"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." ~ Matthew 5:8

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Don't Underestimate Her

          Maybe this sounds harsh, but I think sometimes the stay-at-home American mother can feel like a second class citizen. Isn't it ironic that the feminist push of the 1970's, which sought to "liberate" women has left many women chasing careers, torn over or just plain negative about motherhood and wifehood, and in general, unhappy (The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness, Stevenson and Wolfers)?

         Please don't get me wrong! I understand that there are situations in which a woman has to work outside the home. I also believe that the Proverbs 31 woman sets a beautiful standard of a strong woman who supplements the family income with her own creativity and industry (Proverbs 31:13, 16, 17, 24). Some wonderful and godly women never get married, like my own dear Aunt Jean, who not only worked hard to support herself, but also offered love and support to my grandma and her three young boys when my grandpa was killed.
        Nevertheless, I think that mothers who do have the great privilege of staying home with their children can often be shamed by the culture or discouraged by the seeming mundane-ness of their task. I've seen people unconsciously minimize the enormous, daunting, and beautiful task my mom tackles everyday. I've had many well-meaning people respond to my spoken dream of someday being a stay-at-home mom with, "Are you sure you want to do that? It will be a waste of your talents and abilities! You could really get into a good career and make a difference in the world." Let me clearly state that I'm flattered and grateful that they think I have talents and abilities. But I think they're missing out on the idea that motherhood isn't all about emptying the dishwasher or wiping runny noses for the millionth time. Being a mother is ultimately about preparing souls for their true and fulfilling purpose of glorifying God and enjoying Him as King and Savior of their lives. 

         Though the process is long and painstaking, moms have the incredible opportunity of molding a godly character in their child and encouraging them to become men and women who can change the world through their passion to "love God with all they got, and love their neighbor 'til they drop." In a long-term sense, moms  can not only "make a difference in the world" (see paragraph above), they can multiply the difference they make through their children!


         I'm not a mom, and I obviously don't understand everything about this issue. There's lots of godly mothers who have made a difference through a ministry or a business or in some way outside their role as "mom." But I just want to cheer on those mothers (including my own) who pour themselves out and sacrifice so that their children will grow into passionate God-fearing, people-serving men and women.

Don't believe me? Read up on these women and how they impacted their children:
  • Mrs. Beaver (yes, my mom!)
  • Hannah (mother of Samuel; see 1 Samuel)
  • Susannah Wesley (mother of John and Charles Wesley)
  • Ruth Graham (mother of Franklin Graham) 
  • Sarah Edwards (wife of Jonathan Edwards and mother of 10)

And here are a few quotes from others grateful for their mothers: 

"I remember my mother's prayers--and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life."         ~Abraham Lincoln

"All that I have ever accomplished in my life I owe to my mother."    ~D.L. Moody

"My mother's kiss made me a painter."     ~Benjamin West, first great American painter

"The influence of a good mother is worth more than a thousand school masters"     ~George Herbert

"If I am Thy child, only God, it is because Thou gavest me such a mother."     ~St. Augustine 

Thanking God for my own mother,


  1. Aww, this is so sweet and a much-needed read! I am finishing up my master's degree and when people ask what I'm going to do with it and I reply "continue to stay home with my children" they always says I'm wasting it. Who says I can't work part-time or in the future if something that fits into my family's needs comes about? Anyway, thanks for the great post! :)

  2. To My Beloved Lissie,

    Thank you for this beautiful post and your kind words about me specifically.

    You know, Lissie, since you still live at home that just last night I lost my long-term vision for what I do day after day and allowed myself to get discouraged.

    The truth is, the goal of a Christian stay-at-home mom takes more endurance and long-range thinking than just about any career I can think of. The best stay-at-home mom will demonstrate stick-to-it-tive-ness because she has an eternal dream, the hope that her children will glorify the Lord here on earth and them enjoy Him forever in heaven. It's her passion and it makes the mundane tasks worth it.

    I hope bizzillions of your peers will chose the stay-at-home career path. I have found it to be far more stimulating, rewarding, meaningful and fun than my years in journalism were before you were born, Lissie.

  3. I, too, am amazed at how people can claim a stay-at-home mom is 'wasting' her talents. How can anything in the out-of-home workforce be more important than the role a stay-at-home mom plays in shaping the character of the next generation into something admirable... something honoring to God?

    There is a reason God gives parents the responsibility for training up our children. No one else can truly lead them into following His ways like a parent.

    The job that stay-at-home moms do is far, far more important than anything done outside the home. It creates a legacy and impacts generations to come. No job outside the home can begin to compare to the impact a stay-at-home mom has.

    Far from mocking or belittling stay-at-home moms, we should all laud and revere those self-sacrificing women who make that choice. And we should do everything in our power to help others who want to stay at home do so.