By Kimberly Hahn
Kimberly Hahn is a Catholic speaker and author who for decades has shared her wisdom with other wives and mothers. She is the author of several books, including Graced and Gifted: Biblical Wisdom for the Homemaker's Heart.
The description of a Godly woman in Proverbs provides a table of contents for a topical Bible study for women using a wide range of Scripture.
My first study, Chosen and Cherished: Biblical Wisdom for Your Marriage, focuses on the core relationship of a family—marriage. My newest study, Graced and Gifted: Biblical Wisdom for the Homemaker's Heart, centers on the tasks of making a house a home, a place of beauty and order, where the needs of our loved ones are met.
The vocation of marriage offers us a rich opportunity to use the many gifts God has given us—talents, time, and treasure—to witness to the world about our Lord. He has lavished his love and grace on us. Then he calls us to be a channel of that love and grace to our loved ones.
Besides the practical lessons on homemaking, illustrated by the Proverbs 31 woman, we see correlations with the ordinary work of housework and the extraordinary grace available to us through the sacraments. In each of the following six sections, there are two chapters of biblical reflections on an area of homemaking followed by a chapter relating that area to one of the sacraments.
The sacraments are not what we do for God but what God does for us. They are the means by which the Holy Spirit makes up for what we lack and gives us all we need to be faithful. They do not make us saints, but they make it possible for us to become saints.
The parallels between our making a home and God’s making a home in our hearts are part of God’s beautiful design in marriage.
You may have seen these practical and spiritual lessons lived well by significant women in your family, including your mother or grandmothers. Have there been other women who have taken you under their wing and nurtured you as a wife and mom? Maybe no one has mentored you, but now you are discovering good friends who are a little further along in life who enjoy assisting you.
In Graced and Gifted, I would like to be one of those good friends who share recommended resources and words of encouragement. Take what is helpful; skip what does not interest or apply to you. Like every other homemaker, I am in the process of learning how to do my tasks well, and since the seasons of life continue to change, that is an ongoing process.
Discussion groups, an indispensable component to this study, enable women to assist one another, especially across generations, heart to heart. Women can share their hopes for change, their lived wisdom from experience, and their requests for prayer. More questions are included than can be covered (listed at the end of each chapter). The goal is to jump-start conversation, not complete a survey.
I hope that you will get a copy of Graced and Gifted, and I hope that it helps you uncover the gifts that God has given you. Truly we have been graced and gifted for a marvelous mission in life!
As wives and mothers, we know that the home is the sacred space in which we live out our vocations. But many of us struggle to manage the various aspects of homemaking. Graced and Gifted: Biblical Wisdom for the Homemaker’s Heart draws from Proverbs 31 to give women indispensable wisdom on caring for our homes and families.