This is an ongoing series in which I am exploring some of the issues in which we mommies not only face unnecessary guilt, but also place unnecessary burdens on our sisters in Christ.
“. . . She gives portions to her servant girls . . . “ Proverbs 31:15
Liz Curtis Higgs, in her now out of print study on Proverbs 31, points out that among other things, this verse tells that the Proverbs 31 woman had servant girls. Of course we aren’t managing households as large, or complex, as those in the Ancient Near East, nor do we any longer have to haul our clothes to the riverbank and beat them against a rock to get them clean, so our need for domestic help is no longer a certainty. However, as long as we are obeying the two direct homemaking commands in scripture, we are free to seek help in those areas of managing our home in which we lack skills.
So what are those direct commands?
First, we are commanded to be busy at home. If we cannot complete our basic chores because we are too busy pinning crafts on Pinterest, or watching television or any of the other luxury items that take up our 21st century time, we need to learn to manage our time in a way that permits us to manage our household.
Secondly, we are commanded to be good stewards of the resources the Lord has given to us. We should be free to seek help, but not at the expense of our other financial obligations.
However, we cannot possibly do ourselves all of the things required to provide for our families. We acknowledge this when we purchase or pay others to do things we could learn to make ourselves (bread, clothes, yogurt, granola . . .), or grow ourselves (corn, carrots, onions, potatoes), or do for ourselves (car maintenance, computer repair, plumbing). Why do we believe it is permissible to seek help in certain areas of our lives, but not in others? Why is it acceptable for a woman to purchase bread and clothing but clean her own house, but it is not acceptable for a different woman to make her family’s clothing and bread, but have someone else help her clean?
This application extends far beyond the “servant girls” mentioned above. We should not be ashamed to seek help in our homemaking tasks. Do you love to cook and hate to clean? Do you have a friend with the opposite likes and dislikes? Offer to trade an afternoon in her kitchen cooking and preparing a batch of meals while she spends that time in your home removing the soap scum from your shower. You’ll both feel the other got the short deal, and you will have both served the other.
As we struggle with our obligations as mothers, one of the greatest ways we can walk in freedom is to give ourselves permission to ask for help, in whatever form that comes into our lives.