The high calling of motherhood

Over the years I have talked with many many women, some mothers, some not. In all those conversations I have had quite a few where the women feel guilty for wanting to stay home and raise their children. They feel pressure from people around them and from the world to be productive with their lives, to contribute to the family through wages. Sometimes, sadly enough, this pressure comes from believers!

Now, I am not going to debate or even discuss the topic of whether it is right or wrong for a woman to work outside the home. Frankly I believe this is a PRIVATE decision between a wife, her husband and God. It is not my place to make that call for anyone else besides myself. I DO want to discuss those women who want to stay home but feel pressure not to.

the high call of motherhood

Raising our children can be done by anyone.

Our society has been deceived into thinking that the high calling of motherhood is really only a menial task that can be filled by low-paid day care workers. It sees child care as simply that: making sure children are dressed and fed and don’t hurt themselves. Some professionals might even see the benefits of jumping into academics in daycare. They look at the body and intellect.

Motherhood is so much more than addressing basic needs for our children. Rather, we are in the business of shaping and preparing a generation that will be mighty in the Word and mighty in the Spirit! What an honor! We are building our children’s souls and spirits: their minds, their hearts, their will, their passions, their focus, their vision and their longing for God to touch and change them. We are raising up children who will be warriors in the hands of a Mighty God!

Staying home is a waste.

You may have heard that it is foolish for a woman to waste her college education by staying home. Personally, I have never known of a believing woman with a degree where it goes to waste! Mine is in Early Childhood Education and I have been called on a great deal to minister to moms of young children in various capacities and to homeschool my children these past 24 years. Another woman I know has a degree as a Dietitian and she is used by God in the body of Christ to help counsel and train in proper eating/nutrition. Again a woman with a nursing degree serves the saints by checking ears and giving counsel etc. God never allows His children’s training to be unused…it may not be used in the way the world sees as valuable, but He doesn’t waste anything!

It’s impossible to live in today’s economy on 1 income.

A lot of the possibility of living on one income comes from the sacrifices we are willing to make. It comes down to what is truly important to you. Are you willing to forgo and extra vehicle or vacations or the latest toys or a smart phone? Are you willing to do much of your homemaking by hand? There are countless numbers of families who have lived with one income their entire married lives. We are one such family.

And, sometimes it really IS hard. In a time when so many are struggling with unemployment or underemployment it can be downright frightening. There are also possibilities to us wives today to have cottage industries, whether that means making and selling on etsy, working as Virtual Assistants or doing cake decorating, we might find that we can add to the income of the family in dire times while still being able to stay home.

For us, the conviction we had for me to stay home kept us focused and determined in the hardest of times. But it also made the choices we made (and the sacrifices) a JOY. We were walking where God called us and we were joyful to do it! There were many things our children did without, even more things that I did without. But I regret NONE of it. It was part of the training the Lord had for our lives and helped me have a clearer perspective of what was truly valuable.

Again, there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING wrong with having material possessions. But it is important to count the cost of staying home and, once the decision is made, to walk in the joy of the Lord in the midst of it!

What could I possibly do to fill my day?

I’m sorry, but this one makes me chuckle! No, I didn’t spend my days watching Oprah and eating bon-bons (not that I would have minded the bon-bons). Some days were so filled with character training with the children that I didn’t even have time to shower! When you are scrimping and saving every penny to help make ends meet, you do a lot of things by hand and from scratch. Housework and cooking alone take up a great deal of your day.

As my husband said once when I left him with our 3 young children for a week-end as I attended a wedding, “There is nothing that you do that is hard. And, if you could put it all together, you really have a lot of free time. But you can’t ever be guaranteed more than 2 minutes together in a row. I was going CRAZY!!” We are constantly on call – no coffee break, no sure opportunity for a private shower or nap. Our days are filled with life. And that life is constant training and discipling our children.

Motherhood IS a high calling. Whether we are blessed to stay home raise our children or work outside the home and raise our children, we have a high calling from God. It is long hard work but it is a joy and blessing. We never can guarantee the outcome, as our children have their own will to follow the Lord or not. BUT our work and faithfulness in raising our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord will result in blessing and honor and rewards from the hand of our God.

Follow your heart and let no one guilt you either way. Let the Spirit lead you in the best for your family.

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(Image courtesy of phanlop88/FreeDigitalPhotos.net)


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11 Comments

  1. Blessings to you, Kate – the namesake of my Thanksgiving story’s narrator and my own alter ego, I might add. So blessed that you enjoyed it and especially that you’ll be sharing it with your children. I have taught this story for years in Christian school classrooms, onstage through theatrical productions, and as a homeschooler, myself. I never tire of it – Plimoth Plantation is roots to me and I pray it the same in your home. May you continued to be blessed in your desire to glorify God in your calling as wife, mother, and homemaker in Christ!
    Joy!
    Kathy

    Reply
    • I noticed that on your story! I just re-read your story in preparation for reading it tonight. Looking forward to the next installment! Thank you for coming by for a visit.

      Reply
  2. Hi Kate. This is such a great post. I grew up with a career mom and my husband wanted his wife to be a stay at home mom, which I thought would be great. But when i did start staying at home I battled a lot with feeling guilty about not contributing financially. But I have learnt over the years that my contribution is just as valuable. Great encouragement
    God bless
    Tracy

    Reply
    • Tracy, you are so right! I’m so glad that you have been freed up from the guilt our culture places on moms who stay at home. Thanks for coming by and for chatting with me! Blessings to you.

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  3. Love this post, Kate! I’ve been home for years now and still feel that pressure, especially now that my kids are older. I appreciate the encouragement!

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    • Hi Terri! I know…it breaks my heart when our roles are not valued. What a mighty task we are given.

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  4. Dear Friend, you know where my heart is! I would add, that having raised our 2 daughters, God showed me that homemaking was still a priority….and rather than “go out and get a job and contribute” (which is the world’s response to “What to do now that the kids are grown?”), God lovingly reminded me that I was now an “older woman”, who needed to invest time and energy into encouraging younger women in the Lord.

    Also, having had a parent to take care of….let’s just say my daily hours were full. I agree, that the decision to stay at home full time or work outside the home is PERSONAL. We must not be judgmental either way. However, I hope Christian wives and husbands really take time to pray and then LISTEN to what the Lord says to them. Wonderful, wise post! Love you!

    Reply
    • Hi Sweetie! Yes, our jobs are so multi-faceted! Thanks so much, honey, it is so good to hear from you!! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your wonderful family! Are you getting to see any of the girls? Please give them BOTH our love!!

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  5. I couldn’t agree with you more, Kate! God uses it all to His glory and for our best! I LOVE this: “…we are in the business of shaping and preparing a generation that will be mighty in the Word and mighty in the Spirit! What an honor! We are building our children’s souls and spirits: their minds, their hearts, their will, their passions, their focus, their vision and their longing for God to touch and change them. We are raising up children who will be warriors in the hands of a Mighty God!”
    Thank you, dearie. Blessings.

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    • Thanks so much, Jacqueline! I appreciate your encouragement. Have a blessed Thanksgiving, dear friend!

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  6. Kate this is a wonderful post. You write such good meaty posts out of your experience as a mother for years. I appreciated what you said about working. I did work for 10 years because that was all we knew to do. Since I quit and started homeschooling the Lord has provided and provided. Someday, it would bless me so much to sit down and have a cup of tea or coffee with you and glean from all your experience. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

    Reply

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