I often try to praise my wife in our home, both in front of our children and alone. But every so often I feel the need to praise her publicly, though it’s the last thing she wants. In doing so, it’s not my intention to come off as a braggart, but rather to publicly celebrate the beauty of godly femininity.
There are no words to adequately express the admiration I have for my wife Kristina. Eight years ago, we dropped our oldest daughter Gracie off at daycare. Kristina was beside herself. She never asks for anything, but through tears that day she asked me to make it possible for her to come home.
Our daycare wasn’t the issue — we loved it! But leaving newborn Gracie there while Kristina went to work felt like she was betraying something internally.
I didn’t understand what she was upset about. Daycare was as normal as breathing to me. Plus, it didn’t make sense financially for her to come home. I was fresh out of prison, starting a new job in media, an industry I knew nothing about and she made more money than me.
We prayed and prayed. When she said she felt like God was telling her to come home, I showed her the spreadsheet of our income versus expenditures and said that it must not be God telling her that, because it wasn’t possible.
As time went by, our church began to have moms that came home from the workforce share their stories. They came home against all odds because they wanted to obey Scripture. That’s what finally pushed me over the edge.
We took a leap of faith, putting a date on the calendar for her to come home. God blessed that leap with too many miracles to list here, including finding out we would have another daughter, Reagan, arriving less than a year after Gracie did – 361 days to be exact.
For a time, Kristina worked from home at night while I watched the kids, and then we swapped places during the day. It was freaking hard. She cried sometimes, while I got angry at others, but we knew we were obeying God and believed He would bless our obedience, although we couldn’t see the blessings at the time.
The day finally came for her to be a fulltime stay-at-home mom and it was great … at first. Then the honeymoon wore off and we discovered that the stay-at-home mom gig is an intense and exhausting vocation, and not necessarily the Little-House-on-the-Prairie vision we dreamed about. Turns out life is hard – no one tells you that growing up for some reason!
That’s when the “why” of being a stay-at-home mother kicked in. That “why,” we believed, came from Scripture. Obedience isn’t the thing to do only when it’s easy, we learned. It’s when it’s hard that obedience matters.
We were blessed with a pastor who already had embarked on this journey with his family. They provided us counsel, and God brought other families into our lives who had been doing this for years. The men modeled biblical masculinity, teaching me to be a good husband and father, while the women showed Kristina the glory of biblical femininity, teaching her to be a good wife and mother. We also found incredible books and podcasts that helped us along our way.
All of these resources were priceless, but at the end of the day, no one could do it for us. We had to fight our flesh and do things we’d rather not do. We had to repent to and challenge one another to do better. It was ugly at times and pleasant at others, but we stumbled forward, committing to do better each day.
We did all this while adding children to the fold roughly every 19 months and beginning home school. We also did this in a 1,400-square-foot home with one bathroom until recently.
As the years passed, we began to see the fruit of our labor. It wasn’t always visible, but seeing our children truly joyful, loving the Lord, helping around the house singing their catechisms showed us the struggle was worth it. We fall short daily, but God’s mercies are new every morning.
However, this post isn’t about “us,” it’s about Kristina.
We live in an age where the career woman is praised, while the woman who desires to follow God’s Word and labor for the Kingdom in her home receives scorn. The latter is thought to have fallen into the past by picking up the old shackles of bondage and oppression that were so hard to break.
Not so with Kristina.
She had the courage to leave a promising career. She pushed me to obey and helped me to see God’s Word in a new light. She birthed all these children, six of which were VBACs (vaginal birth after cesarean), with no pain management, I might add. She changes diapers and cleans up puke, pee and poop. She makes homemade remedies to treat the children when they’re sick, and she makes sure they are eating real food every day, not processed junk.
And here’s the best part: she does it all with glory in mind. She could just throw food on the table, and we would be happy, but she goes beyond. She brings beauty and glory to our home in HOW she does it, and she is teaching our five daughters the beauty and glory of biblical femininity in the home in the process. The pictures below are of our Easter dinner, but anyone that has been to our home knows that it’s not just holidays and special occasions that Kristina throws down like this. No, she prepares feasts like this often. They are commonplace.
Many folks see our family and our home and think we’ve always had these blessings. But others have known us since we had nothing.
I think it’s worth noting that our relationship began when I was in prison. We got engaged on the front steps of a drug rehab/halfway house, marrying in my grandma’s living room the next day. We had NOTHING. But we had God and we had each other, and we’ve had incredible people who’ve been there for us along the way.
It’s also worth noting that our family budget spreadsheet looks a lot better now than it did then. That could change any day, and it’s not what I base anything off of, but finances are the reason many don’t take that leap of faith. I want to hammer home that God blesses obedience and faithfulness, imperfect as they may be.
God’s math is fuzzy, a pastor once told me, and I’ve found that to be true. Be faithful, obey God, and “seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
If God is calling you to make changes in your life and family, I would encourage you to obey.
“An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
‘Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.’
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.”
(Excerpts from Proverbs 31)
Bryan Dawson is CEO of 1819 News. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to Commentary@1819News.com.
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