Just because you homeschool doesn’t mean that you are “sinning” if you take time for yourself. Having the opportunity to get some relief from your day-to-day activities rejuvenates the homeschooling mom, enabling her to resume her 24/7 job.
This is especially true for women who have spent a good portion of their recent lives either being pregnant or caring for infants and children. With so many demands on their attention, spending time replenishing themselves spiritually, intellectually, and physically often gets placed on the back burner. Concerns about physical appearance and how it changes with motherhood can cause insecurities to arise.
At times like this, returning to the Bible for instruction and guidance is useful. Rather than use the standard of men, in general, or current cultural fashion, a wife should derive her perception of herself not from her own eyes, but from her husband’s. It is more important to endeavor to please the one person God says has ownership of the wife’s body – the husband -- than try to conform to the standards of the world.
How does this play out? After our conversion, my husband and I began to attend church. I became aware that, in many churches, there is a standard that women only wear dresses and skirts. I adopted that standard. However, my husband’s preference was for me to be in tailored slacks that were more of a sports/casual style. For years, I was more concerned with what the ladies of the church would think of me than pleasing my husband and I dressed in a way that failed to value his preference. 1 Peter 3:2-6 helped me to see that my priorities were wrong.
Likewise women often get preoccupied with how much we weigh, what dress size we’ve graduated to, and the killer question, “Does this make me look fat?” (which a wise husband learns how to answer diplomatically very early in his marriage). The real question should be, “Are you, Dear Husband, happy and comfortable with my appearance and the way I am dressed?” Since no one anywhere had the right to encourage, urge, or demand that a person violate God's law, providing that the husband is not asking his wife to do or wear anything that violates a clear Scriptural mandate or perspective, a woman should make her husband’s wishes paramount in her thinking. Such an attitude would alleviate much of the self-inflicted pressure we women put on ourselves.
So, ladies, instead of looking in the mirror for your feedback, it is much better to gaze at your reflection in your husband’s eyes.
- Andrea G. Schwartz
Andrea Schwartz is Chalcedon’s family and Christian education advocate, and the author of eight books including: A House for God: Building a Kingdom-Driven Family, The Biblical Trustee Family: Understanding God’s Purpose for Your Household, Empowered: Developing Strong Women for Kingdom Service, Woman of the House: A Mother’s Role in Building a Christian Culture, and The Homeschool Life: Discovering God’s Way to Family-Based Education. She’s also the co-host of the Out of the Question podcast, and Homeschooling Helps (weekly live Facebook event). She can be reached at [email protected].