Biblical Womanhood


I posted a facebook status today:

Am I being governed by my day, or is my day being governed by me?

I can’t really take credit for the question. Nope. Credit must go to my amazing husband, who is far more self-disciplined than I.  I’ve been pondering the question a lot though, as I realized immediately when he said it, that by and large, I allow my day to govern me. I go from one thing to another on a whim. Yes, I have ideas of what I would like to accomplish in a day, but I never have a plan as to how I’m going to accomplish said goals. And more often than not, this means that I do not accomplish what I wanted to do.

Usually, it’s the little things that fall to the wayside. While writing this post, I’m waiting for Zachary to wake up from his nap so that we can run some important errands. But while I wait, I’m not productive. I’m not accomplishing anything. Because in my mind, the errands are the important thing to do today. And so I wait. I wait until I can do the most important thing, and the little, lesser things don’t get done. Things like the dishes. Things like picking up the toys. It occurs to me that if I had emptied and loaded the dishwasher when I first got up, the dishes would be clean right now. But they are not. I only now emptied and reloaded it. It’s a little pathetic, in all honesty.

So I’m going to start being more purposeful. I’m going to make a plan and accomplish my plan. I’m going to govern my day.  I’m not bringing glory to God in the way I spend my time and my days, and I want that to change. Because if I’m not bringing glory to God, what exactly am I doing?

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Story #1
A woman calls into a radio talk show asking for financial advice on how to deal with a small financial crisis. Throughout the course of her conversation with the show host, she begins to share details of her life. She gets by on a meager salary of $22,000, which is now being garnished to pay her debts. She does this while supporting two children, 18 and 14. She is single-handedly trying to handle the financial binds in which she finds herself.

No, she’s not a single mother. Her husband is unemployed, not due to disability or a slow job market, but by his own choosing. She states that he, “occupies his time with other things”. He refuses to discuss anything monetary with her. The IRS is after both of them because the husband neglected to pay his taxes back when he did have a job.

Story #2
A woman calls into a radio show asking for financial advice. She and her husband have a combined income of $110,000. She wants to know the best way to invest for the college education of her children, 5, 3 and 4 months. They have their modest home almost paid for, and their retirement funds are well on their way. Their monthly budget, which includes ample money for groceries, family entertainment, private daycare and school tuition and an in-home cleaning service, is working well for them. They are making great headway in life.

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Story #1 is a true story. I was actually listening to the radio program. I wanted to scream at her husband! I don’t imagine I’m the only one who had this reaction. How could a man (and I use that term liberally) so completely abandon his God-given role and responsibility? What is he possibly thinking? Does he not realize the harm his actions are having on his family? How can he live with himself as he lets someone else fulfill that which he was meant to do?

What about story #2? What do we think about that one. My guess is that most people would think, “wow, they’re doing a great job”. Personally, I want to scream at such women! I’d ask the same questions I asked about the man: How could a woman so completely abandon her God-given role and responsibility? What is she possibly thinking? Does she not realize the harm her actions are having on her family? How can she live with herself as she lets someone else fulfill that which she was meant to do?

Those are my thoughts, but only after much contemplation. Even though I firmly believe that a woman’s place is in her home, as a minister to her husband and children, the truth is that my initial reaction to women who choose to hold a job isn’t nearly as violent as my reaction to men who choose not to. But what is the difference really? There is none; neither one is fulfilling their Biblical role. Women are filling the roles meant to be filled by men, and farming out the care and nurture of their children to paid hirelings. And the vast majority of the church is no better. After all, those church-run daycare programs are profitable. And two-income families make for a bigger tithe. We’re so afraid to speak the truth about the God-ordained roles of men and women. And our marriages and our children are taking the hit.

So in response to the man in the first story: For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3:10

And to the woman in the second: She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:27

Okay, this got really long. I guess that’s what happens when I get a nice afternoon nap, followed by a double shot espresso in the evening.

So, this is my first blog. As you can see to the left, I’m reading a book called “Passionate Housewives Desperate for God (by Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald). Click on the picture for more information. This book is very counter-cultural in the sense that the authors are combating all the misperceptions and misinformation that we have about what a housewife is or should be. Unfortunately, this is prevalent even in the church. We who have chosen to be the helpmeets to our husbands that God has called us to be, raise our children ourselves, and care for our own homes, are fed lies about what that should look like, and what we “need” in order to not completely lose our minds as we live in such drudgery! (Hope you caught the sarcasm…)

For the last few years, I’ve been part of an online group that encourages women in how to keep their homes looking their best. You get several daily emails that remind you to take care of some household task. This part of the program is very helpful to someone like me, as I tend to get very overwhelmed when there is a lot to do, and I don’t know where to start. However, along with these reminders comes the subtle message that you have to look out for yourself before you can take care of your family properly. If you don’t take care of yourself, no one else will. NOT TRUE! God takes care of me and is well able to give me the strength I need to complete the tasks that are before me, as long as I am leaning on his strength and not trying to do things on my own. I suppose that women who don’t know the Lord have to take this approach to caring for their own needs first, making sure to get plenty of time alone where they can “re-charge”. But, I am so grateful to God that He has, and will continue, to give me the strength and stamina I need, even on those days where I’m running on little sleep and haven’t a minute to myself.

So anyway, I realized that while I hadn’t bought into the lies completely, I had tolerated them, and they were beginning to creep into my thinking. I’ve been fiercely protective of my afternoon “me time”. But, on days when my children didn’t want to co-operate with their quiet times, I found myself very frustrated with them. This frustration would last throughout the day, as I would think things like, “if only they had napped like they were supposed to, I wouldn’t feel so drained”. Worse yet, when my husband would surprise me by coming home from work early, I wasn’t pleased to see him, because now I wouldn’t get the alone time that I was sure I needed. Women, please don’t buy into these lies. The truth is, that had I realized that my strength comes from God, and not from my “me time”, I would have had a lot more patience with my family, and probably would have accomplished a lot more of what I should have for the day. It’s an endless, unsatisfying pursuit when we seek to refresh ourselves; Only God can satisfy that need and I’m learning to rely on Him more everyday.