In the past few Family First Friday posts, I have encouraged you to respect your husband, speak to him kindly, and be considerate (among other things).
One might mistake these qualities as a woman who is a doormat, without an opinion, who never shares her thoughts.
A godly woman is anything but those. God created women to be powerful. Amazingly powerful. Though God designed an order to families, women are not less than or inferior. We are different than men, but we are just as valuable.
Unfortunately, many women misuse the power the Lord has given them through manipulation and control. Those are grave errors and will destroy a marriage (and a person). As I refer to power, I am definitely not speaking of those things.
The power I speak of is the unique call of God for women to fulfill the destiny He has planned for each of us. This power is honoring of men (and other women) and does not fear losing control.
I often tell my kids: "God created you to do something on this earth so special that you're the only one who can fulfill that calling." And, sweet women, the same is true for you.
Whether you're a working woman/mom or a stay at home mom, the majority of the house responsibilities most likely fall to you. And while I place a high value on serving our families in this capacity, we are so much more than housework and children.
I dare you to dream again. Dream big. Even if you are (like me) barely able to see past the daily-ness of life, there is so much God wants to do in your life and through your life. Take some time to think about what you're really passionate about and imagine what the Lord could do and wants to do with those passions.
You, my friend, have the power to change the world. You have the power to leave a legacy of greatness. You have the power to change the course of history.
I truly believe loving your husband well and loving and raising your children well are the highest calling God has given us. And it is of infinite value to do those with excellence and joy.
Yet, that is not the end.
What are dreams in your heart that you've almost forgotten because you're just working to survive potty training? Or Kindergarten? Or sleeplessness?
What dreams died with the birth of your children?
While this may not be the season of life where you see the fullness of your dreams realized, you can take steps towards the dream, thus becoming the woman God created you to be.
In my opinion, if you let your dreams die during your child-raising years, I imagine a piece of you will grow bitter towards your children.
Yet, if you take small steps towards your God-given calling today, when they move out, you'll be prepared for the next steps God has for you. And you'll give your children the gift of knowing they, too, can passionately pursue their calling.
To give you an example of this practically, I will share with you one of my dreams:
I absolutely love marriage and family ministry. I have a strong desire to see families restored to their fullness. Divorce is way too rampant in our society, and fatherlessness is way too prevalent. I want to see marriages strong and children well loved. One day, I'd love to write a book or speak at a conference (even though I do not like to speak to groups, I am praying for boldness!). Yet, realistically, that is not the season of life I am in. But I can do something now.
My first step towards making this dream a reality is to do my own family well. It is hard to have a marriage ministry if your marriage is falling apart. Or to give parenting tips if your children are crazy. Through lots of prayer and intentional decisions, I strive to do family well.
A next big step for me was to start this segment on my blog. As I pray about what to write and think about what God wants me to share, I come alive. I love writing, and I love hearing the feedback from those who read!!
When I think of wanting to revolutionize the systemic problems in families, these small steps seem insignificant. Yet, they are such an important part of my journey. As my children grow and become who God has created them to be, I will have invested a lot of time and energy into my passion.....and, God willing, I will see the ultimate fulfillment of my dreams (which I imagine is far greater than I can even fathom because God always works that way!).
That is just one example of dreams God has put in my heart.
What are your dreams and passions?? And what steps are you taking today to fulfill those?