IT GRIEVES ME WHEN I SEE WOMEN STRESSED OUT ESPECIALLY CHRISTIAN WOMEN TRYING TO PRAY FOR HOURS A DAY, STUDY THE WORD, RUN A MINISTRY, EARN EXTRA MONEY AND COOK CLEAN AND SADLY LAST ON THAT LIST OF ACTIVITIES RAISE CHILDREN…………WE ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO FIT CHILDREN AROUND OUR OVER BUSY LIVES RATHER BE AN ANCHOR AND CENTREPOINT FOR THEM TO GROW AND DEVELOP…………..now I’m gonna duck an run for cover for daring to address this difficult and controversial issue ha ha!! Don’t worry……….I am FAR from perfect!
Our news recently reported the results of a study showing that children of mothers who stay home do much better than children of working mothers…much better socially and emotionally and in school and so on. I have stayed home 20 years raising my children…I fostered kids for a while..I ran a project for delinquent teenagers…I helped my husband with his business when I was married…I ran a day care when my first born was little…but for the most part I was well even with the above I WAS home.
Now my first born is 23 and has her own family and my sons 12 and 15 are in weekly boarding school they come home every weekend and vacations so I feel now I have some time to get back to work and for me that is writing and travelling………..also their Dad has no work in the building trade at the moment so he has more time to spend with them if I am away
I am not trying to put a guilt trip on women who work, the Holy Spirit makes up the shortfall when your heart is toward God in all you do……I am saying that I do not think it is pleasing to Abba when we are so exhausted and spread too thin and doing too much and fighting to keep our eyes open to study an pray an so on……I believe many christian women are caught in the trap of trying to be superwoman and have it all and do it all and kind of operating in a spirit of Martha……I believe in these days if there were only limited time left and we had to choose between say studying the Bible and doing devotions and organising a conference OR SIMPLY PUTTING ON SOME PRAISE MUSIC AND COMPLETELY SURRENDERING INTO THE PRESENCE OF GOD then Jesus would say DO THAT………….the Word says Study to show yourself approved, but God does not want us ragged with exhaustion and guilt and feelings of overwhelm and inadequacy….I pray for about an hour each morning or more and read the Word and study through facebook church for about another 2 hours or more when my children are at school in the week, but when they are home, I say to God let my prayer be my mothering today Lord……..and I am confident that I have enough Word and prayer but mostly GRACE inside me that I can let up for a while and just BE
I think when the children are dependent it is the FATHER’S role to provide financially and hundreds of thousands of women have fallen into the trap of feeling they ALSO have to work outside the home to pay the mortgage the cars the loans keep up the standard of living etc……well, sometimes it would be better to reduce the material standard of living to get balance back and have a relaxed and joyful mother creating a home that is a powerhouse of productivity yet peaceful and serene. Often in these days the men do not fully step up to the plate in terms of their God given responsibility to provide for their families, and our feminist emancipation comes back to bite us in the butt as the men embrace the possibility of us being breadwinners as well as home makers and then they progress to EXPECT that.
I do not maan to sound archaic or anti feminist….I was a radical feminist during my university days and younger years….just time and my walk with God and single parenting have changed my perspective …..I would rather be a MARY than a MARTHA as I know we all would, and I believe it is ungodly bondage for women to be over burdened and over stretched and exhausted and anxious and even guilt ridden because of their TOO MANY commitments and responsibilities.
If our men find it too hard to provide financially for all the family…and I do sympathise with them and often said I was glad I was not born a man because their responsibilities are awesome….then we need to pray for them and empower them to lean on God more and trust HIS Word about being the Head of them and all of our Provider……what might transform things is more enlightened and faith filled giving rather than a second job or longer hours….sowing and reaping…courage and faith.., maybe even re training and a change of career…it is rarely empowering for women to TAKE OVER mens’ responsibilities although it often seems short term like the best solution.
I also read somewhere that effective productivity can be achieved in a 5 hour working day if the person is totally ON TRACK AND DYNAMIC AND BALANCED…..workaholism is another curse of this modern day and that is a whole other note!!
I have 3 children by 2 fathers, only one of whom I was married to. My first child’s father paid handsome child support but only after I spent 5 years in court fighting for it. This helped me raise my daughter well and she achieved a great degree at University which for single parent children is statistically rare. My boys father has not worked for the past almost 2 years although he is an usher at his church and training to be a pastor and evangelist and volunteers around his church whenever needed….I believe he is failing in his God given mandate to support his children, and as a consequence BECAUSE I WOULD NOT GO OUT TO WORK AND TURN MY SINGLE PARENT CHILDREN INTO LATCH KEY KIDS…I have been in receipt of government benefits since separating from my husband. That hurt my pride a lot, especially since I have a degree, am a published writer, speak many languages etc etc…..but like the single parent on benefits in a council house J.K. ROWLINGS any work I could do had to be fitted in around my children rather than FITTING MY CHILDREN IN AROUND MY WORK.
I made poor choices as possible life partners and fathers to my children…..the old fashioned tradition of fathers interviewing potential husbands for their daughters and asking them HOW DO YOU PLAN ON SUPPORTING MY DAUGHTER AND A FAMILY? was a great thing and based in necessity outside of the welfare systems that compensate for unconscious parenting and churches in as much as the church was supposed to take care of the widowns and orphans….single parent families are the modern day equivalent of that.
I could have stayed in my Ishmael marriage for the sake of keeping the ideal support structure in place….father providing mother nurturing and empowering…but I was dying inside every day of my marriage and chose above all to be true to myself. My Jesus gave the Law as a banquet to feast on not a burden to bury me under, and after 9 years of trying to make my marriage built on a crooked cornerstone ( he was married when I met him and lied to me about his circumstances) WORK so that I could be or appear to be a good christian woman, I finally rose up in the strength and love of my heavenly husband and said ENOUGH and walked away. I know I fell far short in my potential ideal role as wife and mother so it is with fear and trembling that I dare to pontificate, and it is in GRACE and love and forgiveness that I continue to walk out my own salvation and share my thoughts and experience in the hopes that others might learn from my mistakes, and my revelations in this journey called LIFE
The scripture that got me started on this was Luke 10:3842 (my translation!)
As they went, Jesus came to a village and a woman called Martha invited him and his entourage to her home. Her sister Mary sat at the feet of Jesus and listened intently to every word he said…..Martha was rushed off her feet cooking and serving everyone and taking care of them, and came and said to Jesus, ‘Jesus don’t you care that my sister has left me to do everything on my own? Please tell her she has to help me!’ Jesus answered and said, ‘Martha you are worrying and stressing about so much when only one thing was important……….Mary made it her priority to listen and hear the words and teachings and revelation and love………..and I won’t take that from her’