J. Bauman.
Christian culture and conditioning has confused what this looks like in recent decades, and these individuals are doing great work in rebalancing the discussion and beliefs.
If there’s a good partnership, then we can start talking about what makes a good wife. In a lot of ways, it’s what makes a good Christian.
Qualities of a Good Wife
I would say these are some important qualities of a good wife:
- Fear and Love God
- Be Faithful (and attentive) to your husband
- Honest- With yourself and each other
- Have Character
- Not be a gossip
- Love in action, even when you don’t want to (not talking about intimate things here. Just the practical stuff. Being pressured to ‘perform’ when you’re not up for it, doesn’t qualify as love.)
- Responsible with the resources you have available (not living beyond your means)
- Not demanding your own way-yet not being a doormat either
- Productive (according to your abilities/health)
How To Be a Good Housewife When You’re Busy
Well, first, if you’re too busy, then you need to talk to God about the whole “Good/Better/Best” thing. This may require a study on the benefits of Pruning in the Bible.
It may mean eliminating a few things off the schedule. It might look like getting up earlier to pray over your man, and write him a note a couple of times a week.
Maybe you block out 2 nights a month and make them extra special. There are tons of pins on Pinterest on how to do this both affordably and fun!
How To Be a Good Housewife In The Preschool Years
How to be a good housewife in the preschool years? Since this is where I am, I have a solid understanding of how hard it is. Big is lonely in his room alone, but little thinks he needs to sleep on top of you still? They both are jealous of the slightest attention the other one gets, so by the time the husband gets home, you’ve reached your touch limit, your patience limit, and just need a break. Before you break something.
How to be a good housewife then? Well, how about stopping, making eye contact, and welcome him home (not still in your pj’s if at all possible)? Then, give him a few minutes to decompress, maybe grab a snack, and breathe for a minute. He’d probably be happy to take the kids outside, or to another room to watch a video or build a tower for a few minutes while you decompress and breathe.
How To Be A Good Housewife When You’d Rather Not
Well, this one’s tough. But we all have moments (or weeks) when we are either feeling hurt, neglected, or selfish. And we just don’t care.
The first thing we should do, is pray. It may seem obvious, but if you’re struggling with wanting to, I would highly recommend you look into this great book called A Wife Who Prays. It’s simple, practical, and SOO helpful at reframing things.
Some other helpful resources to consider for just how to be a good housewife whether you want to or not:
- Bare Marriage (Blog)
- Hope Joy in Christ (Blog)
- Graceful Abandon (Blog)
And then, there’s this book I read recently: It’s called The Homeschooling Housewife, and Amber takes the role of a traditional housewife seriously. She shows how to be a good housewife in practical ways.
It’s not just for homeschoolers though, because very little of the book is specific to a homeschooling household. Most of it covers how to be a good housewife in the different areas of your life, and offers a unique perspective you’ll find very helpful.
The Homeschooling Housewife
There’s a certain stereotype most people associate with a homeschooling housewife. Donna Reed/June Cleaver Traditional housewife style, even though both of those wonderful women sent their kids to public schools.
But Mondays can be tough sometimes, even for the Homeschooling Housewife! It can be hard to get motivated and moving, with “no one looking over your shoulder” – except that’s not really true, is it?
As a Homeschooling Housewife, we have kids watching us. A husband who sees a glimpse at the end of the day. Hopefully a community of other like-minded moms that we do things with (classes, field trips, play dates…). Most importantly, our Savior! He who promised:
- Never to leave us (Joshua 1.5),
- To guide us (Psalm 48:14),
- To rescue, protect, hear, and answer us (Psalm 91. 14-15).
Even neighbors and people at the store are watching! What are we to do? How to be a good housewife then?
About The Book:
As part of the Launch Team, I recently received a free advance reader copy of The Homeschooling Housewife and Amber does a great job of pointing the way for us. In this book, while keeping an eye on exactly how busy this life is, Amber reminds and teaches us our priorities.
When we have our priorities in the proper (Biblical) order, it’s amazing just how much better everything works!
That’s not to say that life will be perfect or without problems, by any means! But we will be better equipped to deal with things as they arise. By having our priorities in order and plans in place, we can feel prepared instead of overwhelmed. That’s the key for how to be a good housewife!
Not Just for the Homeschooling Housewife!
I found The Homeschooling Housewife to be a very useful guide, whether or not you homeschool, and regardless of whether you are a stay at home mom or employed outside the home (or as a blogger 🙂 )
A large part of the book talks about the rest of life, and keeping that in line, making homeschooling flow and fit. But we all could use an example of how keeping priorities straight benefits all areas of life.
Obviously, keeping God as 1st priority effects our marriage, parenting, homeschooling, etc, but also effects housework and other daily tasks. Have you thought about your friends as a priority to go in a proper spot?
- Are they mutually encouraging?
- Are they pulling you away from your family?
- Teaching you to be a more Godly wife and mother?
- Someone you are mentoring that is willing to learn?
Using The Homeschooling Housewife as a Planner?
I found this great for planning the new year. Going through, taking notes, and doing the “game plan” action steps at the end of each chapter was very helpful for me. It gave me clarity on where we are, and where we’re heading. That makes it easier to know how to write personal goals that stick. Starting with some solid researched ideas, and then planning? awesome!
There are also some good conversations to be had with your husband. Amber suggested several topics that, if you have not already discussed, will probably short circuit a lot of difficulty and miscommunication, since you’re taking the time to get on the same page! Traditional housewife scores again!
- Family values
- Relationship building
- Goals and team discussions/decisions on various issues
Guest Post from a Homeschooling Housewife Pioneer
(At least that’s what my mom and her friends called it when they started homeschooling 30 years ago!) I would like to welcome my mom, Sherri, and hear her thoughts on the Homeschooling Housewife (I lent her my copy to get another perspective for you):
“I have thoroughly enjoyed reading The Homeschooling Housewife. Amber Fox has written a very practical book to help any housewife/mother encourage her family to be godly, kind, loving servants of Jesus Christ.
Homeschooling lends itself to growing a wonderful Christian family, but Amber’s advice is just as useful, whether you homeschool or not. The relationships you build within and around your family last way longer than an A on a spelling test. A couple of things I really appreciated about “The Homeschooling Housewife” were
- the practical examples of how to make things “work” in your daily life and
- the encouragement to start now.
- Amber encourages readers to take the first step and practice until you get better and feel more natural.
- She encourages you to be real and set an example as someone who trusts God and seeks His discernment as you choose the “best” for your family.”
I can remember that schoolwork was important, but that relationships were key, and I knew that point would resonate with my mom, even without discussing it!
How To Be a Good Housewife & Mom With Chore Cards
Amber has made her exact family chore cards available to us! Her system of assigning both chores and rooms means that you get more involvement, teaching observation and even cross-training as you go!
Amber was even generous enough to share these cards in an editable format! Once you purchase, you’ll be sent a link, which opens in Canva (you will need to set up a free account). Save a copy of the cards to your own account, then customize it based on your home and family needs!
Brighten up your chore time with these colorful, personalized instruction cards today!
Is Being a Traditional Housewife Possible Today?
Well, what do you think? Is being a traditional housewife possible today? Do we still want to honor God, be productive, and bless our families? I hope so!
I may not always know how to be a good housewife, but I have some excellent role models, my Bible, and some awesome homeschool mom devotionals to refer to at a moment’s notice!
What can you do today, to embrace your role as a traditional housewife?
Until Next Time, Love God, Love Books, Shine The Light!!
Thank you for sharing. I have never heard of this book. I know a lot of mothers that homeschool and this book could help them immensely. Thank you for sharing.
It’s brand new, only launched a week ago. I’m so glad you found it helpful!
We are homeschooling and have 3 boys. It always feels chaotic with appointments and errands in another town most of the time. We even backed out of some things to free up time this year. Thank you for the chance to win this book!
Thank you for doing the hard but so worthwhile work of homeschooling! They may or may not appreciate it now, but they will!
Thank you for sharing! I’m always looking into new resources for encouragement for myself and to share with my friends!
I’m happy to share, whenever I find good stuff!
I was homeschooled for all of elementary and all but two years of highschool. My mom was among the “pioneers.” I now homeschool my son and am continually impressed by how many more families are choosing this path. Thanks for reviewing what sounds like a wonderful resource!
Having been homeschooled all the way through, I can relate! Its very nice to see more and more families take this path!
We are homeschooling and love it but find balancing homemaking tasks with schooling tasks difficult. Interested to see what advice Amber might have on this.
She has some excellent suggestions!
Love the title of this book because it’s been my life and experience for the past 19 years!
Blessings to you!
Hey! Thanks for writing this. My wife is currently pregnant with our first child and we’re considering homeschooling in the future. Very useful article; keep up the great work!
I’m glad you found this helpful, Andrew. All the best to you and your wife as your baby grows!
What a wonderful and helpful resource! I also love how you use the graphics on your post! ❤
I’m glad you found this helpful! And thank you for the compliment!
Oh fun! I am a Homeschooling housewife! Can’t wait to check out all of these resources!
Being a homeschooling housewife is a full time job! Hopefully you will find something to encourage you as you navigate through how to be a good housewife!