Sunday, February 26, 2006
Christian mothers and day care...okay?
My thoughts on the issue of "Day care" have changed over the past while. I guess you could say they have gotten more compartmental. While I still believe that the best place for any mother is to be at home with her children, I don't see the urgency to stay at home for those who are "in and of" this world's society. However, I see an ever-so-more pressing need for mothers of a Christian home to disregard this secular debate on how day care influences our children and turn to the real issue: just what are my children learning? That, to me, is what a mother must be asking herself.
This post, therefore, will not address those who are outside of the church. It is addressing those seeking to raise Christian children who will know what it means to be "in the world but not of the world."
Children, in many ways, become like their teachers. They arrive into this world not even knowing how to speak. They must be taught now to communicate, how to eat, how to behave, social boundries, ect... In general, they must learn how to be members of their society. Because all of their interaction is done with society, they are able to learn this from almost anyone: the day care provider, the school teacher, friends, neighbors, and so on.
The Christian, however, has another responsibility towards their children. The Christian child must not only learn about their society, but they must learn about their God: their relation to Him, how to be members of His church, the theology found in His Word, His moral requirements, and above all, the beauty of His plan as revealed in the gosple message. This can not be learned from just anyone but it falls directly in the lap of the parent. Unlike Hannah, we cannot drop our children off to be raised in the house of God. (Although, with seperate children church services, church day cares, and Christian schools we certainly do try). The Christian mother has a resopnsibility placed upon her that, if she truely feels the weight of, will either cause her to fall in failure or strengthen herself so that she may carry the task through to the end. Daunting, I know. I have felt only ounces of the weight thus far, but as the task grows with my children, I pray my strength will grow as well: that God will strengthen me.
So, can you do both? Is it possible for today's Christian mother to pursue both a career and motherhood? I guess that is up to you. Only ask yourself one thing: do I have the time? 8 hours at day care or school, 8-10 hours of sleeping, that leaves only 6-8 hours of time with your children. Don't forget to squeeze in transportation time, eating, extracarricular activities, grocery shopping, ect... Now, you are finally home with your kids. For 8+ hours they have been in the hands of society: learning whatever it teaches. Now it is up to you to find out what that was, redirect what you find wrong, and teach them the faith of their family. Whew!
The role of a Christian mother is irreplaceable. No one will teach your child what you want them to know, discipline them in a way that points them to Christ, or love them with the same unconditional love. At the end of your life the extra income you generated or the self-fulfillment you found outside of the home will pale in comparison to the time you spent with your family. At the end of your life, you will wish for more time with them; why not start now? And ask yourself this: "Are they worth it?"
Related Tags: Daycare, Christian, Mother, stay at home, Society