This is part of a quote from a mother named Janet. I am just including a small part of her whole quote.
"So working outside the home would have been more fulfilling? How could having a boss (other than my husband who loves, appreciates, and respects me, who know my strengths and encourages my talents) have been better? There is nothing more satisfying than working with my husband to raise our children to love and glorify God. I have seen the fruit of my labors in the homes of our married children-as they, too, invest their lives raising their children to love and glorify the Lord." (PHDfG page 40)
For some reason this quote struck me. When I was teaching or in my other jobs in high school and college, I tried hard to please the boss or our headmaster. I would much rather use that effort to try to please my beloved.
"While children today are considered an expense and a burden, God's Word calls them a reward-a heritage. They are probably the only gift that we no longer desire in abundance. Furthermore, under the leadership of a godly man, children are considered "arrows" aimed against ungodliness." (PHDfG pages 41-42)
"Imagine the blow to the enemy if all Christian families were to embrace the sanctified reward that is theirs and welcome more children into their families-faithfully training them up for His glory-multiplying godly families who 'Declare his glory among the heathen: his marvelous works among all nations' " (PHDfG page 42)
"If we are faithful in bearing and training up our children, by God's grace, over the next few generations, we will see a growing army for Christ-an army that will take dominion of the godless nations of the earth for the glory of God!"
Maybe I've been reading too many blogs that promote "quiverful Lutherans" so this quote struck me. I also have many friends that are infertile and I don't want to hurt their feelings with this quote. I want to make it clear that I am not speaking about infertile couples here. I also have friends that have good reasons for only having one or two children (example the mother's health). I am not speaking to them either. But the majority of couples are not in either of those situations. Most people assume that because we have 3 children, we are done. Some people make an exception because we don't have any girl Lambs. But Ram and I have decided that we aren't done until God says we are done. It wouldn't matter if we already had a girl to make that statement. I do agree with the author if Christians would let God determine the size of their family and then raise those children in homes where God's Word is read daily and those children attend church to receive God's sacraments, it would be a HUGE blow to the devil. And in a few generations all those children and grandchildren would be out in society living their life as Christians. Wow! Think of how that would impact society.
"Though the husband is the leader in setting the direction of the home, it is his wife who is called to transcribe his wishes onto the family canvas. Where it is the way she adorns the walls and furniture, creates pockets of beauty throughout each room, speaks words of kindness to her little ones, or fills the air with glorious music-day by day, a woman helps form the aesthetics and character of the home through the fruit of her labors.
Building a rich and vibrant family culture takes time. It takes initiative and perseverance. There will be season when a wife's 'culture-building' activities will be dominated by a steady stream of diapers and dirty laundry. yet we must not miss the significance of these menial tasks-for they can be compared to the broad brush strokes upon a grand masterpiece.
The home is a place where memories are made, meals are shared, truths are learned, stories are told, and lives are formed and defined. It is a place of industry and usefulness; a place where thousands of cultural expressions are conveyed and where a family's unique flavor and character are cultivated." (PHDfG pages 45-46)
This is an area that I'm trying to work on as a wife and mother. Yes, I'm in that season of life with toddlers, diapers, and young children. But that doesn't mean that our home can't be filled with beautiful things. I'm thankful that I was able to "decorate" our house after we moved here before we had children because I doubt any pictures would be hanging on the wall now if that wasn't done before the Lambs arrived! As a mother, I need to continually work on being patient and speaking kindly to the Lambs-even when they are driving me crazy. After we gave up TV, I usually want it quiet and prefer to not play anything, but Ram prefers some kind of music. I should try to have nice music playing while I'm working in the kitchen or doing paperwork. I have fond memories of baking with my mom often and I don't remember my mom ever yelling at me because I spilled something or tried to sneak some of the ingredients. I don't bake with the Lambs enough and when I do, I usually lose my patience at least once and end up banning one of them from the kitchen and making them take turns baking with me. I am working on this and I'm proud to report that I succeeded in this area last week while we baked several things for the fall festival. I attempted to have flowers in big pots in front of our house this summer for the first time. I wanted to have a little beauty-more than the weeds and dandelions that the Lambs pick for me daily. This quote is a good reminder to me that I'm in a certain season of life now and things will get better in this area. I need to continually be conscience of this and attempt to cultivate the flavor and character of our home and family.