I was reading Titus 2 (King James Version) and it sounds like women are to stay home and take care of the house. Really? What is a "keeper at home?"
I looked at other English translations:
New International Version Bible- "to be busy at home…"
New Living Translation Bible- "to work in their homes…"
New American Standard Bible- "workers at home…"
Holman Christian Standard Bible- "homemakers…"
International Standard Version Bible- "to manage their households…"
NET Bible- "fulfilling their duties at home…"
Aramaic Bible in Plain English-"taking good care of their households…"
God's Word Translation Bible- "tell them to teach young women to be homemakers…"
Jubilee Bible 2000 "good housekeepers…"
American Standard Version- "workers at home…"
Douay-Rheims Bible "having a care of the house…"
Weymouth New Testament- "industrious in their homes…"
They all seemed to fit together, then I looked it up in Greek. When you look at Titus 2:5 KJV where it says "keepers at home" it is translated from the Greek word "oikouros." It is the only time it is used in the Bible. Oikouros comes from two Greek words:
Oikos- household, family, home.
Ouros- keeper, as in warden, guard, guardian, being aware, or watching.
The Greek words opened my mind and heart to a bigger picture. I saw a watch-care over the family and the resources in the home.
Three Ways of Being Oikouros:
1. Conserving, rather than consuming. One who develops and uses home making and house keeping skills, may be able to survive in this economic downturn without finding other means to shore up the shrinking family financial resources. It is a conserving, rather than consuming approach to home economics. How am I an oikouros toward our family's budget, health, and clothing? What about being a keeper of our family's life preparation and time? There are so many things that vie for our time, so many opportunities. Without watch-care families can be splintered apart by over commitments. These are the obvious, traditional home making and keeping associations. I call this being the Lady of the Manor. It is easy to see that being a conserver and that gaining and maintaining homemaking skills are part of being an oikouros.
2. Home Industry- Some moms may see in oikouros the idea of having a home business. That certainly may be part of it, as in the woman of virtue in the New Testament named Lydia of Thyatira, the worker of purple. This is also much like the Proverbs 31 woman. She was industrious. Certainly there are times and seasons in our lives when home industry is more difficult. Sometimes, out of necessity this becomes a must, even when the timing may not seem the best. Whether one home schools, runs an in home business, or both, it is helpful if one is an oikouros in the way discussed in point number one.
3. Guardian of the Home- How am I an oikouros in regard to the atmosphere and influences in our home? I felt a sense of guarding the home atmosphere and the influences that come into that home through media and the things we do in our home. This is so much more than just cleaning a house or working from home.
Oikouros- conservative, industrious, and, in short, guardian of the home. I know many moms who are oikouros!