A Few Questions to Ask Yourself
It's hard to identify if you're idolizing your work in the home because so much of our identity and life is wrapped up in the work of the home. Because we don't punch a time clock, because we're taking care of little people who are products of us in a lot of ways, because our husband is our dearest and closest friend, it's hard to see how we've made an idol of this work because it's so much a part of our life—and it never ends.
But, we do idolize our work. We do put it before the Lord, we do see it as more important than anything else. And there are a few questions we can ask ourselves to identify if we're idolizing the work of the home.
Does your mood rise or fall with a complete to-do list?
The first is: Does your mood rise or fall with a complete to-do list? If you get to the end of the day, you're lying in bed, you look at the work you've done for the day, and you see no check marks on your to-do list, do you feel guilty? Do you feel like you have nothing to show for the day because you can't see any tangible examples of the work that you've done?
Or, if you've checked off everything, do you feel great about yourself? Do you think, "Man, I am super mom today. I am firing on all cylinders in my work today." And do you put your value as a human being and as a worker on a complete to-do list? If you do, you might be idolizing your work.
The second question is: Do you see the people in your life as a hindrance to getting your work done? Have you pitted the productivity part of your work against the people part of your work? If nap time derails and nobody takes a nap, and you suddenly are unable to get anything done, are you mad? Are you mad at this little person standing in front of you, who is asking you for a glass of milk because they interrupted what you planned on getting done?
If your husband decides to finish work early and wants to come home and watch a movie, at the cost of you getting things done, are you mad at him? Our work is about people as much as it is about getting things done. And so we need to have a healthy balance between those interruptions in our day.
And the third, which I think is so common for women: Do you compare yourself to others in your work? Are you looking at the woman next to you in church? Are you looking at the woman at the play group on the playground? Do you look at what she's doing and think "I'm pretty good, I got more done than her today or any given day"? Or, do you feel like a failure because you accomplish less than her?
We are not called to compare ourselves to others. We are called to run the race, as Hebrews says, that is set before us. And our races all look different, based on capacity, based on the ages of our children, based on seasons of life. We're aren't to compare ourselves to others. And if you're comparing yourself to others and estimating your value based on what someone else is doing—as opposed to what God has called you to do—then you might be idolizing your work.
- Why Stay-at-Home Moms Don't Need to Be Embarrassed (Courtney Reissig)
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- How Can I Teach My Kids to Help at Home? (Courtney Reissig)