Let’s pretend we’ve all gathered for the annual church house cleaning. We receive our assignments, and you discover you’ve been assigned the ball closet. Now the ball closet is a very small closet in a dark, out of the way corner of the basement. It’s cluttered with balls and bats and gloves and all manor of other game playing equipment. The closet has a door on it that remains shut so that no one can see the mess inside. How are you feeling? Are you thrilled about your assignment?
Let’s suppose you are a very out going person and you love interaction with other people. Maybe you are not at all scared of heights and would love to climb the ladder and wash the ceiling fans in the auditorium. Perhaps you enjoy painting and would be delighted to help with the nursery renovation project. Lets say you love nothing more than making windows sparkling clean; in fact, you brought your Norwex rags along so you could get the windows done right! It could be you are good with cantankerous old church house vacuum sweepers and wouldn’t mind a bit taking over the sweeping job and figuring out what the problem is. Or, how about you especially enjoy working with children and would be delighted to oversee the project of getting the children involved in scrubbing all the chairs.
Ball closet? Humph.
Blame it on our society or whatever you wish, I think a lot of us women secretly have the same feeling about being a wife and mother that you are having about cleaning that ball closet. “Here I am with all these gifts; these talents. And just because I’m a woman I am supposed to sit at home where nobody even sees me and clean, cook, wash, wipe noses, feed babies, change diapers, discipline children… Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. What about all these gifts I have??”
I love the comment my friend, Karen, made on the post ‘Why Are We Discontent?’ She said, “People are only discontent when there is something else they would rather be doing.” I’m afraid that kind of hit’s the nail on the head for me sometimes! To often, over there in the corner of my heart where the rebellion towards the woman God created hides, is the resentment towards being assigned to “just cleaning the ball closet”.
I’m not suggesting that a wife/mother can never invest in any activities other than raising children and keeping house. Every husband and wife have to make those kinds of decisions between themselves and what is ok for another mother to do on the side might not be ok for me. There are also seasons in the life of a mother. When my children were ages 7, 5, 17 months and newborn would probably not have been a good time to be writing blog posts for 31 days! Doing something different, that we enjoy, can be a refreshing change of pace from the daily grind of life. I enjoy scrap booking and sewing and making something creative with my hands can sometimes be that “needed break from motherhood that will actually make me a better mother”.
So how do I know if I’m being resentful of ‘just cleaning the ball closet’ or if it’s ok to do some other things on the side? I think for me it’s important to accept that ‘cleaning the ball closet’ is my first priority. I think Jesus’ admonition in Matthew 6:24 holds a principle that applies to us women, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other…” ESV Accepting that being wife and mother is first on my list is my best cure for being discontent - then there will be nothing else I would rather be doing! :)
Another thing to consider has to do with a comment made on the post ‘Have the Men Changed Too?’ Rosina said, “One way I believe men have changed is in their involvement in church. Since many churches tend to be geared toward and run by women, men just aren’t as interested anymore.” I think this is true, and there are other areas besides church that it could apply to.
Some of us women are gifted in leadership and public speaking and other talents that, if we are not careful, can snuff the life out of our men. Men are not like women. If someone tries to take over one of my responsibilities, I’m likely to get defensive and say, “Hey, wait a minute. That’s my job!” My husband, on the other hand, will probably sit back and say, “You wanna take over that job? Knock yourself out!” If we want the men to do their job of leading, we are going to have to be careful how we use our gifts. I think there are places for those gifts to be used but this is something we need to keep in mind.
I don’t feel like I’ve covered this very well and I’m sure there’s more that could be said. I’m trying desperately to get this thing done today yet and being a hypocrite in the very things I am preaching….. I would love to have your input. What am I missing? What else should be added? For now, my ball closet is in dire need of some attention…..