One of the biggest reasons I created this blog was to support Christian women who believe in traditional gender roles, but still work outside of the home for one reason or another. That’s kind of the situation i’m in now, and I understand how tough it can be. A lot of my working mother co-workers cannot relate to the desire to stay home full time, as they honestly enjoy working and don’t want to be a homemaker. On the other hand, I sometimes feel judged by my friends who are blessed enough to stay home full time. So that frequently leaves me feeling defensive, frustrated and honestly pretty lonely.
Let me tell you where i’m at right now and how I got there.
I am a 24 year old wife, mother and somewhat new Christian. I have many friends who are stay-at-home mothers and/or wives and i’ve always been jealous. I know without hesitation that at some point the Lord will ask me to put aside my work outside of the home and ask me to make my family my full-time job. However, he hasn’t asked that of me yet. My husband is a full-time student who is enrolled in a program that will let him graduate with both his Bachelor’s and his Master’s degrees. His schedule is insane, and being that my husband is considerably older than most traditional students, this program is his only shot at beginning a career in a timely manner. This leaves him unable to have a job while in school, but university isn’t free. Neither is food, clothing, car insurance, rent, medical expenses and so on….
Which leaves me working as a waitress in a restaurant.
This is a less-than-ideal situation, and I was quite resistant to the idea of working in the beginning. My view of roles in a marriage were very narrowly defined. Husband worked out of the home, wife worked IN the home. That’s how I wanted it in my marriage. Luckily, God worked on my heart and helped prepare me to step out of my comfort zone, because I would certainly need it. One day before my husband enrolled in college I was mulling (okay, pouting…) over the possibly having to work outside of the home if my husband was to go to school. I was reading my Bible and came across a very well-known verse in Genesis.
“And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make a help meet for him”
Uh, I felt like an idiot. Just like Eve was created to be a helper to husband, I was created to help mine. My husband needed this education path, and I was designed to help him get through it.
So I sucked it up, and got to work. Oddly I felt very at peace working, which helped me know I was going the direction God wanted me to. I felt very convinced that once my husband had his degree I would have my chance to be a full-time “housewife” like I dreamed. That knowledge comforted me greatly and has helped me hang on through the long days.
I’m not going to pretend it’s easy. I’m living on borrowed grace every day just to keep it all together. I don’t know if it’s harder to be a stay-at-home wife/mom or a working wife/mom. Frankly as someone who has now done both, they each have their own set of challenges so I fail to understand the debate on the whole subject. But I do know this; i’m stretched very thin as both the domestic leader and the breadwinner in my house. I need encouragement and support (and a blog to unwind on…), just like any other wife. I saw tons of blogs for the stay-at-home mommies, and I sure do love the wisdom of these women. Again though, there was a feeling that I wasn’t quite as good as they were. I feel rather guilty sometimes reading their adventures homeschooling and keeping their homes. Even though I had the confirmation through prayer that I was doing the right thing, I still felt inadequate. Then I was led to another popular verse. Proverbs 31:10-31, or what I like to call “the biblical measure of a ridiculously awesome wife.”
Lines 13, 14, 16, 24 and 31 specifically deal with a woman who does manual labor in the fields, who puts together clothing and other crafts then goes to the market to sell them. She works outside the home to support her family too. Not only is she not inadequate, but she is called [i]priceless above rubies[/i].
I don’t know where the Lord has led you in your marriage. You may be working full time outside of the home, or working full time within the home. You might be joyful in your domestic duties or flustered beyond belief.
But know this, if you are doing your best to take care of your family and leaning on the Lord in the ways you fall short, you are quite adequate. : )