Recently I read a book that I found encouraging and uplifting and filled with Godly wisdom. The book caused me to ponder many things. Among them - am I truly desperate for God? Do I really desire to see His will worked in and through my life in EVERY area, regardless of what it means I must do? Am I willing to die to myself and my "plans" to live as Christ? Do I want nothing more than I want to be His child, His friend, His servant? Is there anything in this world that I seek to attain or achieve more than pleasing Him? Do I turn a blind eye to what I know His word says, so that I can continue on doing other things? Do I think that the Bible is full of wonderful suggestions?
The truth is, I want nothing more than to serve my King and my God. I want to please Him in every area of my life. I do seek to know Him more each day. That's led me to study even further! What is His plan for me, for my family, for Christian's in particular, and Christian women specifically. I do believe that God's Word addresses this, and not as mere suggestions of how we might want to live, but as directives, guidelines and commands of how we should spend our days on this earth.
As you can tell from my information concerning this blog, I am at Home For Him. Have I always wanted to be at home? No. Have I always enjoyed being at home? No. Are there days when I would love nothing more than to go to some flashy job, wearing a really nice expensive new outfit, earn a paycheck so I can feel as if someone appreciates what I do, get the occasional accolades from a boss? Sure. But is that what God's word says I'm supposed to be doing?
Now, before you jump ship and start surfing elsewhere, let me ask you (if you are a Christian), do you desire to know God deeply, to obey Him in all things, to do His will and His work in your life? If you do, I challenge you to study His word as it relates to every area and every decision in your life, because I gaurantee you He speaks to it in His word.
Lately, I have spent hours digging to discern if what I'm doing in every area of my life is in fact God's call for me. My relieved answer is a resounding YES, as best I can tell! Certainly there is more that God has not shown me yet, but in the areas He has revealed Himself, I am doing all I know to do to obey Him. I hope and pray with all that is within me that on that great day of the Lord, I will not need to be ashamed, but rather will hear those beloved words, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." I do not believe that we are to read God's Word and then each of us just do what's "right for you". God speaks directly to all people in all times and His Word is always relative to your life. Will obeying God always be easy? Of course not!
Years ago, when I first went from working full-time to working part-time, my husband's after tax income was a whopping $15,000 a year. Did we survive. Yes! Did we always have our needs met? Yes! Did we have everything we wanted? Of course not, but so what! Life lived for God is not about having what you want, it's about serving your God in the place where He's put you, and doing it faithfully and happily. I believe God's Word teaches that as a wife, my first responsibility is to help and serve the needs of my husband. I realize in today's world this sounds archaic, but it was established in the beginning for heaven's sake. Before the fall, so don't even try to use that arguement :O) ! I have to constantly remind myself that I was created to be my husband's helpmate, not the other way around! (Genesis 2:18) His second purpose for me is to train my children so that they honor their God and their father. (Duet 6:5-9) I am to be busy about keeping my home (Titus 2:3-5), and exhorting other women to do the same (which is what I'm trying to do here). I am to be willing to care for the needs of others who need help, after the needs of my own family have been met (Proverbs 31:20). The list of what I am supposed to be doing goes on. Is it a thankless job to make sure everyone has clean underwear ready to wear when they need it? Sometimes, but it is a wonderful feeling to know that the needs of my own have been met, at my hand. Why does God command these things? So that the Word of God may not be blasphemed (Titus 2:5). What does that mean? It means something, and If you're not sure what, I implore you to study to figure it out.
I understand that some women "need" to work, but the line between need and want has become extremely gray. Women who need to work are single mother's, women with husband's who are disabled, or those whose husbands insist that they work (we are called to be obedient to them too you know) etc... But, Ladies, there is no such thing as "Christian" Feminism, feminism is all about "me" and getting what I "deserve". God help us to see this, and to understand that being a Godly woman or man is about dieing to self to live to Christ. It's about embracing His call on our lives.
Recently my husband and I were driving through a subdivision during the day to go look at a job he was working on (we own a plumbing company). The greatest sadness overwhelmed me as I looked at all of these big, beautiful homes that were empty. No one there caring for them, no one there enjoying them, everyone - gone to work to help pay for them, kids in daycare, subdivision barren - except for one or two homes. I must ask, what is the purpose of a big, beautiful, empty most of the time house? I just really don't get it.
I know that I come from a different mindset than most, having lost one of my children early in my life, but I vowed then that I would never own anything that forced me to work outside my home and away from my children (who I'll only have for a short time anyway) again. I would go back to my doublewide mobile home in a minute, if that's what it took for me to be home with my children, and do it gladly.
It is a full-time job raising children, and caring for the needs of your husband, and those in your community or extended family who need you. There are seasons for all things (Ecclesiastes 3:1). What season are you in? God does have certain expectations of all believers, are you studying dilligently to know what they are? Or, do you go headlong into implementing your own plans, and dragging God along behind you hoping He will bless it and work through you in your disobedience? OUCH. I've been there!
You know how people sometimes say that when God shuts a door, He opens another one? Well, Todd used to say that you could tell when I'd been at the door because of the claw and hatchet marks left from me trying to get it open. I have been well known for going my own way and hoping the Lord would get involved and bless what I'd decided I should be doing. Haven't we all? I haven't heard my husband say that about me in a really long time, I hope that means I'm getting better in that area. :O)
Being committed to being at home, in our day and age, is a difficult thing at best. Even my Christian sisters often do not value what I am committed to. The first few years of being at home were very lonely and trying for me, why was God calling me to something that so many other Christians didn't see as necessary? All of those things plagued me for years, but it was because my heart was still divided. I missed working and having my ego stroked by a boss and a paycheck. I was not yet fully convinced that what I was doing was right and valuable. Now, my heart is at home, and whether anyone ever thanks me for what I do here or not, I know that I am being obedient to what I believe God has called me - as a Christian wife and mother - to do.
The book I recently read was Passionate Housewives Desperate for God - Fresh Vision for the Hopeful Homemaker. If you are a woman at home, I encourage you to read this book. If you are a woman who is confused about what God's word says on the matter, this book will certainly help you to sort things out, but be ready to be obedient to what God tells you.
If you are a sister who truly "must" work outside the home, God bless you, I know that your's is a sometimes exhausting and stressful situation. Mine is too, but in a different sort of way.
Here's a quote I found interesting, from a woman named Dorothy Patterson.
"Of course, much of the world would agree that being a housekeeper is acceptable as long as you are not caring for your own home; treating men with attentive devotion would also be right as long as the man is the boss int he office and not your husband; caring for children would even be deemed heroic service for which presidential awards could be given as long as the children are someone else's and not your own."
How sad is that, the double standards by which we live in our society? If you are a woman at home, this book will bless your socks off, and give you a new vision for who you are in Christ and what you are called to do.
God bless you for sitting through my ramblings,