*This is the topic we talked about in our new mom’s life group this week.
Throughout my early twenties (before having kids), I spent a great deal of time researching this topic. I observed women around me who raised their children in each of these environments and searched the Scriptures for what God had to say about it.
When I think about the biblical role of women- specifically for wives and moms, Proverbs 31 is the first thing that comes to mind. I’ve done numerous studies on this chapter and quite frankly, been pretty discouraged when I did. So often the idealistic, “perfect” woman many of us have in our minds keep us from even trying at all.
In one particular small group I led several years ago I tackled this chapter on my own. I read this chapter and simply allowed the Holy Spirit to speak to me about its meaning and implication for my life. Through that process I came to understand it in a new way and was much more encouraged and inspired to be the best wife and mom I could be and thrive while doing it.
When reading this chapter I began to see:
- a woman who has many interests, abilities, and talents
- a woman who is intelligent, educated, and wise
- a woman who loves and fears God
- a woman who is kind and compassionate to those around her
- a woman who works hard at what she does.
BUT…at the end of the day…
“Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her.” (Proverbs 31:28)
To be doing ALL that was described in the chapter and yet her husband and children honored and praised her for it tells us that her priorities were in the right place.
So often we, as women, have many roles to fill. We’re wives, moms, servants, leaders, teachers, volunteers, small business owners, and the list goes on and on. But many of us get sucked into working and/or doing things to: please other people, to make a name for ourselves, to appear intelligent and capable, for financial gain or to build our own self-esteem. And this is where I believe some women get off track.
I believe that a woman’s first priority should be her husband and children, and everything else should fall after that. “Everything else” including career, school, hobbies, business aspirations, etc.
The woman described in Proverbs 31 was a pretty busy woman, but if her children still honored and respected her for all she did, then the stuff she did wasn’t in spite of her family it was for her family. She wasn’t so stressed out that she couldn’t love, nurture, and care for them. She wasn’t out with the girls every night to get a “break”. She took responsibility for what she was called to do and did it with joy.
Personally in my current season of life I couldn’t work 40 hours outside my home and be sane enough to take care of my children at the end of the day- I know myself and there’s NO way. But, that’s me, maybe you could.
In my position, ministry has the tendency to take my time and take me away from my family, and that’s what I have to be careful of. A couple weeks ago I had to say no to a ministry need. At the time I really wanted to help and be the “rescuer”, but I also knew that if I had tried my family would suffer for it. Saying no is never easy- especially to good things, but I think God uses those moments to show us what’s most important and He honors us for it. I don’t want my kids resenting the church or ministry life because we put everyone else above them.
For new moms and moms of young children, it can feel like eternity will pass before our children are grown and we are “free”. But as I look around at friends and family with grown children, I’m reminded at how fast time flies and how they now have a lifetime ahead of them. I don’t think we would ever regret putting our family first for the sake of career, hobbies, personal interest, but I guarantee there are many women who have plenty of regrets doing the opposite. For me, it’s not worth it. Relationships are the only thing that will last. The rest will fade away…