Time’s a strange thing… it has a wonderful and peculiar way of sort of settling things. Sort of like a river finds that level ground or a lake is formed with the pooling of water… people’s ideas or methods seem to me to tend to be like that. I think of the people who used to think like me and no longer do and people who never thought like me and do so now. People who, through a series of circumstances and events have changed their once staunchly held views and those who once held views in strict opposition to ones I’ve held for many years are now visiting with me about what I consider to be “non-optionals” for Christian women.
When I was pregnant with Kathryn, a book came out on the market and was thought by many in the Christian community to be a rather far out book, narrow in scope and position. A friend gave me a copy bcz she thought the woman sounded just like me. Now, at that time I had come to the living decision that God was indeed the supreme authority of the family and blessed controller of all things and surely the Lord of the womb. This was sort of an uncommon thought even in Christian circles – and, sadly, it’s remained so, for the most part. But these thoughts were becoming increasingly important to me… thoughts concerning the life and ways of the Proverbs 31 woman, the 1 Peter 3 wife and the Ephesians 5 marriage… Soon, it was no longer just head knowledge from Bible studies and other reading, but it had become heart knowledge as I watched Him guide our marriage and provide for our family.
So I read Mary Pride’s TheWayHome and of course it resonated with me and I was sort of armed for service, if you will, as I spoke to other sisters about my ardent beliefs. I was actually quite alone – I came to discover. I was especially mindful of this when I would see the women sort of glaze over at the thoughts I was sharing. Well… that really didn’t deter me in the slightest. Actually it all sort of fanned the flame and fueled the fire as I read more and more of the Bible from the perspective of full and total surrender. I think in time I met a couple of friends who saw things the way I did and what a delight it was to talk with them. And then, in time, I would meet a few others who shared my same passion for the Word, for family, for keeping at home, for childbearing and, eventually, homeschooling. But it was a long and rather lonely path at first.
Only now do I have great “come backs” for the arrogant and rude comments I received when I was “popping out children one after another.” To those who said things like: We know what you’ve been doing… I would now wish I had not been so sheepish and apologetic. I wish I had had the fortitude to say: And you don’t? To those who said, Don’t you know what causes that? I would like to have said, Yes, but I sure am sorry you and your husband can’t seem to figure it out. To those who said, We want to take good care of the ones we’ve got or we just want to be responsible… I wish I’d have had the temerity to say, I just want what God wants and I just want to be faithful to Him.
Instead… each time (early on) I would smile and sheepishly reply some inane apology or something. But then one or two more children would be born and my conviction was strengthened and bolstered to the point that I began to reply with comments that reflected my resolve to trust and obey the LORD and to give Him the glory due His name. For by then, surely, I had seen His glory and His provision in ways too numerous to count. I began to develop and solidify the non-optionals that have been mainstays for many years.
In the early days, it was very rare to meet women with strong convictions about marriage and family. It was so rare to meet women who had totally given their family size and order to the LORD. It was also very rare to meet women with strong conviction to follow the biblical mandates for wives and so, it was really a blessing to have been in those “right places at the right times” for the LORD to work in our home.
When we lived on an island in the San Juan’s, there was much time for reading and memorizing Scriptures. There was much time for gardening, washing, canning, sewing and caring for the children. I was steeped in His Word and I am more convinced than ever that if a woman would just spend time in the Word —reading and reading and reading… she’d come to the very same conclusions. God is so merciful and His Word is so living.
As this day comes to a close, I am mindful of the glory and precious mercy of the LORD. We celebrated the twelfth birthday of our eighth son. O, how I love that boy. What a precious gift he is. How much we’d have missed if we hadn’t been led of the LORD… and obeyed His call.
I think I’ll write some more about non optionals for Christian women. I know I’ll probably be writing into space… but that’s okay… I’ve done that a lot over the years.