Home motherhood/family/parenting Keeper at Home-Who Has the Keys?

Keeper at Home-Who Has the Keys?

by Kelly Crawford

Bubbling over today 😉

All morning the Lord kept giving me words about my job. “Keeper at Home”, not Keeper of the Home, by the way. They tell me it’s insignificant. I don’t believe that.

“The Greek word translated “homemaker” (NKJV) or “housekeeper” is oikouros. This is a compound word from oikos– house, household, family; and ouros– a guard, be “ware”, guardian, a watcher, a warden. Let this sink in for a moment: the word ” oikouros” translated “keepers at home” <3626> carries the meaning of watchman.

Does our word “housekeeper” and “homemaker” really capture the impact of the God breathed Greek there? Does “keeper”/ouros– (a guard, be “ware”, guardian, a watcher, a warden) sound like it refers to domestic service?”

From A Wife’s Submission

OK, I’m to guard my home. Like a gate keeper. Which implies I’m supposed to be keeping something out. Like sin. Or, does it mean I’m supposed to be protecting my home from what is already there? Like sin. I think both.

As we went about our morning, (today is mainly cleaning day), I kept getting little glimpses of what this is all about. Here’s a glimpse for you:

(Cleaning my bathroom, I hear in the next room):

“Watch out! That’s my spot!”

I put down the toilet brush and walked into the room. “Avi, no, try again. You are to let your speech be always with grace.”

Avi: “Please excuse me, I was playing there.”

Me: “Much better…see how much kinder that was?”

Back to the toilets.

Such occurences popped up several times. I had to remind my son to defer to his sister, even if he thought moving his legos to another room was silly.

I had to ask the sister to defer to her brother, reminding her that she could sweep around the legos.

I had to oversee chores, making sure the characteristic of diligence was being perfected. I had to correct when it was not.

I had to stand for five minutes, waiting for the 3-year old to ask for a drink without whining.

Cleaning was a slow-go, yes. But first, I had to guard. Every moment. Standing close, ready to redirect words, remind them of Scripture, mold character.

The enemies of a peacful home?

  • Anger
  • Selfishness
  • Pride
  • Laziness
  • Fill in the blank

And you know the mysterious part? When I am “on task” in this way, it forces me to guard my own heart, my own lips, my own attitudes. Maybe that’s what that verse meant about “she shall be saved in childbirth” 😉 I’m just saying.

Something else…I’ve heard in old days, the keeper, or guard of the house, wore a set of keys around her waist. How’s that for a perfect metaphor? What did the keys unlock? What would a thief need to do in order to steal, kill and destroy? Hmmmm…..(If she’s inside the gate, and the gate is locked, he can’t steal the keys.)

Hold on to those keys, dear sisters!

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Barb September 5, 2008 - 12:33 pm

Great post!

Michele September 5, 2008 - 3:41 pm

Thank you for this very encouraging and enlightening post! In a world that makes one feel insignificant for being "just a mom" ;-), it is always refreshing to hear the biblical view of how important it all is.

It is always nice to read here as you take on the things most people don't want to take on, & say the things that are tough to hear.

BTW the new look is really great!

Blessings, Michele

Amy September 5, 2008 - 4:48 pm

“And you know the mysterious part? When I am “on task” in this way, it forces me to guard my own heart, my own lips, my own attitudes. Maybe that’s what that verse meant about “she shall be saved in childbirth” 😉 I’m just saying.”

Oh, yeah!

Michelle September 5, 2008 - 8:09 pm

What an encouraging reminder!

Thank you!

Kathy, Jeff's Wife September 5, 2008 - 10:00 pm

I have one more thing to add to your list of enemies to a peaceful home:

BUSYNESS (too many outside commitments)

The Diane Story September 6, 2008 - 2:56 am


I have a question if you don’t my asking. Were you a housewife before you had children? I ask this because I have very intrigued and in support of what you write, but don’t even have kids yet. I’m curious if you started “guarding your home” before kids came along or if you worked then. I have more thoughts and questions, but will wait and see if you can reply or not!


Word Warrior September 6, 2008 - 8:01 am

The Diane Story,

Well, since I already had a child when I married, I don’t qualify to answer. But, given it to do over, I would have certainly been a keeper at home. I don’t think caring for children is the only job of a keeper, although a big part of it once children are born.

Prior to children, keeping a home for a husband is still a full time job, and I can see many opportunities for hospitality, caring for relatives, and ministering to the saints in that season (an oudated practice that has forced the government to become our caretaker.)

Once upon a time, the home, and the keeper there, acted as a hospital, a member of the biblical welfare system, a retreat for the lonely and tired, a center of industry (which aided the family’s economy), etc.

And I believe it still can and should be these things!

It can also be a great time of spiritual study and growth as she prepares for children.

Check out some of the archives for more details on the role of Keeper, and thanks for your question!

Rebekah September 6, 2008 - 3:17 pm

Excellent post! It is true; we are the watchguards of our home, and we have so much to watch! (I learned a lot about this particular subject from a Nancy Campbell study “Gatekeepers of the Home.”)

The Diane Story September 7, 2008 - 3:05 am


Thank you so much for responding. I will go read more in the archives. I am off work on disability right now and am realizing what incredible benefits have come to my marriage for me to get to be the keeper of my home and not rushing off to work everyday. It would be my fervent prayer that this could be my permanent role. Thanks for writing.

Michelle September 8, 2008 - 3:22 pm

Thank you for sharing your heart. What an encouragement you are. My desire too as a mom and wife is to live a life that honours God and the wonderful design He has for us as His women. This is true women’s liberation – I couldn’t agree more!

I want to share then how troubled I am by the role model that Sarah Palin is to Christian women, many of whom have already believed the feminist lie of the enemy and human wisdom that they can “do it all”. What troubles me too is how many believers are celebrating her position, which I see as blasphemy of the Word of God according to Titus 2:5. What the church desperately needs is Titus 2 women to show the way, and faithful wives and moms to walk obediently. The spiritual health of our families and our churches is at stake, our witness to the world is at stake. Again we see what a huge responsibility the Lord has entrusted us with as women.

Marcie September 8, 2008 - 7:59 pm

Wow, thanks for the encouragement! I do love being a SAHM, but I feel as though you just added an entire new dimension to my job description! Great post!

5intow September 9, 2008 - 10:09 pm

This post has kept me thinking . . . at, at, at.

I think ‘at’ is more than physical. What you said flows into this, we need to be at home emotionally and psychologically/mentally as well.

Thank you so much for this challenge. I have a long way to go. Posting my thoughts as well,


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