Working moms, yay or nay? The conclusion.

6:04 PM

Three words I should never use on my blog, ever again, until the end of time.
"See you tomorrow!"

*FAIL* Sorry.

   So I've been sitting on this post for about three days now, waiting to see if I felt any...I don't know, conviction or something from God which would lead me to believe I shouldn't post it, but I haven't, so here goes! 

***Note*** these thoughts are ONLY my own opinion, and not to be regarded as the final say or "conclusion" like the title infers.  I only called it that because I couldn't think of what else to.  I have thoroughly enjoyed everyone's input so far and would be welcome to hearing more, anytime!

  
   So....is it alright for moms to work?  My opinion is....*drumroll please*.....sure, as long as certain things come first.  And some of those "certain things" can be found in Proverbs 31. 

   A friend pointed out to me (just today actually) that the verses describing the Proverbs 31 woman are an acrostic, with each verse beginning with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  I had never known that before.  So something tells me that this was perhaps written as advice/a guideline for married women everywhere, rather than a synopsis of one woman's skills, talents and super-human acheivements. 
   I used to sort of get a glazed look in my eye whenever I read this passage, and just sort of breezed over it because it was the tale of a certain someone I just could never be.  But now I think it is a list of suggestions for anyone to follow, for a happy home and happy marriage, and now I'm pretty stinkin' interested in it!

Let's dive in:
10 [b]A wife of noble character who can find?
   She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
   and lacks nothing of value.

   This brings me to my first point. It says here that her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.  Nothing of value?  What does your husband value?  Is he lacking it?  Is that a packed lunch every day?  Occasionally a hot breakfast?  A long back massage?   If her husband truly lacked nothing of value, that infers keeping him pretty satisfied.  Are you able to work outside the home and still meet your husbands needs? If so, fine.  And we don't have to go into specifics, because I think it's fairly easy to tell if our husbands needs are being met or not.

12 She brings him good, not harm,
   all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
   and works with eager hands.

   Oh boy, does this mean she sews?!  That is something I so badly want to do for my family, but can hardly find the time as it is.  O.k., so that's not true.  I don't prioritize it highly enough.  (P.S. I'm not saying every wife has to sew.  I am simply stating it's a goal of mine)

14 She is like the merchant ships,
   bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
   she provides food for her family
   and portions for her female servants.

   I take this to mean that she cooks.  Not just taking the pizza out of the box and putting it on the table cooking, either.  Does your job prevent you from cooking healthy, quality meals for your family? Do they end up eating fast food or frozen dinners as a result? Are home-cooked meals a priority to you?  Is a job away from home making this do-able, or dreaded and downright impossible?  Just questions to ask yourself.  Once again, it may be that you are finding a way to balance it all, and if so, you go girl!!

16 She considers a field and buys it;
   out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
   her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
   and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
   and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
   and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
   for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
   she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
  
   Wow, that's alot of responsibility.  Sounds like she's helping make real estate decisions, yardwork, working so hard she's IN SHAPE, handing out bowls of soup at the nearby homeless shelter and making sure all her kiddos are in warm, well-fitting clothing and sleeping on comfortable bedding.  That's quite the to-do list.

23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
   where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. 

   Is your husband respected? Whether you work away from home or not, is he getting your respect?  If not, why not? And what would it take from you for him to start feeling respected?  This is so important, for working and non-working moms alike.

24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
   and supplies the merchants with sashes.
What?! This lady even has an Etsy shop! ;)

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
   she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
   and faithful instruction is on her tongue. 

   Sounds like a wise, dignified, strong, intelligent, and educated woman to me.  Not the picture the world often portrays of the "stay-at-home-mom".

27 She watches over the affairs of her household
   and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
   her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
   but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
   but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
   and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. 
  
   Looks like after all this busy-ness and to-do list-ness, at the end of the day, she is not a frazzled, burnt-out hot mess that snaps at her husband and growls at her kids.  It says they are blessing and praising her, and apparently very grateful for all that she does.  So how in the world does that happen?  Is it because she was the only OTHER perfect human to walk the face of the earth?  (Once again, this isn't necessarily about one woman, but a guideline.)  I think the key can be found in verse 30...


"...but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised."

She feared God first, served her family second, and herself last. 

   So much can be said about this example of how women are to serve their husbands and families.  So many good ideas and inspirations of things we can to do better our homes and bring our husbands honor.  In conclusion, I will restate my opinion.  It's o.k. to work outside the home if some of these things are coming first.  If there's just no possible way to "fit it all in" then maybe just possibly, we're putting the wrong things in front of the right things.  

   I realize that everyone has a different situation, and I will not pretend to know what each woman should do in her unique circumstance.  But once again, I don't think the Bible was tormenting us with an impossible, unattainable ideal here in Proverbs 31.  I think it was describing some of the ways we wives/moms can find success, honor, respect, and fulfillment in work and much of that can be found at home.  In so doing, it will bless our families and husbands beyond measure.  

Thanks for your patience everyone, have a great weekend.




 

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3 comments

  1. Very well put!
    -LaDonna

    ReplyDelete
  2. You addressed this touchy subject well. One thing I often think of, I can be a stay at home Mom, but that doesn't mean my heart is at home. It makes me sad but I've seen this happen so many times. There's so much more to staying at home than just 'staying at home'. If that makes sense...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Shelley love this post, makes me think of all the years (from 1988-2010) I was a stay at home mom but out in the shop too much to not affect my children. I made money and that came before my children, now I regret this.
    The past 2 years volunteering 2-3 days at school every week has to change too, although I'm at school with my kids, my work at home & husband have suffered.
    Sometimes its easier to see the real picture when you look back, then when your living it.
    MOM

    ReplyDelete

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