Do Not Bow To The Gender Idol

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Somewhere along the way it has become a crime to say there are inherent differences between a man and a woman.

And it has happened in my lifetime.

Another evidence of this just recently cropped up in the news. A senior engineer from Google wrote a company memo suggesting, among other things, “that men and women biologically differ in many ways.” He went on to suggest that these biological differences, though small, contribute to different strengths and weaknesses in men and women.

He said that “women on average, have more openness directed towards feelings and aesthetics rather than ideas. Women generally also have a stronger interest in people rather than things…These two differences in part explain why women relatively prefer jobs in social or artistic areas.”

This man ended up being fired by Google for “perpetuating gender stereotypes.”

What a sad world we live in.

For centuries it was a given that there are clear differences between men and women that contribute to clear differences in their strengths and weaknesses. Now it’s considered shameful to acknowledge this. Now everyone must bow before the altar of gender equality. This man refused (or forgot?) to and it cost him his job, maybe his career.

So there are real and present consequences for asserting that there are substantive differences between men and women. Does that mean we have to go along with it? Absolutely not.

To be sure, there’s a fiery furnace of sorts that awaits those who openly maintain a clear distinction between sexes (and the furnace grows hotter when you say that this distinction was purposefully designed by God). The good news is that just as this same God supported Shadrach, Mishach, and Abednego for not bowing before the idol of their day, so he is willing to support those who refuse to bow before the idol of gender equality. This is not to say that we will not endure ridicule, or the loss of our job, or worse, but as long as we remain faithful, especially in the midst of the fire, God will be faithful to help us in all our troubles.

What’s the alternative? Should we begin to pretend that, generally speaking, men and women don’t look, act, or think different than one another? Should I treat everyone I meet like a man? Or a women? Actually, if gender distinctions don’t exist, what are we all supposed to be? Have the powers that be decided that yet?

I really don’t care if they have or if they ever do. I am a woman and I feel privileged to be so. I will raise my daughters to cultivate the virtues of womanhood. I will raise my sons to cultivate the virtues of manhood; and I will raise both of them to embrace the differences between men and women and to rejoice in the God that made them. It should not be a shameful thing to acknowledge the peculiar strengths and weaknesses which men or a women possess respectively; God ordained it so and we should not try to pretend otherwise.

What if we acknowledged that men generally (please, I beg of you, don’t forget I just said generally) are stronger than women, and there are certain jobs they just are better suited for. When you drive by construction jobs, why on average do you see more men out there working then women?

Why can’t we accept that women can be (on average, generally speaking!), much more relationship minded, which makes them more suited for certain jobs? We women love connecting with people, and we are good at talking through what we feel.

These are not signs of weaknesses. They are not something to hide away and feel ashamed of.

When the world begins to lose site of who created them, which is God, the perspective of what God created men and women to be gradually disappears.

Stand strong, Christian families. Look to the godly examples we have been given and teach your children to strive after those godly traits. Encourage your boys to be men, teaching them about Moses, David, Joshua, and Noah, how these men stood strong at times, and how they gave into temptations and what happened. Teach your girls about Eve, Ruth, Mary the mother of Jesus, the Proverbs 31 woman, and help them learn from the lives of these women.

Each of these men and women had very important, but very different, roles to play in the kingdom of God. Notice also that these roles were not interchangeable. Moses clearly could not have filled the role of Mary, nor could Mary have filled the role of Moses. They each had unique calling that were suited to their unique abilities as men and women.

The world is quickly changing, but that doesn’t mean the ways of God are changing. His truths are unchangeable, unshakeable, and they endure to the end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All Babies Deserve A Baby Shower!

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It is a truth universally acknowledged that women love having good friends and eating chocolate.

Ok, so not every single woman out there loves chocolate, and there are those super private ladies who just want to stay home and never talk to anyone.

But I think those are few and far between.

For the large majority of ladies, we love to get together and visit, eat food, and celebrate life with each other.

I’ve always thought it was sad that after the 1st baby, there really isn’t a celebration with girlfriends over other babies coming. I know ladies don’t need a huge baby shower after the first baby, but every baby is such a precious gift! Whether it’s your 1st baby or your 6th, there is cause to celebrate.

If you are a mom of several children (or maybe a mom of many!), the budget is always tight. Throwing a huge baby shower for your best friend might not be financially possible, let alone the thought of buying gifts for all the baby showers you could attend!

But what if it didn’t have to be terribly expensive to celebrate a new baby with a friend?

What about just throwing a diaper party? Any mom can use diapers for a new baby, and it could be such a blessing for her to be surrounded by her friends, celebrating the life of her 4th, 5th….you get the idea.

Here are some ideas of how you could do this and keep it super affordable and relaxed.

(This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Pampers and Luvs at Sam’s Club. The opinions and text are all mine.)

Throw your best friend a diaper shower! It can be so easy to get together and make that mom having her 2nd, 4th, or 5th baby feel loved and spoiled on!

If you have tea cups or a china set collecting dust, pull it out and spoil your friends with it!

There are so many different beverages you can serve. If it’s during the cold months, definitely serve a warm tea or hot cider.

During the hot months, you can serve a chilled tea, like the Passion Lemonade tea recipe I shared recently. Growing up I didn’t like tea at all, so my mom served juice or chocolate milk at our tea parties. 😉

If you don’t have tea cups, just use some pretty glasses or cute paper cups!

You can’t have girlfriends over without serving a few treats! It doesn’t have to be expensive. Forget about buying an expensive cake; just bake some brownies, maybe grab some fruit, and put it in a nice dish or arrange it neatly on a platter! Sometimes we feel the pressure to have an elaborate display of foods for any party we put together, but it’s really ok to keep it simple!

I grabbed the paper plates and napkins in the photos for $1.00 each! I’m telling you, throwing a baby shower for a friend does not need to blow your grocery budget.

Super yummy brownies! I found this stand last year and it’s a favorite of mine.

You can keep decorations simple. Everything on this table I already had around the house. I’ve had this picture over Sophia’s changing table.

And of course you can’t forget the diapers! One friend could bring a small package of diapers, or several friends could go in on a big box of diapers! Right now at Sam’s Club you can save $10 off two boxes of Pampers or Luvs, or save $18 when you purchase 3 boxes! Plus you can get free shipping when you order through Sam’s Club online, which saves you time. I love ordering anything I possibly can online! I know other moms love to use Sam’s Club pickup, and the Sam’s Club Scan and Go app to save time! This diaper deal is only available through August 22nd. Order one for you, and one for a friend (you can find my reasons on why I only order name brand diapers here!).

Don’t forget how fast babies grow. You don’t want every friend bringing newborn and size 1 diapers to the shower. It’s so helpful to have the larger sizes to pull out as well!

One last idea for the baby shower – set out some pretty notecard paper and have each friend write an encouraging note to the new mom. Even if she has several children, those first few months of having a baby can be challenging and those words of encouragement could be so helpful!

I can’t wait to host some tea parties at our new house with my girlfriends! I’ve already promised my daughters they can invite some friends over for a tea party in September, so I know one will be happening soon. There is something magical feeling about a pretty teacup. It’s calming to the spirit and helps you unwind!

On Charity, 1 Corinthians 13 and Mothering

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1 Corinthians 13 is one of those famous chapters in the Bible. Sometimes the chapters that are so popular tend to get glossed over. We read the verses and can almost quote them and we don’t let them sink into our hearts.

I read through these verses this morning and wanted to share them with you, in the hopes that it would encourage your day. Some thoughts stood out to me, so I’ll share them under each verse.

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as a sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 

It’s easy to sound spiritual. We can expound on great spiritual truths and feel like we are speaking words of importance, but if we don’t have charity in our hearts then it just ends up being loud, obnoxious noise.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 

This is a pretty humbling verse to think through. We could have such faith in God’s word to even move mountains, but it could all count for nothing if we don’t have charity in our heart! It’s a reminder that we can’t focus on only one aspect of our Christian walk. We shouldn’t desire to have this immense faith in God if we forget about all the other important parts of our Christian walk.

And though I bestow all goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. 

Charity sufferers long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up. 

Do we suffer long with our children? How about our husband? Do we envy our friends when they get that shiny new car, or the brand new house, or they always look put together when we can barely get dressed in the morning?

Do we walk around confident in our abilities, and puff ourselves up thinking we are something great?

Doth not behave itself unseemly, seekers not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.;

This is a hard one! I know I can get easily provoked, multiple times a day! I shared in a women’s study I’m going to once a month for the Life Giving Home book (a must read book!) that I found myself getting very irritated with my children and would occasionally just get so frustrated that I would tell a child to shut up. Growing up as a child, that was a like a curse word in our home. I know better, and have no excuse besides the fact that I was letting myself get easily provoked.

As mothers we need to think through how we get easily provoked and deal with it. Put scripture verses up around the home to remind yourself of how you want to respond. Take a deep breath before responding to your children, or even walk away for a minute before you correct your children, to just give yourself a minute to calm down.

I need to not seek my own agenda, my own plan for the day, my own desire for XY and Z to happen. Instead I need to seek God’s plan for the day and be a servant to my children and husband. I think we all know this in our heads, it’s just so much harder to live out in real life!

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 

Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 

Do we endure long? Do we still hope, or have we given up after having endured hard trials?

Charity never faileth; but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease, whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 

For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 

For when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 

This is a good verse to teach your young teenagers! I remember reading that verse over and over again as I struggled through the difficult stage of becoming a young lady and leaving my childhood behind.

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face; now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, the three, but the greatest of these is charity. 

Love. We need to have great faith in God, we need to always have hope (as Christians we have a lot to hope for!), but even greater than that is love.

My prayer for all of us today is that we will be able to extend charity and love to our families as we serve in our homes!

 

 

 

Teaching Children To Do Their Chores

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Chore time. It either brings up happy thoughts of well behaved children that wake up and instantly go to their chores, happy and diligent, or it makes you groan inside as you think of the daily struggle that chore time can be.

I’ve had both thoughts at time. Morning chores can be a “can I pull my hair out?” type experience, but it doesn’t have to be. The key to this (as with most other parenting challenges), is consistency long term.

It’s not fun to be the bad guy. Getting up every morning and reminding children to do their chores is not my favorite thing to do. I don’t want to hear any groans first thing in the morning. But they will never learn if I remind them once or twice a month, and then ignore it the other days.

Children learn best with slow, daily drips of knowledge being consistently fed to them. The same is true for chore time.

You can find more information on our morning chore routine on a previous blog post I wrote, not much has changed since that post, except our children are a little older and some have different chores.

What I’ve been realizing lately is that some of my children needed a refresher course on how to do their chore. You can’t just tell a child to go do the dishes or take care of the laundry without showing them how to run the washing machine, or load the dishwasher. Often you will have to show them more than once, and stand and watch them until they get it down correctly.

The bathroom chore is what was needing a refresher course in our house. We live in a small house with one bathroom, and it’s obviously in high demand with 8 people in our house!

The best way to give a refresher training course? Make it fun! Inspire them about their chore! Make them feel proud of what they do for the family. 

Chore time took much longer than normal, but I went into the bathroom with our son and instead of showing him all the different things he was doing wrong, I started with one simple thing.

The toilet. Yucky! But it needed to be cleaned better, so I told him to go grab a cleaner (Mrs. Meyer’s is our favorite and it’s safe for the children to use! We get it from Grove.) I started pointing to him step by step what I wanted him to clean. But I tried to make a connection to why he was cleaning it.

When he lifted up the toilet seat and started cleaning the bottom part, I told him that no guy wanted to use the toilet when it was really dirty. He didn’t seem to care (typical boy!!) but I said his father would appreciate a clean toilet. 😉

I literally had to stand and point to dirty spots over and over again on the toilet. He has been doing this chore for quite awhile, but I think it’s normal for children to need to a cheerleader to come along behind them and give them refresher training courses.

Here is how I made this chore fun.

This boy loves anything about the west, toy guns (living in the city he has to stay content with toy guns for the most part!), civil war time period…all those historical times of battles and cowboys. He just happened to have a holster strapped onto him already, so I definitely played on that.

“Israel! The spray bottle is your gun! Pull it out and attack this pile of dirt! Oh look at you go! The fastest spray guy in the west!”

Now I’m not talking to a toddler here. You have to know your child, and if something like this would work for them. We started with a quiet, not terribly excited child, and ended our chore time over 30 minutes later with a chid who was happily chattering on about how great the bathroom looked.

“Mama, this bathroom is something we can be proud of now! We don’t have to feel embarrassed when someone comes over!”

It warmed my heart to see him feel pride in a clean bathroom!

Here is a quick step by step list of what we did to the bathroom. 

  1. Clean the toilet, step by step. Wipe down each part of the toilet seat, top bottom, then the lid, the back of the toilet and the top of the toilet.
  2. Clean the sponge. This was a big step. Remind them to constantly be rinsing out their sponge or wash cloth so it’s clean again.
  3. Clean the walls. Our walls really needed wiped down! Spray and wipe, and explain that if you wipe down the areas around the sink every few days then it won’t get very dirty.
  4. Clean the trim. Dust and dirt just collect around our trim and it has to be cleaned! I’ve done this so many times to this bathroom, but it’s something that needs to be done weekly. I reminded him how to use the scrubbing side of the sponge and to scrub right up along the side of the baseboard.
  5. Finally, I reminded him to clean the sink last, and to wipe it down when he was done cleaning.

I clean the shower myself, so we skipped that part. He even got a towel and wiped the floor down, since it was wet from scrubbing it, and then wiped the sink down.

It definitely took quite a bit of my time in the morning, but it was worth it for long term success of getting our bathroom clean!

If you are struggling in chore time, here are a few ideas. 

  1. Rally the troops! Have a family meeting and let your children know how important their chores are that they do. They are really blessing the family, and make them feel super important with the jobs they have.
  2. We don’t give weekly allowances, but we do give checks on their Character Badges chart if they get up and do their chore without reminded. They receive a diligence check. Checks lead to earning coins and they can turn their coins in for rewards! Super motivating! 🙂
  3. Give them a reward to work towards! It could be a small toy or book they want, and if they faithfully do their chore for 2 weeks (or whatever time you set) then they get this item. It can be a great way to instill good habits.

Happy chore time! Press on mother!

 

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