Less Than a Christian Wife

Excluded

“I guess what I feel is lost in the world of those who are mothers and those that are at home full-time. I feel almost less than a Christian wife because I don’t “fit in” with the rest of the “group.”

Like cold water thrown on my heart, those words jolted me right out of my little box.

You see, I have been a gold card member in the stay-at-home, homemaker, homeschooing, club. Yes, club. It feels that way anyway, right? Like a club, an exclusive club, and if you don’t have the right credentials you’re out.

How did I end up in that club?

I’m sure I was lured in by my own desire for righteous living; I just wanted to be a faithful daughter to my God. I just wanted to see people walking in the truth. Here’s the truth: I lost sight of the gospel. I made the club my gospel, and I didn’t even know it.

I knew I was excluding people in my heart if they didn’t share my convictions (clue!). I didn’t know that my convictions had become an idol.

And while God loves righteousness, He hates idols.

When you put something above love, you have made for yourself an idol (God is love – John 4:8). If you find yourself hard-pressed to love someone, there is almost surely an idol lurking.

And idols must be torn down.

Idols take the place of a relationship with God, and idols divide people.

Idols make us slaves, and God has delivered us from slavery.

“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20: -3

If you are in a club, here is my encouragement for you today: revoke your membership, cut up the card, and walk free.

Meet your brothers and sisters where they are, and let them meet you where you are.

And then,

love.

“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” John 15:12

“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:8

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Photo Credit: Excluded, by uopfindsomt

84 Coffee Talks on “Less Than a Christian Wife”

  1. Amostee says:

    Thank you for this post. I've experienced the snub by many in the club you describe and have felt very 'less than'. Though I would love to take your post and forward it to every place I can where clubs lurk, I feel very grateful that you posted this amazing word. Clubs are insidious and it's very difficult to share the gospel when one is devoted to a club, or clique. I applaud your recognition of the fact. I will definitely seek out any clubs I may belong to and put them aside.

    Blessings of peace and joy…

  2. "If you find yourself hard-pressed to love someone, there is almost surely an idol lurking." Thank you for this heartfelt moment of repentance and exhortation to the rest of us in the club. I know I was a longstanding member of the 'Nursing Mothers Club,' the 'I'm In the Ministry Club,' the 'Charismatic Christian Club,' the 'I'm a Christian Club,' and many other clubs. I am on the alert now and will be looking out for other clubs I belong to.
    Angela Andrews´s last [type] ..Day 14- Interlude
    Angela Andrews´s last [type] ..Day 14- Interlude

  3. Andrea says:

    I've been hurt so many times by "clubs", I didn't really stop to think I had started my own "I'm not cliquey, therefore I am better than you" club! But there you have it.
    Andrea´s last [type] ..We pray
    Andrea´s last [type] ..We pray

  4. Kathryn says:

    Great post, thanks!
    Kathryn´s last [type] ..Our Military Journey Continues
    Kathryn´s last [type] ..Our Military Journey Continues

  5. Kellie says:

    I have been stay at home mommy for about five years, and I have to admit that I have loved it. I knew that for a season God had called me to be in this particular role, and I accepted it proudly. God and I built a home I was proud of. Until about two years ago…..Then my HOME also became my idol. I couldn't relax because I needed it to "look" beautiful. I began acting very unbecomingly if the kids left a mess. God had let me know that the feelings I had been having could not continue.Recently, I began to pray about working outside the home. He said to me, it's not about whether or not you work outside of this house, it's how you spend the time that you're here. I had mistaken "mother and wife" as "slave." Today's post is confirmation for me. Thanks so much:)

  6. Michelle says:

    I appreciate your honesty in this post. I am a Christian, a wife and mother of two small children. Out of necessity I am required to work outside the home (as well as inside it – al that hosuework isn't miraculously done for me while I am at work!!)but my husband and I worked out the minimum I would need to work in order to make ends meet and so that I could have as much time as possible to be with our children – and when outide work is done, my children and their worl is always my priority. Sometimes I have to admit I feel a "little less" of a mother because I am not home fulltime with my children and I read blogs where women expound on the many benefits of such a blessing. I feel encouraged by your acknowledgement that, although ideal if you can do it, not all mothers are walking this blessed road the same way.

  7. debbie says:

    so true!! There's also the 'I wish I could stay at home' club too:) So glad Jesus never had a 'club'

  8. Vanessa says:

    Thanks! Enjoyed this post very much.
    Vanessa´s last [type] ..He Is One
    Vanessa´s last [type] ..He Is One

  9. Carrie says:

    Unfortunately, the church has FAR too many clubs!

  10. WOW, all I can say is WOW. You took the words right out of my mouth and heart. WHat I love is this this not only applys to Christians, but to everyone. I have several frinds in particular who consider themselves spiritual, or universal. Homschoolers, Natural, rawfoodist. I love that they work so hard to keep their children close to what is important in life. They don't own TV's, their children play with wooden toys are not exposed to comercialized anything, have never had a vaccination, the chiro is their family Dr., and their moms had all of them naturally at home with a midwife, and a naturopath. While that is not my choice for various reasons, I do live by some of their choices mainly natural medicine and modern, and food choices. I have the utmost repsect for the work they put into their lifestyle. It is not easy and it takes an incredible amount of dedication and commitment to follow through especially when the do not have the Lord to back them. We do not have a common groung where Faith is concerend but it is a non issue. I love them. The problem comes in when the judge the rest of us and consider us ignorent because of our beliefs. They make it known. We are sheeps, not only because of our Faith, but because we vaccinate, we have Dr's, we give birth in a hospital, with medical professionals who are there to make money and run conspiracies on those of us who are foolish enough to fall for it. It breaks my heart. I love them dearly and in my eyes they are in a club that cuts them off from incredible opportunities of friendship and fellowship they could have, that their children could grow in. I do my best to remind myself that it is my job to love them, and to rember that Gid will work it out, it is not my battle, it is his to change their heart, my job is to pray and continue to be their friend on their terms. Unfortunatly my personality does not always work in my favor… ;-) As all of us I am a work in progress.

    Thank you for reminding me what I need to do. <3

    I would love to repost this if that is ok with you. Obviously it would be reposted as yours with a link to your blog. Let me know if it ok. If not No biggy. Maybe I can attach the link?

    Have a wonderful week!

    SIncerely,

    Destiny

    • Sarah Mae says:

      Destiny – feel free to post and link! Thank you! :)

  11. Heatherly says:

    Yes! Yes! Yes!

    Such a tough, humbling lesson to learn.

    The hardest part for me has been extending grace to those that still loyally cling to their "club cards." God give me the grace and humility to TRULY show them love as I learn to live without the need for my own "club."

  12. Rachel says:

    awesomeness!! I am in that same club but it can certainly feel exclusive in ways I never meant for it to… beautifully said, thanks!
    Rachel´s last [type] ..The Treasure
    Rachel´s last [type] ..The Treasure

  13. What great words Sarah Mae. I know it is easy to get side track and become a part of a club. Thanks for the great reminder of idols!! Hugs

    http://watchmefuze.blogspot.com/2011/01/selah-i-w…

  14. Melissa says:

    This post hit me two-fold. Not only am I guilty of being part of the "club," but it's also become apparent that I may soon be kicked out of it. We are facing a potential move that would very likely result in me having to work outside the home. As if worrying about being judged by others isn't bad enough, beating myself up over this possibility is brutal. It also really opened to my eyes to they ways I have judged others who live differently than I do, either by choice or necessity. So, thank you for saying this Sarah Mae. May we all offer each other the same grace that God has so abundantly given us.
    Melissa´s last [type] ..Gifts and Ponderings
    Melissa´s last [type] ..Gifts and Ponderings

  15. Jen says:

    Wow! I was able to be the stay at home mommy until my kids turned two, then it was back to work. I SO loved it. Now, as a working mom I do feel snubbed at times. In my daughters school there are a lot of mom's that money is not the issue in their house. (although I know they have their own issues) It is hard to outside their 'club' and still have my daughter fit it. Thank you for putting it so beautifully and honestly.

  16. Autumn says:

    I appreciate the tone of this message….and of course the law of kindness is to ALWAYS be on our tongues! We should never make anyone feel excluded. However, we are called to speak the truth in love! I just wonder what kind of message we are sending our daughters if we are raising them to be homemakers, and yet in the same breath telling them "if you have to work it's okay….you CAN have it all!"…….

    I have a bit of a different perspective….I am one of only TWO stay at home, homeschooling Mom's in my large, rural church! I am in the definite minority! And I FEEL it! I honestly can say that not one of the christian women I know works out of necessity…unless you count having brand new SUV's and expensive wardrobe's and vacations necessities! And quite honestly, I have VERY little in common with these women, I don't know what it's like to rush home from work, pick up the kid's at daycare and then try to make a delicious meal….I can't help feeling badly for them when I hear them talking about how busy and tired they are! Does that mean I think I am BETTER than them? No,it means I recognize my blessings! I might have made some better choices….thats all….this whole "do not judge lest you offend" wave that is overtaking the church is very disconcerting! We are to make sound judgments…there are CLEAR lines for some things!

    I think that working out of necessity has become a much overused excuse……I KNOW there truly ARE situations where that is the case….I just think they are few and far between…..I think the Church has dropped the ball when it comes to our young women…..I just don't see a lot of support or encouragement for being in the home….I see a LOT for getting that college degree or that dream job though!

    I worked before I had children….I could work now….we don't have everything we want or even NEED, If I worked we would SURE be much more comfortable….but I know that serving the Lord to the BEST of my ability means taking utmost care of the blessings he has entrusted me with….that means being with them if at ALL possible, they are young for such a short time!

    The church has bought into the lie that women can have it all….something will suffer, and usually it won't be the job you could lose!

    I don't think saying that it is best for a mother to be home is judgmental……I think it would benefit the church and the society as a whole, IMMENSELY if more people WOULD say so! I just don't think it serves any good purpose to make christian stay at home Mom's feel guilty for taking pride in their calling!

  17. tammy says:

    I guess i am part of what you are calling a club. I have NEVER in my life felt that way though. I live my life according to what we see played out in scripture. I am a homemaker, i do homeschool, i am modest, i trust my husband as my head, and we want to love God and neighbor as our hearts cry. If this makes me part of some club (that i am totally unaware of) so be it. My audience is One, i live to please Him not my peers.

  18. Amy says:

    Thank you for this! I know I'm late commenting, but I couldn't help but leave you a comment tonight. I think this is the first time I've actually heard a club member admit that there's a "club"! Feeling left out of the groups around me has been a very hard thing. First, everyone around me got married, and they were in the "wife club". When God brought my husband into my life, we suffered from infertility, and I couldn't belong to the "mommy club". Now we have adopted, and even though I am a mom, I am still left out of the "pregnancy, labor, and birth club", which surprisingly takes up a lot of time within the "mommy club"! I work part time, so I'm not quite the same as a stay at home mom or a full time working mom. I do not work because we need the money, and I know that is a hard thing for many people to understand. I'm not even quite sure how to explain it myself. There are circumstances in our life that I wouldn't expect everyone to understand, and I've decided that's just the way it is, and it's okay with me! This life I'm living is the life God planned for me even though it is not what I envisioned many years ago. This post was a good reminder to me that I don't need to strive to join manmade clubs, because my eyes should be on my Lord and not on other people. Surprisingly sometimes we might find that we have more in common with people outside the clubs we're in than we think we do. You might be surprised at what this mother of only one, part time public school teacher has in common with you! We certainly miss out on some interesting and wonderful friendships when we only focus on the things that separate us. Thank you again for a thought-provoking post!

  19. Bonnie says:

    I am NOT ashamed to say that being a Mother is my sacred calling..I do believe we are called to stay at home when he gives us our children..We are to respond to that calling with willingness and obedience to the one who has called us. .Children are hurting in this country in a very bad way..I believe it is because we have replaced our God given callings with material possessions..trying to fit in with the world and what it thinks a woman should be..Elizabeth Eliot whom I admire so much, was never ashamed to be known simply as someone's!!She was unafraid to say "Mothers stay home"..God will provide everything you need according to his riches in Christ Jesus..We are to make good and righteous judgments which Jesus clearly tell us to do..There are absolutes..I believe the proverbs clearly teach that your home and "you" being there are paramount..To be a blessing and encouragement for husbands,children and the church at large..Keepers of the home!!It is really impossible to do it all… What better example do we have than Mary the Mother of our Lord who willingly said..Behold a handmaiden from the Lord, be it unto me according to your word..God's word speaks for me..My heart breaks for those who do not understand this truth and mostly for their poor children..

    • Sarah Mae says:

      Hi Bonnie,

      I am also not ashamed to be a homemaker, and I never said such a thing. This post is about how *I* elevated my homemaking/SAHM/homeschooling convictions over loving others. *I* made an idol of them.

      Here is the message I"m trying to send: http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com/home/2011/01/…

  20. Sara Sophia says:

    I adore your heart Sarah Mae,

    and your relentless quest for love.

    His Love.

    I want to be in THAT club with you.

    Right beside you.

    –S.S.
    Sara Sophia´s last [type] ..Saving Stories
    Sara Sophia´s last [type] ..Saving Stories

  21. This is beautiful.

    At times, I've felt as though I was an outsider because I am not currently a "homeschooling mom." When I read many Christian wives blogs, the homeschooling label stuck out to me because I did not fit in with that description. I am a Christian, I've been married to my husband for almost 10 years, we have 3 children, I'm a stay-at-home mom, but I don't homeschool. . . guess I'm disqualified! Some of these labels are touted around and now, rather than being just descriptive, they become exclusive.

    And I am not innocent either. I feel myself judging decisions to use daycare and preschool. I feel myself judging when I see a not-so submissive wife. I see myself on both sides of this topic.

    Thank you so much for writing this post, as it has humbled my heart and has shown me areas in which I must grow and areas which must be covered in prayer.

    God bless!

  22. CFloyd says:

    I too want to be bold in my example to the world (including the church) as a stay home, homeschooling, mom of seven children. But. God said go and make disciples (incinuating after Him, not me). It is the power of the GOSPEL (the life of Jesus) unto salvation, not me; not mine. His life THRU my life. No one ever gets saved off of someone else's convictions. You can stomp your soapbox all day, but in the end it has to be the conviction of each person's heart that brings them to the Life Jesus intends. All we can do, as Sarah is pointing back to, is show Love, do Love, be Love. Mothering, and homeschooling, and submitting are clanging gongs without the Love of God for ALL those around us.

    Great post.

    • Sarah Mae says:

      CFloyd – yes! Make sure to read my post tomorrow! ;)

  23. Santana says:

    I am 24 yrs old, un-married but with someone, I have to say i enjoyed this post. I am a Blogger myself and the group of girls that follow my blog and i follow theirs. These girls are stay at home daughters, or homemakers, they have two parents and are very rooted in their morals as far as staying home, homeschooling. Let me say that i have no problem with homemakers, i would like to be one -one day, homeschooling- no problem with it but not sure if i could do it. My issue is although these young women are nice i do feel when i read their blog s that i am being judged and down talked to in a way. I dont live at home, i have a boyfriend( we are both very Godfearing and doing our best to Have GOd lead us and do right in his eyes). They make it seem like i am wrong for the life i live. I struggle with this at times, but coming across your post i feel better.. We all come from different walks in life… so i think some need to understand that..We all love God the same..

  24. Stacy says:

    This was an interesting discussion ya'll have going on here. I started blogging a couple of months ago and one thing that I noticed is "where are all of the working mom blogs?" It seems like the only blogs I could find were SAHM, homeschooling blogs. And I am not in that club. There is a part of me that yearns not to be a member of that club, but to live in that simpler time when women weren't expected to work, but were expected to keep up the home. I can promise you that one thing has not changed: women are still expected to keep up the home, not just the organization, cleaning, laundry, cooking, but to maintain the heart of the home whether they work outside of the home or not. And while part of me would like to be a SAHM, God has not called me to that. By working outside the home I am submitting to my husband's headship, and I am acting as his helpmeet because my job provides us with health insurance that he needs as a diabetic, as well as other benefits. It has always been hurtful to me to be considered less than as a Christian because this was my path (that was given to me by God to follow). But on the other hand I have a very good friend who feels like some of our friends and fellow church members think less of her b/c she is a homeschooling SAHM. So it was good to follow this discussion and see some different opinions. And I agree with your take: let's not make either path an idol unto ourselves, but extend love to everyone no matter what path they are on.

  25. [...] be sure to read the articles she posted about No Grace for You, Are We Just Making Noise?, and Less Than a Christian Wife. Through her tender grace filled words, she has Christ manifesting through her blog to minimize my [...]

  26. millie says:

    Try being a stay at home WIFE who cannot have children.

  27. Patricia says:

    I wanted to let you know that the post touched me. I ended up writing my own post that came from what your post brought out in me. You can find it at http://hsmentormom.blogspot.com/2011/01/thing-of-…

    I place a link to your post at the bottom of mine. I just wanted to know how your post affected me.
    Thanks.

  28. Tara Haner says:

    Shared this post today on FB; what an awakening from my gold club member status today–recognizing I am nothing without love; and I DO love being in Jesus Christ's loving arms more than any "club." I just forget that truth somewhere in the rules and regulations of keeping up with the…Duggars. Ha! Thanks so much for a beautifully written reminder to love…just love. :)

  29. emilymullaswilson says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this. What a perfect articulation of how I have felt for the last seven years. My husband and I are unable to have kids. I have a fruitful, productive career teaching at a Christian high school, but I have always felt inadequate and ostracized within the church.

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    I'm Sarah Mae. I'm figuring out how to fit perfect into fallen skin. Stick around for the stretching...your soul is welcome here.

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