Friday, February 25, 2011

You are a real somebody

"Women who prioritize raising their children have no reason to feel inadequate to anyone.  They've got our greatest natural resource on their laps.  And there is absolutely nothing to regret; there's everything to love and enjoy.  That's life in the real world." (Kathryn Lopez, "Stay-at-home Moms are the Real World",, 12/18/10)

I was raised in a small town with a wonderful mother who stayed home.  She was there for each of her children.  She was a loving and compassionate example for me.  Even so, the "woman's movement" snuck into our lives through TV and magazines and affected me in subtle ways for many decades to come.

I also loved being a stay-at-home mother.  I loved raising my children through every age, but still, in all those years in the very back of my mind was the idea that I should be out in a career.  This thinking seemed to always be pestering me.  Deep inside I felt I was not being fulfilled.  This "woman's movement" affected me in outward ways, also, that would only fuel my own wrong thinking.

One example is from when I was a young mother with little ones.  We had moved to a new town and eventually we stopped in at the public library to sign up for library cards.  My beloved husband signed up first with no problems and then it was my turn.  I gave my ID, which was my driver's license.  The librarian asked me for my employment ID also.  I said that I didn't have a job outside the home.  His next loud comment was, "Don't you even have a student ID?"  I was incredulous at first, and then I was fuming at how I had been treated, as if I was a complete nobody with only one source of ID because we had chosen for me to remain home to raise our children.

Well, this wrong thinking which was sometimes fueled by the culture, took me decades to stop.  I grieve that wasted time I spent lamenting even if it was only in my mind.

"Humans are not nothing.  We are the result of God's creation; what is more, we are the apex of that creation.  Trying to persuade ourselves that we are nothing carries two terrible risks.  One is that we laugh at the absurdity of thinking such fine creatures as ourselves to be nothing and we abandon the attempt to find humility.  The second risk is even worse:  We may actually come to believe that we really are nothing.  And if we are really nothing, then none of our actions could possibly mean anything either, could they? So why worry what we do?  If humans are nothing, then nothing matters.

Humility is attainable but not through considering ourselves to be utterly worthless.  Anyone who lives responsibly, and invests his time in durable values rather than in the frivolous pursuit of fun, has achieved something.  Such a person is not nothing.  The key to humility is not to denigrate what you have become, but rather to renounce any credit for it.  You are a real somebody.  To begin with, you are utterly unique.  You have thoughts that nobody else has ever had.  You have dedicated yourself to more than your own gratification.  You have supported your spouse.  You have labored faithfully at a job.  You are raising good children.  You have added to your store of knowledge about the world. No, you are nowhere near being nothing.  You are somebody!"  (Rabbi Daniel Lapin, America's Real War, page 70)

Dear gentle women, let us remove our own worldly thinking with the LORD's help.  Let us be godly women who gently counsel other women to understand who they really are in Christ.  If you were, or you are a mother who makes a home for your family as a career, then you can be thankful and humbly proud of your career choice.

“But you are A CHOSEN RACE, a royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR GOD’S OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.” 1 Peter 2:9-10


Cherry Bieber said...

How important it is to understand that our Heavenly Father looks upon each one of us as a special part in His whole creation, and that humanity is the apple of His eye. Truly, it is only through this that we will ever value all of human life from conception all the way through the end of life on this earth. Motherhood is indeed the most valuable "career" any woman can have and it is one that is not dependent on every one else's opinions!

The Piper's Wife said...

So well said, Cherry. Thank you.