Help Wanted: Mothers needed to birth, feed, nurture, teach and love. Location: anywhere.Will require selfless sacrifice of time, sleep, and personal wants. Responsibilities include but are not limited to cooking, cleaning, bathing, laundry, tutoring, transportation, medical care, listening, playing, drawing, homework assistance and discipline, which may result temporary discord. Wages competitive. Will be paid in hugs, snuggles, kisses, smiles and laughter.
As for you, Titus, promote the kind of living that reflects wholesome teaching… teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers.Instead, they should teach others what is good. These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God. Titus 2:1,3-5
Lately I’ve noticed a trend. Actually I was part of the trend. Several years ago I found myself living in another country, being a stay-at-home mom to three children, and yearning for more. So, I went back to school. I longed for success. I craved acknowledgement for all those qualities in me that I thought died with motherhood. When I found out we were moving back to the States seven years ago, the FIRST phone call I made was to my former boss to get my job back.
So you may be wondering where I’m going with this. “Is she saying it’s wrong to go back to school?” “Does she think it’s WRONG to go back to work?” I know… how archaic right?!
Well, I am not a legalist so I won’t go there. But remember, I am a purist and I love the Word of God. My challenge to you, as a wife and mother, is one I issued to myself several years ago, “Why?”
Do you find yourself aching for validation? Do you aspire for more than wiping snotty noses and cleaning up spilled Cheerios for the 27th time? Do you dream of days of yore when you actually had a functioning brain in that head of yours?
I have also tired of the endless supply of dirty clothes, diaper blow-outs and vomit on the kitchen floor. I have gone to my kitchen cupboards at 5:00pm wondering if I really have to feed them AGAIN! I have drug myself out of bed at 2:00, 3:00 and 4:00 am to attend to a sick child or comfort another after a bad dream. I drift back to days when I actually slept.
I have felt the Motherhood monotony, the tiresome doldrums, and the weight of a colorless life.
Maybe you haven’t experienced that longing the way I did. Maybe you feel like you have to work to help your family financially. I want to establish that is totally a decision between you, your husband and God. There are plenty of examples in the scripture of women who financially contributed to their family. The “Worthy Woman” of Proverbs 31 profited for her family. Lydia of the New Testament sold her goods to support her household (Acts 16:14-21). Women even financially supported Jesus (Luke 8:3).
But I want to bring your attention to another trend that affects our decision to work outside the home. Christians are generally dissatisfied with their lifestyle. Many people claiming to follow Jesus don’t follow His example. What if we treated material possessions the way He did?
But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.” Luke 9:58
Jesus didn’t even have house, and we work overtime just to make payments on the one we live in. We drown ourselves in debt for material stuff that actually pulls us away from the ways of the Spirit. We have car payments, cell phone and cable bills. We even spend money for storage of all the stuff we don’t have room for. And that college education we thought we “needed” only provides a ball and chain of debt.
When the bills are due do you find yourself stressed out and barely scraping by? It doesn’t have to be that way.
In fact it SHOULDN’T be that way because that’s not the life that Jesus promised. Remember what the Word actually says:
- “Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3).
- “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
- “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery” (Gal. 5:1).
- “Train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God” (Titus 2:4-5).
Sisters, I am afraid that we have allowed Satan to conquer our hearts through the culture we live in. Our society regularly sends the message that there is more to life than being a wife and mother. We now have equal opportunities, reproductive freedom, and rights beyond women of any other time and culture. Yet I see more women in slavery than ever before, and they chose it. We are rejecting the freedom of a life in Christ for the chains of the world.
As I sit and type this, I have a sick toddler snuggling in my lap with her blankie and there is no place in the world I would rather be. The Spirit of God has transformed my discontent heart into one that joyfully serves my family (not without challenges of course). I don’t day-dream about what might have been. Now I receive in the life God has given me with gratitude. I now chose to rise to the challenge of bringing up the next generation. I don’t just want to produce good citizens, but sincere followers of Jesus Christ. God has entrusted me… ME… to raise up a spiritual army that can go into the world and impact it for Christ.
Studying English Lit isn’t so appealing anymore. Reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear is. Learning a new language has lost its draw. Learning to speak the language of five children’s hearts has grown in its place. I don’t strive for career achievement or the Dean’s list, I now strive to be the first in the eyes of my children.
The call of motherhood is so high God used it describe His own love. I hope today we are called back to love our children like that.
This is what the Lord says:“I will give Jerusalem a river of peace and prosperity. The wealth of the nations will flow to her. Her children will be nursed at her breasts, carried in her arms, and held on her lap. I will comfort you there in Jerusalem as a mother comforts her child.” Isaiah 66:12-13
Next week I want to talk about the freedom of being a stay-at-home mom, our call to spiritually train our kids, and what we are up against so stay tuned…
*After several personal responses today I feel the need to add a disclaimer. I am not in favor of being a stay-at-home or work-outside-the-home mom. My goal is to get women to consider their heart and motivation behind their choices in light of passages like Titus 2.