Is Your Family Different?

Different from the world...
What I see of families now, they are running around, just like the world, but they've tacked on church things too.
Instead of having "family time", or even dinner time, parent's time is spent chauffeuring their children to all the school and church activities.
There is no time for peaceful meditations, or listening to God. or instructing your children.
We are told, "It's just a busy time." But that time extends into the next year and just gets busier.
The world's rat race has become ours.
How do you change it?
We obey God's principles.

God wants your marriage to reflect Him: like Christ and His Bride.
The husband and wife should be like Christ and His Bride.
I've written before about our roles in marriage here: Created for Him.
God clearly stated in His Word. “Wives be keepers at home.” Titus 2:5. There’s no exception.
How can you work and be keepers at home?
Women say, "I can do both."
But God says different.
When your child is sick, and you must be at work, but want to make sure he’s fine.
You have a divided heart.
You work for an employer—you seek to please him.
You have a divided heart.
You are not there when your husband gets home.
Men today do not understand what that is.
They have accepted this “standard” of home.

My husband sees this often in the army.
They ask, “What does your wife do?”
(Like I must do something to be worthy of his wife.
His answer stumps them, “She’s my wife.”
After his long pause, he adds, “She does what I need to be my help-meet.”
It’s not about my career. He often is asked about my degree, as if my lack of degree would explain why I don’t work.
I have a master degree in science education.
That answer again stumps them.
Most are women soldiers, who have left their families, to do their required service. (Isn’t that honorable?)
He senses the longing in some to be with their families.
Often men approach him later, especially the Christian men, asking, “How did you get your wife to DO that?”
That was a choice.
That was my husband’s requirement for marriage, that his wife would stay at home.
That was also my choice.
They are disappointed.
It is not a choice they can change.
How can they change their wives’ decision now?
God works through His Spirit on the hearts of His people.
If your wife works and has a career she wants to pursue, pray for God to stir her heart.
What if your husband wants you to work and you want to stay at home?
God can work in his heart too.

My husband has talked to a patient whose husband wants her to stay at home, but she likes her “things.”
Her husband has told her, he can’t buy those; she must work. She works. Sad. Her things won’t bring her fulfillment.

Other women have told my husband, it's too hard to stay at home!
And it is, apart from God's grace.
Being a stay-at-home-wife and mom is hard.
The world doesn't respect you.
In fact, when asked, "what do you do?" for health insurance, I responded, "I work at home."
She rephrased it, "you are unemployed." I tried again. "I work at home."
She did not re-type her answer. 
I guess I'm "unemployed" by the world.

Often those same Christian soldier husbands question how we survive on one income?
How can we choose to ignore her career?
How can we be normal?

We are NOT normal.
We are different from the world.
Our choices reflect God’s ways.
And by choosing God’s ways, we are different, but blessed.

For example:
The world says, “limit children, they are expensive.”
God says, “Children are a blessing.”
What other blessing do you seek to limit or control?
Only children. Yet God says they are a blessing.
In fact, the world intentionally limits the population. Isn't that a Satan thing—defying God?

If God gives something, He provides the means to take care of it.
It requires looking to Him.
By giving God control over when and how many children, we were blessed with eight boys. 
By nursing until they were two, God spaced them out.
Nursing is a gift, not earned. I am thankful.
Others had trouble nursing, I feel for those women.
We had children until I couldn’t. I almost died with the seventh. 
God gave us the eighth when we thought we were finished.

By allowing God to control how many children, we also sought Him for individual decisions to provide for them.
We had only one car until our sixth child. God provided an Excursion.
I prayed every time I parked it.
Someone said when they first saw us, “Who would need such a big vehicle?” but then he saw boy after boy get out of the vehicle. He said, “Yes, you needed that size vehicle.”
God gave us our needs. 

I’ve mentioned it before—we went without a bed until our seventh, when I needed a hospital bed for awhile.
We clothed the boys in hand-me-downs, that sometimes went through seven of them (on rare occasions)—we re-used their car seat, strollers,…
We didn’t buy baby food—if they couldn’t gum it or chew it, they didn’t get it.
Though I re-learned almost every time, that tortillas get soggy, stuck to their roof of their mouth and choked on, until they could actually chew it.

People are always amazed that we don't eat out. (Rarely.)
I have time to put together a meal at home. At times it was thrown together, but we never went hungry.
Eating at home saves money—figure it out.
Can't cook? Ask an older woman.
I'm not against eating out, I like it. 
But if you are living on one income, you must determine your expenses and evaluate whether that's worth it to you.
And cut out extras.

Because I had taught in Christian schools prior to marriage, I knew that wasn’t an option for us.
Home schooling was. 
That eliminated pressure to dress a certain “peer-pressure” way.
That also eliminated added costs of class functions.
Curriculum was passed down to all them. Though expensive at first.
But as they came to high school, some were asked to participate in high school sports. We gave them a choice.
One chose his senior year to attend public school. He played both varsity baseball and football. 
Others knew their freedom to do other things would be restricted and said, “no.” 

We said, “no” to things that didn’t support the family.
We maintained a family dinner.
Sports for our boys. 
We limited it to one sport per year.
Isn’t sports good?
Sure. It develops discipline, teamwork, sportsmanship… 
SEE What Baseball Teaches about Life

But at what cost?
We do not eat as a family.
(I’ve already written about the importance of family dinner here: What's for dinner? which most families do not have anymore. That is of Satan.)
With sports, we rush around with a schedule controlled by someone else.
Now, sports play on Sundays. Is that the priority we want to allow?
Would we even allow sports now? Probably not.

We said “NO” to good things, because they interfered with family.
I wonder whether we’d allow church youth group activities with the other boys.
It challenges our authority. By that I mean, we are no longer "in charge" of our boys' time.
My son tells me what he's going to do, albeit respectfully.
My son tells me when he needs to be at church for this meeting or that event.
When I ask, "who, what, where, when, why and how?" of each activity, he sighs deeply.
I am still responsible for what he does, and who he's with, and where he's at—but I feel powerless to control it, because I'm not there.
It's also given him an attitude of control at home that makes him think he's in charge there too.
The church as usurped the authority from our family.
I never felt "out of control" or out of the loop as I do with the "youth group."
I see that even with the children's program.
Activities we don't approve of (i.e. Halloween trick or treating or others), yet sanctioned by the church. 
Or even the weekly dinner at church. It hinders family dinner time.
Instead of the church supporting the family, they are opposing it.
When the Bible speak so many times of the parents' responsibility to train up their children, we see the church "trying" to help by separating the children from the parents so the parents can learn more of the Bible in a quieter atmosphere, instead of helping the parents discipline their children so they can sit quietly beside them and hear the Word too. 
Why must the youth have a separate time of Bible study when the pastor preaches the Word?
What are they learning? I have no idea.
Isn't that what communism does? Separates the child from the parent and trains the children in how they want them to go?

We didn’t have a youth group.
Our activities were family led.

Families got together with other families.
There was no need for a youth director or children’s leader.
We controlled our own children.

In my generation, parents who worked were told to give “quality time” to their children, so they wouldn’t feel like they cheated their children because they worked.
There is no “quality time” with God. He gives all His time. He is available any time.
Nowhere is that more evident than training your children.
God commands parents many times to spend all their time training their children—
When they rise, eat, and walk....
That assumes you are with your children.
Nowhere in the Bible, does it permit parents to delegate their authority to others to train their children in the Lord. or the Law, (as the Old Testament required).
(We have allowed Satan to teach our children. If you question that statement—they show kindergarteners in California homosexual actions.
You think your child is protected?
Look at the curriculum and the outcome.
Do they know more of God?)
You, the parent, are responsible for your child’s education and will be held responsible and accountable before God.

Because I was with them all the time, I worked hard to make them learn obedience. 
I've given many articles on how to discipline children. See Child Training.

But we also taught them skills they needed, besides reading, writing and math.
Projects like building dog houses, pig pens, fences, a milking stand, 
A 50’ long, 4’ high cement retaining wall (when Dad was gone for a year.)
Three of the boys were in charge of building a chicken coop.
Each boy took a turn “managing” the pigs. Each boy learned from the previous one’s “experience” and perfected it.
One boy dismantled his dirt bike and re-built it. 
They changed our vehicles brakes and oil at 15 years old.

They created their own business—weedwacking. Which involved managing clients, purchasing and maintaining their own equipment and supplies, including purchasing a trailer to haul their equipment, and controlling their own schedule. This was when they were 12-18 years old.
They were known for their good work and politeness. People still miss them.

With their money they earned from weekwacking, our seven boys bought their first truck or car.
(We also taught them money management: tithe first, save half, then use the remaining for expenses.)

Some of our projects were learning experiences that cost us.
Like the pregnant cow how died of eating too many peaches. 
(Ranchers did that all the time in the Valley, but they could afford to lose a cow to the pits that would rip their gut. We learned too late.) 
Or goats that insisted on dumping their water buckets when staked out for pasture.
Or pigs who had to be given shots…
These experiences shaped our boys too.
Our philosophy was, “We are raising men, not pigs or cows or goats.”
Some of our boys learned they liked it.
Others learned, they hated it.
But they did it. That was learning too. ‘cause learning takes discipline when you don't like it.

Two of our boys got a bid from the local community college for welding goat pens. One had never welded before, but learned. 
It was a $20,000 project!

I mention all these things, not to brag about my children, but to tell you we didn’t offer our children fun—
they made their fun from working hard and reaping the rewards.
We gave our children skills they could use for life. 

I’m always amazed at things my boys do now—where did they learn that? It started at home.
Some of it was just giving them the confidence to try.

When we started cement, I measured the water and cement with my kitchen measuring cup so we could learn the “right” consistency.
We didn’t have the right instruments. We used what we had.
But as we saw professionals doing it, I would say, “They make it look easy, don’t they?”
But my boys knew, it was harder than it looked.
And the right tools make it easier. They learned.
They bought their own quality tools; some of them before they left our house.

I also tell you all this, not because my boys are smarter than others, but to show you, that they were not,
but they have used what God has given them and God has blessed them.

As parents, we must help our children find those gifts God has given and channel them into service and work for Him.
I've written about that here: Finding Your Child's Gifts

It's not just "going good things" with your family.
Though all those things that I mentioned are good things.
We also maintained a time to read and teach the Bible to our children, sing, and memorize the Bible.
During sports, it was hectic and hard and we weren't too consistent.
But we'd get back to it. 
We are not a "good singers" family, but we made a "joyful noise" and that is what God asks for.
What did we sing?
Hymns. When one of our boys was in charge of leading the singing for our worship, he had us singing through the hymn book.
We found new favorites that way.
What did we memorize?
The Lord's Prayer, Psalm 23. Psalm 91. We memorized chapters. This was with toddlers and little ones.
Because God's Word promises not to return void. (Isaiah 55:11).
That means, what is hidden in their hearts, God can bring back later to help direct, comfort, correct...
Even when we are not there to "tell them what to do", God's Spirit can bring back those verses that they need for that moment.
It also helped us.
God's Word directed our family in ways that would please Him.

People look at our family and asked why we are different.
It’s God’s doing.
I could tell you what we did.
But each family is different.
But God’s Word is the same.
His principles still work.
How God asks each family to work out His Word is also different.
Not all will live in the country and do what we did.

But it starts with a couple willing to obey God and seek Him with ALL decisions.
And trust His way.

Like me staying home. That’s an “everyone” command.
I used to be wishy-washy on this, after all, I have friends whose children were fine though they worked, weren't they? 
But the Bible couldn't be clearer.
Being the help meet my husband needs when he gets home from work.
Just like parents can’t give “quality time” with their children and train them, so “quality time” with your husband is not good.

Maybe your family isn’t an example of doing it God’s way from the start, but God still blesses families who begin now to do what He says.
Was it easy?
Ask me with 7 children under 12 years, it was hard.
Ask me with those children grown and walking with God, it was worth it.

People ask, Why are you different?
You can say, “We just obeyed God.”
And God gets the glory.

I write about what you---
women, wives and moms---
about your family, faith and future.
I write about what's hard, what helps and what heals.
I show you how it's done. And not done.
I hold your hand as you find what matters to the Savior.
And let go of those things that mattered to you, but not to Him.
I write about what Him.
               Sonya Contreras

Displaying all 2 comments

Great article, really covers it all. One comment you made really struck me for I found it so very true. When we raise our children to DO things, to try new things, that's it's O.K. to fail, etc., they learn confidence and they will be willing to try things they've never done because they've developed an "I can" attitude instead of an "I probably can't" attitude. When Jason was 11 and we had a new baby, a friend came to vacuum my house every week. One day her vacuum wouldn't work, so Jason took it apart and fixed it. This woman was so impressed, but I was even more so. It was such a reward to see Jason step out like that, even as a kid. This is something you can't wait until they are grown to teach them. School subjects are important, but they can learn anything they need as an adult, but by then it is too late to give them the confidence they will need to BE an adult, it is too late to teach them a work ethic, it is too late to make them the person you would like to see them be. Habits develop from birth. (Sonya's boys did our weed eating and they were amazing.)

Women's Roles
Find other articles about women's roles here:
The Sacrifice of Obedience
Why Boys Fight? And Is that Good?
Is Your Family Different?
Created for Him reprint
Gender Differences Backed by Science
What Should Men Do? reprint
Where Are the Men? reprint
What Is Man? reprint
Man VS Woman: Making Man Act Like a Woman
Man VS Woman: Is It Eqality We Seek? reprint
How Do You See Sin?
Marriage Is a Covenant before God
Are You Precious?
What's a Mother-In-Law To Do?
A Promise Is a Promise
Happily Ever After
Point Lobos, Monterrey
Where You Go, I Will Go
Protecting Our Men
What Makes a Marriage Work?
And the Two Shall Be One
Do You Let Your Husband Love You?
An Added Resource for You
Is Jezebel in Your Midst?
Can You Say, "No"?
Are You Losing Your Mind?
Expect Great Things from God
The Making of a Man part 4
The Making of a Man part 3
The Making of a Man part 2
The Making of a Man
What Kind of a Crown Are You?
Do You Like Your Husband?
Is Your Husband a Pushover?
Did You Marry a Crazy Man? 
Is Your Husband Crushing You?
Are You Dependent?
Male vs Female: Is It Equality We Seek?
Are You a Nag?
Do You Have a Picky Eater?
A Way to a Man's Heart Is through His Stomach
Are You Challenged by Your Man's Challenges?
Happily Ever After
Are You Appreciated?
Do You Feel Loved?
Valentine's Day: A Day for Love?
Valentine's Day: Help Your Husband Out

Created for Him
Do You Help Your Husband?
Made To Conquer

Women Working
How Much Does It Cost for Moms To Work?
How Much Does It Cost for Moms To Stay at Home?
Margaret Thatcher, She Changed the
    World, But What about Her 

Biblical Manhood
Find more articles about Biblical Manhood here:
What Is Man?
Where Are the Men?
What Should a Man Do?

Biblical Womanhood
Find more articles about Womanhood here:
What Is Your Choice?
Letting Him Protect
Are You a Friend?
Who Controls the Money?
The Sacrifice of Thanksgiving: How 
   To Make Your Husband Love You

The Power of a Smile: How To 
    Make Your Husband Love You

Superwoman: Is She Believable?

Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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Things Aren't Always What They Seem
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under the Table of Contents. Also available in book form.
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under the Table of Contents. Also available in book form.
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under Table of Contents. Also available in book form.
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