26 August 2006

What God calls a girl to be

Recently, we've been having an interesting conversation at the Choosing Home Forums about the role of women in the church, which is complimentary to a conversation carried on that the CH Blog a month ago or so.
What I think is really interesting in these discussions is the idea that seemed to be simmering beneath the surface that God creates women to be wives and/ or mothers and that one of the primary reasons women should not be in church leadership is because women with families are not fulfilling or are compromising their primary role to their families.
This is interesting to me because I think I have always assumed that what God has created us to be first and foremost is servants of Him, not our families, regardless of how noble that idea actually is. The idea that women should only be wives and mothers, is to me, as ridiculous as saying that women should only be attorneys and police detectives.
It is true that the calling to ordained leadership is one of sacrifice and often one of sacrifice borne by the family of the one called. But the calling of helpmeet and mother is one of sacrifice, too, and the family of the one called bears the sacrifices therein, regardless of whether the sacrifices are as obvious as Daddy having to put the Bug to bed because Momma's at a meeting. I would love to stay home with my kids, but I also know that if I get that chance, my poor husband and children are going to have to deal with a wife learning to handle restlessness, seeking ways to engage her brain, and longing for friendship and adult human interaction. And I know that if that's where God wants me to be, we'll figure out a way to deal with it, just like we figure out ways to deal with meetings and hospital calls and funerals.
Isn't all calling, when it comes down to it, about dying to self? Yes, being a pastor means that I have to balance the time I spend online blogging, with the time I spend on the floor playing, with the time I spend researching a sermon, with the time I spend calling my peeps. I often fail at dying to self, but I'm fairly certain that I'll always struggle with it. Because if I am following my God-chosen path whether in motherhood or ministry, won't that always mean I am giving up something ?
Edit to add: Molly actually JUST posted on an aspect of being a faithful woman at her blog. Check it out.


molly said...

That is too weird that we both hit this topic... LOL...

whimsy said...

I agree. Sometimes I wish it was cut and dry. A large part of me wants to be able to devote myself fully and wholey (is that a word?) to our home and children. That is not what God has asked me to do. So, I'm trying to learn about that dying to self thing and devote myself to what He has asked me to do.
I would imagine that missionary moms sometimes wish they could have a "normal" family life too.
This whole discussion (over blogs & forums) has been very freeing for me. I have been fighting against working. I felt like I wasn't "right" to be doing it (like second guessing my DH is more "right")and I certainly shouldn't be enjoying it.
But if I let go of what I think I "should" be doing, I find that I really do enjoy my work. Even if it's not always at home.

A. Lin said...

I am currently a SAHM; and for the past 4 years (since my oldest was born), I had been okay with it. After all, it is what my mother and my husband's mother had done. However, I am also called to be a minister. I have felt a calling to full-time vocational ministry since I was 12 years old. I have a M.Div., and I am called to preach.

Over the past year, I have been very convicted that my comfort as a SAHM was wrong. It is easy, given the struggles of baptist women trying to find a pastorate, for me to say my vocation is a SAHM. I feel as though I am putting my family before the call God has given me. Therefore, the Holy Spirit has convicted me of a sort of idolatry. I am guilty of not seeking out a place of service, for I know that God is calling me to some place.

And to take this idolatry to another level, I have to ask myself what sort of example I am sending my own sons when I say that they are more important that following God's leading.

As a result, I have searched for a ministry position. I have been preaching sermons for preachers in our area who have been on vacation. I have taken on more roles within my church to gain more experience. I am continuing my education this fall as I start working toward my Preschool and Children's Ministry Certification.

Overall, I feel I have been too comfortable for too long. God did not call me to be comfortable--God has called me to step out and live fully in what God has called me to do.

Thanks for letting me share.

April said...

Thank you, all for sharing these thoughts (and thanks for visiting). I continue to find freedom from my own fears, all while my heart keeps being captured by Jesus. Being mother and pastor and wife and daughter and friend and, and, and... all such beautiful callings! Why do we allow ourselves to feel guilt and fear and diminution?
I am praying for you, friends.