Sunday, January 6, 2013

The stench of rotting bones

A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot. - Proverbs 14:30

When I was pregnant with our second child I met a woman who I was very envious of. She was older than me, thin, very pretty, and had confidence and poise. She wore clothes I wished I owned and drove a car I wished I had. I knew nothing about her other than what I could see on the outside but yet my jealous heart couldn't help but think she had a better life than I did. Like most women who have indulged the sin of coveting, I was cruel in my thoughts about her. I'd invent things about her to not like. My envy had caused me to indulge in the sin of false witness as well. 

She was a career woman and contributed a fair amount of money to her and her husband's household income. I had been a homemaker for the last three years and though I knew the value of being a stay at home mom it was easy for envy to take over. I hadn't had the strength of conviction I needed yet, nor did I have years of personal evidence to look back on to know I was making the right decision. I had yet to understand *was still in rebellion to biblical submission so even RLB's conviction wasn't enough to change my heart. 

This woman was pregnant with her first child and would speak openly about how she'd be returning to her career and putting her child in a good daycare. Seeds of doubt crept into my mind. Is daycare all that bad? It is ridiculous I thought this, I had previously worked in a good daycare and have first hand accounts of how awful they were, especially the baby rooms. Never the less, jealousy and envy is horribly destructive to the heart of a woman, it "makes the bones rot." A weak minded woman can meet her demise throwing away all prior wisdom in order to get what the heart covets. 

I struggled with this for a long time. I'm ashamed of how much this woman and her life consumed my thoughts. Then I heard a man say, "I'd rather live in a box than have my wife work for another man." He went on to say, "I can't protect her there. I am powerless over what she has to face. No way will my wife be forced to submit to another man." Oh, how I needed to hear those words to affirm that I was doing the right thing for our family.

My heart began to soften and understanding started to overwhelm the envy. I studied God's word and sought forgiveness for my covetous and shameful thoughts. I felt rebuke from the words of 1 John 2 15-17:
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
I had a peace in my heart by the time my daughter was born. I had joy and thanksgiving for all of the blessings we had. My thoughts turned to doing my best within my home by supporting RLB more. I started working out more to lose the baby weight I had accumulated. I guarded my thoughts and associations while I devoured encouraging books to strengthen my confidence and convictions.

I am filled with remorse and sorrow as I reflect on what happened next to that woman. Her son was only a few weeks old. It was a bitter cold January day that she dropped him off at the daycare and kissed him goodbye for the last time. As he sat, unattended to in his car seat, still bundled up in winter clothes, SIDS took his life. To this day that was the most difficult funeral to attend. I embraced her and cried with her like I'd never cried before.

I'm no longer in contact with this woman, but I do remember this; her second child never saw the inside of a daycare and her career became that of a thin, very pretty, confident and poised, stay at home mother.

*Edit - A comment of Dalrock's on his blog has prompted me to change this wording. In examining myself, I know that it was not due to a lack of understanding that I was not submitting fully to RLB, it was rebellion to God's command. When I had read the words of 1 Peter 3, I clearly understood what they meant, they were part of the Bible that went on "scroll by" for me because the command was something I wasn't accepting - rebellion. Thank you Dalrock for bringing to light yet another way that I, as a woman, carelessly reject taking responsibility for my actions.

13 comments:

  1. stg58/Animal MotherJanuary 6, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    That poor woman's child was probably all up on the vaccines. SD, you probably remember the meta analysis Vox did on the intersection of SIDS and the vaccine schedule. The lady's baby was two months old, right?

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  2. I believe so, yes. I remember that discussion and am scouring VP to find the post so I can link it here. It's very important information for those with babies to have in hand.

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  3. Shew.... didnt make it through this blog without a few tears. Clearly SIDS is something I am currently trying to stifle out of my mind just to sleep at night. Every new parents worst nightmare.

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  4. I know, Marie. Attending that funeral postpartum was excruciating. I hope you take a minute to read the column I linked of Vox's.

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  5. stg58/Animal MotherJanuary 6, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    Both of our sons have never seen or felt the needle of a vaccine. Both are alive, strong and wild, as befits their namesakes.

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  6. Wow, SD, this is an outstanding post. Oh what a foolish, foolish world we live in. Even Christian women have decided the Bible's words to women to be busy at home, caring for their families, represents just another lifestyle choice.

    It's not that a woman can never have paid work if her husband decides the family simply must have the additional income, but mothers should not be lusting after careers, status, and stuff.

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    1. It's not that a woman can never have paid work if her husband decides the family simply must have the additional income, but mothers should not be lusting after careers, status, and stuff.

      I have a problem with this. Particularly from the husband's position of deciding such a thing. First, we would have to define paid work. Any situation where the wife would be in submission to another man (or woman, for that matter) is going to lead to problems in the marriage. Sooner or later, she will be asked to put something about work over her husband/family. Family businesses, run by the husband, are obvious examples that allow the wife to work a traditional job while still in submission to her husband.

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    2. Yes, personally I agree with you, but as a woman, I usually don't flat out say "Women should never work" because that would imply that I am telling men how to manage their own households. So although I think it's better for women not to work outside the home, especially when there are children, I usually frame that as being her husband's decision.

      -sunshinemary

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    3. I see your point, however I think it is important to hold the line of women's submission to their husband being undermined by her job commitments. It probably doesn't fit the discussion of this post. I would like SD to do a post on the definition of submission as it relates to such hard decisions as this. Which is Christian submission? Working because your husband told you to or allowing him to provide completely for the household. I don't pretend to have the answer. I would just rather have that type of discussion than the typical, "I have to work because my husband doesn't provide enough," BS.

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  7. I did read his post. Although he made some valid points I cant say that I stand in one corner or the other. Eva was vaccinated, along with myself and my husband. I do however take every other percaution like sleeping him on his back, breast feeding, no co sleeping etc. I also think vaccines are good. Maybe not until after the first year. Maybe Vox is correct, regardless I think they are beneficial.

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  8. 20% of "SIDS" deaths are infanticide. But its the vaccines that are at fault.

    Right.

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    1. Anon, read the linked column. "More than one-third of all reported vaccine-related deaths, nearly 40 percent, occurred between the ages of two and four months" No where is the claim that ALL SIDS deaths are caused by vaccines.

      And please provide some evidence of your assertion. I'd be fascinated to learn about it. Regardless of your unnecessary snark.

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