Having It All
My wife was recently sorting through some old papers when she ran across an article that I had written when editing the Prairie Hills Proclaimer while working with the Prairie Hills church of Christ in St. Joseph, Missouri. That article published in the July 9, 1995 edition was entitled, “Having It All.”
Linda, no doubt had a very good motive in reminding me of the “wise words” I had written.You see, she and I had recently discussed the prospect of her returning to teaching as an option in dealing with my recent job loss. She reminded me of how “passionate” I had been in 1995 about mothers working outside the home. She had a very valid point. Sometimes our viewpoints can be “clouded” as we reach different phases of our lives. A “reality check” is often in order to remind us of our true conviction!
Just for the record, I am still “passionate” about this issue and reflect the same opinion expressed in this 1995 article. As I seek to minister to men in our culture, I challenge you to take time for a reality check regarding your convictions in this area. What impact are your convictions having upon the well-being of your children?. Is it more important that they “have it all” or that they go to heaven when this life is over? Now, here is that article as it appeared in 1995. Please feel free to post your comments to it.
“Bonnie Erbe, columnist for the Scripps Howard News Service and legal affairs correspondent for the Mutual/NBC Radio Networks authored an insightful commentary on the “Helen Gurly Brown” philosophy of the 1960’s and 1970’s that appeared in the Fort Smith, Arkansas Southwest Times Record on July 4, 1995. In that commentary she made the observation that the promise that was made to women during those two decades , that they could “have it all” (“a rewarding , fulfilling, perhaps even glamorous job and a rich family and social life”) was bogus.
Ms. Erbe referred to Census Bureau figures that show that almost 70 percent of mothers with minor children work outside the home while also estimating that they also “shoulder 75 to 90 percent of household and child-related chores.” All of this combines to create a very stressful situation personally for the women involved and in the homes of which they are a part.
The driving force behind it all is the desire to have more and more of this world’s “things.” We are not satisfied to live on the same standard of living that our mothers and fathers did when they were starting out. We have to HAVE IT ALL RIGHT NOW!
The good news is that many young ladies in their teens and twenties are beginning to see through the “have it all” mentality. They are choosing to get married and raise a family or to pursue a career, not both at the same time. This according to a study by the Harvard Project on Women’s Psychology, cited in this column.
We read of such things in our newspapers and we condemn the “radical feminists” for pushing this “agenda.” But dear friends, the temptation is there for the Christian to fall into this same trap. If you take a close look at the makeup of many local churches what do you find? How many mothers of young children do you find that have made the choice to forgo some of life’s luxuries to stay home and raise her children and to be the “keeper at home” (Titus 2:5-KJV) that the scriptures speak of. Would we be surprised if the number came very close to the 70% mentioned in the above article?
Yes, talk is cheap. We can mouth all the right words and claim to believe that “a mother’s place is at home with her children.” But how do we back up those words when it comes to living on a one-income standard of living? When it comes to the decision of buying that $80,000 house when we would be “comfortable” and better able to budget the $60,000 house. I could give other examples, but I think you see what I am saying.
We talk of the effect that the breakdown in our families is having on our nation. But what about the effect that same breakdown in Christian families is having on our churches? The article by Greg Gwin that we ran in last week’s bulletin spoke of the situation where children and grandchildren of Christian’s are not choosing to become Christians. Could the source of this problem be, in some cases at least, the example that was set before them by parents who had such a drive to “have it all” that they sacrificed their spiritual well-being?
Don’t misunderstand my message. I am not saying that the scripture is condemning a woman working outside the home when it is necessary to do so. I AM saying that I think, in many cases, we lose sight of what is really important. Instead of providing for our children spiritually and emotionally, we become distracted from that work by becoming overly concerned with providing materially. The consequences of these decisions can be disastrous on our families, particularly our children. Lest we forget, consider the description of scriptures “worthy woman” in Proverbs 31:10-31.”
Thanks for reading with me, dear friend. Please decide to be a positive influence in someone else’s life today and share with them a word of encouragement and a smile!