We are so proud to have our first guest blogger! Matt Hurley is the author of the blog Everymans’s Guide to Becoming a Sane Housedad . He and his wife Jennifer have a handsome son who is about to turn one. Matt used to be a youth minister until he found out that his wife was pregnant and losing her job. They found the perfect job for her in Texas so they made the decision to take the job, and he would be the stay-at-home parent. His blog is very encouraging! Check it out!
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
By: Matt Hurley
It’s an interesting feeling when you realize you’ve lost something. Of course, the first inclination is to consider whether you’ve really lost the item at all. Your mind races with the possibilities of where and when you last saw the item. But after you’ve retraced your steps and searched everywhere you can think of to search, your though process shifts from, “I will find it” to the hopelessness of “I will never see it again.”
I once lost a prized leather jacket. I had just finished my undergraduate degree and decided to treat myself by purchasing it. Now, I’m not one for fashion, but in this case, I thought the ladies would think I was smooth if I owned a tan leather jacket. So, I bought myself one in hope of adding a wife to my newly-acquired educational achievement. I wore it for a solid week, with limited success drawing more attention from girls, when I accidentally left it at work (or so I think, because I lost it and really have no idea where it ended up). I retraced my steps and searched everywhere I could think of, but to no avail. I was really upset that my joy of owning such a fashionable article of clothing had turned into a depression, knowing that I would never see it again (and thus never get a wife).
Of course, the disappointment of never wearing that fine leather again is nothing compared to the loss that is described in the book of Judges. There, we find the recurring situation of one faithful generation raising a lost and unfaithful generation. In that story, God sends a punishing force that oppresses the people, who then turn back to God and repeat the whole process over again.
Just like I did with my leather jacket, we can retrace the steps of the Israelites to discover just how they could be so irresponsible with the most valuable thing they had: their children. According to the book of Judges, the Israelites allowed the influences of outside cultures to distract them from worshiping God. They chased after the foreign gods and replaced the real God with them.
How is this relevant for our discussion on stay-at-home parents? Well, as a stay-at-home moms and dads, the outside culture often tries to tell us that we are the ones who have lost something. Maybe it’s the careers we worked so hard to achieve, or the income that comes with those jobs. It could be that people feel like you lose respect in the community. We must ignore these outside influences so that we do not repeat Israel’s mistake—at the expense of our children.
We can learn a lesson from the failed experience in Judges. Instead of enduring the painful experience of losing our children and their generation, we stay-at-home parents are the ones who are getting out ahead of problem. By accepting our roles and ignoring the outside culture’s definition of what “success” is, we have the ability to “train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6. To me, that’s the ultimate measure of success.