In the Church today, being a wife, mother, and a homemaker has become a second role for women. But I am referring not to its being placed on the back burner by an outside job, nor to how the family size will be limited because children can be “such a burden” to the mother.No, I am thinking of the false icon that has quickly become a must-have for any woman to be considered a truly spirit-filled and godly lady.
Pastors, godly men, and women alike think that wives and mothers must have their meditation of scripture and “quiet time” with Jesus constantly, daily, and foremost before they can focus on their mundane, ho-hum tasks of keeping the home. A Christian woman who can’t quote dozens of Bible verses in a debate, but who knows how to make her own bread and sew clothes for her children, is considered worldly and unspiritual.
But here lies the problem. God mentions nothing to women about this. In fact, what He does say is quite the opposite. The Bible is full of things it calls us to do and be as Christian women. We are to be keepers of the home, encourage younger women to do the same, honor and follow our husbands, train up our children, flee idleness, guard our tongues, and more (Titus 2:5). So how can we possibly find moments in our day to squeeze in all that we need to do with “quiet time,” Bible reading, and scripture memorization?
Being a wife and mother, a helper to our husbands, is what God has called women to do. It is not our job to spend an hour every day reading the Bible, praying for yet another hour, then head off to tackle household tasks so we can hurry up and get back to our evening “God-time.” That is not honoring Christ, because Christ has not called women to do that. He has told us our purpose in life, and the greatest role to please Him with is loving and honoring our husbands, and taking care of the children He has blessed us with. It is our first and foremost duty, and one that is more spirit-filled than any daily devotional.
I am not saying that we should not be learned of our Savior, nor am I saying we shouldn’t pray or read the Scriptures. It is extremely important and necessary to have an understanding of God’s Word and a strong relationship with the Lord. It is impossible to train your children, raise up godly seed, and be a helpmeet to your husband without the how-to and knowledge of the Scriptures.
What I am saying is that this is not the “have-to” that the Church has set on a pedestal for women today. We are to be wise and sanctified in the Word, but the principle way is not through hours and hours of personal quiet time.
The husband is the spiritual leader of the home; we should learn through him (1 Cor. 14:35), whether it be talking with him about a Bible verse or during family worship time. There is time to pray and meditate while washing dishes and folding laundry. Your heart and home can be filled with songs while the radio plays your favorite praise music as you scrub the sinks and sweep the floors. And don’t forget the precious moments with your little ones: snuggle up with them and teach them of our sweet Lord and His creation during school time. Those are the daily moments that bless our Father and fulfill the thirst of our spirits, more than being able to quote from anywhere in the Bible.
When my husband and I were first married, shortly after our firstborn arrived, he wrote down chapters of the Bible he wanted me to study during the day while he was at work, and then I would have to write down and answer questions about the verses I had read. Then when he came home, he wanted to go over it with me to make sure I was learning all the spiritual things he thought I should be. I was more than overwhelmed, what with trying to adjust to a new baby, taking care of the home, and having a two-hour-long “quiet time” between cooking, cleaning, and feeding a little one who cried endlessly!
Thankfully, he soon received wise counsel from an older brother in the church. Such studying and quiet time wasn’t my job. He told my husband the best argument possible: how could I fulfill the duty as the wife and mother that God called me to, if I am too busy with my nose stuck in the Bible? If hubby comes home to go over the three-page sermon I wrote and studied that day, while the floor is covered with stinky diapers, and while the children hadn’t been fed or schooled because I was too busy with “personal Jesus time,” then how is that honoring him as my husband–how is that fulfilling my duty to Christ as a keeper of the home? Two words: It’s not.
I was recently rebuked by a mother I had respected in the past. She criticized me for having a chore chart, a to-do list, and for laying out and having an orderly schedule in my home. “Where is your time for Jesus? You need to wake up early to meditate on God, or you will never make it through your day when you have to do all that other stuff. God is more important than running your household.”
To her, and to most of the Christians out there, all the daily grind of homemaking gets in the way of your time with Jesus. But they are wrong. According to God, it’s the opposite. Those tasks are more pleasing to our Father as women than knowing the whole book of 1 Kings and who begat who.
My husband would much rather that I learn practical things, such as healing our family through herbs, reading and thinking of new home schooling ideas, making soap to sell and to supplement our income for independence, or even finding a better cloth diaper stash for use on our babies. These are far more important than spending that same hour meditating over a sermon. Becoming a better steward with the home and family is more helpful to a dominion mindset then having a wife who can argue doctrine with the men.
This doesn’t mean that you, as a wife and mother, can’t set aside a regular time to read your Bible, do a devotional, or engage in prayer. Such quiet time is most certainly helpful, a sweet time with our Lord. But we should not make it out to be, contrary to the Bible, something constantly necessary.
In fact when you do have time alone again to study the Bible, next time I recommend reading through Hebrews 11 and the women listed in the Hall of Faith: Ruth, Sarah, Esther, Mary, and other blessed women of God. Each one was considered the most faith-filled of women, transformed by His Word–yet not one had a daily Bible time nor knew the Scriptures inside and out. They were blessed and honored by God for trusting in Him, following their husbands, and keeping their homes. We need to cast out this made-up icon today that is absolutely contrary to our calling as women.