By Brie Gowen
Recently I was running around last minute finishing laundry, tidying my home and throwing together a home cooked meal. I had to work the next day and the few hours left of time away from my nursing job were drawing to a close, but as I put tiny little shorts away in little white drawers I realized something unexpected. I loved it. I loved what I was doing. And I did it because of love.
I see a world more and more frequently where women are made to feel odd for wanting to stay at home. They’re encouraged to seek first their career goals, and to share the load of the home with the rest of their family. And that’s fine. It totally is. I can stand behind that, especially in economic times that often require dual working parents. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a woman who works outside the home; I work outside the home. But what bothers me is a society that says that’s the only way it should be, that anything else is demeaning to women.
See, our advancing times are all about pushing “progress,” which often leaves traditional ways of thinking in the mud. Feminist movements tell women “you deserve to be outside the home” and convince them that a desire to raise children solely is beneath them. In fact, this way of thinking convinces women that if they don’t work then they are less.
The stigma of stay-at-home wives and moms is likened with laziness, and some schools of thought pile pity on a lady who wishes to care for her home as a career. It doesn’t seem lofty enough, ambitious enough or worthy enough for a strong, intelligent woman. And the idea of serving your family? Well, that’s just absurd.
Thoughts of servanthood bring to mind things like waitressing, being a maid or even a slave, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The fact is the word servant isn’t a bad word, it’s actually an admirable quality. If you look at a definition for servant it’s termed as a devoted, helpful follower or supporter. So therefore being a servant doesn’t equal forced behavior. It’s actually a labor of love.
I am a servant in my home, and I am proud to hold that title. I serve my children because I love them, and I am modeling for them that when you love someone you help them. I’m a servant to my husband because I love him. I’m his biggest supporter, and I help him in any way I can. I tell him how much I love him, but my actions of servanthood show him in tangible ways. And you know what? He in turn serves me. Because he loves me.
And I guess what I’m trying to say is there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s nothing wrong with serving those you love. It isn’t weak. It’s actually strong. For when you can give of yourself expecting nothing in return, it shows you have a heart for others. Servants are leaders in their home. They are mentors for future generations, and if that’s not a high, respected calling in life then I don’t know what is.
Let’s get rid of the stigma of women being servants. It’s not beneath them; it’s actually something we should all strive for in life. From a Christian perspective God became man in the form of Jesus so that He could serve mankind. What woman out there doesn’t wish to raise the bar a little higher when given such an honorable example to follow. The Savior of the world was a feet washer first, and perhaps it’s time we all got down on our knees for those we love.
As I go about my day serving my family I try to remind myself why I do it. When time is short, my nerves are frazzled and even when “thank yous” seem to be lacking, I try to remind myself that I do it for love, and I really do love that. I don’t think there’s any higher calling for me as a woman than to serve those I love.
About the Author: Brie Gowen is a 30-something (sliding ever closer to 40-something) wife and mother. When she’s not loving on her hubby, chasing after the toddler or playing princess with her four-year-old, she enjoys cooking, reading and writing down her thoughts to share with others. Brie is also a huge lover of Jesus. She finds immense joy in the peace a relationship with her Savior provides, and she might just tell you about it sometime. She’d love for you to check out her blog at BrieGowen.com.