Friday, April 23, 2010

Remaining Content in the Home

I love working in the kitchen.  The joy of cooking, the delicious aromas, and the fun of working alongside Mama and my sisters.  Some of my fondest memories will be the laughter and jokes shared during good times in the kitchen.  Then there is also the fact of the whole family gathering together around the dinner table after our thirty to forty minutes of sweat-work over the stove.  The happy times families can have together!  A family either pulls together through the good and bad times, or it will fall apart.  We see it across America today.  But that is another topic entirely...

How easy it is to remain content as a daughter in the home while the way is easy!  But then how hard it is to remain content in the home when the way becomes difficult!  Most people want to give in when things begin to look bleak and dreary.  Just like defeatism, this is a tragedy.  Defeatism can make young women look longingly at the world's independence.  "If only..."  runs through our minds.  But no, we shouldn't be thinking in "if only."  It will just get us into trouble.

Striving with contentment while the heart longs for "independence" (so-called) is practically impossible.  We can never be content until we root out of our hearts the longing and rebellion that remains.  Once it is removed, then we can begin practicing our contentment and patience.

Here I am, fifteen years old (although so close to sixteen I can begin to say "almost"), and I'm talking about remaining content while still at home?  You've got to be kidding!  Most stay-at-home daughters who might be getting impatient are in their why me?

Let me share a secret with you about a young woman's heart: she longs desperately for the day when she will have that love and a home of her own.  A young woman dreams of the day that she will fall in love with the man who will remain hers forever.  However, is our desperate longing so desperate that discontentment will overtake our hearts?  Are we so desperate that all we ever think about is "love"?  Are we so desperate that we are constantly looking for "love" in all the wrong places, and at the wrong times?  Are we so desperate that any interest a young man displays (even the friendship type) sets our hearts to fluttering with giddiness and romance?  Are we also so desperate that we eat up romance novel after romance novel?  I'd say we're pretty desperate.

Romance novels.  A treacherous enemy.  In today's distorted world, we also have a distorted view about true love.  Fairytale romances certainly don't help.  Young girls nowadays are lost in an imaginary world of young men and women falling head-over-heels in love, and living happily ever after with the perfect marriage after a beautiful whirlwind courtship.  That isn't reality.

I admit: I've read plenty of romance novels in my day.  In fact, I have a bag of them in my closet.  I'll confess to an eager hunger to get my hands on those books, but what does it profit me?  A distorted view of love?  I don't need any more of that.  All that arises is discontentment with my position in life.  Even Christian romance is pretty twisted. (Can't we trust anything anymore?)  Most romance novels just feed our discontentment.

I thought I'd make a small point here: Jane Austin is one of my favorite authors.  Yes, I love her work, and yes, her books are Victorian novels of love, romance, strength, honor, integrity, and showing how to overcome difficulties in the world.   Am I going to throw the books out the window? No, but I'm not going to read them everyday...nor ever week...nor every month...
There is nothing wrong with reading a good fiction book once in a while, but not going overboard.  I don't want to become "hooked" again. (So no, I'm not giving up Mr. Darcy for good.)

I'm apt to make a fool of myself more times than not.  Talking over internet, or worse, talking in person, I always seem awkward and dumbly ignorant and unintelligent.  I've often sat staring around the room just because I can't think of anything to say.  (Like I've said before, my mind flows more clearly on paper than with my mouth.)   Or, I decide to take a stab in the dark, but blurt out something utterly incomprehensible.  Talk about remaining cosmopolitan.   My mind becomes immobile, or so it seems.  Most people don't know that 99.9 % of the things I'd really like to say are jumbled up inside of me.  Is it embarrassment?  Shyness?  Pride?  Fright?  Afraid of ridicule?  Perhaps all five?  Maybe.  But what does this have to do with remaining content in the home?

Just as I remain unsatisfied with my lack of conversing skills, so it is with discontentment, in anything.  The more I remain afraid, the more I sink into my little turtle shell, daring not ever! to come out into the sunlight.  My incompetency becomes deeper and deeper, and I grow weaker and weaker.  My discontentment grows, and I'll never rise to the occasion to deal with the situation.

Our problems have the same solution: shake off the shackles of discontentment and begin to live vivaciously with joy in our hearts.  Being shackled to the ground only hinders us from flying.

The next time discontentment rises in your heart, take special effort to remain loyal and kind.  Our families need us.  Do we really want to desert them to sow a few "wild oats"?  Those "wild oats" of independence only result in ruin.  Look at young women today.  Going off to college for four years after completing government school institutions.  Many lose more than just freedom.  Many give of themselves freely.  Many lose their virginity and purity.  Many go into careers that take over their whole lives, never enjoying the blessings of Daughterhood or Motherhood.  Do we want to give up our freedom for those shackles?  For we daughters are the ones with true freedom.  True freedom is taking responsibility and acting mature. True freedom is obeying what God has commanded.  What the world has may look like fun, but it is only "enjoyable" for a season. (Hebrews 11:25)  Whatsoever we sow, that shall we also reap. (Galatians 6:7)

Our twisted view of love will only set us off looking for that "perfect man" who will one day fulfill our every desire.  Isn't that ironic?  We know down deep there isn't any such perfect man, yet we're willing to search high and low for him endlessly.  We also know that we ourselves are far from perfect; how then can we think that a "perfect man" would marry an imperfect woman?  Utterly illogical.

I say we totally remove so-called "love" out of our minds.  After all, true love will one day be brought to us, if it is God's will, and in His timing.  Why do we want to be bogged down in the despair of discontentment and unsatisfaction?  We women are at our best when happy and ready to serve, not waiting for Prince Charming to ride along.  So put a smile on your face.  Grin at your reflection in the mirror if need be to boost your morale.  Give your sisters a kiss and your brothers a hug.  Share some laughter in the kitchen with your mother.  Show your support to your father by meaningful gestures.  Show your love.  Show your care.  Show your willingness to be a servant. (Mark 10:31,44; Luke 22:24-27)

Much better results will result from a proper attitude. And you know what?  God will one day reward our patience and fortitude.  Whether it is His will for you and I to marry or not, our perseverance will bear forth fruit. (Galatians 6:9)

Live every day as it were your last, for all too soon this life will be past. Kiss all your loved ones with tenderness and care, and show the whole world Christ's love which we should share. Make the most of your time with well-worth fruit, only what's done for Christ will one day take root.


Sonya said...

Great post darling!

Rachel said...

What little good I may do is all according to the influence of you and Daddy! Thank you!

Chase Clift said...

Excellent!!! I do admit to reading romance novels, I know reading them rather messed me up.

I'm rather the same way when talking to others, except when its something I understand. Thanks, I know I needed something like this!!!

Rachel said...

Thank you, Chase! I know, a lot of people get fooled by what romance novels portray as "true love." Sadly, we all fall prey. I'm not saying there aren't *some* good ones out there, but the majority aren't true.

I'm glad you enjoyed my post! Thanks for your comment!