What Kind of Message Am I Sending?

Message in a bottle

“…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!”…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 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!” (These are excerpts from a comment I received on my “Less Than a Christian Wife” post. To read the whole comment in context, please see here.)

What kind of message am I trying to send?

My hope is that I am sending a message of love, because…

“…no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.” 1 Corinthians 13:3 (The Message)

My story is this: I try to love God by walking faithfully to His gentle leading in my life. I fail everyday at submitting to my husband, but I believe I should, and so I will keep trying. I fail everyday at being an organized, consistent homeschool mama, but I believe I’m supposed to be, so I will keep trying. I fail everyday at being a homemaker, but I believe that caring for the domain entrusted to me is my reality and my conviction, so I will keep trying. However, all of those workings/roles that I believe are laid out in scripture are not the gospel (and they do not define me or give me my identity). Do I believe that God says women should be homemakers? Yes. Do I understand what all that means in the context of the reality of life and people’s circumstances? No. God knows and He sees hearts and He understands wounds and histories and the whole picture. I have but a human, limited, logged understanding. For my own life, I am convicted to be home (and I am teaching my daughters how to be homemakers). But if my sister in Christ, who chooses a different path than where my convictions lead me, has the same God and the same Holy Spirit living inside her, than I can trust that He knows how to speak and guide her.

I have little desire anymore to judge (or “evaluate”) others insomuch as me telling them how to live; I have enough of my own life to get together before I could possibly start trying to “speak the truth in love” to others in this online medium. When and if I feel the need to tell the truth in love, I think it is important that I know that person well and that they know I love them. Speaking truth across invisible wires is a very difficult thing to do because the message is often lost in the type. You can’t see my face or hear my voice; you don’t know my history and I don’t know yours. How can you know I love you? How can I really speak the truth in love?

I’m not saying it can’t be done. I’m saying I’m not in a place where I feel comfortable doing it right now.

I am comfortable saying this: I do not think women can (or are called) to do it “all” (and I never said I thought they could). I think we need to stay close to God, listening to His spirit, reading His Word, and discerning what we are capable of. I think we need to be honest and vulnerable before the throne of grace.

I think I need to focus on my own life and trust that God will speak into the lives of His loved ones.

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Photo Credit: Message in a Bottle, by jockofthesnowveld

69 Coffee Talks on “What Kind of Message Am I Sending?”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sarah Mae, Sarah Mae. Sarah Mae said: Lot's of feedback on this post: http://bit.ly/gBlLCF What kind of message should we be sending? [...]

  2. Kendal says:

    Oh Sarah Mae! If I could only have half the grace you have!
    Kendal´s last [type] ..Jellyfish Christianity
    Kendal´s last [type] ..Jellyfish Christianity

    • Sarah Mae says:

      Kendal, you do. I promise.

  3. Tiffany says:

    You are dead on about how we all see through a different "grid." I didn't read anything in your initial post "Less Than A Christian Wife" that was remotely appologetic about your convictions or in any way watering them down. What you were saying is be careful that we (as the body of Christ) don't become like the pharises. We can follow our convictions and what the Bible has laid out before us, but, we must always guard our hearts and be careful that pride does not sneak in to puff us up and so decieve us.

    I felt like you clarified that even more in this post by saying… "God knows and He sees hearts and He understands wounds and histories and the whole picture." Luke 6:45 tells us that out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. So yes, *how* and *when* we speak is so very important. James 1:26 tells us If anyone considers himself religious (spiritual, or close to God -my emphasis added) and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he decieves himself and his religion is worthless.

    I agree with Melinda that many of us act on our insecurity, whether that is in opening our mouths in order to convince someone else that they should feel convicted of the very same things we are so passionately convicted about or in perceiving that we are being excluded or attacked because someone has shared their opinion and it doesn't align with our own. I admit full well that there are times there is no mistaking it, we are being blatantly excluded, attacked or condescended to, but, there are also times we let our emotions lead us into an anxious frenzy and we build things up in our mind that simply isn't there. AGAIN, that is why it is so important that we guard our hearts.

    As far as speaking the truth in love, I agree there are times it is called for, but I truly believe (my own conviction -not anyone else's) that we should reserve that for those the Lord has placed within our care and keeping. An example would be in teaching or training up our children, as a helpmeet to our spouse when he looks to us for guidance, or in other close relationships. With the rest of the world that we potentially have the power to hurt or help, we should use a little more grace to mark our actions. We should be speaking the word in love to encourage and uplift. (Ephesians 5:19)

  4. Melissa D says:

    Love this. The talking and the telling mean nothing compared to the witness of love, of Christ in us. Just as we can preach from one text or another all we want — the book people read is *us*…. I'm convicted to stay at (and sometimes work/write from) home, but without the Holy Spirit, my days at home would be the family equivalent of "sounding brass." And believe me, everyone will see that. Most days, Christ alone gets me through the day with my small kids. And we should be pointing others to Christ, not to Staying At Home (or any other "right" doctrine). Right?
    Melissa D´s last [type] ..Working- working- working
    Melissa D´s last [type] ..Working- working- working

  5. Laura says:

    I would just like to make the point of that it is not always a person's choice…There are times that you have to do what is needed and don't have any other option. I find it sad that this person is looking down on women that are having to work and not able to stay at home. It is a poor assumption that they are doing b/c they want it all. They may be doing it b/c that is what the family needs at that time.

  6. Sisterlisa says:

    I like that you used The Message in this.. what's the difference between quoting from The Message and C.S. Lewis or Martin Luther? Nothing!
    Sisterlisa´s last [type] ..One Thousand Gifts
    Sisterlisa´s last [type] ..One Thousand Gifts

  7. Sarah says:

    @Autumn,

    I wholeheartedly believe that God DOES in fact speak to us, so I guess we will have to agree to disagree. :) I also believe that He will NEVER go against His Word. But, just because there is an example of something in Scripture, doesn't mean that God wants us to do that.

    There is absolutely SO much that is black and white in the Bible. But, I think SOME things come down not to "right" or "wrong" but to "poor," "good," "best," etc.

    I believe that God reveals things to each of us in His timing. I believe He has grown me in different areas and revealed to me what certain Scriptures really mean. He may have grown my sister in that area LONG ago. Maybe He has grown me in that area before He does so with another person. No matter what else I do, I believe what Jesus said, that the two most important commands are to love God first, and then people. Yes, I'm still learning what "love" means. So, THAT is our greatest call and trumps all other callings we have. Because Jesus said it.

  8. Sarah says:

    @ Melissa,

    "And we should be pointing others to Christ, not to Staying At Home (or any other “right” doctrine). Right?"

    LOVE THAT!! Well said!

  9. Autumn says:

    Staying at home is not a doctrine at all…..I certainly never said that it was essential to salvation! If a conviction that someone has and shares, causes someone to abandon the church or their faith, well I would question whether they were ever there at all!

    I just think this whole ~everyone is on a different path or point in their journey, so don't be absolute about anything~ is dangerous! Where does it end?? Can you be a practicing homosexual on a different part of your journey?? How about living together outside of marriage?? Just seems very wishy washy to me…..

  10. Linda Lou says:

    I received my one thousand gifts book today..I was so overjoyed I was picked to receive one that I cried! Thank you Thank You! Peace be with you!!

  11. Rosalind says:

    Always trust in the Lord!! His plan is always right :)

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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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