Yeah what she said…

by adustyframe ~ November 30th, 2007

I found this link today via another blog.

Janet has several posts on the Church’s responsibility to single mothers trying to be keepers at home.

This one, “Single mothers and the church” is particularly good. In another one, she said that churches need to realize that helping a single mom be a keeper at home is enabling the mom to obey her Biblical priorities.

This is something I’ve been trying to express and couldn’t get the words to come out right.

I attempted to do so here. My frustration in this post wasn’t for myself but for some certain situations shared by others.

Often in very subtle ways, I’ve felt that many around me don’t feel that it’s a valid choice for me to stay home with my son.

It was ok to be a stay at home mom when my husband was home. It’s ok for their wives to be. But as a single mom, it’s not ok.

Well, since I don’t live to please others, there’s no worry that I will discard God’s plan for our family. However, things would be simpler if others realized that single mom’s and their children aren’t any less deserving of time together at home.

Lizzie

9 Thoughts Shared to Yeah what she said…

  1. kate

    Probably the frustrating thing in this situation is that many WORKING mothers would love to be able to stay home and can’t. Sometimes it may be “sour grapes”, but I get tired of working full time as an RN and having three little ones. People seem to justify their own cases well as to why they should be able to be a SAHM. In reality, ALL MOTHERS should be able to make that choice. So, YES, there are times when I will think that if I am working, so should you. Especially when an able-bodied Mom is participating in government services which only add to my earnings being taxed. Unchristian? Possibly. Realistic? Most definitely. By the way, I am married to a seminary trained pastor and we are in a metro Kansas city congregation. YES, some pastor’s wives have to work. Just some food for thought….

    Kate, I understand what you’re saying. Are you comments directed at me? or just at the world in general?
    Do you feel that God wants you to be home or that God wants you working as an RN? If you know God wants you to work as an RN then that’s what you must do. I know that God desires me to be home with my son–schooling him and rearing him to be a godly man. I don’t mean by this post that I should not work, just that my son needs me and I have a desire to obey God’s leading in my life.

    Now, if you desire to be home with your children and you know God wants you to be, I could understand your frustration. Your “If I’m working so should you” really isn’t the best way to think about it. If you know it’s Un-Christian (your words), then that may be something you could consider praying about.

    You also said people justify their reasons to be a SAHM. I’m not justifying. That would mean I think it’s wrong. No woman should have to “justify” obeying God’s will for their lives. It’s not wrong to be a SAHM.
    I always love the verse where the disciples asked, “But what is John supposed to do?” and Jesus said, “What is it to you if it’s my will he does nothing?” I actually laugh at that one.
    God’s will is different for each of us. I can’t look at someone and tell them what they must do because I do it. I have enough work to do to keep myself right with God.

    I would say this to anyone so my comments are just to the world in general and not just to you.
    You can’t be upset with someone who’s doing what God wants them to do. If you know God wants you to be home and you are not, he will provide a way should you choose to trust him. He always enables us to follow his will for our lives.

    My dad is a seminary trained pastor;). We lived a very sparse life, but I thank God that my mom was always home with us. She found ways to earn money while being with us and I know she doesn’t regret it at all.

    And just a reminder, that up until Wednesday I worked beyond full time. I expect to continue to work and I do not expect people to just give me anything!
    Your comment was actually a great example of the subtle things that people say and do to show single moms that they and their children aren’t “worth” being home together. But the great news is that it’s God I answer to.

  2. JT

    Wow – in some ways I hesitate to jump in the fray here, but maybe what I say can shed some light on different perspectives – I am using the word ‘one’ to keep this very generic…

    When one belongs to a church that actively teaches that a woman’s place is in the home, and that public school are ‘spawn of Satan’ then that church should do everything possible to support a woman who finds herself single/unsupported (through little or no fault of her own) so that she may continue at home. And it is not selfish for such a woman to look to such a church for assistance. For any church member to look down upon her or question her belief in the teachings that church upholds is pretty hypocritical.

    However, many churches – mine included, and certainly society in general, view a woman staying home as more of a choice than a mandate, and that it is very possible to raise godly children in a public school setting. So while we may respect one’s choice (to sahm while single) we may not necessarily want to PAY FOR such a choice (thru taxes/welfare programs) as we are busy paying for our own choices. I don’t think its a matter of ‘not worth it’ but pure economics, and feeling that such a choice should be supported by the church one attends rather than society as a whole.
    Basically, if one can pull it off (thru the works of God) then more power to you! Please just realize that the words of God are translated/heard in many different ways which may account for differences in opinion.
    Ok – losing the generic now, your faith is inspirational. Best wishes -

    JT, I do not feel that the choices I/we make have to be made by everyone else. For example, homeschooling. However, I do know that that is God’s will for OUR family.
    I don’t know that by posting this article, that I meant “The church must pay all my way” or any other single mother’s way. However, there could be a spirit of support that would help immensely.

    I was wondering where you came up with the satan comments. Then I re-read her post. I should have added a disclaimer that this was her opinion. I know good godly Christians with their children in public school and I don’t ever say homeschool is the only way. Sorry about that.

    I lol’d about your “losing the generic” ;0 thanks

  3. Marie

    I wrote on this a while back – notably the church’s (collective) responsibility to help those who need it as part of the Gospel message. Totally agree w/ the points raised above, as well.

    Thanks, Marie. Did you want to link to it?

  4. Pam

    I became a single mom when my daughter was 10 years old… the man I married the first time returned from Viet Nam drug and alcohol adicted and very abusive.

    I didn’t re-marry for 17 years. In those years the Lord provided many wonderful times for us. I got a job I loved and was promoted over and over (even though I didn’t have a college education). We were blessed to find a Southern Baptist church that loved us and embraced us (even though I was divorced). We grew under some wonderful teaching and preaching.
    My daughter is now a wonderful born again mom of two precious children and a special education teacher of children with autism.
    Praise the Lord. Pam, South Bend

    Pam, your church sounds wonderful:)

  5. Kate

    Not at all was my comment directed at you. Rather, it is a very honest expression of my feelings as a working mother. As I said, EVERY mother should be given an opportunity to be a SAHM if that is what they desire. When you have the earning potential that I have, you can’t qualify for WIC, government aid, etc. In addition, I always tell people that God provides…He has provided me with an education and a great job and I could not, with a clear conscience, stay home and not contribute to our household income. In addition, as a mother to three daughters, I always want them to have the ability to support themselves and their family if the need arises. A profession such an nursing is an excellent one that would enable them to be able to do that. I hope that I am able to be a positive role model to them down the road. I am sorry if you interpreted my comment as directed at you. It was only meant to be a venting of sorts about something that I struggle with. If the money isn’t there and I can help bring it in, I have an obligation to do that. That is the bottom line. I do what I have to do to help educate, feed, clothe, insure our children. The comment you left for me regarding what people say against single Moms reminds me of so many comments that people make toward Pastor’s wives. As a PK, I am sure you know the kinds of remarks and how hurtful they are. Again, I am sorry for my comment coming across as it did. I greatly respect the honesty you have portayed about your life. You are a remarkably strong woman.

    Kate, thanks for clarifying. I couldn’t tell if you were upset at me or just the world in general:).

    I completely understand what you said. I guess I’m wondering if it sounds like I don’t intend to work. That’s not it at all. What you said about nursing, is what my mom planned for us with giving us piano lessons. All of my siblings and I are advanced pianists and can teach piano lessons. So I think it’s similar to what you’re saying about your daughters.

    I am most definitely going to be working and if I feel that God desires me to get another outside of the house job then I will. I have no intention of being a taker.

  6. Janet

    Thank you so much for linking to my post. I wanted to clarify a few things that may be misunderstood. I am afraid that I don’t address all points when I write and leave out some important things. (Which is another reason I have kept quiet on the subject for so long. Perhaps I should not have said anything…)

    I wrote my post hoping to encourage single mothers and also to open the eyes of Christians to their needs. I realize that it may seem like a conflict of interest of sorts to write these things, but I can best write about things from the viewpoint of a single mother because I am one. I cannot wait for the day when I’m able to help other families. My post was not written to gain sympathy or donations. I have been able to take care of my family for many years now. I do not ask for anything from my church and have not had any church pay any bill for me in many years.

    I do feel that all mothers should be able to be stay at home moms if they want to. I think that Christians should help all moms stay at home with their children, whether they are married or single. Some women do not want to be at home. I was just talking about single mothers because that is my area of expertise at the moment.:) Based on my understanding of the Bible, I feel that the Lord wants me at home with my daughters, and because I have obeyed that, God has provided for me. Not all Christians will agree with me and that’s ok. I am still learning that it’s alright that not all will agree with me.

    I don’t believe that single mothers should be takers. I have seen so many single mothers who work themselves to the bone, eat very little, etc, because they do not want to take anything from others. One woman in particular that is a close friend of mine went through something totally heinous and ended up being a single mother overnight. She had little food. I asked the church she was attending to help, but they gave her nothing. She would not ask. She had a home business, but minus her husband’s income, it took all her business money to pay the bills. I took food out of my own pantry to her, because I loved her and believed the children needed her desperately and especially during this awful time. She taught me a lot about having pride in yourself and working hard to make it on your own, while still being a stay at home mother.

    I think that when a woman first becomes single, there will be a period of time where she needs a lot of help to get onto her feet. I believe that the goal should be to aid her to be able to support herself and her children by working from the home in some sort of cottage industry. No woman of character wants to be living off someone else. Many of us single mothers want to make our living, but want to do it while working from home so that they can give their children what they need and want the most- her time and attention.

    (By the way, another wonderful way one can help a single mother is by using her services from her cottage industry if possible.)

    I am personally glad there are government services out there to help any person- disabled people, single mothers, people fallen on bad times, married or not- until they can get back on their feet. There are a lot of people out there who genuinely need help, but loathe having to get the help. As a friend tells me, “I’m glad to help others, because there may be a time when I’ll need help.” So whether or not one uses the government services, I’m so glad it is available. We all may need this assistance one day. (I do think assistance should come from our local congregations first, if possible.)

    About public schools- I realize one can go to public schools and still turn out right. I have seen it, and I’m one of them! Most of the kids in our church go to public schools, and they are good kids. However, things are getting worse and worse, and there is a satanic influence there. I have heard one mother say, “What are we going to do?” because of things her primary grade children are seeing and going through. Children don’t go through public schools without some sort of baggage. I don’t believe that homeschooling is the only way. But I do agree with my pastor that it is the best way and the safest mode of education today.

    If there is anything you’d like to ask me, please feel free to. Above all, I want people to feel that I’m approachable and teachable.

    Janet

    PS- Please know that I don’t look down on working mothers or those who have their kids in public or private schools. Most people I know and love are in those situations. I respect them and they respect me, and we have sweet fellowship one with another.

    Thanks for popping over, Janet! I appreciated all you had to say.

  7. MaggieRaye

    Lizzie,

    I’m so glad for your post — and for Janet’s. I’ve “known” Janet for about 3 years thanks to the internet.

    I am always excited when I see single mothers supporting each other in their calling to be keepers at home.

    The bottom line is that it doesn’t matter what our culture says – if we are Christians, we are to base all of our decisions on God’s word. Period. In 7 years as a single, homeschooling mother and in 16 years as a single mother I have had ample opportunity to research the scripture – which was what led me out of a growing career (using a college education and a bs degree) to come home, to my children. I could NOT find a single example in scripture of a woman called out to a career.

    It’s a hot topic and a touchy one. I pray that my daughter will remain at home until she marries. I have repeatedly discouraged her from seeking outside employement, encouraging her to trust God and to find ways to earn her pocket money without putting herself under the authority of someone outside of her family.

    I’m not sorry that Janet posted what she did. I pray that more and more women will be sold out for the cause of Christ and will take a stand, and come home. While the occasional family is blessed to be able to train up a child in the public school system, a greater number of children are lost to the faith of their parents, because they are left to the government.

    I know of either three or four more single mothers who’ve stepped out on faith in 2007 and come home. I praise God for each one of them, their strength, their courage and I know that the Lord will bless their obedience.

    Thanks so much for your blog and know my prayers are with you – because the devil will do his best to confound you – now that you are on your way to being a full time keeper-at-home.

    Blessings, MaggieRaye

    Thanks, MaggieRaye. You continue to be an encouragement to me.

  8. Lisa

    I understand the desperation to be at home. I guess I struggle with worldly worries like “wasting my education” and not “standing on my own two feet” if I “chuck it all” and stay home. I know though that these feelings are from the WORLD–not from our Lord.

    I’ve found our Churches over the years to be as helpful as the government in providing limited assistance. One mega Church that we tried had such an intimidating “induction center” for those in need that they required proof of income, and other statements. Faced with that I let the utility company turn off my service till I could raise the money.

    I think we, as a society, do have a bad lingering taste in our mouths from too many stereo-typed “welfare mothers” mentioned in poiltical speeches, sermons, etc. That is truly unfair. Those programs WERE designed to help families in need. I admit though, that when I had food stamps, I shopped where I knew NO ONE. We also know too many married Moms who work, not to provide McMansions, but food and above all else HEALTH CARE.

    Personally I love what I do for a living which does help. But when I see the exhaustion and the emtional cost of my kids being in public school I am so tempted to jump off the edge and trust God in the way you do. I’m not certain, though, that God leads me in that way. Could be the problems in school are my Call and I’m chosing to ignore them. Health care is the greatest stumbling block for me to leave my job. My son’s many diagnosis, daily meds and on-going thereapies would be a nightmare of hoops to jump thru and red tape to cut in a government program. I know this for sure, since I not only researched it to the max, but found another family going thru it.

    You, and the few other single SAH-homeschool moms out there are my inspiration and my hope, however. In the end you can only do what you believe is right and forget what others say is right!!

    Sorry that I rambled…..

    Ramble away! You’re right that we have to do what God wants.

  9. Jennifer

    I just stumbled upon your blog today and I realize this is an old post but I had a quick question for the blog author. Your comment: “I always love the verse where the disciples asked, “But what is John supposed to do?” and Jesus said, “What is it to you if it’s my will he does nothing?” I actually laugh at that one.” — this comment made me laugh and I was wondering what exact Bible verse(s) that was. Can you post or email me the verse real quick? I would love to look it up, read that section, and incorporate this in my speaking/ministry engagements when talking about single parenting :-) LOVE your blog….!!

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