Thursday, June 04, 2009

Shallow? Who Fed Them That Line?

Today I began attacking the burgeoning pile inevitably accumulated in a household of, give or take, fifteen members. As we shift bedrooms to accept a few new 1942er's (that is the term affectionately awarded to the bunkies around here that are not of direct Sinclair heritage), the piles grow.

Today they officially will diminish.

But that's not my real topic. I am compelled to attack such a conglomeration of stuff because I feel responsible for creating order in this home. After all, the buck stops here, so to speak. And with that responsibility comes the authority needed to accomplish the task. "Julia, come sort out this bin. Jamie, is this yours - and if so, can I throw it away? Whose is this? If no one claims it, the garbage will. Louissa, let's consolidate these things into one box -- either this evening or tomorrow." They all know that when Mama talks like that, they better get on it or it will all disappear. But once again, I digress.

Homemaking. That's my topic. I don't think about it much anymore. Any question about its value was settled in my mind years ago. I promptly opted for full time homemaking rather than a career that could garner some extra cash if not celebrity status (in my dreams). But this morning I was abruptly reminded that there is a continued assault on this choice to choose home over career -- and the young generation facing such decisions of critical nature.

The assault was clear. A publication aimed at Pentecostal/Charismatic ministers recently came into my husband's possession. An article by J. Lee Grady entitled Breaking Up the Good Old Boys' Club caught my eye. In a section subtitled No More Macho, I read the following:
Retool your women's ministry. Many women's groups are spiritually shallow and focus only on domesticity. Christian women today don't want to focus on recipes, fashion shows or bake sales. Offer a diverse range of opportunities for professional women, divorced women and widows as well as stay-at-home moms.
I was saddened. With the typical broad brush used by modern day ideologists, he lumped homemaking into the category labeled Trivial. I beg to differ -- LOUDLY!!

Is this man unaware of the Titus 2 call for older women to teach younger women to love children and husband, to be keepers at home, to practice hospitality, to be modest and respectful? Does he have a curriculum that is better than the one God suggested in this passage of Scripture?

Is he right that there other things to consider besides the Titus 2 topics? Of course! But should they qualify as Deeply Significant thereby gaining a prominent place in our curriculum while domestic concerns get relegated to the Let's Not Go Here Too Often category? Are these "ordinary" issues of hearth and home to be trivialized by Christian leaders, or should they rather be esteemed because of the place afforded them in the Word of God? Let's not throw out the baby with the bathwater!

Has this author taken note of the generation of young ladies being brought into the church in this day and age? Has he measured their need for learning to love home and to love making a home? Does he realize that in all reality, many of them will be mothers and wives -- homemakers for God trying to reclaim His Holy plan for propagating the Kingdom of God in a future generation? One glance will tell him that they are ill prepared, groping for their way in life, looking for answers, wanting someone to help them establish priorities that will bring them to the end of their lifetime experiencing the fulfillment of His plan.

Years ago I came to the church to discover God's heart regarding these things. I desperately needed to hear, again and again, about God's plan and purpose according to the Scripture. If these young women come looking for God's heart on these matters, shouldn't we have methods and instruction available for them?

They will not readily find Godly examples on TV, in Hollywood, or out on the street. In their schools they have not been encouraged to strongly consider the benefit of full time homemaking. The modern cultural message of the hour has leaked through: "You were made for something better than this; don't squander your life on the mundane. Make money, use your talents and brains for something worth while. Don't waste it on just your children or husband. Anyone can do that; you can do so much more."

As new Christians, women often transfer this message to Church life; an attitude of continued disdain for home and children lingers. But now, instead of seeking fame and fulfillment in career, these young women look for fame and fulfillment in ministry. Older Christian women, according to Titus 2, are needed to help younger women learn to love home, children, and husband. Why would this need to be taught? It is needed because it is, at times, a challenging and tedious undertaking, with accolades seldom coming your way. Shouldn't the church at least encourage the things that God encourages, rather than labeling such important components for healthy living as shallow?

Young women come to me regularly with pleading in their eyes. They have arrived at the end of their college career and have discovered that all they really want to do is build a home for a husband and nurture the children God gives them. They want to extend His kingdom into a future generation. But...

...the opinion of relatives and friends is directly opposed to such thinking. "What can I do? I don't want what they have told me is the only way to live life? I have now seen happy homes with healthy children and loving parents, and that is what I want to devote my life to."

How sad that our culture is contrary to such good things, lending such little esteem to something so valuable. Why should that choice be so belittled in the eyes of young women who have a vision for such devotion?

Why? Because -- the church has failed to remember how valuable it is. Some church leaders encourage women in disdain of the calling to make a home a refuge, to nurture children into healthy adulthood. We must reclaim these good things, teach these priorities, and not shirk in the face of adversity when it comes.

Please, Mr. Grady, don't tell pastors that focusing on domesticity is spiritually shallow.

No. Let me rephrase that: DO NOT FAIL TO EMPHASIZE TITUS 2!! We are a culture without an anchor. Cannot the church at least provide this anchor to those who need it - her young husbands and wives, her young mothers and fathers?

What's more -- do not tell them it is shallow and unnecessary, a waste of time. Don't you dare tell them that shameful lie. Don't you dare, not on my watch.


Anonymous dee said...

It does take inner confidence (because of the Lord) and strength to be faithful to what the Lord has laid out in His word in these times. I hear a lot that it can't be done in this world we live today, it's selfish, homemaking belongs to a certain personality type, or it's focused on things that Martha would be focused on. It helps to continually uncover these verses to refresh ourselves and not be ashamed in who He made us to be. He gives married women the desire to have babies, the older women help us figure out how to balance our marriages, children, and homes, plus being a giver for His kingdom's glory. Thank you for your loud protest :). It is so encouraging!

6:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A hearty AMEN to you !! It's so refreshing and encouraging to hear good, Godly wisdom espoused clearly!! Bless you...BLESS you...BLESS YOU...for being a Godly woman of example as well as verbiage. Maybe you should forward this onto Mr. Grady..seriously !!!

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Michele Laramay said...

You preach it! Oh, how this message needs to be heard in the church!

8:16 PM  
Blogger thisrequiresthought said...

I am behind you 100%. Let's take this message wherever it needs to go.

7:26 PM  
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