I have posted here many times about how crappy and unappreciated I feel some days. I mean let’s face it, being a mom isn’t always the most rewarding of jobs. Sure, there are days when we are showered with hugs and thank yous and hand drawn and colored pictures…but there are countless days too when we seem to be “Invisible Moms”. Today my eyes were open to a fact that, deep down inside I know I knew, but today it seemed to hit a little closer to home.
It all started with Proverbs 31: 10-31. Now if you don’t have your Bible handy I’ll give you the Cliff’s Notes version. It talks about how ” A wife of noble character is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her…She gets up while it is still dark, she provides food for her family…She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard…She sets out about her work vigorously…and her lamp does not go out at night. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. She makes coverings for her bed…She is clothed with strength and dignity…She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed…Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.“
This is one of the most powerful Bible readings I’ve read in a long time. It helped me to realize that we all serve God in different ways. Some spend their entire days in church at the foot of the altar, praying Rosary after Rosary while others are more of the “Martha” type and stay home and serve the Lord through housework and service to their communities. These are the women to praise and lift up, for they are the “wives of noble character” that the Bible speaks of. The “Invisible Moms” of the world who go about doing for their families and their communities, some days without so much as a thank you…but they continue on every day. They work when they’re sick, they work when they’re tired, they work when there is so much work that they seem overwhelmed and just want to give up…and yet they trudge on. Why? Why go through all of that for nothing? Because it’s not for nothing. God not only sees our efforts here on earth but he sees our hearts while we’re performing our duties. He knows we don’t want to stand and do dishes for 2 hours but we do…why, because our families need us to, because people depend on us and it is not in our nature to let down those who mean the most to us. In everything, even the simplest aspect of our lives we are serving God. And if we do all things with a prayer in our hearts, He is pleased.
I feel very strongly that the work ethic of the wife in the Proverb is long-lost on today’s society to some extent. Everyone seems hell-bent on doing the least amount of work for the most reward. I was raised to bust my ass every day and as my mom used to say “If you’re not dead tired when you lay down at night you didn’t work hard enough.” Food tastes better after a long day’s work. A hot shower feels better when you can relax and know you accomplished something. I’m raising my children to not only appreciate the blessings they have been given but to also appreciate the fact that if they are standing there washing dishes by damn that meant there was a meal on the table and now they have food in their bellies. If they have to fold laundry then by damn that means they have clothes to wear. If they have to sit and do homework then by damn that means they are receiving a quality education. Not a bad trade off when you think about it, now is it?
Holiness can be found in the simple things in life done well. To be a good leader, we must first learn how to be a good servant. There is no shame in putting in a hard day’s work. I wish all of our young people were being taught that same lesson. Imagine the state our country would be in if everyone took up a shovel or a broom and gave a few hours of manual labor to their communities. Gardens would flourish, playgrounds would be clean and the world would be a much more peaceful place in general. Those of you with young girls at home, I challenge you to take a moment and think about this question: Are you raising someone who one day could be a wife of noble character? Are we being wives of noble character ourselves? What can we do to better ourselves?
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” -Proverbs 31: 30