"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home..." Titus 2:4-5Why do mother's feel that they have to work outside the home? Is it money, boredom, sanity, ministry, self-worth, investment? My ears perk up when I hear a mom working outside the home. I guess because I want to know her reasoning. This is what I have heard in my listening: (1) We cannot live off of one income, we have too much debt. (2) I need some excitement in my life. It's boring and tedious to be at home day after day. I have to work to keep my sanity. (3) God has given me gifts and I need to use them to minister outside my home. (4) I get no thanks for the things I do at home. The same thing day after day and no one appreciates it. When I go to work I get appreciated, noticed. (5) I went to school for X number of years to get my training/degree. I didn't do that all to stay at home and take care of my kids day after day. Plus I have to pay off my student loans. Here are my thoughts: (1) If you feel you need more income, try living for your 'needs' only. And then pray that God would provide them. A few years ago we listened to a message by Otto Koning "A Widow Who Becomes God's Channel" and we were challenged to live only for our needs. No extas, just the bare minimums. If we needed something, truly needed, we would pray and ask God for it. So one day Joshua came to me and said that he needed some jeans. I told him that he needed to pray and ask God for them. A few days later a neighbor came over and dropped off some clothes for our kids. She said that there were jeans in there that were practically brand new and she couldn't believe how fast her son had grown out of them. When she left we opened the bag and wouldn't you know it, there was not only one, but several pairs of brand new looking jeans just Joshua's size. And one of the pairs of jeans were the exact pair that he had seen in the store and wanted. That was a testimony to us as a family that when you do trust God for your needs, He will provide. But to often I am quick to get things before our kids even know they have a need and in doing so I rob them the joy of seeing God provide their needs. I do believe a mother's job is to clothe her family well and sometimes that means thinking ahead, but at the same time be sensitive to the times God wants to show them His power. So all this to encourage those who think they cannot make it on one income; God knows your needs, and I believe He will honor those who choose to live their lives according to His design. (2) Yes, doing the same thing over and over again can seem like tedious work. But if you have the joy of the Lord as your strength, these mundane things can be life to you. If you focus on the eternal and have a servant's heart these things will not be mundane any more. What better opportunity to serve others as Jesus did than in our own homes! (3) Yes, God has given you gifts and you can use them right in your home. Your family IS your ministry. Every day you are shaping a life for Christ. Every day you are being a witness. When I think of the people my children are going to be a testimony and a witness to when I am faithful to God's calling as a mother, I get excited. How many people have the opportunity to influence a life for Christ 24/7? (4) God sees. He sees your heart. He sees your good works. He sees every cup of water you give.(Matthew 10:42) He sees every dirty diaper you change. He sees every time you wipe up spilled milk. He sees every tear you dry. And some day, if you fulfill your calling well, your children will rise up and call you blessed. and God will say to you, "Well done thy good and faithful servant." (Matthew 25:21) (5) This is an area that we have given a lot of thought for our daughters. How much time and money should they invest in schooling after high school. If God so chooses that they should marry, what pull will there be for them to work out of her home to put her 'traning' to use and to pay off her debts? It is sad to see that so many women have been put in this exact position and don't see any way out. I guess I would say, let's think about this next generation, what is important and what is going to be a hinderance to their calling. And are we doing things just because every one else is? What if your husband doesn't agree with you staying at home with your children. If it is a matter of money, come up with a plan to that would help you to save money. Present it to him in a humble attitude and tell him that you will do as he says and you trust him. If he agrees be diligent in saving money any way you can and that he approves of. Buy used clothes, own only one vehicle, buy used furniture and appliances, don't go on expensive vacations, make your meals from scratch, don't hire people to do odd jobs around your home, instead work on it as a family. And if your husband doesn't agree, pray for God to change his heart and continue to honor him, and be a helpmeet to him. If this is God's will for you He will work it out. And for those stay at home moms who are feeling quite pleased with yourself right now, the second part of the chapter talked to those of us who are at home but are still leaving home through phone, email and chat rooms. I am not a phone talker or a chat room person, but I can spend way too many hours surfing the internet. All good, informative sites but sometimes I end up being idle and not a good mom because of it. There is a balance to these things. And I quote the end of the chapter: " 'Keeping the home is more than staying at home; it is having a heart that is fixed on the home." Happy Day to You!