For it is by grace you have been saved...

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Thank God for Stay-at-Home Mothers

I know I’m going to get flack for some of this (I’m still going on the delusion that people are actually reading this!). But here it is anyway…

Today’s Springfield News-Leader carried a front page story about an 18-year-old babysitter who got into a bit of hot water for, get this – dropping a two-year-old out a second story window!! And listen to her reason: “two children she was babysitting – including the toddler’s 8-year-old sister – wanted her to throw the child out the window.” You’ve got to be kidding me! She told police she thought is was a bad idea, but she did it anyway!

Now, I know this doesn’t reflect the mental capacity of all 18-year-old babysitters. I know that my 16-year-old daughter would show more wisdom than this. And I know that I don’t know the details of why this family’s mother wasn’t at home.

I am well aware that some families are dependent on two incomes. It’s tough to get by out there. (However I know that many of those who say they “need” two incomes only need it to sustain a certain lifestyle that they’ve grown accustomed to). And I know there are single parents out there who struggle day in and day out to make ends meet, etc.

But here’s the point. Thank God for women who have answered the God given call to motherhood and who are committed to that call as a top priority. They aren’t ready to let others raise their children for them while they are off being modern, independent women, or whatever the current phraseology might be.

Again, I know there are certain circumstances that require something less than the biblical ideal in the home. (And yes, I do mean that the biblical ideal is for a mother to have her family and child-rearing as her top priority; let the riot commence). But for most, having mom stay home would simply be a matter of making some choices.

We shop at Wal-Mart and Dollar General. And that’s for the good stuff. For everyday stuff, we shop at garage sales, and second-hand shops. Doesn’t hurt my pride at all, nor my family’s.

We don’t have the newest cars, or the biggest, best house. In fact, after nearly 20 years of marriage we are just now making house payments on our own home for the first time.

Our kids don’t have all the latest and greatest gadgets and gizmos. For electronic entertainment they have a garage sale Sega Genesis (for those who may not know, that is way, way, way out-dated in this day of the X-box and Playstation 3, 4, 100, whatever). But their entertainment isn’t limited to electronic devices that cost millions. They read books!! They play outside!! Imagine that.

Now, I’m not just trying to brag about our kids, as great as they are. Nor am I trying to hold our family up as some kind of super-family. I’m simply saying that we made choices. If Cheryl worked, maybe we could have newer cars, a bigger house, and “nicer stuff.” But at what cost? And is that what’s really important?

I don’t know how my kids will all turn out. We’re homeschoolers by experiment, which means “we ain’t never done it before” and we don’t know how it will all turn out. But I do know this much. Our kids are grounded in God’s Word. They are being given a biblical worldview that will be their foundation for life. They know that we strive our very best to base our family on God’s Word in all things. And they know that their mother loves them more than the new “stuff” she could buy with the income from outside employment.

I know there are more issues involved here than I could address in several days worth of entries; and this is probably already way too long. But reading that article just led me to let out a big prayer of praise and thanksgiving for a godly wife and mother to help raise our children. We may not be perfect. But I’m pretty sure no one is going to get dropped out of a window anytime soon.

4 comments:

Tim A. said...

Scott,
Great article. It would make a difference the world over if all mothers could stay home.
There was an elderly gentlemen that was a neighbor of ours when i was a boy. He said,"It is not the high cost of living that is the problem; it is the cost of high livng", and I tend to agree.
My wife was a stay at home mom until all our kids were in school,then she went to work at a church daycare.
Thank to the Lord, our kids are all grown, working, struggling, trusting the Lord. It is the work of God.
T.A.

Scott said...

Tim, you're absolutely right. Any good that comes from our children is purely by the grace of God.
And it sounds like your neighbor was truly a wise man. I know that a mother staying at home is not the only answer; it must be a home based on godly principles, etc. But I can't help but think that when we do things God's way we're a step way ahead of things. Thanks for the comments.

Anonymous said...

Well, I know this is an old post and I stumbled across it through random googling, but I hope you don't mind me commenting anyway. Perhaps as a woman I can give a slightly different perspective.

I feel that you make some good points - certainly leaving your children with someone naive enough to throw one out a window is a very bad idea! But I grew up in a religious home with a mother who stayed at home throughout my childhood and I have to say I feel that was not the best thing for me.

I agree that it was probably best in the very early part of my life (before going to school) but as I grew up I began to see that the adult women around me did little more than be mothers and wives. The few that worked did part-time office jobs that didn't seem very interesting and had little opportunity for later promotion.

As a small girl I believed that my options in life were limited, that one day I would be just like my mother, so I learned to set my aspirations low before I was even old enough to understand just how many things in the world I COULD be. I would have loved to see my mother doing something other than JUST being my mother. As much as I loved her, she had no real life of her own.

When I look at my friends who have mothers who worked, they don't seem to have any less close relationships, but my friends are much more confident and aspirational than I am even now (as a 20-something).

So I wanted to point out that women don't just work so that they can give their kids nicer things, there is a strong element of not just BEING independent and aspirational (and I don't mean aspirational in a financial sense) but about showing their children - and especially daughters - that there are many things they can be in life and it's not anti-family or anti-Christian to consider that things outside of motherhood are also of value.

Anyway, sorry for the extremely long comment!

-Jo.

scott said...

JO,
Thanks for the comments, no matter how old the post. I'm just glad somebody is reading something here!

I do appreciate you comments, and I do sense your sincerity. However, even in your comments you reflect the modern secular mindset that says being a mom is "not enough." That motherhood is less than a God-calling. You said, "they did little more than be mothers and wives" as if there is something unfulfilling and undesireable about those things. Again, that mindset creeps up on us and we may not even realize it.

My point was to praise those women who see beyond that mindset and see being a mother and a wife as a top priority. And just to be fair, I would also say that a man's responsibility to be a father first, even before his vocation. I just can't help but think that our families would be stronger if we had that attitude, and we all know: as the family goes, so goes the nation.

Thanks again for stopping by.