“If you really were a Christian, you would have tons of kids, stay home and home-school them all”, these words were once spoken to me by a complete stranger at a Women’s Retreat. Even worse – I was dealing with infertility at the time. I reacted by fleeing the scene and practically bursting into tears.
Don’t get me wrong, I think having lots of kids, staying home and homeschooling can be a very good thing – a blessed thing! But I do not believe it is the right path for everyone, and it certainly does not define your worth as a Christian.
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It never occurred to me that I would grow up to be anything but a stay-at-home Mom. I went to college and became a teacher, but I never thought that I would work when my kids were young. Surprise! I now find myself with 3 kids, and I have been a working Mom for the entire life of my children. At first it left me with:
I knew that I had to work, we had prayed, and financially we did not have other options. Even if we down-sized our house, cut down to one car, eliminated dining out and all extras, I would still have to work. And yet, I still felt both GUILT and an overwhelming fear that working would mess up my children.
Thankfully, after about six months of this GUILT-fest, God gave me a revelation! He told me that He would not tell me to do something and then say, “but wait, here’s a bag of GUILT to go with that”. God was not going to tell me, “go to work and by the way, working will mess up your kids”. I prayed, submitted my plans to Him, and OBEYED His words.
This means I can walk in FREEDOM!
Yes, there is a place for guilt, such as when there is unrepentant sin. If God had told me to down-size my life and quit my job, but my reaction had been “no way”, then I SHOULD feel guilty. But that is not what happened.
Guilt does not always come from God, sometimes it comes from the evil one who loves nothing more than to have us feel like crap, leaving us ineffective and beat-up inside.
So I decided to tell him what he could do with that guilt. And suddenly I felt FREE!
To be honest, for the next few years, I had to remind myself of these words several times. But now, I do not feel an ounce of guilt. I know I am walking the path Christ has set before me. I don’t always understand it all, but I have experienced FREEDOM in the journey.
That gives me PEACE.
“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” John 10:10