Monday, August 22, 2016

They Just Don't Get It!

One of the most common problems I hear with couples, especially the wife, is that the husband doesn’t help enough around the house and with the children.  In these days where 90% of women work outside of the home, they still do most of the housework and the caring of the children.                                                                                                                                                    

A friend of mine, who is a hairdresser, once told me of an elderly woman who came into her shop one day.  In a leisurely conversation, the woman told her that she thought women were stupid.  They worked hard for “women’s liberation”, only to gain one more thing to do.

My friend took offense to this statement until she started thinking about what the elderly woman meant.  What have we, as women, gained from being “liberated” besides a full-time job on top of taking care of children, a house and a husband?  My friend began to realize the truth of the elderly woman’s statement.

Although the world may tell women they are liberated by working at a job outside of the house, it has only served to imprison them deeper into debt and into problems in their marriages and with their children.  And how many affairs start at the office between people who are struggling at home?  Besides, very few women have fulfilling jobs that give them a sense of purpose.

Because the wife also works, couples buy houses at the top of their budget, leaving no room for the loss of a job or the possibility of the mom staying at home with the children.  They fill that house with furniture they can’t afford except by monthly payment on a maxed out credit card that they may never be able to pay off. One woman, who works as a church administrator, grimly confessed to me a sad fact when she looked at her family’s budget.  She realized that if they had not bought “the bigger house”, she could have stayed home with their children.  It was too late, though.

Because the wife also works, the children will have to be raised by a daycare system that pays minimum wages to its workers.  Daycare workers don’t last very long because it’s a difficult job with low pay, and so the children will not find a lot of stability with those taking care of them.  The wife will also need to pay for clothing for a job and gas to drive to and from work.  Add that to the price of daycare and many mothers would be better off not working.

Because the wife also works, she comes home also exhausted, but carries on to make dinner, clean-up, bathe the children and get them to bed.  There are some husbands who will help, but it doesn’t come naturally for most to offer to lend a hand.  They have to be asked, and asked, and maybe asked again to help – something women have a hard time doing without appearing to nag.  (Is it any wonder?) 

Women get frustrated that they have to ask in the first place, and men get frustrated that their wives nag.  When unresolved, these issues easily lead to divorce. 

Women can become executives and pull a six figure income, but at what cost?  The family sacrifices a dad who works crazy hours to support them, but what about a mom too?  Most women I’ve talked to who work would prefer not to.  They’d rather be home with their children, but once they get caught in the spending cycle that a working wife can offer a family, it’s too late.  That cycle seems to grow larger as more income is added.  Do we really need all that stuff?

Granted, there are situations where the wife has no choice – maybe the husband is out of work or has medical issues.  I commend you women for your hard work, and I pray that your husband takes up the slack at home!  Single mothers definitely need a supportive family to help them get by.

So what do women do?  First of all, I think we need to realize that men aren’t the enemy.  Women’s lib brainwashed us with the idea that we need to somehow be "equal", even excel beyond them; we want to be treated the same if not better.  In God’s eyes we are equal - with different roles, but it’s the world that has created this unattainable dream of happiness and wealth, opposite of what the Bible tells us. 

We must also understand that striving to obtain “equality” between men and women is like saying apples and oranges are equal, the same. Men are different beings than women and the sooner we acknowledge that, the easier life with them becomes.  They just don’t get it (our craziness and our roles) and we have to acknowledge, to ourselves, that they don’t get it.  We also have to accept their differences instead of trying to mold them into a clone of ourselves who’ll take care of the children and houses as well as we do.

Please join me next week as I discuss some ideas of how to get men to "get it".  If you have succeeded in overcoming this large hurdle in your marriage, please leave a comment or email me to share your thoughts.  I’d love to hear how other women have successfully dealt with this.  Thank you!

*As usual, there are exceptions to these generalizations.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Are You Too Busy?

As summer vacation draws to an end and school begins, I'm reminded of the craziness that comes with a new school year.  Traffic gets worse and lives get busier.

I see lots of frazzled mothers who are trying to do everything.  Their lives are so busy that they have no time for their spouse or for themselves (which ultimately leads to marriage problems).  They can't see how desperate their children are for quality attention from their parents, and how they long for some time to just act like children. They're off every evening to some sports practice, or music lesson, or Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts or one of the countless activities available for kids to make them "well-rounded".  When my kids were young and after many years of the craziness, I began to limit their activities and discovered they were much happier to have time at home to be a family.  

My friends from People To People Ministry (check out their website at ) made the quote "Don't mistake activity for achievement. Busyness does not equal productiveness."  That is true in our children's lives, too.  They often get burned out early from too much of an activity that they may have excelled in when the time was right later on.  Or, they spend a lot of wasted time on something that really does them no good.

I want to share with you a powerful article I discovered many years ago and have shared on my blog before.  It's always worth a repeat.  This was written even BEFORE cell phones and computers, so I would say that Satan is hitting us even harder with all our technical gadgets.

Satan's Convention
Unknown Author
This story was created to demonstrate how Christians can be distracted
and kept from laying hold on Jesus and experiencing him in his fullness.

Satan called a worldwide convention. In his opening address to his evil angels, he said, "We can't keep the Christians from going to church. We can't keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth. We can't even keep them from forming an intimate, abiding relationship experience in Christ. If they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken".

"So let them go to their churches; let them have their conservative lifestyles, but steal their time, so they can't gain that relationship with Jesus Christ. This is what I want you to do, angels. Distract them from gaining hold of their Savior and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day!"

"How shall we do this?" shouted his angels.

"Keep them busy in the non- essentials of life and invent innumerable schemes to occupy their minds," he answered. "Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, and borrow, borrow, borrow. Persuade the wives to go to work for long hours and the husbands to work 6-7 days each week, 10-12 hours a day, so they can afford their empty lifestyles".

"Keep them from spending time with their children. As their family fragments, soon, their home will offer no escape from the pressures of work! Over-stimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that still, small voice. Entice them to play the radio or cassette player whenever they drive. To keep the TV, VCR, and CD's going constantly in their home and see to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays non-biblical music constantly. This will jam their minds and break that union with Christ."

"Fill the coffee tables with magazines and newspapers. Pound their minds with the news 24 hours a day. Invade their driving moments with billboards. Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, mail order catalogs,sweepstakes, and every kind of newsletter and promotional offering free products, services and false hopes. Keep skinny, beautiful models on the magazines so the husbands will believe that external beauty is what's important, and they'll become dissatisfied with their wives. Ha! That will fragment those families quickly!"

"Even in their recreation, let them be excessive. Have them return from their recreation exhausted, disquieted and unprepared for the coming week. Don't let them go out in nature to reflect on God's wonders.  Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, concerts and movies instead. Keep them busy, busy, busy! And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in gossip and small talk so that they leave with troubled consciences and unsettled emotions."

It was quite a convention. The evil angels went eagerly to their assignments causing Christians everywhere to get more busy and more rushed, going here and there.

What do you think?  Has the devil been successful?
Remember, busy = Being Under Satan's Yolk

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Frailty of Life

This past week has been one of facing the frailty of life.  I have not been able to get it out of my mind.  The massacre in Orlando left us all feeling alarmed about how quickly life can be snuffed out. Orlando was hit hard by this tragedy along with the deaths of Christina Grimmie, the young singer from the Voice, and Lane Graves, the toddler taken by the alligator.

My daughter, Megan, turned 30 last week, and I’ve had to watch her deal with too many deaths of friends in her young life.  The Pulse massacre hit too close to home for her.  She and her husband lived a block away from Pulse at one time, and it was difficult for them to watch the news in their old neighborhood.  They were very familiar with Pulse and visited occasionally.

The day after Megan’s birthday, she and Ben headed out on a road trip to New York.  On their way to their first stop in Savannah, they witnessed an accident and stopped to help.  Ben pulled a woman out of her car that had flipped numerous times, but she was already dead.  It was a traumatic experience for him.  And then just yesterday, they learned of the death of one of their co-workers who was killed in a car accident.  I pray for peace and wisdom for them to handle all this death around them.

Death causes us to look life in the face and realize how precious it is.  Because our time is so valuable, death should make us see that it’s not worth spending our life stressing over the little things. Death should cause us to see the good in our spouse, our friends, our family, when we view the pain of grief in others and realize how lost we would be without those we love.  It may cause us to make some overdue changes or maybe slow down a bit to appreciate time and family much more than we do.  No one has ever said, on their death bed, “I should have spent more time in the office.”  Make family time a priority.

It’s difficult for us to accept death when we lose those closest to us.  We get so attached to one another, especially our families.  In God’s eyes, though, this life on Earth is temporary. James 4:14 tells us, “You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.”  Our home is with God.  We have eternity to spend in Heaven with those who have gone before us and those who will come after us.

That promise doesn’t make death any easier for us, though.  There is some comfort in knowing our loved ones have gone to a better place, but we still miss their presence in our life.  That grief is a horrendous process to experience, but it is a reality of life. 

I thank God for His promise of heaven.  It’s what gets me through this life, knowing what we have to look forward to.  We will have to deal with death, though, until we face it ourselves.  It is God’s way of reminding us that we need to stay focused on Him.  We need to keep our priorities in order.  We need to appreciate every day we have and live life reaching out to others, not just feeding our selfish desires. 

Do you know that promise of heaven?  If you are not sure, I encourage you to pursue it.  Talk to someone or just go to God and ask Him.  He will show you the way.  Don’t wait.  We are not promised tomorrow.