I am doing a ladies Bible study right now, and everyday I am encouraged and convicted by what is written in the pages of this great book! I highly recommend it to anyone out there looking to start a meaningful Bible study. I started this one with a group of ladies from church, but due to my school schedule, I can't meet with the rest of my ladies anymore, so I am finishing the study on my own. I try to read from this every morning before starting my day, and it really helps me to live each day with God's purpose for me in mind and a loving attitude in my heart. The book is A Woman's High Calling: 10 Essentials for Godly Living, by Elizabeth George.
There is also a workbook that goes along with this book, and I highly recommend that too. I wanted to share something from the book that I thought particularly meaningful. I think it speaks to a problem that most women have today in our fast paced society. I know it really stood out to me as something I need to think about every time a consider making a commitment to do something outside my home.
"I remember a lady in our church who was asked to serve on the women's committee in our Sunday school class. She was thrilled! What an opportunity! However, she later withdrew her name. Why? Because her husband thought that she ought to have a meal ready for him when he came home from work each night. He told her that once she was taking care of things at home he'd love to support her in a ministry at the church. In other words, she needed to first be and do what the Bible said she needed to be and do before she needed to minister to those at the church. I tell you, I admire both the husband and the wife in this case, who worked together as a team to tackle several of God's high callings for their marriage and home" (George, 112).
When I first read this, my eyebrows raised and I thought, "Whoa!" most woman are probably not going to like this paragraph, and might, in fact, be offended by what could come across as male sexism towards women. But really, we do have a responsibility to our home and family first and foremost. I think we sometimes forget this, because we want so badly to be involved in extracurricular things that we enjoy and that make us feel like we are doing something special for people. But if we ignore and neglect our family at home in order to do service for others, our good works fall flat in God's eyes (and those of our neglected family!). Personally, I think that having a meal ready for her husband was just an example used to demonstrate that our home life needs to come first. Once we have mastered personal discipline in our home, we can reach out to our community and church family!
George went on to question, "Are there people at home you need to take care of? Are you being and doing at home what God calls you to be and do at home? A woman who desire to live a godly life spends her life immersed in godly things and doing good things - even fixing meals for your husband (two of God's 'good things' - love your husband and be a homemaker - Titus 2:4-5). Doing the good things we're supposed to do and being what we're supposed to be is how we become 'teachers of good things' (verse 3). And that, I repeat, is one of our high callings from God" (George, 113).
As a side note, the word "homemaker" does not refer to just stay at home wives and moms. It simply means that we do have a God-given responsibility to our homes and families. Many women can still work and maintain their responsibilities at home. On the flip side, some stay at home wives/moms feel as though they cannot find time to maintain their homes! One of my favorite things about Georges book is that she focuses on personal discipline as an essential for Godly living. I know that I have a long way to go in cultivating Christ-like personal discipline, and that because of sin, it will never be perfect. How many times a week do I sit here blogging or in my recliner reading a novel instead of washing the dishes that are sitting on the counter in my kitchen, or folding my laundry that is sitting in the dryer? These might seem like small things, but I know that I always feel so much better when I am disciplined and just get my household responsibilities out of the way before indulging in leisure time! I continue to pray for and meditate on having strong personal discipline, because I believe that it is the foundation for happily fulfilling the responsibilities we have as women after God's own heart.
I realize that this may be a somewhat controversial post, so feel free to disagree, just please don't attack my belief's here on my blog. You can choose to leave this page, so please do so if you are offended by what I have written. Thanks and have a great Monday everyone!