I’m also at (in)courage today writing about the girl you don’t let your children play with.
I love soaking in wisdom from older Titus 2 women who have gone before in grace and obedience in the Lord; I want to learn from them. Today’s interview is with Mrs. Rhonda Devine, a woman I met this past summer while vising the Brookshires. After spending some time with Rhonda, I knew she was a woman I wanted to interview. Grab some coffee and enjoy getting to know Rhonda! (Curious as to what Lady of Wisdom interviews are all about? Click here.)
S.M. You have chosen the stay-at-home mom life-style – why did you choose that path?
R.D. Before Herb and I married, we had pretty much decided I would be a SAHM. The choice for me came down to taking a honest, hard look at the scriptures. I spent a year doing a topical study(starting at Genesis all the way through Revelation) on marriage and a woman’s role when I was 17. I became convinced that the best way I could glorify God was to be in my home being a helpmeet to my husband and training my children. After trying to work a few months after our first son was born, I became even more passionate about fulfilling the role God has called me to, came home, and never looked back!
S.M. You are a homeschooling family, could you tell me when/why you and your husband decided to homeschool?
R.D. We became acquainted with an older couple in our church who had home schooled children. They opened up their lives to us and we were so impressed with the behavior and training in their children’s lives, we began to ask questions. They really mentored us and seeing the way they honored Christ in their home life was something that inspired us–we knew that’s what we wanted to do in the lives of our own children. We began home schooling our firstborn, Daniel, in 1988 when he was four. Three other children later, we have now been at it twenty-two years. Home schooling has become a way of life for us–it is so natural to teach your own children, I can’t imagine anything different. Over the years we have become even more passionate as we have grown in our understanding of what it means to train up your children.
S.M. What kinds of kinds of things did you do to train your children in the Lord?
R.D. Lots of reading to them, sharing scripture with them for instructing them in right living,
Trying to live the example in front of them so they know my faith is real. My husband has taken the lead in discipling them and teaching them to serve others. They worship alongside us and serve with us as well. They see our lives 24/7 so it is a good motivator to be real and model an authentic walk with Christ.
S.M. What are some “tools” in your tool kit of parenting that have worked for you?
R.D. Lots of prayer, asking for God’s grace where I have failed. The Word of God has been the foundation of our parenting. God has so much more wisdom than we do. In my opinion, my husband is a far better parent than I am as he is so much better at seeing below the surface and reaching their hearts. We very much believe in being with your children much of the time. We believe God requires us to make disciples of our children, which means spending large amounts of time with them, walking alongside them. We have spent countless hours traveling, reading, serving, learning and working together. So, to sum it up: Prayer, Grace, Time, God’s Word
S.M. What would you do over if you could?
R.D. I would have shown more honor to my husband when I was a younger wife/mother, encouraging him to take the lead spiritually and making sure my relationship with him came before my relationship with my children. I did not grow up with a strong father figure in my life, so this was an area I needed to grow in. I would have also encouraged my son to spend more time with his dad instead of being so keyed up about missing a day of math. :)
S.M. Did you have family worship/devotion time? If so, how did you do this?
R.D. We do have family worship times, though we are not rigid as far as it has to be every day, usually 2-3 times a week. We really try to just walk our faith which leads to conversations about God and His Word and how it applies to whatever is happening in our world or lives that day. In other words, we don’t want a ritual, but relationship.
S.M. Any advice for stay-at-home moms who feel like they have to escape?
R.D. I totally understand how a young mom can feel overwhelmed with responsibility. I had three children in five years after having an only child for 11. Talk about a change of life! My husband became sensitive to this and would take over the children for an hour or so after he came home when I needed a break. He also gave me mom’s nights out with friends or just some time by myself on a Saturday once in a while. I didn’t need it all the time, but once or twice a month was a nice break. A lot of it has to do with your mindset, realizing the Lord will never give you more than you can bear~He has promised that. So don’t believe the lie that you can’t take anymore; rather rest in Him for His peace and share with your husband your need for a little quiet time as well.
S.M. How did you make time for your husband when you were exhausted with little ones?
R.D. This was definitely a challenge! Getting into a routine is crucial, especially if you have lots of little ones. Getting them to bed at a decent time frees up some time for your husband. Also, always remember your marriage has to come first. One of the most important gifts you can give your children is a solid marriage. Your children have to come second otherwise there will be consequences in your relationships.
S.M. What is the greatest thing you’ve learned in how to be a good wife?
R.D. To grow in my understanding of what I as a woman was created for–that of helper. I am my husband’s completer and I am happiest when I am helping him, working together as a team. We refuse to live separate lives, each pursuing our own dreams, which we have seen lead to devastating consequences in marriages.
S.M. What is your favorite “cheap” date?
R.D. A cup of java at Starbucks. :)
S.M. If you could only pass on one piece of wisdom for young wives and moms, what would it be?
R.D. Follow Christ whole-heartedly by living out a radical life of obedience to His Word, which means rejecting the cultural mumbo-jumbo about finding yourself. You are here for God’s glory, to complete your husbands and disciple your children and together let your light shine so the world can see Him.
Thank you so much Rhonda for taking the time to “teach the younger women.” We are thankful for your wisdom!
Rhonda has been married to Herb for 27 years and together they have four children, ages 26 through 11, whom they have home schooled for the last 22 years. Their oldest son, Daniel, is a journalist for World magazine.
Rhonda’s passion is to follow Christ wholeheartedly by serving in her role as helpmeet to Herb–which includes helping run their business, ministering at their local church, and using hospitality and biblical counseling to strengthen believers and build strong family units for the glory of God. Through mentoring and writing, her heart’s desire is to see women blessed in their roles as helpmeets and mothers.