Thursday, October 15, 2009

Passionate Housewives Desperate for God-Part 4

Before I continue with my quotes that I liked from the book, I want to address a few topics. Many of you have left comments that after I have written this series of blog posts that you want to make sure to read the book now. While I highly recommend it, I want to talk about a few things.
1. This book was an eye opener to me about feminism. I was protected from this kind of feminist view before I read this book. My mom's mom only worked because she was a widow when her children were still at home. After she returned home from work, she worked extremely hard at home to maintain a household as a single parent. She didn't have much money so she had to have a garden, can and freeze the garden produce, and sew. Both my mother-in-law and my mom were SAHMs. While we were growing up, neither of our families had very much money. My parents did not send me to preschool because they wanted me to be home as long as possible. Ram was homeschooled some of his grade school.
I say all this background about my family, because from the time I was little, it was fine to "just" be a housewife. That is what my mom did. My mom was always busy doing both the tasks that needed to be done and tasks that she wanted to do to help save money and also doing some activities that she enjoyed occasionally. So before I read this book, I never even considered being bored as a housewife.
Add in that I joke that I "retired" from teaching school in a classroom-being a SAHM is my second career. I pray that finances continue so I can be a SAHM until all our Lambs are at least in high school. Plus I feel that I don't have enough time to scrapbook and read. Whenever the Lambs are old enough to not be as needy as they are now, I will have plenty of scrapbooking and reading to catch up on. I haven't touched my sewing machine since we moved here 6 1/2 years ago. I will never be bored as a housewife!
So, the parts of the book about feminism were not something that I learned from or that I necessarily needed to hear. Before I read this book, I knew about feminism, it just wasn't presented in such a bold way. But it was good for me to see this view point of feminism because I know "the rest of the world" thinks that way.
2. There are some great quotes in this book from Martin Luther, but obviously since it is not written by a Lutheran, it is lacking some Lutheran theology, especially about the Sacraments. It was based on a Biblical view which I liked, but I could see a few Bible quotes being taken out of context. I'm just warning my Lutheran friends of this before they read it.
3. Some of my SAHM friends that are pastor's wives too, complain that the congregation expects them to do so much extra because they "just stay at home", as if they don't have anything to do while they are at home. I am blessed that I haven't had this problem. I do the church calendar for the tri-parish once a month. I serve at Ladies Aid once a year for two of the churches. Maybe I'm blessed because my boys are all so young that they can see I have my hands full. Maybe they will expect more when my boys are older. This book was a good reminder of what my priorities should be-to be wife and mother.

I will finish this blog post with a few quotes. Next week I will get to my favorite idea from the book.
"Centuries applaud the great works of the masters. Brilliant artists like Rembrandt, Van Dyck, and Vermeer sometimes labored years to create a single masterpiece. So, too, it takes years to build a masterpiece in the home.
So, as women, we must ... embrace the magnificent feminine artistry of godly womanhood. We must daily sculpt our children into Kingdom treasures and use the culture-building palate of the home to create a breathtaking masterpiece that spans generations.
The profound impact that a solid marriage, familial love, and godly order has on the children in a Christian home is dramatic. It can mean the difference between life and death, godliness and wickedness, barrenness and the continuance of a godly heritage. As we train up our children in the way they should go-when we rise up and when we lie down, their souls are being nurtured and shaped for His glory.
Submitting to our husbands, loving our families, keeping our homes, walking in sobriety and wisdom, and caring for the everyday needs of others, all within the realm of God's divine order, communicates Christ-and this celebration of family, hospitality, and children causes the world to look upward. By living out our lives in a way that truly glorifies Him, and unbelieving world will be able to say, 'Where does that kind of love come from? What kind of God do you serve?' And we can answer in truth, 'We serve a mighty and powerful God!' God's name should be exalted in the way we live out our lives-however simple or mundane it may seem." (PHDfG pages 46-47 without Bible references)
This quote is a good reminder to me that the toddler years with all the extra work of that age will pass by quickly, but I will continue to work on my "masterpiece" daily and it will impact generations. I really liked the comparison to the great artist works.
This quote reminds me of some of my friends whose parents got divorced after they had graduated from college. When they talk about their childhood, I can't even imagine. Coming from a Christian home really was the difference between godliness and wickedness. And from the outside, their homes looked Christian, but they really weren't. To start with we had family devotions daily. That was a priority for my parents. I am so thankful that my parents (and Ram's parents too) with help from the Holy Spirit, trained me this way.
I addressed the last part of this quote in my last PHDfG blog post. I really do think that the world is watching us-whether they are women that work or another SAHM, whether they are friends or acquaintances, whether they are Christian or not, whether they are husbands of a woman that works or doesn't, and even if they are children with a mom that is a SAHM or isn't. It may just all seem mundane to us, or even have become second nature to us so we don't even think about it, but they are watching. It could be as simple as taking the Lambs to the local grocery store and the people thinking and sometimes even commenting-you have 3 boys age 5 and under? no girls? you are a SAHM? Lamb 1 is homeschooled? And they watch even more as I deal with shopping with 3 boys-how I talk to them, what we buy (and don't buy), how I discipline the Lambs if they need it, and how I "educate" them while we are in the grocery store. I probably won't take every opportunity to witness to the world this way. I know as a sinner that I will totally blow my witness this way opportunities some times-like when I lose my patience (and sometimes my temper too!) in the store with 3 boys while I'm trying to also get some shopping done. But I think it is our overall attitude and lifestyle as SAHM that makes a difference to the world.

HT: Some recent e-mail conversations with my SAHM friend Heather helped me think of some of these thoughts in this post.

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