Since yesterday was Mother’s Day, it seems like a great time to focus on the idea of working as unto the Lord. Every Christian probably lives this out to some extent even if they don’t really think about it. Perhaps, you have a boss who is hard to work for, but for the sake of your family, you show up everyday and give 110%. You bite your tongue when he speaks to you harshly. You push on and give your best even if it isn’t appreciated, because you know you aren’t working for that boss necessarily. You are working as unto the Lord.
Mamas, if you stay home you know this all too well..
The Stigma of Being a SAHM
I don’t know why this is, but staying home to raise your family has a real stigma attached to it. No one really prepared me for that, so I was incredibly shocked at the responses I would get when people asked what I did. I never knew what to call my profession early on.. Mother? Homemaker? Stay at home mom? But regardless of wording I would almost always get one of two responses:
- “Oh, wow that must be nice. Your husband must make a lot of money. We can’t all do that, you know? Some of us have to work for a living. You sure are lucky..”
- OR: “You stay home? (they look you up and down really good, and you already know what is coming next..) wow. how do you afford it?” They never have to say it out loud, although you may come across one or two who do, but they instantly assume you are living off the government.
Of course there is nothing wrong with being wealthy or with needing help if your family is in a bind. But the vast majority of mamas choosing to stay home are sacrificing to do so. We know what it is to cut off cable to cut back on bills. I’ve had times where I didn’t have a cell phone to save money. We’ve all walked past something we really wanted in a store or even something we needed because we just couldn’t swing it at the time. Yes stay-at-home mamas could have more and have it easier with a second income, but we choose to stay home anyways.
We call it “staying home”, which I guess makes sense, but again that stigma rears its ugly head.
We probably just sit on the couch watching Hallmark and eating bon-bons all day. Stay-at-home moms are so lazy. They just don’t want to have to get off their butts and get a real job.
Those words hurt. They cut deep, especially on a day where you have worked sun up to sun set and feel that nothing is accomplished.
There are no pay checks. No sick days. No Insurance. There are no retirement benefits. No awards, or recognition. (And don’t get me started on maternity leave!)
So why do it?
Why not go get a ‘real’ job and leave behind the loneliness, the stigma, and the lack of appreciation?
Because we are working as unto the Lord.
The Titus 2 Woman
“And so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.”
– Titus 2:4-5
Who here desires a Titus 2 woman to come along side you and mentor you? Yes, me too.
Some of you may have that. I hope you do. But I think a lot of this past generation has almost decided to forego that duty. Instead we argue and call each other Boomers and Millennials.. Productive, right?
So we simply must look back at the verse for what we should be being taught by example.
Train young women to love our husbands and children, self controlled, working from home, kind, and to be submissive to their own husbands.
So we can safely imply that these don’t just come naturally because God says we need to be trained in them.
Are we being taught any of this by older women in our lives? Maybe to some extent. We all have a mom, or an aunt, or a grandma, or someone who is trying to live this out for herself, but deep inside of me I feel a yearning for someone to speak over me in these areas- and no one seems to want to.
But Mamas who are struggling with this, cling to the hope that we can rise up and be this for our daughters and daughter-in-laws. God gives us this desire so that we can be different. Remember this and let the flame grow within you. Someday we may be a Titus 2 woman.
But For Now, What Does Working at Home Look Like?
You may notice that typically we don’t see stay-at-home moms logging in for a zoom conference with their toddlers or creating slide shows and elaborate presentations on “How to Get Along” when the kids won’t stop fighting. (Although if that would work, I’m all in.)
So what does it look like to work at home?
Some days it looks like six loads of laundry scattered from living room floor to kitchen table. Some days it looks like scrubbing floors on your hands and knees just for muddy little feet to burst through on clean floors in search of a snack. Other days, it’s dusting, vacuuming, organizing, wiping, scrubbing. It is meal plans, three square meals, and eight million snacks. There are long days and long nights. Kisses, night lights, swimming lessons, birthday parties, trash days, grocery shopping, soccer practice, ballet, homeschool, potty training, learning new things, planning, praying, practicing zero waste, and budgeting.
And no one even knows you do it.
The Invisible Workaholic
I’ve heard it said that moms are superheroes. I wouldn’t put that title on myself, but I would say that I have a superpower- invisibility. It’s quite amazing actually. Mountains of warm pancakes on the table, laundry folded and put away, beds made, dishes- washed, dried, and stacked on the hutch day after day after day. Who did all of this?
Who submits homeschool grades at the end of the semester?
And balances the budget and picks up the grocery order?
Who washes the fruit and makes it easily accessible?
Who makes sure the kids have everything they need for each event, practice, and game?
No one knows..
Because nobody saw her.
Even in plain sight, she is unseen. No one notices what she does, but they would notice if she didn’t do it.
Someone is watching. There is actually someone paying very, very close attention. He notices not only that you scrubbed the toilet, but the heart that you had while doing it. When you planned yesterday’s math assignment while humming “How Great Thou Art”, He was singing over you. When your dinner flopped and you called out for pizza, He smiled because you had tried a new recipe. And when you feel stretched, overwhelmed, insufficient, insignificant- He sees. He cares.
He sees you growing.
It is so uncomfortable to grow, to learn who you are in Him, to walk new roads and try new things you never dreamt you could do.
But He sees. He stands beside you in the fire, goes before you into the sea, and meets with you right there at the kitchen sink. He sees your sacrifice, your heart, and your work. Every task, every meal, every imperfect discipline, every lesson that went awry- He was there for it all.
This is the same God who catches every tear that drops from your eye, the same God who keeps up with the number of hairs upon your head- of course He cares about you. Of course He sees you pour yourself out over and over. Who do you think keeps filling you back up?
Mamas, you are seen. You are loved. Your work is valuable. It’s okay if the world doesn’t see it. The one who called you to it is watching. Do it well. Clean your home with a grateful heart. Embrace your children with loving hands. And sing to the God who made you a mom, who called you out of darkness and in to His marvelous light.
Though you may never get a paycheck or a paid vacation- you are working towards so much more. What you are crafting now within your home will live on for generations to come. Your children and your grandchildren will rise up and call you Blessed. And you, dear sister, if in fact you know Jesus and are abiding in Him, you will finally hear Well Done- and every sleepless night, every tear, every burden you thought you couldn’t bear- will vanish in His presence. And you will know it was all worth it.
Well Done Mamas, keep going. You are working as unto the Lord.