Once again, they’re doubling the size of the local daycare facility. They doubled it just a couple years ago. In a town of about 3,000.
The latest statistics show that the average American is rapidly approaching working a ten hour work day. Couple this with a daily commute of close to an hour, and you have a country in which people just aren’t home.
Five years ago, the majority of families we knew were single-wage-earner households. Now, almost none are.
Into these statistics wade several parachurch organizations that tell us exactly how Christian families should look:
- The father works outside the home.
- The father is the spiritual leader of the family.
- The mother stays home with the children and, preferably, does not work.
- If she must work, she works from home.
- The father must always be the primary breadwinner.
- Unless parents wish to abandon their children to the spirit of the age, they best homeschool.
On the surface, those are all nice ideas. The problem comes when the parachurch organization uses them to gauge the spiritual health of a family, or to tell certain families they aren’t cutting it. They’ll use Bible verses in their accusations, often in a haphazard manner, to prop up their assessments.
I’m troubled by the “you’re in, you’re out” nature of some of these diktats. When I examine these standards, I have to ask how they reflect most people’s realities. If they don’t, then I would hope that, like a good change-agent, the parachurch organization would address the problems and seek solutions.
I would hope.
Let’s look at one issue above and see how it works in the real world.
I’m all for paternal leadership in the home. I think that’s as God intends, but with an understanding that a godly wife can often hear the Lord as well or better than her husband from time to time. (I’m sort of a wishy-washy complementarian with a few select egalitarian leanings. )
But I simply must ask this: what kind of leadership can we expect of any man if he’s out of the home most of the waking day? With the growing amount of time spent at work and in the car during the commute, should we be surprised that a father’s authority at home gets taxed by the very lack of his presence most of the day?
Now, you would think that an organization whose whole reason for existing is to uphold paternal leadership at home would be doing something–anything–to combat this trend that takes men out of the home all day. You would think.
But then you’d be wrong.
Last year, I wrote several e-mails to a well-known parachurch organization about this very issue. I asked them what practical means they were taking to help families keep their men at home. They wrote a reply reiterating their standard, but ignored my question concerning their plan to help Christian men meet that standard. When I followed-up with an e-mail asking if the organization was meeting with corporate leaders across the nation in order to advocate for shorter work weeks so that employees could spend more time at home helping their families, I got a rather terse response saying they weren’t doing anything like that.
In the end, they still had a standard, but no way to make it practical in the lives of men struggling against the business world’s expectation of increasing hours (and with no increasing pay to compensate, either).
I asked that same organization about the tendency for businesses today to hire women over men because they can pay women less (and because government quotas with money behind them abet this plan, especially when it concerns minority women). This puts men out of work, and subsequently, many men find themselves having to take jobs that pay less than their wives. The second fallout of this is now both spouses have to work in order to make what the man made before he got RIF’ed. What was the organization’s solution? Silence. The practical steps they were taking to combat this? Nothing.
After a while, one can go through every single standard an organization like that upholds and find that, while they love upholding it, they possess no means to help anyone else meet that standard. How tragic!
Imagine that NASA discovers a planet just beyond Pluto whose surface contains an unusual liquid that bubbles up from within that planet’s core. NASA scientists have almost conclusive proof that a few drops of this liquid, if harnessed, would forever power every energy-using device on Earth. Then NASA issues a press-release stating it has no intentions of sending any craft to that planet to retrieve this precious liquid. They’ve already told their scientists not to pursue further spectral analysis. Nor will they let any other scientists examine the data on the liquid so that it might be synthesized on Earth.
Do you think folks would be furious?
Where’s the fury then when Christian organizations demand a certain way of living, yet offer no means or help to make that living possible?
Truth is never meant to be used as a cudgel, but as a means to help others live life more abundantly. If the guardians and wielders of truth only use truth to shame others and make them live in a perpetual state of guilt with no possible escape, hasn’t the truth struck out?
Christians MUST offer truth to the world. But to do so in such a way that it becomes another set of shackles isn’t New Testament Christianity.
I believe that one of the reasons people today don’t consider Christianity a viable truth comes from our perpetual offering of that truth with no practical expression. For you or me to understand truth, it must intersect our lives. It can only transform us when it indwells us. And to indwell us, it must have a way for us to live it.
I keep wondering who the Christian leader will be who holds out a standard and then helps everyone meet it. I hope that Christian leaders interested in godly families will speak out against the economic forces threatening to destroy us.
And so I keep wondering and hoping…
37 thoughts on “When the Truth Strikes Out”
Dan, Dan, Dan. It’s not a longer work week and the pressure to perform 60 hours a week that’s hurting families, it’s gay marriage.
I thought everybody knew that.
Considering what you said, it’s the ease that bugs me. No one said we shouldn’t go after tougher subjects.
The gay marriage thing is easy: sign a few petitions, get a law passed. Piece of cake. That’s the mentality.
Going after intractable societal problems that would impact every family immediately? Much tougher.
It’s also an Us vs. Them thing. To acknowledge the problems of hurry and massive economic upheaval paints us as being part of the problem! No longer can we sit back and say that it’s Them, those people. No, it’s Us, too. Now we must change. Now we must address our problem. Much tougher. Asks something of us.
I suspect that’s why no one preaches on this. No Christian leaders are out banging the pots saying, “Llisten up! We need to do something about this.” Instead, they like to talk as if nothing has changed, yet everything has changed. I know I have. I never used to be constantly checking the clock. I used to actually talk with my wife. Now we’re like two ships passing in the night.
Christians need to start addressing this. Time is a major problem for us, too.
My wife and I have been looking at our budget. We decided about 5 years ago not to live in the rat race, and as God hasn’t blessed us with children, we don’t have that expense. We live far more comfortably than most of the planets inhabitants, and are looking to be completely debt free (the house) in 6 years. For people in our early 40’s we are way outside of the norm.
We live in a small town (30,000 or so). We both live less than 15 minutes from work, have 8 to 5 jobs in small offices that provide pretty good benefits. We don’t eat out often, we don’t go on expensive vacations, don’t own a boat, RV, SUV nor ATV. Our 2 cell phones cost us $17 a month (for both) and we frankly don’t use the minutes that buys. We have basic cable, and high speed internet, a concession to that social drug. We don’t buy new cars, and when we do buy a car, we pay cash and expect it to last more than 5 years.
Our budget (sans house payment and saving for retirement) comes out to about $24k per year. But far more important than that: We’re usually content with what God has given us. We’re in the process of discovering that life is not about possessions, or bragging points, or comforts. It’s about our relationship with God. Sure there are times when we wish we could do some things, or have some things. But then we look at the cost to our souls, and think that maybe it’s not so bad to be without them.
Far more than getting worldly corporations to change the way they do business, I think Christians need to look a little more closely at how they spend what they earn. I know housing costs more in some places of the country than others. That’s why we moved to Tennessee. I know that life has a way of throwing curves, and that is what the body of believers is for: To absorb lifes shocks. The Church should be the ultimate Life Assurance.
But we need to stop complaining about macro issues that we feel the need to change and have no power over, and start looking at our own lives, because we can and should change those.
Reading over this, I know it sounds like I’m tooting my own horn, and sounding more economically righteous than thou, but there are far more people in the US working too many hours in order to maintain their possessions, than those struggling to make a simple living. Between paying $600 a month for that SUV, $450 a month for the wife’s Crossover, $3000 a month for that 2700 sq ft house in the new subdivision, $200 a month for the Blackberry, $250 a month for full cable (with channels you shouldn’t be watching anyways!) $500 a month for that boat, ATV, travel trailer, or vacation home you never have time to use, and $800 a month on that pile of credit cards that have somehow accumulated $50k in purchases, it’s no wonder we work 60 hours a week, plus moonlighting at the Dairy Queen!
Is this trip really necessary?
Now I’m replying to my own comments! Looking at the list of what a Christian family is supposed to look like…
I’ve never felt that particular set of priorities was being imposed from above, but then, I’ve never really listened to what para-church organizations say. Why should I? “Father is the breadwinner?” Sounds more like social engineering. Mother works from home? Amway, anyone? Sounds like marketing. “Father is the spiritual leader” is the only biblically-based concept in that whole list.
perhaps we got into this mess the moment we stop hearing the church to pay ears to what para-churches were trumpeting…sorry, I couldn’t resist…
I agree. I don’t believe the Bible teaches most of that. In fact, if those organizations were truly on board with a Biblical model, they’d be working to get both parents back home. That’s true of Palestine in those days. But our switch from an agrarian to an industrial society destroyed all that. Oddly, these parachurch ministries work hard to support industrialized work patterns that conflict with the more healthy agrarian model. That always blows me away.
Children do change everything. I think most couples look at their lives as “Pre-Children” and “Children.” Most of the concessions we have to make are because we have a child.
I think we Christians MUST start addressing the sins of corporate America. Our entire society revolves around work and we can’t keep silent. It drives me nuts that Christian leaders remain mute on this issue. Their doing so only gives tacit approval to our downward spiral.
I live outside a town where the median household income is $34,000/yr. That’s about half the national median average. No one here is splurging. Yet I also know that many of those families are Christians and they soak up what they hear on Christian radio, yet are unable to meet that standard. It may not drive them nuts like it does me, but I just wish those parachurch organizations could see how the other half lives. Where I live, all moms work (notice the constantly expanding daycare facility I mentioned), and many of those moms make more than their husbands do. Those households are routinely held up for derision by Christian parachurch organizations, yet I see those organizations doing nothing to address the issues in the lives of these folks. They only bind heavy burdens around their necks. The disconnect makes my blood boil.
We work more hours because our companies demand it. I repeatedly read books and hear messages from Christian leaders insisting that we can fight that by simply telling our bosses we’re not going to work those extra hours. Hah! That advice is coming from people involved in the ministry, not in the business world. You say something like that to a boss and you’ll be the first one pink-slipped when the cuts come down.
And cuts coming down is one reason why we work more hours. Companies think they can add to the bottom line by doing away with jobs. They think those that remain will simply pick up the responsibilities the ex-employees left behind. In fact, they expect it. Yet productivity per employee is actually beginning to drop for the the first time ever. People are simply too busy to do any more.
I’ve pared us down to the bone, yet I still have to make concessions to reality. I’d like for us not to have to eat out two or three times a week, but we made a commitment to eat together as a family and our schedules force us to meet up and eat out. Because of my wife’s longer hours at her job and her commute, we often have to meet at some central location, eat, then have one of us be responsible for our child while the other goes to the scheduled event. That happens more and more. That’s three of our days this week. I hate that, but there’s not much I can do about it. One of those three days is because of a church-based responsibility I have. I can’t take my son with me, and even if I did, we would not be able to eat as a family unless we hit the fast food place. We use coupons at fast food places, or we eat at the mom and pop restaurant in the little town in order to give back and ensure the survival of local businesses.
We’ve not gone on a vacation trip since our son was born (and he’s coming up on seven years old). We’ve had four job changes between us since his birth, and a few long stretches of limited income as a result. We’re falling behind the curve, though. I think most middle-class families are. The government trumpeted a 4 percent increase in job salaries last year, but when everything we buy is up ten times that, 4 percent actually becomes a galling figure. We’d need our income to jump far more than 4 percent to just keep treading water!
BTW, what cellphone company are you using? I keep trying to find a decent pay-as-you-go cellphone plan that utilizes phones that aren’t the worst on the market for their SAR rating. My wife wants the phones and I can’t talk her out of them—I consider them a waste of money. (How did we make it to age 40 before cellphones? Exactly.)
Remember that most companies are being run by the “forgotten generation” of kids who really never went to church, and when they did, were fed pablum. I don’t mean the executives, I mean the middle-management flunkies in their early 30’s who feed the executives the information they use to make decisions, and are fighting like sharks to “be on top.” Meanwhile, the grandchildren of the baby-boomers are cheating their way through business school and wondering why everyone is so upset. Should we be surprised that business decisions are being made in an immoral environment? Business is not amoral, as so many would say.
The only grounds I can see for the church being involved in the business community is where the business people are Christian. We need to teach the people in the pews who make decisions every day involving the lives of people around them that there is no truth to the mantra “It’s not personal, it’s business.” Because when it gets down to the nitty-gritty, it’s always personal. The bottom line is being supported by people, not resources. You can’t be a Christian and make business decisions solely on the bottom line. In a corporate environment, Christians need to speak out, both as shareholders and as workers and decision-makers.
But I still maintain that most of our pain is self-inflicted. That might be my bias from living in California, but I also see a lot of the same consumerism here in the sticks.
I had to look up what an SAR rating was…never heard of it before. We use Cingular (once was, and now is ATT again) Go Phones with the pay-as-you-go plan. $25 per phone gives you 90 days of use at either $0.25 per minute or $1 per day used and $0.10 per minute. If you fill up before the 90 days are up, anything left rolls over into the next 90 day period. SAR for the Sony/Ericsson Z300a that we got is 1.47 at the ear and .74 on the body for both data and voice. Not the best, but not the worst, either.
I frankly rarely use mine. My wife is big on calling me from the store to see if we need anything that isn’t on the list. She uses more minutes than I do, but we haven’t ever had to buy minutes before the 90 day expiration was up. What it amounts to is $17 a month for a convenience that might, in an emergency, be worth every penny.
You and I see eye-to-eye on most everything, but I strongly disagree with this statement you made:
I don’t have time to refute that, but let me just say we simply cannot concede our work lives to the Enemy. The Church in the past interacted with the business world as a whole, so I don’t understand how we cannot fight as our predecessors once did for better working environments and justice for employees.
As for phones, the 1.47 SAR rating on your phone is pretty bad. Scientists say that the SAR rating is especially important to mind in young people, yet the kinds of phones marketed to that crowd have the worst SAR ratings on the market. I wish these pay-per-use phone issuers started carrying safer phones. They can do it. They just care not to because of expediency (note the irony about a Christian pointing this out in light of the quote above! Someone needs to hold these company’s feet to the fire!)
Dire Dan: “I think we Christians MUST start addressing the sins of corporate America. Our entire society revolves around work and we can’t keep silent.”
And just how, pray tell, do you expect to bend corporate America?
To paraphrase someone famous, Corporate America is no more capable of self-sacrifice than a man is capable of lifting himself up by his own bootstraps.
The more we talk and bring some of these issues to light, the better. We just need louder voices to raise them. I’m a pipsqueak. I can’t do it alone.
How do we bend corporations? Bad press. Companies will bend if they get painted in a bad light. We can work with them to avoid the negative media spotlight.
I’m pressed for time, but I have many ideas. I’ll have to post on this in the future.
“They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.” (Matthew 23:4, ESV)
The definition of Pharisee.
I blogged on this same issue before using that verse. Here’s the posts:
* On Millstones and Disconnects, Part 1
* On Millstones and Disconnects, Part 2
Yeah, I’m repeating myself. This issue continues to bug me greatly, though.
Okay, I’ll bite.
I agree that the church culture in America has an ideal of the family that is just impossible to achieve. That is why I no longer listen to Christian radio or watch Christian TV (and I used to work in Christian broadcasting).
I think it would be easier to work on our ideal of the Christian family than to force everyone into that mold.
Just how is my church organization supposed to do all those things you suggest?
Christian leaders across this country need to address this problem on a national stage. They never mention it, though. Yet people wonder why no one’s available to work this church outreach or that. The book Bowling Alone talks about this problem of declining involvement in the kinds of social groups that maintain our societal fabric. The Church is one of those, too. You would think our leaders would be addressing this. But no.
I say we start bringing up the issue every chance we can until our leaders take notice. That’s a start.
David makes some excellent points. In order for me to remain home with our kids, we lived in a small rented duplex for over 20 years, didn’t take vacations except an occasional trip to visit family out-of-state, rarely ate out, shared one used car, didnt’ even own a TV for many years, etc. My husband worked at a money-making “hobby” at home for some extra income. Evenings and weekends were for family. It was hard not to compare ourselves to our friends who all owned homes, took a “real” vacation every year, ate out after church, and had two cars and a garage to put them in. But now that our kids are leaving home in quick succession, I am so very grateful we made the decisions we did.
One organization that truly helped us realize our goals was Focus on the Family. Not only did their radio program provide a daily source of encouragement, ideas and inspiration, but the books and films they offered (free or for a suggested donation) were invaluable in teaching us how to live happily in a more traditional arrangement (without making anyone who wasn’t “into” that feel guilty.) In addition, they provided wholesome entertainment and teaching to our children at all ages, had hotline counselors we could call when we felt overwhelmed, provided solid information on political and social issues…the list goes on.
We teach young marrieds in our church and I see a lot of young parents who must both work, and not just to sustain a frivolous lifestyle. I’m constantly amazed at the creative ways they’ve come up with to spend as much time as possible with their children–and each other–even though they must both work to put food on the table.
Living on less brings diminishing returns because eventually you can’t cut anymore or the prices jump and your incomes doesn’t keep pace.
Been there, done that.
All I will say about Focus is that I find they lay heavy millstones around the necks of many Christians out there. You and I will have to part company on the assessment of the good that Focus does.
Good for you that you help young couples! I think it will only get harder as Americans come to grips with the truth that our globalized economy will someday marginalize us. We simply can’t compete dollar for dollar. And when other countries catch up to our tech prowess, it’ll get even grimmer.
The jar of peanuts I bought the other caught my eye. After I got home, I put it on the table and noticed the back label stated that the peanuts inside came from China. We’ve given everything away, haven’t we. When we can no longer feed ourselves, America as we know it will cease to exist.
I agree with you completely. Here is the hypocrisy of these parachurch organizations. First, the leaders usually make enough to support their wife since their children are already out of the home. Second, in many of these porganizations, the wife works for the same organization at a hefty salary. Third, about 4 (perhaps more that I don’t know about) parachurch organizations (Campus Crusade, Focus on the Family, Peter Wagner’s organization, etc.) moved OUT of S. California where I live because (as they said) they couldn’t afford it here anymore and neither could their employees. So are we all supposed to move to the rural town? Where do we work?
I am reading a much talked about (secular, not Christian) book enititled, “Generation ME” by Professor Jean Twenge of San Diego State University. Here is a quote from that book, “…we’re supposed to have one parent stay at home, but to afford a house–and sometimes the rent-both parents have to work.”
Everybody else gets this Dan. Why don’t Christian leaders? Perhaps because they are just not in the world of real? Maybe they should try to get a “real” job and see how they would fare.
Yep. It’s pretty galling, isn’t it?
If I’m thinking of the same organizations you are, Dan, then I have an idea as to why they do not advocate for shorter work hours, etc.
In order to achieve the ideal family arrangement, these organizations tend to advance the following:
1.) Husband should become a lawyer or other high-pay-per-hour professional. Pastorship is ok, as long as he attains a PhD and does book writing or conferences on the side.
2.) Barring that outcome, husband should start home-business to be frequented by the above mentioned professionals, selling Christian schlock or books. Save money to buy real estate.
3.) Women should marry those two kinds of men. Plumbers, carpenters, or other decently paid tradesmen need not apply, unless, of course, their dad owns a general contracting firm.
They want to create cultural influencers, meaning, those who can earn lots of money and keep their descendants comfortably in the upper middle class. Of course they don’t care about giving a hand-up to those less fortunate. That would hurt their bottom line.
Now you’ve got me formulating a blog post….
You nailed it! In a way, they support a two or three-tiered social strata that ignores those on the bottom strata. That’s the complete opposite of the Gospel, isn’t it?
I appreciate you view point here. this is something my wife and I have been talking about for sometime. I currently am stuck where I am because of our financial situation but we are working to change that.
My wife is currently an LPN and home schools out 10 year old, we also have a 9 month old. She is starting school soon online to get her RN when finished we have a plan that will reduce my work commitments so that I can be a bigger part of her and our children’s life.
As a nurse she can work 3 days a week and make twice what I make now which will free me up to take a part time job and get more involved my sons school.
You make a great point with the standard presented by organizations and the need for Christians to speak out about the requirements asked for by corporate America, but I have to also side with David Riggins comments. We as Christian families need to decide we are going to live by a different standard and decide we will do what is needed to put ourselves in a different place. Having children does make a difference in your decision making but does not make change impossible.
Thanks for, like always, bringing the hard topics to a public forum.
We have to advocate for change and we must change ourselves. That’s the only pattern that ever produces real change.
Some of these comments strike me as a little smug. Statistics clearly point to a changing work environment that is pressuring working Americans. We are not working longer hours because we want to, but because if we don’t someone else will, and that one will end up with our job, and we’ll end up with bills and no paycheck. Some are fond of beating up on fat, dumb, give me a bigger TV and I’ll be happy Americans, thinking we don’t deserve any better and that it’s just the crows are coming home to roost. I guess a lot of that’s true, but I can’t bring myself to revel in my neighbor’s heartache. It would be nice if everyone could make the tough decisions that some of the commenters have made, and that those paras Dan mentioned seem to promote, but that is dreamland. Personally, I think it’s the job of government is to level out the playing field in matters of justice. IMHO, that the few, the powerful, the politically connected could make decisions for the rest of us that so adversely effect the quality of our lives, like raising the hours of the workweek, falls within the definition of injustice. Does the church need to pile on?
I remember getting in an argument with a girlfriend back in college about the role of the Church versus the role of Government in regards to social issues. When I said “if the Church was doing it’s job, there would be no need for Government in welfare”, she retorted “that’s a cop-out.”
It’s become fashionable, in the last 100 years or so, for government to take on the role of economic equalizer, and Johnson’s “Great Society” certainly cemented the US government into that role. But your statement
seems to be at odds with
You are asking a few out-of-touch politicians to make political decisions about our financial welfare that are currently made by tens of thousands of individuals in thousands of companies.
While I agree that many of the decisions made by companies are stupid, economically unsound, short-sighted, and ineffective, they are not necessarily unjust. They may seem unfair, but that depends upon your basis of comparison. You losing a job to someone else based on economic principles, no matter how unsound, does not equate with unjustly losing your job because of nepotism, racism, sexism, or whatever other social injustice you can think of. We have come to think that having a job is a right. I don’t think it is. We have the responsibility to take care of our family. That this is difficult is not necessarilyan issue of justice, merely that life is not fair.
There are certainly issues in our society related to work that deal with issues of justice. Healthcare is one, I think. That the minimum wage is unrelated to reality is another (why we have a national minimum wage is beyond me-$6/hr goes further in Soddy Daisy,TN than it does in New York City). That we import goods without any laws related to how the people who make those goods are treated is unjust, I believe. But the idea that I can lose my job to someone who can do it for less is just economics. It may be bad for me in the short term, but it is my reponsibility to find another job. If I cannot afford to live on what I make, then I either need to re-evaluate my budget, or do what is necessary to increase my income. That’s life!
I glad to see you’ve stirred up so much compassion for the working man. I’ve said nothing about losing jobs for mere economic principles, what I’m talking about is the corporate elite of America making decisions that discount people, in effect treating them like a fungible commodity, and for what?Higher stock prices and bigger bonuses. Longer work weeks are only the tip of the iceberg. I don’t know how to see that as anything but unjust from a Christian perspective, and as such, subject to the “sword” of government. There is the communistic reality of exchanging the capitalist tyrant for the statist one, but we’re talking America here. I’d rather have those decisions (i.e. those that result in treating folk like fodder) subject to the will of the people through elections, than left to the mavens of Wall Street and corporate boardrooms. They always make sure they get their’s! The playing field is not equal and folk are having demands jammed down their throats because those in power are lording it over them. It may be the way of the world, but it doesn’t mean the pulpits of the land shouldn’t be calling it what it is–sin!
BTW, I don’t see healthcare in the same light, nor anything that requires third party payments. However, if the bigwigs get it as a corporate expense, everyone should.
That kind of thing, I would think, would be better handled at the level of the shareholders. I cannot understand why shareholders allow the kind of boardroom shenanigans that we’ve been seeing! But much of what goes on regarding how employees are treated can be handled by shareholders making their voices heard. An example, for good and bad, is how Norway handles their oil investments: http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/05/02/business/norway.php
unfortunately, if shareholders are only concerned with short-term profits and rapid increases in share prices, both of which are economically unsustainable, then we will see humans treated like chatel.
But one of the reasons we have the issues we do in regards to election funding and lobbyists is due to government involvement in corporate decision-making. Can you imagine what lobbyists could do with any law congress attempts to pass regarding corporate decision-making regarding something as basic as what economic conditions would affect employees being hired and fired?
How many shareholders actually vote in any of those meetings? Voting shareholders are usually the same elite, wealthy bunch that takes turns sitting on each other’s corporate boards. Norway, from what I can see, is depending on democratic civil control rather than shareholder control per se. That the people through elected officials can say how many hours a week are reasonable, or what a minimal wage is, or even how much a chief executive can be paid in comparison to a mail clerk are all reasonable attempts, as I see it, to dampen the effect of sinful nature when acting in power with wealth. And I might add, as worthy a political ball for church leaders to bounce, as let’s say, immigration policy. Our fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, need time for those roles. Government and church should exhibit the good sense in supporting policies that protect it. Now, I’m going to shut up for a while and give Dan an chance to speak on his own blog [sorry!].
SLW & David,
The number of factors that must be addressed to fix these problems is large. I’ve written about some of them in the past. I’m pressed for time and can’t argue them all here, but suffice it to say that you’re both right. The changes we must make are broad and sweeping. But we need to start somewhere. I hope it’s Christians who make that start first.
I liked what David has posted.
I also understand your points Dan.
I am a stay at home mother of 4 young children….10 months, 3, 5, and 7….we live on $30,000 a year. We have one VERY used van…that my husband takes to work. We RARELY go out to eat and we have not had a vacation since my 7 year old was 3 months old.
We do not have any parents that help with babysitting so we never go out. My husband leaves the house at 6:00am and returns home at 6:00pm….an hour commute both ways. We rent our home and we rarely get to buy new clothing…..we just bought some new shoes at payless for $70 on sunday…..that was so exciting….!!
This scenerio that I have just described reflects our lives over the last 3 years……We used to be the SURBUBIA family before we entered into the REFINING years of our Lord. The days of living in BABYLON included owning a home in a masterplanned community with all the niceties of walking trails, huge community waterpark pool for the children, SUV, husband V.P. of petrochemical company, going to the SPA and spending $250 on hair, having a really nice wardrobe, and a beautifully decorated home. What happened??
Husband lost job, we lost our house, we lost all our savings trying to save house, moved to an 100 yr old rent house when I was 2 weeks away from giving birth to our 3rd child ……and husband started a remodeling business just to put food on the table. We CHOSE to totally trust Yahweh to meet all our needs….we have never gone to anyone or the government to provide for us ( I even homebirthed our 4th b/c we did not have health insurance ) I give my Father all the GLORY for His GRACE that has enabled us to go through this time of testing, trials, purgings, strippings, and FIRE. We have learned soooo much
We have also learned what it means to come into the REST of the Lord.
I am more CONTENT now than I ever was back in Babylon. I have learned what the simple pleasures are ….I lOVE being a mom to my beautiful 4 healthy, holy, wonderful children, I LOVE my husband and all that I have seen him become through this time of the WILDERNESS and I LOVE my FATHER who has been sooooo FAITHFUL to me and my family. I love not having t.v….I love the WISDOM that I have gained through these years.
Bottom line……I am thankful that I was chosen to enter the narrow path of becoming an OVERCOMER…..for this I am deeply grateful and I have such a sense of HOPE and EXPECTANCY for our future.
Thank you for sharing your story. Your ability to bounce back is admirable.
I suspect, though, that unless things get better for you, your family will be one of many who will be forced to address your need for more money by sending you back to work. Will you still feel the same way if mounting energy prices (and the their trickle down into all things we purchase) force you into that decision?
Please ask your pastor about these questions. Ask him how we Christians can better navigate the changes that are coming our way. Ask him how we can work for economic justice in this country for lesser-paid workers.
Dan, i’m sorry it has been a while since I”ve been by. Great post. Without reading all the above comments, which I am sure are great, I would say the answer is simple, in the chruch and in American culture we are worshiping the god of more… Mammon … rather than God. We represent the kingdom of man much better than we do the Kingdom of God, which also explains why there is so little attraction to the American church in America.
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