The Honor of Working at Home

Well….hello.

I feel like I need to introduce myself to my readers again because I’ve been gone for so long. With all the craziness of Christmas and a new year, building a house, and being on the job search again, my blog has taken the backseat, totally unintentionally. I honestly didn’t realize it had been so long since I had updated and for that, I apologize! So, without further ado, let me finish my summaries of Feminine Appeal for those of you who have been following along. Our Wednesday night group just finished last Wednesday, so I’m not too terribly behind, right? Ha, right.

Chapter 6 is titled, “The Honor of Working at Home,” which could quite possibly be a source of debate among some of you. So let me preface this by saying, there is no biblical mandate that says the wife and mother is sinning if she does not work at home. Absolutely not! There are definitely circumstances that do not allow that to happen, and people who would prefer to have a career outside the home. This is not intended to induce guilt by any stretch of the mind, so please don’t think this is some legalistic virtue that binds women to ONLY household duties and mothering. It is merely an encouragement to priorities these roles over other things and for us to realize the great honor that comes with it.

Titus 2:3-5 says,

“Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the younger women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.”

Let’s all start on the same page here. Obviously, we are living in a post-feminism movement society. So let’s ask ourselves:

  • In what ways have we been influenced by the toxic feminist air that we have been breathing for the last several decades?

The media feeds us constant lies that being a wife and a mother is less honorable than having a career. Mahaney states, “Feminism has failed to deliver as advertised. Yet feminism philosophy has become thoroughly integrated into the values of mainstream society–so much so, that it has been absorbed and applied by the majority of women, even many who do not consider themselves feminist. Ask yourself: “Have I been seduced?” For me, having a career seems more glamourous sometimes–especially in my 20’s. It seems glamourous to have a nice paycheck, be able to buy nice clothes, travel for work, and to meet all kinds of people in all walks of life; to not be “tied down” at home.

  • But how does Scripture convince us to think differently about “working at home?”

1 Timothy 5:14 counsels the younger widows to marry, bear children, and manage their households.

Proverbs 31 we have the ideal wife and mother who’s sphere of work centered around the home.

1 Timothy 5:8 clearly states that men are responsible to be the providers for the home while women are responsible to be the caretakers of the home.

However the KEY is this:

“Scripture provides examples of godly women who worked in other settings and earned extra income, but never to the neglect of their families and homes” (104).

Working at home should be a constant and ongoing priority in our lives. Seasons of our lives will change and working outside the home will not compromise our work in the home. Especially before children and after they have left the house. However, whenever we contemplate opportunities outside of the home, we must first consider what consequences they might have on our families. That includes our motives for working outside the home. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What are my reasons for considering this opportunity? Are they selfish or God-honoring?
  2. Will pursuing this venture glorify God and honor the gospel?
  3. Is this an undertaking that will help my husband?
  4. Will it enhance and enrich the lives of my family?
  5. Does this endeavor hinder my role as caretaker of my home?

Let us remember, though, Scripture doesn’t say that wives and mothers are sinning if they work outside the home. Let that be clear! There will be some women in circumstances that do not allow them the choice. However, our PRIORITY should always be to our husband, children, and home first.

In all of this, we must know where our ability to do this comes from. Psalm 28:7 says, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts and I am helped.” God is the One who has called you to be a homemaker, and He will supply all the strength you need as you look to Him (107).

Scripture has provided a job description for us as managers of our homes, and it is surprisingly simple: We are to be our husband’s helper. (Genesis 1:26-31, 2:7-25, 1 Cor. 11:8-9) We can easily determine what we should do and how we should do it by asking ourselves: “What will most help my husband?” As Douglas Wilson puts it, “The man needs THE help, the woman needs TO help” (109). That is our God given role and God-equipped nature.

  • How is your attitude at home while you are “homemaking?” Would your husband and family describe you as happy?

REMEMBER: Proverbs 31:13 says “she works with her hands in delight!”

The tasks have to get done, you might as well make them fun!

The goal of all of this is so our homes can actually be a showcase for the gospel. In God’s economy, homemaking is a high and noble calling!

Our homes should be our families’ safe haven. It is our responsibility to make that happen.

HOMEWORK:

  1. Ask your husband what you can do that will be MOST helpful to him this week.
  2. What is one new skill of homemaking you’d like to acquire?
  3. Keep this as a constant issue of prayer in every season of your life.
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Still waiting

About a week ago I posted on Facebook and twitter asking people to pray for me. I had an interview for a job I was really excited about! Other than that, I didn’t give any details just because I didn’t want to get anyone’s hopes up (or mine for that matter.)

It was for a non-profit organization in Cherokee county that focused on reaching the youth of Cherokee to help them finish their education, get off of drugs and alcohol, get them stable homes to live in and provide the tools necessary for them to acquire a job for themselves. It is absolutely a great organization that is truly making a difference in our community.

So I submitted my resume, made it past the first cut from 28 submitted resumes down to 5 people interviewing. The interview really did go well. I don’t think it could have gone any better. It is a small company with a small office staff and they opened up a completely new position (which is the one I was applying for.) The position is a full time, salaried position that would have offered benefits and great stability.

However, I write this to inform you all that I did not end up getting the job. Which should really upset and disappoint me, but for some reason I am completely at peace about it. What I’m about to say is going to sound like a defense mechanism because I didn’t get the job, but I say it with as pure of a heart as I know how. A few days after the interview I started getting a check in my spirit about if it was really where God wanted me. I didn’t know why and I couldn’t pinpoint why I was feeling the way I did, but I was oddly at peace if I were to receive the news that they chose someone else. Probably because I prayed about it so stinkin much and begged the Lord to make it clear to me in a very simple way, which He did. I’m thankful for the opportunity that I had to research and interview for that position, but I am equally thankful I did not get it if it was not the exact place God wanted me. I never want to base my decisions off of worldly wisdom because taking the job would make “sense” for me. I truly desire to listen intently to the Holy Spirit as He guides my every opportunity and gives me the choice to obey Him or not. Thankfully, this time, He made it easier on me and closed the door for me, making it obviously clear that that wasn’t His plan.

All that goes to say, thank you all SO much for praying for me. I know many of you were because you kept checking on me and asking how things went. It really is the best encouragement to have brothers and sisters in Christ who take mine and my family’s needs before the throne of grace and ask for wisdom from God on our behalf. I’m blessed by all of you and pray that I can offer the same encouragement as well.

With that being said, the job search continues! I have no idea what the Lord has in store for me, but I’m grateful to know that He has the perfect plan in His perfect timing, and I don’t have to understand. I just have to be quick to listen and ready to obey.

My Life in Sweatpants

Sweatpants.

We all love them. They are man’s greatest fashion invention for all of us who enjoy a nice lounge day every once in a while. They are also man’s greatest invention for the uniform of the Nanny.

I feel like I live in sweatpants. Honestly. If my job weren’t enough to keep me in them, training for a half marathon in the winter months (ehh…winter/spring) keeps them at the top of my “most worn” list. Most people would love this type of attire to wear all the time. Being a nanny is quite possibly the best excuse to wear sweats and a t-shirts every day of your life. You are constantly running around with kids, sitting on the ground, and getting food and markers and paint on your clothes. However, you’d be surprised how cumbersome the most comfortable clothing of all time can become. When it becomes your uniform, it begins to have another kind of mantra attached to it: “All I ever wear is sweatpants. I feel like a slob.”

I’ve had many a conversation with other nanny friends of mine who completely understand with where I’m coming from. While we’re grateful for the ability to dress comfy every day, there comes a point when we begin to feel like a bum. It gets so exciting to wear a pair of jeans and heels on the weekends. Party animals. I know.

Yesterday I was wearing my sweatpants, at work, like I do nearly every day, and I began to think. Because my job description basically requires me to keep the kids alive and busy, there’s surprisingly time to ponder different things. I don’t have deadlines for paperwork. I don’t have office meetings. I don’t have work to take home. But I’m beginning to wish that I did. That got me thinking. As I was swinging on the swing set, I feel like the Lord began to draw some parallels together in my heart.

Swinging on a swing set is a lot like chasing your dream. When you’re first learning, it takes some time and effort to figure out how to get started. But once you nail the pumping of your legs, back and forth, out and in, you quickly can get the hang of it. But you have to keep pumping in order to get higher. You have to keep pumping in order to keep swinging. As soon as you stop putting forth effort, you begin to slow down and lose momentum. You’re not even maintaining. You’re on your way to a complete stop.

Now I don’t know if the Lord meant for this to be a defining spiritual moment for me, but I do feel like He taught me a lesson. Not even close to the caliber of the Apostle Paul(Philippians 4), but I do think that I’ve learned to be content in my current job situation. I didn’t say I’ve learned to love it. I’ve learned to be content. But if I ever intend to move on from here (and I must, kids do grow up eventually and don’t need a nanny anymore), I have to keep pumping my legs. I can’t just coast and expect opportunities to show up out of the middle of nowhere. I have to keep pushing, keep trying, and understand that it might require a lot more work than I originally expected. But in order to go higher and further than where I am right now, the work must continue. The research must not stop. I have to keep talking, asking, and looking for God’s open doors to my future.

If I ever hope to have my dream job, I have to keep pumping my legs.