Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A House Divided

When we were waiting during Maren's procedure on Monday, I happened to catch The Today Show which I never watch at home. They had a segment on debating The Mommy Wars, the age old showdown between working moms and stay at home moms. It seems that the nomination of Sarah Palin for VP has sparked a lot of debate in that area. This is not a political commentary, however I am realizing something in my own life as a Mom - A house divided can not stand.

What I mean by that is the more things I get involved in outside of my home, the more divided my time and attention become. All the things are good things like teaching Sunday School, leading Bible Studies and Girl Scouts. I also try to exercise, keep up with my friends and family and have a little life - even if it only through the wonders of Facebook! But the more I do, the less time and attention I have to devote to what I think the Bible tells me is the most important job I have to do, which is minister to my family. And it is the very thing that I passionately want to do a great job at. So you might wonder why it gets the last of my time, energy and enthusiasm. I wonder too.

All the activity of 7 people in a house with things to do makes for a hectic and miserable life. Just tonight I begged Mike to try to leave football practice a little early so I could get to my meeting on time. I have to pick Grant up early from Karate so we can get right to piano lessons. We've had so many hand-offs this week it's amazing everyone got where they were supposed to be! It seems that a house that runs at this pace and with all this stuff going on is on the verge of collapse!

I'm not thinking about becoming a hermit or anything. But I know that I need to carefully weigh my activities with the needs of my family. And although even the esteemed Proverbs 31 women had business and humanitarian interests outside of the house, they were all for the benefit and enrichment of her family. A lot of times my interests are selfish or wasteful. Let's face it, I'd rather be out doing things than at home organizing and cleaning my cupboards or closets which would help our house to run smoother.

A lot of the arguments about Sarah Palin are focused on the fact that a women should be at home for her kids. It's weird because I kind of agree but at the same time it offends me to the core and makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I think women are able to decide what they can handle and what they can't. But it's tough to argue that point when you look at what God's word has to say about it.

Proverbs 31:27 says, "She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness."

Titus 2:3-5 says, "Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God."

I think God gives us brains and freedom to discern what he has for us and it is probably different for everyone in every season. But it's easy to fill my life up with activities that are feeding my need for things or recognition, especially because I feel like I get so little of it as a wife and mom. I even find that exercising at times is not just a way to keep my body in shape to be used of God and be healthier, but a desire for approval.

There is nothing I want more than to faithfully do God's calling in my life. Even though it's not politically correct or maybe it is now (who can keep track?) I know that right now His primary calling for me is at home and that deserves my undivided attention.

1 Peter 3:4
Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.

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