When I was younger, I wished to throw off the chains of domestication. There had to be bigger and greater things for a woman out there than wiping runny noses, baking cakes and cleaning up after everyone’s messes. I am pretty observant. I saw my mother, everyone’s doormat, tucking in crying children, cooking supper and so used to people calling her name that she tuned it out. She didn’t seem to mind it. Don’t misunderstand. I just could not comprehend why any woman would choose this path of life when there was so much of the world to be conquered. Why leave all the fun to the men?
I literally despised the girls in college that seemed bound for this fate. Their hearts were set on marriage and children and I wanted to start a movie production company, be a missionary, run for public office, or be a professional opera singer. I just couldn’t decide. Really. Maybe that’s why it took me 6 years to earn a 4 year degree. (Anyways, I digress.)
Over the years, I ran from the boring and embraced the exciting, even things that glorified God. . .and even though I was married and had children, I didn’t want to be typical. I was so busy, I often sat in my mess and wished my mother would stop by to straighten it up for me. Sometimes, in my running around doing very important things, I would drop my kids off at her home and feel like I wanted to lay down on the cozy couch in the clean living room and take a nap after eating her delicious lasagna. And slowly, it started to nag at my heart. . .what was I missing? Why wasn’t my home so comfy and inviting? And like a young man, who for the first time realizes that maybe his best girl friend may in fact be the one he wants to marry, I realized that what I had disdained was what I was destined for.
And now, after literally years of God developing this truth in me. . .I’m a hard nut to crack. . .I am realizing a crazy, blatantly obvious principle. I am sure the whole world has already seen it besides me. And if you’ve made it this far into my note without hating me, thank you very much. A woman’s place is so sacred, so holy. It holds the family together and brings them back to the table time and time again. And there is a reason that a wife and mother feels so drained at the end of the day, because every person in the family has a need that only she can fill. That need is peace and comfort. Now, I know that theologians are shaking their heads at me and saying that their real need is Jesus. But, if that postition were completely true, we wouldn’t be needed at all. We need Jesus, but Jesus gave us moms for a reason. We are the place the children find Jesus. We are their shelter from the storms of life, a shoulder to lay a tired head, hands to spread out the wrinkles and a smile to go with that sandwich.
All the while this world is falling apart. Everyone is running around trying to make something of themselves, make money, find a purpose, build a dream and prove that their lives are unique amongst the billions and billions of others on the planet. And after getting beat up by the world we need filled back up. We go to 5 star restaurants and hotels that provide food and services that rival the feelings we had at grandma’s house. Hmmm. Grandma’s house. . . the smells of food, the smiles and service, the neat and clean house and the love. That restaurant seems cold and empty compared to her house. Thanksgiving was a nice break from the harsh world.
Increasingly, Satan has so deceived women to believe the lies that I believed. The lies that being a servant is an undesirable position, and that woman’s work needs to be parcelled out to the four winds of the earth, while women pursue men’s work fill every ad, every song, every movie and every magazine. What would we do and where would we be if God took this position? What if God thought it too low to stoop to bring us comfort and the forgiveness of sins? He is God after all. How could his ultimate goal in eternity be to serve those who use him and wipe their feet on him and mock him only to run to him in tears when we are hurt? Sounds like a mom’s job to me.
Which leads me to the thought that while God is our Father, masculine and a HE. . .he definitely created us in his image and I know that he is nurturing and a servant. And I know that there is a Hebrew name for God that means nursing mother. So, as God created us male and female in his image, are we abandoning the part of God in our families that is meant to comfort? Yes. I have. I have done it.
And like the thief that he is, Satan has stolen the real comfort from our lives. While we have more and more convenience, we have less and less comfort. Our emotions are frayed. Our bellies are full of fast food and our relationships are shallow and brittle. What we all really need is our mommies. We need a place to go that is safe, where we have a listening ear whenever we need it. And while I’m not speaking out against fast-food, we need that feeling that this meal was made for me-just for me.
So, since we’ve contemplated the evil in the world, the cutting, lonely, angry teens and those struggling with thier identity, the broken relationships and tensions that go unresolved, let us look at the beginning of the resolution.
Women of the world. . .we are powerfully endowed by God to bring comfort. We have a gift and a touch that is even more personal when given to a person you love very much. We may feel like a door mat, but that is because we are as brave as a fireman rushing in, sacraficing his life for a lost soul. We are holding up the lives of husbands, sons and daughters who are out touching the world and getting bruised in the battle. We are engaging in battle ourselves as we pray for the next generation who will carry the light of Christ to an ever increasingly wicked world. We matter. Our responsibilities are important. Noone is keeping us barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen as if we are prisoners. If we are prisoners, we are prisoners of love. We are prisoners of Christ and we will fold that load of laundry one more time so our kids will have the security of knowing that they have clean clothes to wear tomorrow. And we will love it.