Beatitudes for SAHMs-8

Beatitudes for 'Stay at Home Moms' (part 8)

"Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:10 (NIV)

We would be hard pressed to consider ourselves persecuted in this day and age. Persecution brings to mind martyrs of old, missionaries who are slain while in service for the Lord, or a teenager shot because she said she believed in God. Most of us lead secure lives and live in countries where it is a freedom to worship and believe as we wish. We know that this verse ultimately means that those who give their lives for Jesus, for believing in Him and His salvation, inherit the kingdom of heaven.

But, on a more superficial level, do we ever suffer persecutions as SAHMs? Are we ever under attack for following God's will for our children, our families and ourselves? The Amplified Bible clarifies this verse a little by defining `righteousness' as `being and doing right.' The Living Bible tells us, `Happy are those who are persecuted because they are good.' The Message tells us, "You're blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you deeper into God's kingdom.' The Shepherd's Guide commentary tells us that `Jesus declares that the kingdom of heaven belongs to those who are persecuted for upholding God's standards of justice, truth, and goodness.'

SAHMs who have truly sought God's will prior to making the decision to stay at home, and leave the `working' world, can often feel persecuted and ignored. Where are our role models? Who depicts us accurately in popular media? Where are the articles, which support and celebrate our decisions? There is a woeful lack of support for SAHMs in today's media. In order to maintain a politically correct balance and not step on the toes of the majority - those women who choose to continue to work for pay, the media has all but forgotten the minority - SAHMs.

And, have you ever heard the question "Oh, so you don't work?" After you stopped laughing, did it really anger you? Isn't the world's perception of SAHMs that we are either well off, no money worries and we sit around all day cuddling our chubby cherubs, eating bon-bons and watching our soaps? Or that we are dim witted, fat, boring women who spend our lives bare foot and pregnant? Or that we are too lazy to get a `real' job? Can this be considered a form of persecution? Well, if some other groups were depicted as inaccurately or with such omission in the media, we would be voting on an amendment to the Constitution! Most SAHMs that I know personally are very intelligent women, many with college degrees. They are great financial planners, educators, chefs, physicians, interior decorators, mechanics and any of a million other job titles that we must take on in our daily life as a SAHM.

A friend recently described to me a picture she spotted in a magazine at her doctor's office. It was for an article about working moms. The picture had a mom, in her neatly pressed power suit, holding a baby, a frying pan, wearing a crown and surrounded by money. The best of all worlds? With depictions such as this, it is no wonder that we often feel left out, ignored, and persecuted if you will. Where is the story about the SAHM, the joy she feels, the struggles?

Then there are other questions, or statements that cut us to the quick, such as "Oh, I wish I could afford to stay at home." Filling out forms on the Internet that ask you to choose your occupation and your only choice is `unemployed' or `retired' because what you do covers ALL of the other options! The persecution is subtle and socially acceptable - it is Satan's way of daily digging at our confidence in our decision to follow God's will in this matter.

But, as with so many other things, there is a reward. By accepting Jesus as our Savior and following His will, we will ultimately be in His presence in heaven. But we can glimpse this on a daily basis. Because we are at home, and because we deal with the persecutions & financial struggles, we get to see our children grow and develop before our very eyes. We get to have a dominant hand in raising them to love and serve the Lord. We get to see the first step, hear the first word, dry the tears and hear the giggles.

We get to see the kingdom everyday in the eyes of our toddler, or in the smile of pride on the child who just won the spelling bee. The kingdom of heaven is ours in the sight of a sleeping baby or a tiny hand in ours as we walk in the park. It's the joy in hearing a little one count to ten for the first time, or a teen finally understanding the physics homework. It is a million little presents given to us daily by a God who loves us.

Make no mistake, our persecution, as a SAHM is minute compared to that suffered by the true martyrs of the faith. But we have made a decision to follow God's will for our lives, and we will encounter tough times because of it. But, God is gracious, we know that He gives us daily the little joys that sustain us in our `career' choice, and that ultimately, He will welcome us into His kingdom.

About the author:
Cheryl is a SAHM to her three year old daughter. She worked as a nursing home administrator for 8 years before her promotion to 'Stay At Home Mommy.' She loves being a homebody, sewing, needle arts, scrap-booking and raising her daughter. Cheryl believes that SAHMs don't get enough support or encouragement in this day of two income families.

[ by Cheryl Novak, Copyright 2000 ]


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