I know I’ve shared some of this story with you before, but I was raised by my grandmother. She grew up in an age when women were feeling a sense of freedom and empowerment. They were becoming career women and being recognized as an asset to society when for so long they felt oppressed. She was a career woman. I was raised to believe I needed to attend college and be a career woman as well. I was raised to believe I could be anything I wanted to be and I could have it ALL. In looking back, I think that was a very selfish ideal. We don’t need to have the idea that we can be whatever we want to be. If we have given our lives to God, and are therefore now His children, then we should be seeking what He wants us to be, not what we wants us to be. Part of seeking Him is reading the Bible and researching His plan for families. Many people believe it is not relevant today, but it is. Just because the world has changed, doesn’t mean God has. He and His Word never change and therefore it is relevant yesterday, today, and forever.
I knew from an early age, even before I was saved, that I wanted to be a mommy. I knew that was the highest calling and position a women could hold. I didn’t know about “homeschooling” at the time, but I did know I wanted invest in the lives of my children by spending time teaching them. I knew that women were not created with “super powers” as we are taught to be “superwoman” with the “you can have it all” mentality. However, I succumbed to this way of thinking for a time, and it caused me to make some detrimental choices in my life which separated me from God for a time.
If you are a career woman, then your family has to sacrifice having you with them serving them and raising them during the working hours and they have to be left in the care of someone else. If you are a work-at-home mom, you either work when you need to be resting or when you should be serving your family. If you are a stay-at-home mom, then your finances or career dreams have to be sacrificed. You can’t have all the world has to offer. There is always something that is sacrificed and compromised. I am ABSOLUTELY NOT being critical of any of your choices. I have been a career woman, a work-at-home mom, and now a stay-at-home mom. In other words, I’ve been in all three situations, so I know the struggles and the sacrifices of all three situations.
God has presently called me to be a stay-at-home mom. I’d like to say it has been easy, but it has been very difficult for me. I provide little to no income for my family financially. I know I am serving them spiritually, physically, emotionally, and in every other way conceivable. However, this completely takes me out of my comfort zone because I have always been taught to rely on financial security. This is a daily struggle for me and every single day is a leap of faith. I have had to pray and look for creative ways to save the money that my precious husband works so hard to provide. I’ve learned to coupon, shop frugally, sell items we don’t need, find unique ways to make small amounts of money for our family.
I see in some of the younger generations a tendency to rely on government assistance, parents, friends, etc. to provide their needs. I’m not talking about families in legitimate need. I’m talking about couples who have plenty of income to provide for their families, but still find the need to allow others to pay their bills. They move back in with parents. They mooch off of others by being selfish with their own money, but greedily using others for theirs. I see nothing wrong with occasionally borrowing things from others or generously sharing with others so they don’t have to go purchase something. In fact, I have a sweet friend that is borrowing my coffee grinder at the moment. I don’t need it and haven’t used it in a while. This is a precious friend, who would give me the shirt off her back. She is generous and giving. She is a blessing to me, and so I want to bless her in the same way. I don’t mind her using my coffee grinder, and in fact I’d almost give it to her but I do use it occasionally when my sweet husband buys coffee beans. However, if God called me to give it to her I would.
I’m talking about the tendency in some of the younger generation to actually use people and their stuff on a regular basis. They have the mentality that they don’t need to go buy something they need. They know someone who has what they need, so they’ll just use theirs. You don’t use people for their things. You should go out and get your own, especially if it is something you need on a regular basis. Many people are essentially manipulating funds and stealing from others for their own gain. Many times they aren’t even really taking care of their own family or children. They assume someone is always more than willing to watch their children for them. It is selfish and presumptuous to believe this is acceptable. It is not. They are essentially “playing house”. They are making many of the choices and appearances of being a wife and mother, but so many other people outside of their home are actually doing the work of serving and caring for their family, the school, friends, grandparents, their husband, etc. I know as a Christian I should have a selfless and giving attitude no matter the intentions of the other person, and that is something that I struggle with and am working on in my walk with the Lord. I know that God will deal with those who use people and aren’t fully committed to their God given call of being a wife and mother. However, God does not call us to be a doormat, and that doesn’t change the fact that using others, dishonesty, etc. is selfish and wrong. This is NOT a creative or legitimate way to provide for and serve your family. God knows the intentions of our hearts. If we don’t want the responsibilities that come alone with being wives and mothers, then we don’t need to make the adult decisions that lead us to those positions.
I think what it all boils down to is doing what is right, being committed and faithful, and relying on the Lord to mold us, shape us, and provide for our family. That does require a commitment and obedience on our part. When my husband and I sit down and plan out our budget we always have more expenses than we have income. We are always in the red. However, all of our bills are paid. We have all of the essentials and necessities of life. We are blessed with extras and luxuries that many people only dream of. I have absolutely no concrete explanation or helpful hints on how we got to this place. How are we so richly blessed when we clearly don’t have the income?
The only explanation is GOD. It has in NO way, shape, or form been easy for me, but I have done my best to take this leap every day, to stay faithful to this call from God. He has been faithful, as He always is, to keep His promises. He has honored our sacrifices by providing for our family, more than just the essentials. Not only do we have all of the necessities of life, but He has enriched our lives physically, emotionally, and spiritually beyond our deepest needs or desires.
We don’t have a big savings account to brag about. In fact, bragging is wrong, but it is a witness to God’s goodness in the fact that we don’t have a huge nest egg. We can’t have one. My sweet husband is a hard working, blue collar man, and our homeschooling family of six survives on one income. (In case you didn’t know, homeschooling is expensive.) Our big “account” or what we invest in is our family and our children. It means we don’t have much financially. Don’t get me wrong, God does call us to be responsible with our finances and use them as a tool for His kingdom. That’s why we tithe, donate when called, sponsor a child, homeschool. That is where we invest our money.
Our cars aren’t paid off; we still have a mortgage. Those are things we wish we didn’t have, but right now we are investing in what God calls us to and those are just not where He has us investing at the moment. I am getting up every morning, giving God my day, and praying for peace about the fact that I am not technically working to provide for my family.
My grandmother got saved when I was in my early teens, and she changed her way of thinking in many ways. We had many conversations about the Bible, and God’s plan for marriage and family. Instead of following the world’s ideals, she began to yield to God’s plans in many ways. I think she would be proud of my putting my family’s spiritual and physical well being before career and financial gain instead of living the “career woman” lifestyle she originally wanted for me.
So after writing this long (and drawn out) post, the answer to the question “Can Women Really Have it All” seems complicated, but is really simple. Women can have all the world has to offer, but they will be lacking in their family life and spiritual life. Women can still live the college girl, bachelorette, dependent upon others, “playing house” type of lifestyle, but they will not be fulfilling their call and their husbands and children will suffer. Women can have all their family and home has to offer, but they will have to sacrifice their career dreams and financial security to be able to serve in the capacity at home which God lays out in His Word.
However, I think it depends on what it is exactly you want. Being a wife and mother is a selfless act, not something we can do the way God intended and still live in the ways of this world. Do we want to have all we want, or do we want to have all God wants for us. If we seek the latter, God will change the desires of our heart and we will no longer worry about the world’s ideals. We will have everything we could ever need or want from a Biblical perspective and that is the only thing that holds eternal value.