In this time in history women are able to fill many roles, some that weren’t around when our grandmothers and great-grandmothers were alive. But there is one role we as women must embrace fully if we are ever going to have a legacy that lasts.
It may seem so “last century,” but it is a role we were designed and created to fill. Adam had his role as protector and head of the family. Eve had her role as caregiver, nurturer, and ultimately- the heart of the home. When we, as women, get more focused on the outside of the home than the inside, we create opportunity for cracks in the foundation of our families.
I am proud of the women in my life who work in business, medicine, etc. It isn’t the way I am wired, but it is an amazing skill to have and use. My concern is when women try to fit into a man’s world like a man would. We weren’t created to be man, we were created as woman. Our roles are different because we were made to be different.
Granted, I am a more traditional woman, cut more from the cloth of my great-grandmothers than my generation. However, being a caregiver isn’t something to dismiss just because you don’t want to live like Caroline Ingalls or Ma Walton.
Some simple steps we can all take to help our family remain together instead of crumbling into pieces…
1. Love them. I don’t mean out of duty, I mean out of the love God has for us. LOVE them. When you don’t want to, when you do want to, when you don’t think they “deserve” it, and when you think they do.
2. Pay attention to them. In the technological age we are in today, pause the show you have on DVR when your kid starts talking– when your spouse starts talking. Don’t tell your family by your actions that the show is more important than they are to you.
3. Say no. Say no to extra activities, even when they are good activites. Then, when your calendar is open, do not fill the space you made– let me repeat– DO NOT fill the space you made. Instead, rest, spend time hanging out with your kids and your spouse.
4. Say no, part two. Say no to your kids when they want to run out to their friends multiple times a week. Your kids don’t always see when they are over-stretched, it is our job and responsibility to give them boundaries.
5. Don’t think this is another “check list.” Adapt what is realistic for you and your family.
6. Love yourself. Not in a narcissistic way, but care for yourself. Learn what your limits are and live within them. We are created to be the heart of the home. If our hearts aren’t right we cannot expect our home to be right.
7. This probably should be the first on the list– pray for your family. Pray when you fold their clothes, praying protection over them just like the clothes cover them (Ephesians 6:10-18). Pray over them when they are sleeping (Philippians 4:6-8). If your schedule allows, pray with your kids before they leave for school. Pray for your spouse. If your spouse doesn’t want to pray out loud with you, pray over him while he sleeps. Give him a back rub and pray for the load he carries on his shoulders for his family .
8. Are you single? You aren’t off the hook. Embrace those around you. Your family, nieces, nephews, friends, their kids. Pray for them as they fill their roles and pray for wisdom for you to fill your role.
There are some great books out there for deeper study and direction. Some include, Power of a Praying Wife and Power of a Praying Parent, by Stormie Omartian, and A Woman’s Heart by Elisabeth George or the Bible study, A Woman’s Heart, God’s Dwelling Place by Beth Moore.
Embrace the role you have been designed to fill.