Let's just look at that list for a moment. All of those things take us out of our homes! They call us away from our husbands and children. Yes, they allow us to give of ourselves to others, but they are not callings you find in scripture. But to be a helper to your husband, to be a keeper at home, and to teach and train your children ARE given to us by the inspired Word of God, right there in black-and-white.
It is one thing to add something to my regular responsibilities, but another thing to let something take me away from the purpose for which I was created.
Titus 2:4-5: "Young women...be sober, love their husbands, love their children,
be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands,
so that the word of God is not blasphemed."
I realized about four years ago that if it wasn't on that list of priorities from God's Word, that I had to keep "it" from taking a higher position of priority than those things. I could add it to my day, but if it took me away, it would have to go.
Currently, I lead a ladies' small group one night each week at my home. I always reserve the right at the beginning of each group's 12-week semester to cancel our meeting on any given night, without notice, if my husband or family needs me to not have group that night. My husband supports me leading this group even when I talk to him about my concerns. (Like this week, when I've been weighing whether or not I need to stop doing the group and focus on my home even more.)
He has encouraged me to keep doing them, but still, some days, I feel like I need to check myself. You see, there is also time spent preparing the house and preparing a snack or drink, as well as preparing myself for the group by reading and studying. All of that takes some of my time each day. I am constantly aware about what order in which I am creating my to-do list!
I have had a wonderful example in my own pastor's wife. I have invited her nearly every semester that I've led a women's group to come and be a guest speaker. We usually meet in the evening, and her response so far has always been no. Now, some of you may think that a terrible thing--but rest assured, it is not. I mean, sure, I want so badly for her to come share her heart with these ladies, and she knows I will keep asking her. She tells me, "If my husband will be traveling, I can come, but if he will not be out of town on any of your meeting nights, I will be unable to do it."
Every semester, she has given me the same reply. And every semester, my respect for her, and my remembrance of my own priorities is more strongly secured.
A few years ago, I was also cautioned by another wise friend, when I auditioned and made the choir at my church. She told me to be aware of how much time it called me away from home before I committed to it. That choir was cancelled soon after my audition, and I consider that a blessing.
Young women, we do not need to stretch ourselves so thin by going after publicly serving others. Yes, there are needs to be filled. Yes, we are to serve. But we are called, first and foremost, to serve in our homes. It is our special and unique purpose. Home is the domain in which we are to love and serve our husband and children. Anyone and everyone else must take last place to God, family, and home.
So many young women feel guilty for not serving in other capacities in this season, and we should not feel guilty about that! We will feel shame if we leave our child "to himself" (Proverbs 29:15) and do not do what is needed to teach and train him up. And I can tell you that I, personally, have felt a form of shame when I have been lazy or neglectful of the work of my home, or when I have neglected loving my husband and/or children in order to serve elsewhere. The truth is that home is where God wants me to be and has called me to serve.
Let's learn to say no to the good, and even great, opportunities that are presented to us. Instead, let's say yes only to God's BEST, His high calling for us as wife, mother, and keeper at home!