Homemakers are world-changers too!
I’m a big fan of women Bible teachers, bloggers, and podcasters. I love that women like me can listen to other women teach the Bible, interview an author, or speak into tough issues like immigration. It’s important that women have a voice and that their contributions are valued by the church.
But I’ve got a problem with the messaging that comes from some of these women.
Sometimes, in the effort to encourage women to boldly follow God into their purpose and be “world changers,” these bloggers and podcasters minimize the job of homemaking. One recently posted on Instagram that she’s hoping to encourage the younger generation that “there is so much more in this life than just ‘motherhood’ and ‘marriage.’”
Just motherhood and marriage? Really? That’s her concern?
In an age when marriages are ending in divorce more than ever, and the next generation is leaving the church in droves, doesn’t it seem like healthy motherhood and marriage could actually change the world?
Isn’t that a worthy investment of our time?
Here’s another comment I often hear from these female “influencers:” Oh, I applaud those women who can stay home with their kids. I just couldn’t do it. I wasn’t cut out for staying home.
The implication here is that the speaker was made for so much more than the sacrificial work of homemaking. She was made to be a world-changer! Oh, she gave it a try. But she floundered because she wasn’t “living out her purpose” and she “didn’t feel fulfilled” (yes, those were the words of one Christian author/influencer).
Has anyone woman on the planet ever felt fulfilled by picking up LEGOs and washing underwear? Is that why we do what we do? To feel fulfilled? We cannot let fulfillment be the measuring rod for our pursuits. Jesus tells us to seek first his kingdom and his righteousness; our fulfillment must come from pursuing God and not our careers or our homemaking abilities.
Listen. I am not trying to undo the work that has been done to give women a voice and a sense of dignity. Women are made for more than the ‘pregnant and barefoot in the kitchen’ stereotype. But let’s not minimize that role in the process. And let’s not glorify working outside the home as the only way to dignify womanhood.
If you are staying home full-time with your kids right now, there is a good chance that you have put some of your dreams and desires on hold. I hope that you made that choice not because you thought that marriage and motherhood were all that you were made for, but because you decided that those dreams and desires could wait while you focused on some other world-changing work. I hope you know that what you are doing – making a home and making people – is important.
I’m glad that there are women Bible teachers, and bloggers, and podcasters (and teachers, and doctors, and all the other things women do). I learn from them and my life is richer because of their work. But the world is richer because of the work of homemakers too. The world needs their contributions too.
So if you are reading this with toddlers at your feet, and spit-up on your shirt, and a three-day-old hairdo…allow me to remind you that what you are doing matters. Your work MATTERS. You may not be reforming immigration policy and “leaning in” to corporate strategies, but you are raising humans and THAT IS MEANINGFUL WORK! You have worth and dignity as a woman because you are made in God’s image and you do not need to “change the world” in order to live out your divine purpose!
Whether you are a work-outside-the-home mom or a work-inside-the-home mom, you are a mom who works, and you are a woman on a mission. Raising children is a worthy mission.
So let’s encourage one another in whatever roles we are playing. Let’s be each other’s biggest fans. Life is too short to judge and compare and worry about whether we are doing enough.
Keep doing what God has called you to do. And don’t ever doubt that raising the next generation isn’t world-changing work. It is.
Keep up the good work, world-changer.