Friday, November 2, 2007

Lookin' For Success in All The Wrong Places

When I first became a teacher around 14 years ago I was determined to be good at my job. I was fresh out of college and had all kinds of ideas for my classroom. I know KNOW I was not a perfect teacher (even years later), but I really enjoyed it and put a lot of energy and time into teaching. When I won the "Rookie of the Year" award for our school I was understandably proud.

What do you suppose things would be like today if I had put that much time and energy into my home? I'm not just talking about housework here either. (Seeing as how we had a tiny one bedroom apartment that if I got really serious took me all of 30 minutes to clean!) We did have sort of an odd start to our marriage with S. being stationed in California and me being in Texas for the first 6 months. I wanted to go to California with him so much but there was a real possibility his ship would leave for up to 6 months I would have been left alone in a state where I knew no one and more than likely would not have had a job either. Come to think of it, I kind of wish I had gone now. I can't believe we decided on being apart. It did give sort of a strange start to our marriage. So, 6 months later he came home and I was overjoyed. But was being "successful" at being his wife one of my goals?

Um, no. I spent more time than I care to recall at school working on stuff. I was career-minded, let me tell you. I was just a dedicated teacher and I had two other teacher friends who were newly married with no kids and we all just stayed late working on things for our classrooms. I was always home before S. was, but still---didn't I have anything to do at home?

Apparently not. At least I couldn't think of anything. My concept of being a wife was so non-existent. I didn't become a "wife" we had become a "married couple." So, I expected us to cook dinner together, do the shopping together, do everything together and enjoy it! I had no idea that men and women had different roles! No idea.

I remember reading about a friend of the author's in this book who said something about how she intended to be succesful at being her husband's wife! What if I had been determined to be a great wife for my husband from the beginning? I think things would be very different today.

I was so ingrained with lies in my thinking that it wasn't even funny. And we went to church every single Sunday and I heard nothing to counter what I was believing either. We have to teach our children the truth of God's word in ALL areas...or the world will teach it's truth instead. And the effects can go on for years.

We are fine now. I am finally understanding how this whole marriage and family and Christian household thing is supposed to work. I highly recommend reading the book Homemaking. It's not about keeping house, by the way, but about the Christian household in general. I have been completely amazed as I read that it is all applicable today even though it was written over 100 years ago. It's freaky. I guess the truths of God don't change?

I wish I could go back in time about 14 years and start over with my new understanding. (I wouldn't mind having my old figure back either!!!) But since that's not possible, I will just have to start where I am. I think this is what it means to be transformed by the renewing of your mind, by the way! And it's very good.


  1. What a wonderful, wonderful post! I, like you, had no idea what being a wife was all about. And like you, I wasn't hearing much at church to counter the world's view of a woman's role. Even now, I feel like the *odd woman out* because I sincerely believe our families most closely reflect God's design when the wife is a keeper at home. Even among Christian women I sound like a martian when I talk that way! How sad for the next generation of young women who are being taught even less than you and I were about Biblical feminity when were kids. (I gather you're about 36, like me, right?) Not to mention the kind of young men our daughters will encounter when they reach marriageable age. Much prayer is needed.

  2. I'm right with you on this one. For the longest time I acted as if my husband owed me so much and I owed him nothing in return. I've lost many years that could've been better, but at least now I can teach my daughter from experience both the results you get from the good and the results you get from the bad. Hopefully, she will be able to learn from my mistakes!

    As an aside, I still struggle with this from time to time. It is so easy to slip into automatic pilot for me and not take the time to think how I can bless my husband and family the way I should. Thank God for His grace!! At least now I am aware that I should make the effort, instead of thinking the world is set up to cater to me, even though I may not always show that awareness.

    Great thinking post!

  3. Great post! I've spend a lot of time thinking about this and truthfully, I've found life is easier when everyone has their role-everything gets covered. My husband goes to work and never has to worry about the house, kids or day-to-day stuff. I get stay home and raise our children. Some days are tough, but usually I feel like I've lucked out on the deal. I get stay home and raise my kids!!
    P.S. Thanks for visiting my blog!

  4. Thank you for sharing your awesome story. Like you, thinking back, I believe I would have chosen a different place to start. I had no idea about so many important things. But since God allowed different things in my life, I start where I am. And I am so happy with it.

  5. Hmm. "Success" is such a slippery word nowadays, isn't it? I came from a Christian home where this was modeled AND taught, and I STILL had to come to a place where I took it for my "own." But I think it "sticks" better that way, even though it took me a longer time to get here...God uses EVERYTHING.

    So nice to meet you here - I loved reading through your posts and getting to know you! I'm looking forward to getting to know you more as time goes on.


  6. Reading this made me feel so much better. I have a son who is 16 years old and I'm wondering if there is time to undo the damage I have done as a "career woman". :(

    Thanks for sharing your story!


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)