“What do you do?” someone once anxiously asked me (this was before I had children, admittedly). “I live life,” I replied pleasantly. “Yes, but what are you?” persisted my interlocutor. I replied (or would have, if I had thought of it at the time) “I’m a human being. What would you have said I was?”
Now that I have children, people are a little less anxious to find out what I am, since they can easily enough identify me themselves as a “mother”. Some will insist on doing so even if categorically told by myself that my occupation is “housewife”. I know it’s a declaration of war when I say that – I do so knowingly!
The fact is, although it is completely unacceptable in our society for a woman (at least a young woman) to be devoted to helping her husband and keeping house for him, it is just barely acceptable to do those things for your children. It’s a bit suspect, but most people are willing to let it go by, or even – when they’re being generous – consider it a smart career move for a woman to make. This is something that I think should concern us, because as ‘homeschooling’ becomes more mainstream, people are starting to say things like, “Oh, you’re a teacher, aren’t you, with your children?” Or “You’re a homeschooler-” no questions asked, that’s your career identified for you.
So I want to be absolutely clear about this. My calling is to help my husband in his calling, part of which is bringing up our children. It’s not a job, it’s not a profession, and it’s certainly not a smart career move. If I have a calling of my own, I’d say I was a sniper, shooting holes in other people’s worldviews. Though of course I… try… to do it in a reasonable and respectful way. For instance, “No, I’m not a teacher, I’m a student. The word ‘disciple’ means ‘student’. I am a student of Jesus Christ; I’m a disciple making disciples.” Or “Yes, I help my husband to bring up our children.”
If looks could kill, friends, I wouldn’t be here, but as looks evidently don’t, I’ll be continuing to take pot shots at unwarranted conclusions. Will you join me in this high and holey calling?