Being a wife and mother is a beautiful calling in life. It is one of which many young women dream.
Not long ago I heard a mother speak of her daughter and say all she wanted to do when she graduated from high school in a year or so was to get married and have children. What an honorable thing to seek after and proclaim. The daughter worked hard all through school, got good grades, and was well liked by all her peers. She was not asked or required to hold a job while in school, and had no experience at all to take to the workplace. It was her belief that the husband was supposed to do all the providing and that she need not go any further in her education than high school. She believed she would be fine as soon as she was married, which she greatly wanted to be as soon as possible.
But. . . not every woman is blessed with this opportunity. For some it may come later than intended or wanted, for others it may never come. For some it may have come, and gone, while others it may have been stolen from them through death and tragedy leaving them alone to figure things out and raise the children alone. Life is different for each person, and this world sometimes creates different paths for us than what we dreamed of or prayed for.
In times like these, what is a woman to do? The scriptures are actually filled with many words of wisdom on preparing ourselves for what is to come as well as many records of events where people prepared for the future. Joseph was told to set up stores for the famine that was to come; Noah was told to build a boat to save his family and the animals; Moses was told to ask the Egyptians for wealth to take with them as the Israelites left Egypt (Exodus 12:35-36). Then there is the parable of the Ten Virgins, the wise and the foolish, 5 prepared for the bridegroom and five unprepared (Matthew 25:1).
How can these be related to a young woman just leaving school and dreaming of marriage and children, or what life may bring in the future? A lot. Yahweh has given examples to us throughout the scriptures to prepare for things to come, for the future.
The young woman mentioned in the beginning was ready, willing and able to be married and could not wait. She was putting together her wedding planner, picking out dresses, flowers, venues, and even what day she would be married on. The interesting part was that she had no prospects, none, zero. She was not dating, not working, rarely socializing, and had not yet met any young men who would fit her qualifications. The likelihood of her marrying at any time soon is drastically reduced with her not being out in the community in some way. Making new friends or meeting new co-workers, even attending college could lead to meeting someone with the same faith, same moral standards, same life goals. She was not out communicating with her peers, yet she was insistent that she was going to marry immediately and have children on a particular date. It could be said that this is not a very good example of a Proverbs 31 woman, who is valiant, powerful, ready, prepared, knowledgeable, and educated. (link to Prov 31 article)
In ancient times, the problem of not socializing with young men was often solved by the father arranging a suitable marriage for their daughters, completely eliminating the need for dating to find a spouse. Then, things became more relaxed, societies expanded, and women become more able to choose their own husbands. Today, though, some young men and women find themselves in a similar predicament as ancient times because they are seeking someone in the same faith or moral standard which can, at times, be difficult to find because their faith community is spread out or small. The role of the “matchmaker-father” now is often left up to dating sites that allow for you to contact people of the same interests, but this has gotten more and more confusing and in some cases, dangerous. It could take some time for a young woman to find a suitable mate this way, and in the mean time she has options that she can choose, I would hope that staying at home, doing house work for mom and dad as a single woman would not be the only option she would choose.
Things that a young woman could take into consideration are working while searching for a future husband.Or how about the young girl attend college, a trade school, a tech school, or some other form of educational path? This is not an offense against her dreams of becoming a wife and mother, and in fact might be a way to help her Why can’t she meet someone she can befriend, get to know, and one day marry if things work out. In the meantime, the young woman can expand her knowledge base and become more like the Proverbs 31 woman that a king could be searching for to help “rule his household” and build his “kingdom”.
There is nothing at all wrong with the dream of being a mother and wife. As said before, it is a most beautiful calling in life, and there is so much to learn about being a wife that isn’t always learned just by the example of your own good mother. Running a home is similar to running a business with accounts payable and accounts receivable, scheduling, financial decisions involving buying cars, homes, and large ticket items. The list is endless what a wife needs to know and do, which some say can include everything from being a housekeeper, laundress, gardener, interior decorator, secretary, psychoanalyst, nutritionist, diagnostician, baker, chef, handyman, and even a nurse. Some of these things will be learned growing up, others will be learned as hands-on experience or on the job training when she becomes a wife and mother, still others can be learned in further education, or by outside-the-home job training that might also come in handy in the future.
As said before, life does throw things in our pathway that we cannot always forsee, but we can prepare for. In these troubled times, men lose their jobs and it is not uncommon today for it to take a year or two to find another. A man may be injured and unable to work. How will the family provide for themselves without dad’s income? If the mother/wife has had some training along the way or further education, both may need to be refreshed, but there is the potential there to be able to provide for the family in the interim.
Why are woman so resistant to be prepared? Why do women put all the burden on their current or future husband to figure out all of life’s problems. Why don’t woman prepare themselves to be the wife that will be a real asset to their husbands and family with skills that are ready for any problem life throws at you.
Just food for thought. . . Blessings!
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Lead Author (Bio)
Jim, (Judi's husband), has Sephardi Jewish ancestry and is a minister and head of Shofar Productions. Jim was a denominational pastor, hospital chaplain, and former director of a non-profit community organization.
Torah For Women
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