About a year and a half ago I felt challenged to write about this subject. I kept putting it off out of fear a reader might take it wrong, and/or assume I was passing judgement. I understand every story is different, and that some mothers have no choice in the matter of whether they have to pursue a career or not. Some are single moms who’s husband has left them, some are widows, and some simply have companions who won’t work. Not every mother has the privilege to be home with their children because of unfortunate circumstances.
I want to try to encourage you as a Mother that your position in your home is more valuable and rewarding than anything you could be doing while your children are growing up. As a Pastor’s wife I have struggled with feeling like I should be doing more ministry outside of the home, but every time I struggle with the feelings of going outside of the home to do ministries that would require me to be away from my children I feel God gently speak to me that my greatest ministry in my life right now is inside the walls of my home. I know firsthand as a Mom there are days we feel like we can’t handle one more argument, another drink spilled on the floor, or one more pile of dirty laundry – if only I had someone to raise these kids for me, and clean my house then life would be great. At least let me use the restroom ALONE!
I had a stay-at-home Mom. I only remember her leaving me with a babysitter one time in my life, and that sitter was my Papaw and Mamaw whom I loved to spend time with. My Mom was always there. I never questioned who’s house I would be dropped off at, or if I would come home from School to an empty house, she was always there. My Mom made home a wonderful place to dwell. I never heard my mom complain about her responsibilities as a homemaker, or heard her say she wished she had chosen a career of status instead of being a homemaker. My Mom taught me about prayer – she had her secret place that she called out to God in and you could hear her praying, and her old bible never got dusty. Anytime I had a problem, a hurt or a tear my mom was there. My mother taught me how to run a household. She taught me how to cook, clean, do laundry and many other important values of being a wife and a mother. I know this post isn’t written about Dad’s, but I must include that I had a wonderful, Godly Dad that made it possible for my mom to stay at home. If the world would have looked on they wouldn’t have thought we had a lot of material things, but he provided everything we needed, and worked hard. His family meant more to him than getting rich, and I felt my Dad balanced his family and work well.
When the feminist movement began in the 1930’s – 1970’s women began to enter the workforce in large numbers. Being a homemaker was no longer considered a job of status, but was rather looked down on and many became ashamed to admit they were homemakers. We’ve been made to believe that a career is more valuable and rewarding than being a wife and mother. When women set out to change the roles women had played for centuries in the homes, it changed the hearts of millions of women.
Virtue, honesty, chaste, good, discreet, submission and modesty were pretty much deleted from our way of thinking. We replaced it with divorce and affairs and our daughters have not known any other way of living.
The children are dropped off at daycare before sunrise, and picked up after sunset. The babysitter is the one that bandaged their scraped knee, wiped their tears, consoled their hurts, heard them say their first words, and watched them take their first steps. On many occasions mom returns home so edgy and stressed from her day at work and her responsibilities at home that she fails to meet the emotional needs of her children, much less her husband. Her children dare not approach her and therefore their needs are often took to their rooms at night where they are bottled up inside. They seldom set down for a family meal together and discuss the day. Millions of children get off the school bus to an empty house. Many are suffering from depression and anxiety and they have no one to talk to when they get home. Children left alone are more likely to be exposed to pornography, alcohol, sex and drugs. Their relationship with their parents is so distant that they don’t feel they have the freedom to talk to them about their struggles. More often than not women spend more quality time at work with other men, than they do their own husbands. We are cheating our daughters of so many values when we neglect teaching at home. Most marry and have no idea how to cook, clean, do laundry, much less run a household and meet the needs of their husband.
We must determine what our priorities are as mothers. We must embrace who we were created to be – the Word of God provides us with that truth.
Count it all Joy mothers when you are folding those piles of laundry, scrubbing the floors, washing the dishes, teaching your daughter how to bake the cake that she has burnt three times already, teaching your son to take out the trash, feed the dog, or how to pick up his dirty clothes in the bathroom. Count it all joy when you want to pull your hair our or run away when they come tracking mud in for the fifth time on your freshly mopped floor. What you are doing day in and day out is the greatest ministry you can be doing while your children are at home with you. When asked what you career is, or who your employer is, hold your head up high and tell them you have one the most rewarding jobs a mother can have. You are a counselor, bible teacher, you have a cooking and cleaning class, a laundromat, your a doctor, a dentist, a first responder, a lawyer that settles cases, you prepare meals while managing a household, and the pay is out of this world….did you ask me what my career was – it’s called The High Calling of a Mother.
25. Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. 26. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and her tongue is the law of kindness. 27. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. 28. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. 29. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. 30. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. 31. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.