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Biblical Womanhood and Christian Living

The Danger of Self-Pity
By Joanna Huckabay
Nov 10, 2007 - 4:39:34 PM

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I wish my husband were home more. Its so exhausting to take care of these children and this house by myself.


I wish this house were bigger and newer. Constantly trying to fit our things in neatly and looking at old wallpaper and paint is depressing.


If only these children would allow me to clean the house in peace, and then let it stay clean, even for a day.


Lets be honest with ourselves, ladies: Just how many of us have had these very thoughts? I know I have, and on particularly trying days, I have had all three negative thoughts at once. A husband that is often away on business or works long hours, a small or run-down house, and rambunctious children can wear on a person after a time; but we must be careful not to fall into the trap of self-pity.

As Christian women, wives, and mothers, we are called to imitate the Standard to which all of society is held, and society is teaching us to be increasingly unhappy and dissatisfied with what we have. We are supposed to feel that we should have a successful career, lots of money, a big house, a new car, and a person who comes in and cleans the house for us once a week. As a result, we are left feeling like we have been dealt a bad hand when it comes to our lives. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Do you have a husband who is willing to work long hours and take business trips to bring home a good income so that you may stay home? You are blessed. There are many women who would love to stay home, but must work. Do you have a home to live in, with four snug walls and a roof to keep out the rain? You are blessed. There are good families out there who, through a myriad of circumstances, are forced to live in their cars, or take their young children to dangerous shelters every night and simply pray for their safety. Do you have children healthy enough to run around outside, then track the dirt and mud through your home? You are blessed. There are many parents with children who cannot run and play, because they are ill or handicapped; and many more who cannot have children. There are many, many people who would shed tears of joy if they could be in our situations today.

We should strive to be happy with our situation in life, for both our children and our husbands. Our husbands need to see that we are satisfied with the salary they bring home, the house they have provided, and the life that they work hard to create. Instead of feeling like your husband is lucky to get to leave town for a couple of days and escape the chaos of it all, try thinking about it from his point of view. He is probably feeling lonely, having to sleep alone at night in a strange bed, with no wife and children to welcome him  after working all day. He has to go back to an empty hotel room and talk on the phone to you after a long day of travel and meetings. I know my husband would much rather be in the yard playing with our children than on the phone making sure were safe from hundreds of miles away. For our children, we should remember that we are trying to create a grateful heart in them.

If you find yourself often thinking, Why are these children never satisfied? All they do is want, want, want! perhaps you should consider whether or not you are dissatisfied and constantly lamenting over the things you cannot afford or do not have. To raise grateful and happy children, there must be a grateful and happy mother. Now, we all have bad days, where it seems that nothing goes right, but its how we react to those days that our children see and imitate. Lets try harder to only allow our children to see us happy and in the process of improving the things around us, so they will grow up to be grateful, happy adults who seek to improve the world around them.

Having several small children underfoot can be a challenge and is most definitely a source of exhaustion for the mother. However, we must guard our hearts against the thought that our children are a burden, or are constantly causing us more work. The Lord gave us these children because He trusted us to raise them in a godly home for His glory. This is an awesome responsibility and one that should not be taken lightly. Yes, raising children is work. It is often messy, tedious, and difficult work that repeats itself day after day. But as we attend to their needs every day, we are teaching them diligence. As we love them and hold them close, we are teaching them to love. When we talk about clouds, frogs, butterflies, and changing leaves, we are teaching them wonder. When we tenderly kiss a scraped knee and apply a band-aid, we are teaching them kindness, and when we pray with them at night, we are teaching them worship.

It is easy to allow yourself to become dissatisfied with your home. A house is an inanimate object, incapable of hurt feelings or bad attitudes. However, your opinion of your home can influence it for the good or bad. If you feel like your home is not adequate, not big enough, or not new enough, you will have a hard time getting motivated to improve upon it. You may allow your routines to slide, letting your home become cluttered and untidy. Instead of neglecting our homes because theyre"not good enough" or "not really what I wanted," lets look for ways to improve both our homes and our outlook on life. Often de-cluttering a room, painting the walls, or simply rearranging the furniture can breathe new life into a home. There is a great sense of satisfaction in completing a small home project by yourself, knowing that you have made your home better in the process. Let us look for little ways each day to make our homes more comfortable and beautiful.

God has given all of us so many blessings that our negative thoughts seem so ungrateful, selfish, and sinful at times. However, the Lord also knows our hearts, and if we try harder every day to do better and to think better than we did the day before, I am certain He will bless our efforts tremendously. Lets look for ways to bless Him and be grateful for all He has given us every day.

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist , confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. ~ I Peter 3:13-17

Joanna Huckabay also has a blog you
can visit for more of her writings!

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