Titus 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world…
Sobriety has been much on my mind lately. I am not speaking of declining a glass of wine (that’s a whole other theological issue that I am unfit to debate) but rather the grave and serious attentiveness that being a keeper at home must cultivate in order to manage her home well.
To live soberly means to be : regular, calm; not under the influence of passion; as sober judgment; a man in his sober senses (Websters 1828). It means going about your business with seriousness and faith, and goes along with speaking forth words of truth (Acts 26:25, 1 Tim 3:11), and thinking humbly of yourself (Rom 12:3).
I think sobriety is lacking where flippant attitudes reign, whether in regards to child raising, homeschooling, or homekeeping . It roots well in discontent and discouragement, and cultivates a silliness about the divine tasks we are called to do. As a personal example, I found myself on a regular basis continuing to put a bag of white refined sugar into my shopping cart for baking needs. Now, this is shameful for me, given that I have received degrees and much education in the field of nutrition. My base attitude has been one of “ah well……” and it should be no surprise to me when my children are willing to practically walk over glass to get their “treats”. My duty is to train them up to crave wholesome, nutritious foods. My laziness and complacency encourages otherwise.
It is easy to fall into. If we cannot have our state of perfection, then we shall content ourselves with less than we are able. If others find our successes inspiring, we fear lack of companionship and will tone them down. It is enough to put it all aside and simply coast.
So I find myself needing to do much work about the home and in my mind. The month of August looks frightening on my calendar. Between signing up for another two weeks of swim lessons for the children and visiting grandparents and the upcoming county fair we are involved with and the dairy goats who may or may not be having babies (because no one seems to be able to tell if a goat is expecting or not)…..well, the month is full of getting-into-the-car type of travel and uncertain events. It is difficult for me to keep house when I am not there. Sobriety demands I consider my ways in the events and commitments I fast myself to.
The month is also full of mental work. I need to plan out my homeschooling for the next year, work on my masters project, and continue to learn new and better ways to homestead and homekeep, not to mention training up the children in ways they ought to go. Sobriety calls me to put aside the things that steal my time as little foxes run the vines, and before I am aware the hours are spent in carelessness. It is difficult for me to keep house when I am not *there* mentally, also.
Sobriety means putting aside my own wants, and working for God’s glory and the good and benefit of my family. Ironing may have to wait when the 5yo needs my loving attention. I may have to stop washing dishes to change the 3yo’s soiled pants. The computer is an especial handicap, awaiting me when I *finally* get the children to bed, as if the time spent reading, praying and snuggling with them are secondary.
It is an easy test. Gladness in my spirit usually accompanies much when the duties are wholesome and good, even if they be small, of no great occasion, and attended only by small children. Time spent is exactly such: spent. Let us not waste the mercies and grace of our God in giving us another fresh day, hour or minute! We must remember that to be sober is what God calls us to be (see 1 Tim 3:10, Titus 2:4, 1 Peter 1:13, 1 Peter 5:8), and even through this, He will preserve the faithful(Ps 31:23).
We are too fond of our own will. We want to be doing what we fancy mighty things; but the great point is to do small things, when called to them, in a right spirit.
1 Thessalonians 5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.