by Andrea Murray
Calvary Baptist Church
Allison Park, Pennsylvania
MANY COUPLES FACE the difficult decision of whether or not the wife should work outside the home. Sometimes this need arises because of living in an expensive area, maybe because of trying to help supplement the family income while getting a new ministry going, maybe because of health problems or medical bills incurred, or maybe because of poor previous choices. Regardless of the reason, I believe the husband and wife should make this decision together. The Proverbs 31 lady was a very busy, industrious woman. She had her hands in textiles, real estate, child care, etc.and was still on board with her hubby. If you can help ease your husband’s burden without jeopardizing your home, go for it! This is the couple’s decision and business.
I have worked most of our 32+ years of marriage in several different capacities—babysitting, secretarial, teaching, and house cleaning. I got started cleaning houses working for a lady from our church who had worked for a cleaning company in her younger days. Though I was 15 years her senior, I listened and learned about pricing, scheduling, cleaning products, etc. and was then able to branch out on my own. This type of job offers several things I needed—exercise, good pay, flexibility, and an opportunity to open doors for witnessing.
Though I had cleaned my own home for 25+ years, I had not cleaned professionally (in a job that can support you) before. There were little “trade secrets” I needed to learn from someone else. There’s no way I can put them all in print, so I would recommend working for a cleaning company for at least a year to learn what is needed to keep a cleaning business going.
A FEW ESSENTIAL CHARACTERISTICS
1. ORGANIZATION. Most people will want to be put on a rotation…usually every other week. You must be able to stay scheduled. I use a calendar program on my computer and then print it off each month to keep in a notebook. The printed calendar is also where I note any cancellations or rearranging of dates as well as keep track of my income, writing down checks and cash in the outside columns each week, then totaling at the end of the month. (If I want God to bless me and I want my customers to trust me, I need to be honest to them, to the government, and to the Lord.)
2. COMMUNICATION. I use texting, emails, and phone calls to keep up with clients. Yes, I am over 50, but I didn’t want to be left behind by my children, my church members, or my clients, so I learned to text and email. I have some clients who can only afford one cleaning per month, and I text or email them a few days to a week in advance to remind them of their upcoming date and to be sure nothing has interfered with our schedule. They appreciate this reminder and usually respond very quickly!
3. CONSISTENCY. When people find a good thing, they don’t want to get rid of it! If you are consistent with your schedule, punctual with your arrival time, and thorough in doing the things they’ve requested you to do, they won’t want to lose you!
Our church is located in a predominantly Catholic area, and though we go out visiting and soul winning each week, very few people come visit our church because of our visits. Even fewer are open to soul winning at the door. I have had several of my clients visit our church, though, and have had the privilege of witnessing to several of them and winning one to the Lord in her basement after making an appointment to visit her for the sole purpose of “showing her from the Bible about going to Heaven.” She was gloriously saved, and I was thrilled!!! I honestly believe she only listened because I was honest, hard-working, and friendly while I was in her home doing my job.
Our marriages are supposed to be teamwork…two become one. I believe this goes far deeper than just the physical relationship of marriage. We are to be a team in our goals for our home—financially and in every other way. In our home, this teamwork has included my working outside the home. God has blessed us tremendously, and I am grateful.