Can you imagine living in a world where it is still acceptable to stay home with your children, serve your husband, and dare I say it - keep your home? Where marriage, home and motherhood are held in high esteem and the women caring for their families are blessed by and for their efforts?
Picture the scene of past eras wherein a young woman usually left the workforce after marriage to serve her husband and keep her home and await the arrival of her children. She was not looked down on at all, rather the role of wife/mother/homemaker was elevated into something to aspire to. For it is an honourable calling.
We all know that the disdain we stay at home wives and mothers feel today from the world (and even some churches) is contrary to the scriptural role, and we know that it wasn't always so. And as more and more women are pressured into having less children and putting their babies into day centres, a lot of women are feeling cheated and discontented. If the truth was told, I truly believe that most of the women in the workforce today would prefer to be at home having more babies and loving their life!
Why isn't it like this today?
Firstly, I believe a lot of women have bought the lie of feminism. We have been buffeted about and overloaded with so much of their rhetoric that we have slowly come to accept a great deal of what they say. Bowing under the pressure of the world, we have become discontented with our God-given role as wife/mother and keeper of our home.
Secondly, I believe women have generally been so highly educated that they are afraid that they will waste it by staying home. I think nothing could be further from the truth. All education is profitable for a woman- especially if she plans to home school her children. This is slowly gaining popularity in Australia, though nowhere near as much as in the States. But the point I am making is that as mothers, we are teachers. Our knowledge will only serve to benefit our family. And make us more interesting to our husbands.
Thirdly, I think in general we have set our sights on worldly things- the biggest home, cars, furnishings, designer clothing and expensive holidays etc. We have been sucked into the worship of the ravenous god of materialism and commercialism. Homemade is no longer good enough, homecooked is often a rarity, homekeeping is a rushed chore and a burden- yet even so, home still is the sweetest place to be and always beckons us back.
Are working mothers really getting value for their money? No! By the time we add up the work clothes, gas and fares for getting to and from work, the bought lunches, the more expensive packaged foods for faster meals, and last but in no way, least- the childcare centre, we have very little money available for spending. Are we starting to feel a little bit disillusioned? I would guess: yes a tad!
Now I am not naive: I know about mortgages, or renting, I know how hard it is to keep food on the table and clothes on the family's back- but what I know too is that a lot of extraneous spending could be curtailed and it would be far more profitable to stay at home. I know this, because as have previously shared- I did it for a while. It is more profitable not to work outside the home. And infinitely more satisfying for the whole family.
Frugality, budgeting, and cutting one's cloth according to income are not dirty words: they are words of life- family life. With a bit of planning and foresight, I believe a lot of women would be able to stay home and not suffer for it. The tools are planning, budgeting, frugality, wisdom and desire. I believe it is possible still today to manage on one man's wage- if we learn to be content with what we have or to downsize to make staying home with the children feasible. It is a heart issue.
So back to imagination: can you imagine rising and getting your husband off to work, having made him a leisurely breakfast and a cut lunch, guiding your children through bathing, dressing and breakfast in a calm manner, filling them with the best of breakfasts, then homeschooling or sending them to school with a nutritious packed lunch? No frantic last-minute hunt for lost notebooks or library books-or hearing your child read whilst you are hurriedly applying your makeup for work? Or worse still, from the other side of the bathroom door? No, you have had plenty of time last night to do these things and to be organised for the early morning rush. You are looking well to the ways of your own household.
As soon as the children are at school or setting about their lessons at home, you start to work your way through your chores, making beds and doing laundry whilst the slow cooker bubbles away with some soup for lunch and the meat defrosts for the evening meal. You know exactly what you are having: you made your menu and shopping list and you are in control! Doesn't it feel good?
Tonight when your husband gets home from work, you will be there to greet him with the children working steadily at their homework and the table set and dinner's delicious aroma wafting through the house to welcome him home. And if Dad works late shift, the children will at least get to see him at breakfast instead of being dragged out of their bed at some early hour to go to daycare.
Imagine if this was a reality in your life- would you want it? Thousands of women are turning their back on materialism, small families and feministic ideals and are turning back to God's Word for their lives and families. They are coping and they are gaining strength as a force that is pro-life, pro-family and pro-marriage. Their children are reaping the benefits of having a full-time mother who fills their world with soundness in a world she knows is anything but.
What is the future for the stay-at home mother? I believe job satisfaction: the knowledge that because she has applied herself to live her life according to godly principles and used wisdom, frugality and ingenuity in order to do it. Her marriage is stronger, her children happier and her home easier to manage. She knows that she is really free at last to be all God created her to be- a loving wife, mother and keeper of her home. And she rejoices at the days to come. Her husband is well looked after and well loved, as are her children.
She doesn't worry what the world thinks about her life choices- she is following God's plan for her life. And her life is good- for all God's ways are good. Imagine if all married women vetoed the work force, applied themselves to living frugally and returned home as stay at home wives and mothers…I imagine a lot of people would be happy with that.
© Glenys Robyn Hicks
© Glenys Robyn Hicks
The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. Titus 2:3-5