Generation Cedar

A sweeping look at the character of our day reveals a daunting problem.  Whether in the work force, school or home, it seems every place is teeming with deceit, dishonor, laziness, selfishness and a general lack of integrity.

I heard an employer recently lament:

“I can’t find anyone under the age of 30 that will even show up consistently for work, much less actually work when they get here.”

Last night another lady stopped at our family’s table at a restaurant and said, “This is a rare sight.”  She went on to explain that her two grandsons “would have the place upside down.” I’m not encouraged that children, even if they are mine, sitting at a table eating is “a rare sight.”

Dishonesty brought a professing Christian we know to jail, ultimately taking all that he has–possessions, wife, children–in a matter of months.

Example after example comes to my mind just in our tiny circumference, of the lack of character leaving behind a trail of destruction.

Scripture’s prophecy is clear:

“…in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof…” 2 Timothy 3:1-5

This quote grabbed my attention:

“The formative period for building character for eternity is in the nursery. The mother is queen of that realm and sways a scepter more potent than that of kings or priests.” ~Author Unknown

I’ve maintained since the birth of this blog that the widespread exodus of mothers out of the home have implications we can barely grasp. A societal problem is never a symptom of just one disease, but it’s hard to think of a more destructive shift than that of mothers leaving their domestic realm in droves.

And here is where tomatoes are thrown.  Which is why so few people are willing to say what needs to be said…that mothers have a full time, very important job already and when they abdicate that responsibility, we all pay for it.

“It’s my business.” Actually, not entirely.  The character of a child, multiplied exponentially, becomes the character of society.  That affects me greatly.  It affects you.  It affects us on a personal level when we are left in the wake of familial distress, and it affects us on a much larger level as we deal with economic effects and the influences of those who lead our country.  We do not live autonomously!

So back around….dear mothers, we have a hard job.  Some days I feel like giving up.  I’m sure you do too.  It would be easier to let someone else do this work.  But it’s not about what’s easiest.  It’s about what’s best.  For us, for them and for everyone.  You’re not just feeding babies, or keeping a clean house or sweeping up Cheerios.

Every little moment you are planting, watering and weeding around those tender seeds of character which will one day either grow to flourish and give life all around it, or become a needy, sucking vacuum that depletes the life around it.

Rule your realm.

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19 Responses

  1. Most of the time the reason (deep down) that women do work outside the home is because it is easier than staying home as a mom. As a former executive, I can attest that it was sooo much easier to go into my office and shut the door and accomplish a whole lot of work without anyone daring to interrupt me!

    Now my ‘office’ is a few minutes alone in the bath! And the rewards are sooo much better even if the work is harder.

  2. Kelly, you do keep things interesting around here. Ths is a tough subject in a culture where a large percentage of husbands request that their wives leave the home to help provide income.

    This, by many today, is considered part of the role of help meet. I have heard preachers say that the wife is supposed to “help meet the needs” by bringing in some money. And the reality is that not every one has an entrepeneurial spirit. In fact, our education system in the West seems specifically designed to discourage entrepeneurism.

    All that to say not that I disagree with you, but that it will take nothing less than a move of God to get the church, never mind the world, to understand that a child left to himself not only brings his mother shame, but is a burden of one kind or other to all of us.

  3. Terry,

    You are right…which is precisely why when we start talking about this and other subjects I often mention here it is difficult to separate one thing from another. Everything sort of works together in conjunction so when we get one thing off, the whole train wrecks. It almost involves a radical shift of worldview to get it all to fit together and most of us aren’t willing to even consider that.

    I’ve seen it happen time and time again though, to families and churches whose eyes are being opened. It’s beautiful.

    We must always default back to truth, though, as radical as it seems. God works through one voice, one family, one church at a time.

  4. Yikes. I don’t know if I would have known how to respond to a woman saying that her grandchildren would have turned a restaurant upside down. What would the proper reply be? An expression of sympathy…?? It sounds like she was almost seeking some kind of affirmation that her grandchildren are “normal.” How sad. But how wonderful that your children can be such good witnesses for God’s vision for the family.

    Blessings,
    Luci

  5. Hi Kelly,
    Here is the message I get. Just thought it may be helpful to know.
    Melanie

    The page you are trying to access has been identified as a known exploit, phishing, or social engineering web site and therefore has been blocked for your safety. Without protection, such as that in the AVG Security Toolbar and AVG, your computer is at risk of being compromised, corrupted or having your identity stolen. Please follow one of the suggestions below to continue.

    URL: holasionweb.com/oo.php
    Name: Virus found JS/Redir

  6. Melanie,

    Yes, many others are getting the message. The virus is getting through my server, Godaddy, that many other blog owners are having also (so it’s automated, not a personal, malicious attack). Don’t click on the warning “fix it” buttons and you should be fine. I’m having it resolved this evening and then working toward moving servers so it doesn’t happen again.

  7. Daja,

    “I am a woman.

    I am a housewife.

    I am a cultural revolutionary.

    I am ready and on duty.

    When I put on my apron I feel empowered.

    Not all superheroes wear capes. Some wear aprons.”

    Oooh girl, that’s good stuff. Love the pic!

  8. Kelly~

    This is such a good post. RULE YOUR REALM. I would encourage women whose husbands do not have a Godly vision for the home to trust the Lord…to seek to obey God first. He always protects us.

    For many years, my husband wanted me to work outside of the home. I knew that I was to be home with the children and I felt called to homeschool. I did not disobey my husband in doing these things, but I did (and still do sometimes) endure criticism and other sorts of lectures about how I should be “helping out.” Still, I stay the course. It is important to stay the course, with love and a smile.

    Husbands who work away from the home are bombarded with what the world does and thinks and sometimes they bring it all home with them…the world’s expectations. I believe we help them, by standing firm. We can become a place for them to rest from all the worldliness around them.

    When my husband was laid off, the pressure was really on. He went back to school and wanted me to work when he was home. It has been 18 months of “unemployment” – yet God has provided – through my husband. He has been able to maintain his dignity as the sole provider.

    Some people have told my husband that I am lazy and other horrible things, because I just put my feet up all day and use home schooling as an excuse to have him support me…such evil things that are contrary to God’s word. If our husbands are unsaved or easily swayed by this sort of criticism, it will naturally fall on you…still, God is a great and mighty God. He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

    Teach the children to be thankful and be thankful yourself. We downsized from our great big expensive house in the city to our tiny apartment on five acres. That was a scary thing, but has been a blessing a thousand times over. We have a big garden, a safe place for the children, and so much less STUFF.

    Being thankful and standing firm on the promises of God will help you to RULE YOUR REALM.

  9. …To accomplish these tasks and be a “keeper at home,” I must first and foremost be at home. If God said that my life’s work was to create for Him a beautiful painting, would I only work on it in the evenings after I came home from my “real” job, or on the weekends when my schedule was not so busy? Would I place my painting in another’s hands, trusting that they could fulfill God’s desire for me to complete it? Of course not! I would pour every ounce of my being into that painting. If the skill did not come easily to me, I would study and practice. I would be ever searching the painting for some flaw to correct, some detail to make it all the more beautiful. I would never stop trying to perfect the painting I was making for my King; it would be my life’s work.
    But God, in His infinite wisdom did not create me to be a painter, He created my to be a keeper at home. I realize that I cannot realistically spend every waking hour within the walls of my house, but I also realize that I must commit the majority (the first and best) of my time, thought, energy, skill and work to my home and the family therein…”

    You can read the whole post at: http://theabundantheart1234.blogspot.com/2010/03/every-wifes-first-duty.html

  10. Jessica,
    Great analogy!

    Kelly,
    Love this post! “Rule Your Realm” has such a vast expanse of possibilities: attitude, relations, finances, spiritual warfare, giving, service….it is such an awesome statement!

  11. I have done it both ways– worked outside of the home and been a stay at home mom. Your message is important to mothers in either position, namely, never neglect the moral and character-building aspects of parenting. There is no reason why working mothers should all of a sudden stop ruling their realm and neglecting the important duty of shaping the behavior and character of their children. Your message would have an even greater impact if you spread it to all, rather than assuming that women who work outside of the home just can’t do it for some reason!

  12. Linda,

    I’ve done it both ways too. A mother shouldn’t and probably doesn’t choose to stop “ruling her realm” but it’s difficult to rule a place where her physical presence is largely absent. I would love to say that it is an equal opportunity position, but two full time jobs simply hinders her work. My position is that understanding this important fact should cause us to do all we can to enable women to be fully available for their primary job as mother/ruler of home. When we don’t, we all suffer.

  13. Girl!! I just read this post too. You are so dead on. I find myself always adding a disclaimer when speaking on this subject, like, “I know some mother’s have no choice”, but the truth is that goes to character too. Our society has so relegated women to being “free” to “express” themselves that often they are in over their heads before they know it. Even then, though, we ought to encourage women that with God we can still gain character, be redeemed, and raise children for God’s glory. We have to start taking a stand! Keep it up!

  14. There are so many hardworking, dedicated young people. That guy who can’t find a person under 30 who will show up consistently is just having bad luck with applicants – we are NOT a shiftless generation. I don’t have a great job, but I work hard and do my best and I am not an exception.

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