this post made me think:
i was curious your reactions towards what she said
That was a really interesting post. I read it & all the comments.
I think it's a hard Biblical case to make, to say that a woman cannot have a ministry outside of the home, or be passionate about a cause outside of caring for her house, husband, and children. I think it would be hard to even make the argument that all the women in the Bible did not have outside ministries. In Acts, there are examples of women serving in the church, and Paul thanks women in his letters. These ladies were obviously doing more than just raising good children- and it'd be a hard argument to say that they were all childless & unmarried, considering the culture.
That aside, I'm confused by the disdain for leaving children for a few hours a week. Many of the examples given were for evening ministry meetings. There is not one mention of fathers in the article or comments. The fathers are capable, loving people, and the mothers (theoretically) are in love with them and trust them completely- why can't they keep the children while the mother goes to minister, using her gifts and passions for the kingdom of God while the father gets really good bonding time with the kids? And, if it is parents' job to be home for children at every available minute, can any parent (mother or father) have an outside ministry? Or does God not give gifts and passions to aid in his wider kingdom work to people with children?
These are just my observations. Like I said, I don't totally understand the validity of the argument. I'm also coming at this from a different angle because I see the biblical imperative to care about social justice and to care for the poor and marginalized around the world, inside or outside the church, alongside the imperative to care for home & family. These women see the biblical imperative for them to care for their home and children alone, without the larger "go into all the world" commission. I guess I don't see why it has to be an either-or stance. But that's true of a lot of things :)
As for me, I hope to involve my (future, theoretical) children in ministry outside the home. I see a few wonderful families do it every month at the Sunday Suppers we help out with, and it's awesome- the kids are learning hands-on, rather than just reading about, what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus- and seeing it modeled as a regular part of life, not just for special "mission trips". If I want to help out with a ministry at church that the whole family can't help with (like Josh, with choir or me, with the church library), is it such a big deal for one parent to be gone a couple hours every week? It will show our children God gave all of us different gifts, and we should use them to his glory, wherever we fit in the body of Christ.
I could go on, about the idea of 'calling' as talked about over the last few weeks at church, but I'll stop. What did you think about it?
I completely agree with you. I think it's really important for kids to grow up seeing their mothers (and fathers) serve others. And, consequently, I think it's also okay (and maybe even important) for mothers to have an outlet that doesn't involve their children. Of course, I'm not a mother yet so I'm sure my opinions will change when I am one. As you said - where are the fathers? However, one thing that I think is sad is that I've seen Christians who don't feel that it's important to be involved in ministry - especially outreaches. My mom and I once had a discussion about a family friend who believed the Bible commands us to only love other Christians, and so they were "liberated" from the need to reach out to nonChristians. I feel like for a lot of people, "ministry" only implies "helping out fellow Christians". While that's important, I think it's also important to help those in need, no matter what their beliefs are. Otherwise, we're the world's biggest clique. :-)
One of the comments I just read mentioned - "How can you say no to being a nursery worker when your kids are some of the main ones in the nursery? How can you not teach Sunday School/Children's Church when they are desperate for help and you have many kids in their classes? Is it fair to desire that your church run a Children's choir or Christmas program but then you refuse to help at all with it?" I think that was a really good point (of course, she was talking about how to get over feeling guilty for not volunteering, but I do think those words backed up my point of view). Why should you refuse to help out at all? Especially when you use those services yourself? Surely some sort of balance can be reached? Again, I'm not a mom, so I know my perspective will change, but that's what I'm thinking right now. I don't want my kids to grow up around only Christians - and what better way to expose them to other peoples' ideologies than when we are serving them through ministry, and I am standing right there?
Now, your turn.