I fear for the young mom today. She, more than the mothers of yesterday, are trying to raise a family in a hostile world. A world that continues to grow hostile towards anything godly.
If she is a stay at home mom most often she is looked down upon and in some circles even mocked. Women no longer have biblical role models readily available to them. My generation of women have been strongly influenced by the media where we see women who are often portrayed as strong, bold and overbearing women who berate their husbands and rule the home. Or we are sex objects. TV shows offer very little in between.
I was recently talking to a stay at home mom who shared with me how she feels like an outcast among other believers. Most of the moms in her church work outside the home. She and her husband have made sacrifices and don’t have the kind of cars others drive or the houses they have. She is content and believes she is doing what God has called her to do but still she feels left out so much of the time, and has so little in common with the other families. Often activities are offered that are really geared, price wise, to the two income family.
She understands some must work, and some choose to work, but why must it seem like it’s an “us against them” battle. Why are we fighting one another? She shared some of the comments that have been made that are just heart breaking. Some just down right mean. When did it become such a bad thing to be a stay at home mom?
She was told by one Christian mom that it’s actually healthy to let someone else raise her children and that she has the right to pursue a career. When did children and families become expendable? When did what I want or desire become more important than my family?
It wasn’t much different in the 80’s and 90’s when I was raising my own children. The message wasn’t quite as loud, but it’s volume was increasing against the mom who would stay home. Stay at home moms were still being attacked, looked down upon. But at least then you felt supported. There seemed to be a greater acceptance of those who choose to stay at home, make sacrifices, and raise their children. Today the stay at home mom finds peer support difficult to find.
I think as the messages of the world has gotten louder it has filtered into the church. The church used to be a place that supported and even encouraged moms to stay home. Recently I heard someone from church leadership (not my church) say that the church shouldn’t help a particular young family out if the mom was unwilling to go to work. Really? Please understand, we weren’t talking about a family that consistently made unwise financial choices but who had several major things happen all at once and just needed help. Fortunately there were some families that helped them out, but is this the message of the church? Is this the message of God’s word.
My heart broke for this family. Then I thought of Nehemiah Chapter 4:14 when he said
"...Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes."
So who is going to fight for our daughters... the women of the next generation?
I remembered that this is the call God gave me quite a while ago. To fight for the women of the next generation. To fight for my sisters, daughters, and for godly families. And just so I am clear families can be godly where or not a mom works outside the home.
But do they want me to fight for them? Many will argue that young women will do as they please, in spite of other’s experiences. So why bother trying to be a spiritual mother or disciple? History does prove that often this is true, but it's not a good reason to not try.
While the ideal is for mentors to teach and try to prevent mistakes, they can also support and help work through mistakes. A spiritual mother is the one who can say “Here’s my experience and how I dealt with it, and I can support you while you go through it.”
I believe that we as older women can have great influence among the younger generations of women. We can help them navigate through the storms of life. We can walk with that young stay at home mom who feels isolated. We can help support the mom who chooses to work. We can encourage the mom who must work.
Honestly it doesn’t really matter what I believe about whether or not moms should work outside the home. It’s not up to me to judge, but I am called to encourage, support and walk with her. Regardless of your beliefs we need to stand together and fight for the Christian family.
Let us join hands and hearts and be there for one another. Let’s stop judging and start encouraging. Let’s stand against an enemy that would rather see us fall apart.
photo courtesy of geyerbaby @ http://www.morguefile.com/