We work so we can have a home

Andrea Burke writes on an undervalued path to happiness:

We’ve gone so far down the road of feminism that we’ve forgotten how to proudly be feminine. You want to carry a child in your bones and lay down your life for them for more than 18 years? You want to lay down your life and learn to die to self for the rest of your life? You want to serve someone with all your heart, body, and soul? You want to master the art of cooking for a crowd and have clean clothes and end each day knowing that there’s a group of people who look to you as one of their anchors and rocks? You want to work your tired body from dawn to dusk for love? …

I wish we loved the strength it takes for a woman to become a wife and a mother. We marvel at her physical strength when she births a child. But we forget what invisible strength she shows when she lays down her life for her home every day after that. Social media spends all of its energy telling women to remember who they are, to fight for their sacred spaces, to become the woman they want to be. All things that feel confusing when you’re holding a newborn baby and learning to forget your self-centeredness, allow others into your personal space, and become the woman that you are becoming and not who you thought you’d be.

I wish as a culture, we understood what happens in those four walls when two adults decide to sacrifice for one another, be good stewards of their money, welcome in guests, and raise a generation to know the heritage of the Lord. I wish we called it more than a contract, an agreement, or even a commitment to vows. I wish we called it holy, beautiful, other-worldly.

We’ve tried to make it easy. We’ve updated our lives with gadgets and gizmos aplenty. We’ve made our machines smarter. We’ve made our cleaning supplies more time efficient. We’ve scrubbed the hard work right out the door. We don’t even need to meal plan or grocery shop anymore. Fresh groceries can show up at our door, pre-measured, pre-planned, ready to go to the table within 30 minutes.

We’ve turned our properties into museums. Instead of well-loved they are well-liked on social media and we’ve forgotten how to create a home, and instead curate a scene for those who will never step foot through our door. We’ve replaced hard conversations with texts.

We’ve told husbands and wives that the primary goal of their marriage is their own happiness. We’ve sold them the lie that once it gets hard, tired, menial, once it gets weary, someone raises their voice, or someone says something they regret, that we can get out with a white flag that says “this just isn’t for me anymore.”

We’ve made love about sex. And sex about self.

We work so that we can have a home. And a home not simply as a shared physical space, but as a place of respite from the world with the emotional, spiritual, and psychological peace that accompanies all the truly good things in life.

The same soft bigotry of low expectations that once worked to keep women from professional life is probably now working to keep women from enjoying the fruits of home life.