I've been reading some good articles, books and blog posts lately. One series that has been especially helpful can be found at the Girl Talk blog. It begins with the post, Homemaking Is Not a Hindrance, and continues on with a good many articles to encourage discouraged housewives. We are often told that the childrearing years are just a season and it will be over soon. Very true. . .I'm keenly aware of this as I watch two teens, a pre-adolescent and a toddler grow up all too quickly. However, the underlying thought behind this idea is often "Enjoy your children while they're small. Then when they're grown you can do the important things that you don't have time for now." These articles challenge women to change our thinking about homemaking, and I highly recommend them.
About the time I was giving this a lot of thought, God provided a great object lesson to highlight all that I had been reading. Our house helper, a young ,single, believing woman, has commented several times on how different our family is. Last week she told about watching how Kevin handled a temper tantrum that Hannah Grace pitched while I was gone. She was amazed that Kevin, a 16-year-old boy, knew better how to discipline a child than she did herself. As we talked, I asked whether or not her church provided teaching on families and childrearing. Her response was, "We have teaching. We hear it night and day. I know the teaching by heart. Until now, I've never seen how put the teaching into practice."
Elizabeth Elliot once wrote that when Paul was talking about older women teaching younger women the Scriptural virtues of wives and mothers, he wasn't talking about studies and seminars. He was talking about teaching by example, teaching by walking alongside younger women. This is the kind of teaching that my house helper needs.
If you read the last post on marriage, you can imagine that Christ-centered families are incredibly rare. There are so few examples for young wives and mothers to follow. Although I know that I certainly don't have everything together as a wife and mother, I have been encouraged to remember that just living here and raising a family is meeting a huge need for the young women around me.