Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Fulfillment (04/06/06)
TITLE: A (Different Kind of) Desperate Housewife
By Jennifer Smith
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That confession has been met by some strange reactions in recent days, even within the Christian community. Some smile and say, “Oh, that’s nice.” Others repeatedly ask if I’ve “found a job yet,” treating me as though I’m simply having trouble securing a position somewhere. Still others are just plain rude. Just a few weeks ago, a woman at church inquired about my plans for the week ahead, and before I could respond, she blurted out, “Nothing?” I couldn’t believe it.
I’ve been “employed” as a homemaker since November, and in the past five months, I’ve quickly discovered that if you’re a woman and you stay at home (whether you have children or not), you’re often considered lazy, lacking ambition, or uneducated enough to succeed in the working world. How discouraging!
I don’t doubt my place in the home. My husband and I decided before we were married that we would acknowledge our God-given roles and seek to honor Him by satisfying them in our household. In turn, we have watched God pour blessings upon us. It hasn’t been without sacrifice, though. Our finances are tight, but He continues to provide for us each and every day. In the midst of everything, there is a resounding peace.
Still, Satan continues to wage battle for our home. At times, it’s been a struggle to embrace and find satisfaction in the role God designed me for. Some days, I’m tricked into thinking that if only I were earning a paycheck, I’d be content. But I know the pull. I spent three years in a high-stress career, taking pride in the “independent woman” lifestyle that our world promotes. I was young, single and on my own, and I was making it in a man’s world.
But when I got home, often late into the evening, I’d sense something unsettling in my spirit. Something just didn’t feel right to me, but I couldn’t pinpoint it. I wasn’t satisfied. The reason soon became crystal clear.
“You weren’t made for this,” the Holy Spirit revealed to me.
It’s true. There was a time and place for me as a woman working out in the world, but it has passed. As the result of a fallen world, I understand it’s not always possible for wives and mothers to be at home. My own mother was a single parent who spent as much time as she could at home, raising me and my twin sister. As a result, I have some wonderful childhood memories of my mom attending our school musicals, having freshly-baked cookies ready for us when we returned home at the end of a school day and helping us with our homework in the evenings. I look forward to serving my children in the same way someday.
For now, I spend my days learning the ins and outs of running a household. My husband encourages me often in my quest to become a Proverbs 31 woman. I’m blessed to be married to someone who is so supportive of my profession and gives me the freedom to do what God created me to do. I try not to take it for granted. I know it’s a blessing to be at home.
I realize that the career I’ve chosen in one with long hours, no paycheck and hard work. The job description is often overwhelming and the tasks humbling. But my boss is a loving, merciful God and my reward will live on forever in the form of a family that loves and serves Jesus Christ. I accept the position! And one day, when I retire, I long to hear my Supervisor say to me, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!” (Matthew 25:23 NLT)
You could call me a “desperate housewife,” but not in the way the television show depicts. I long for Christian women to find their fulfillment in Christ alone—not in their careers or in activities outside the home that take away from caring for their families—and I pray that God will strengthen housewives and homemakers everywhere, giving them the skill, discipline and desire to complete their daily tasks with joy in their hearts and contentment in the depths of their souls.
Yes, I’m a housewife—and I’m not ashamed to admit it!
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