Godly women don’t have careers, rather they have ministries. They wouldn’t dare touch or be associated with anything that seemed career oriented. Working outside of the home or having any interests besides being a homemaker is a big no-no, something that only selfish feminists do. Godly women are far better than that. When they spend long hours away from family giving advice in their online ministry, of course this is different because God is supposedly telling them to do so. If a woman says she has a career outside of the home because God is guiding her that way, she is told only Satan would put such ideas in her head like that and dismissed. What I don’t ever get is where is the line drawn or how do you really separate apart the women with ministries who seriously are doing it as some calling as opposed to those doing it for an ego boost and activity to fill the day (in the same way the much shamed career women do).
Every godly woman says she is “convicted” to do it, but there is generally a bit of self-serving motives in all we do. I don’t have an issue with the self-serving side, its more the lack of honesty that they have their own motives and the double standard if secular women or even Christian women have a typical career outside of the home with a paycheck, they are shamed and told to essentially get back in the kitchen. Yet, there is no issue with a godly woman taking time away from family, spending countless hours online to tend to her ministry as long as its all under the cover of “God is telling me to”. Its different of course, yet I really don’t see much difference. So, what bothers me is not the ministries per se, but the double standard and the failure to admit that yeah–staying at home and just being a wife and mother can be kinda sucky and/or boring. Plus, with modern appliances there really isn’t enough cleaning and cooking to fill the day and if your kids are off in public school (as so many godly women endorse despite their telling others to homeschool) then you especially have a lot of time. Its really easy to talk about how easy and joyful it is to be a SAHM when your kids are off in government institutes for the large part of the day. So, to fill that time they take up a ministry. A way to get a lot of their basic needs filled without looking like the selfish career woman.
I do believe that homemakers also need adult conversation and other activities to fill their day. There really still is a “problem with no name” and women fill that restlessness with starting ministries (well, because God told them too of course). They might say a ministry is different because they don’t get a paycheck like career woman. What they do is a more a selfless act of love to help other women; however, more and more of them are getting book deals. Will they donate all their funds to charity? If not, then its not an entirely selfless activity to help others. Their ministry then becomes a work from home job or an acceptable way to help support the family without having the awful career woman title.
I’ve often wondered how much time these women but into their ministries (from comment lengths alone it seems like a lot) and I came across this from a Christian woman with a popular online ministry:
“Usually, during the school year, I am able to spend 30+ hours per week on online ministry – writing posts for both of my blogs, responding to comments, making Youtube videos, and sharing on Facebook. When my children are home for the summer, things get a bit more challenging ministry-wise. I don’t want to spend 30 hours per week online when I can spend time with them making memories and doing things together. This particular summer, we have had some staffing issues at the pharmacy where I work. At this point, it looks like I may be needed more at work throughout the whole summer, maybe even longer. I don’t know for sure yet. This has been a blessing to [name redacted] that I have been able to work so much more in the pharmacy. I am thankful for that and thankful for my job. I am torn because I don’t want to neglect y’all in any way – and yet, I have to make some changes, at least for the summer. I can’t do everything I really want to do.
Instead of having about 30 hours or so per week for ministry, I am going to have to adjust my expectations for the next 2 months, at least, that I will probably have about 10 hours per week.
Would you please join with me in praying as I seek to do only what God desires me to do above all else?”
30 plus hours a week is almost a full time job, not even including the mentioned job at the pharmacy. So, women with online ministries are devoting themselves to something outside of their family for about the same amount of time as career woman. “I can’t really do everything I really want to do”. Isn’t that what they shame career women for doing–trying to have it all? So, if we took away “I”, the question is really “what would the Lord really want me to do?” Well, clearly he would want you to ditch the pharmacy job and homeschool the kids because as Lori goes on endlessly-women are not meant to work, they are meant to be home making memories with their kids, not just in the summer, but year round. I am glad she is praying about this. It can be addictive, feeling like all these people online need you. You can sense her worry that she might be neglecting her readers.
In the end, I’ve said before that just being a mom and wife is really not enough for women. If it were as satisfying as traditionalists claim, the rise of online ministries and book deals would not be what it is. Women still need another outlet, outside of their roles of mother and wife to grow and explore their own interests. When secular women do this, its called a career (“I have a successful career”). When godly women do this, its called a ministry (“I run a successful ministry”). Whether you go sit in an office or stay seated at home blogging, both are taking hours away from tending to the home and family.