- I don’t remember what you did to make me mad 1o minutes ago. Can we be friends again?
- What is my shoe size? It depends on how much I like the shoes.
- STOP EVERYTHING!! There’s a caterpillar.
- I didn’t notice you don’t have make up on and you haven’t had a shower and you’re hair looks bad. I still think you’re wonderful.
- It’s just peanut butter. And peanut butter is small in the big scheme of things. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
We’re sheltered. All of us. And maybe you’re like me–we know bad things happen and occasionally we reach out in some small way to try to help. But mostly, we just try to shut the worst of it out, try to imagine that there aren’t really so many humans as evil and depraved as we hear about from time to time.
But then we read something, or hear about it, and this one time, God will not let go. That’s what has happened to me.
“…an estimated 27 million people worldwide are forced to work in slave labor camps with little or no pay or are trapped in brothels in sexual slavery.”
To be honest, I wasn’t very familiar with human sex trafficking. I mean I knew it existed but I really thought it was only something that happened sporadically, and not very often, in some remote, foreign country somewhere. I didn’t have any idea of the magnitude and I didn’t know how prevalent it was in the US until recently.
I read Eden: a sex slave story and it gripped me. It made me sick and furious all at once. And it won’t let go. And I can’t not do something. (Warning: the article contains graphic and violent descriptions and is not suited for a young audience.)
All I can hear is Isaiah 58:6:
“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?”
My family is discussing different ways to get involved in helping. We have found a local shelter with all sorts of opportunities and we’re talking to them about those.
There is also an incredible ministry that performs actual rescue operations around the world. The Exodus Road specifically focuses on connecting funds from the West with undercover surveillance and rescue operations in the East (where the largest percentage of sex trafficking occurs).
Facts about human trafficking:
- There are more modern day slaves right now than at any other point in human history.
- Currently, an estimated 27 million people worldwide are forced to work in slave labor camps with little or no pay or are trapped in brothels in sexual slavery (This figure is highly debated and estimates range from 10 million to 30 million).
- Human trafficking is the 3rd most lucrative illegal crime globally, behind the sale of guns and drugs.
- It is estimated that every sixty seconds, two children are sold for sex worldwide.
- The average cost of a slave is $90.
- Human trafficking involves exploitation which can take many forms including: Misleading victims into debt bondage, subjecting victims to slavery or involuntary servitude, fear and intimidation, physical and sexual abuse, forcing victims to participate in sex acts for the sake of pornography, withholding victim’s passports/papers as a means of control.
- A victim of modern day slavery can be in any of the following categories, according to the US State Department: Forced labor, sex trafficking, bonded labor, debt bondage for migrant workers, involuntary domestic servitude, forced child labor, child soldiers, and child sex trafficking.
- Modern day slavery occurs in 161 countries (of the 195 total countries), including the United States.
- Human trafficking, according to the U.N. Trafficking Protocol is “the recruitment, transport, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a person by such means as threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of adbuction, or fraud or deception for the purpse of exploitation.”
- Around 70% are female and and an estimated half are under the age of 18.
And I keep thinking how big it is and how impossible it feels. But I also keep thinking of this: never in history have we had the power of social media like we do now. I read that gripping story through social media. The Exodus Road can reach the whole world through the same platform.
And this blog, which I consider a gift for which I am responsible to steward, can reach people and bring awareness that might turn anger to action.
So I’m asking you to consider helping however the Lord leads you. As our family prayerfully considers how to help, I will keep you up to date with specific opportunities that arise. Or, you can go straight to an organization like The Exodus Road and help there.
Or perhaps there is a local shelter near you where you could help. We can all do something.
At the very least, sharing this post will help reach one more person with the stories.
We do love stuffing people in boxes, don’t we? I’m guilty. And I’ve been stuffed in a box or two myself.
In the 21st century, the homemaker gets put into a box almost always. She’s either “dumb, incapable and dull”, or, often from Christian circles, she’s “mislead, brainwashed and micro-managed”, or worse, “dominated.”
Where there is talk of “biblical submission” or “Keepers at Home”, there is no way around throwing most main-stream thinkers into a hissy fit (excuse my Southern idiom), while they jump up and down to correct this antiquated notion.
And the funniest thing of all? After all the efforts to convince the masses that we are not in this box they’ve put us in, when once we attempt to live our lives to prove it, we become a “hypocrite.” ”You say one thing and do another”…”No, actually I’ve been saying what you refuse to hear and I live out those beliefs as well.”
It seems a no-win situation.
So, here are some myths and facts about what I believe is the biblical understanding (given through directives and examples) of a Keeper at Home:
Myth: Being a Keeper at Home means I’m imprisoned within these walls, bound only to my household duties of laundry and dishes, where it would be useless to be educated or continue furthering my education.
Fact: Being a Keeper at Home does entail many, practical, household duties. Some can be (and should be) delegated, often at different seasons of life. Practical duties are good within themselves and homemaking allows opportunities to go way beyond the menial into the magnificent as we look for ways to expand our natural gifts and bents, serving even in the menial tasks, to the glory of God. But being a homemaker allows me to further my education continually; an important asset to a woman. It also allows me the free time to do many things I love. I can grow and thrive in ways I never had the time or energy to do when I worked two full time jobs.
Myth: Believing in the biblical role of marriage means your husband must manage and control all you do.
Fact: That’s a lie. Our home is my domain. I am the manager, the guard. Our family is run by the two of us who are jointly one flesh. We have the same goals and visions as it regards our life purpose and how our family plays into that. But I am responsible for managing my home and if he has to micro-manage it, I’m not doing my job. He trusts me. He’s there if I need him. I’m so glad he’s there to solve problems that feel too big or to help me get my bearing straight when I lose focus. That’s his protective role. It is not his job to give me permission for every detail of life. We discuss things together. If there is something he doesn’t want done a certain way he tells me and I either appeal if I disagree or I fulfill his request because I am on his team.
Myth: A Keeper at Home shouldn’t be involved in business or extra activities–she doesn’t have time.
Fact: That could be true. It all depends on seasons of life, family interests and dynamics, specific details of a family’s structure, or a woman’s discipline. I’ve been scolded for blogging, for running an internet business and anything else “extra”. It’s that box people desperately want us to be in. Extras must be prioritized. If our endeavors are hindering our job to manage, guard and keep the affairs of our homes and children, then perhaps the extras are too much. But all women have “extras” that are, in my opinion, very healthy both to her and to her family. The difference is, my extras may look different than yours.
One woman likes to sew and devotes a certain portion of her time to it. That’s usually OK because sewing is very “homemakey” thing to do But what if she doesn’t sew? What if she finds her gift in writing? Or marketing? Or internet business? Some women delight in culinary arts and spend time watching cooking shows to enhance their skills. Some women love to read extensively and spend a set aside time doing that. Some exercise more than others. I think creative outlets are essential to the overall spirit of a woman (and thus, her family), as long as they are kept in check and do not displace her mother/wife duties. (I warn here that we should be very careful to keep our extras in check. It is easy to neglect the menial (which is a necessary part of life) or much worse, to neglect the emotional needs of our husband and children. ”I need my creative outlet” can never be an excuse to neglect our far greater duties.)
Myth: Some women are called to be a Keeper at Home. But many simply aren’t.
Fact: I disagree. A man is to provide for his family if he has a family. He doesn’t wait to feel “called.” Same goes for a woman who has given birth. She is a mother. She doesn’t need to be called to it.
From Scripture, it is ideal for a woman to be a Keeper at Home, if she has a home and family (Titus 2). We shouldn’t make apologies for encouraging the younger women to be keepers at home. It is precisely what we’re instructed from Scripture to do. It is a full time job and it ‘s cruel to put demands on a woman expecting her to take another full time job in addition to the one she already has. Unfortunately, there are times a woman isn’t able to be a Keeper at Home. This reality doesn’t negate the fact that families need her.
My desire is that “homemaker” or whatever word one prefers, would lose its stigma and would evoke a positive emotion in us. I pray that we all come to recognize the importance of the stability of the family and unanimously agree that it’s a good thing in which to invest a life.
The homeschooling movement is over 30 years old now, and many parents have been disillusioned because, despite their good intentions, their children didn’t turn out the way they thought they would. Some, in fact, have left the faith entirely.
I’ve thought a lot about this over the last few years, and I have prayerfully been preparing to talk about this disturbing trend on Tuesday night, March 4th, in a live webinar for Christian Heritage Online. Admittedly, I’m spending these few days leading up to the event in quiet thinking and fervent prayer.
I welcome you to listen in as we petition the Lord for our children and reevaluate our goals and purpose as parents.
Click on the banner below for details and to register.
June Fuentes, from A Wise Woman Builds Her Home has written an extraordinarily practical, wise book about all things building a Christian home culture. For the mom who already understands building her home and the power of her influence, the book is an excellent shot in the arm, jarring us from our daily doldrums.
For the new mom, or a mother just beginning and desiring to understand how important her role is in building a Christian home, June’s book is packed with encouragement but also practical ideas about how to do it.
In a culture that treats home as merely a stopping place for people to eat and sleep, How to Build a Strong Christian Home is a much-needed clarion call for the church, the family and the Christian community, to reestablish the foundation of Christian culture. If we are to ever see the transforming power of Christ’s work in our churches and communities, we must first ignite it in our homes.
Get your copy of How to Build a Strong Christian Home (#2 on Amazon’s hot new releases in Christian Family!) for $4.99!
Included in the book:
- The State Of The Home
- A Multi-Generational Vision: Leaving A Legacy
- The Exquisite Home Culture
- The Imperfect Home
- The Important Role Of Parents And Their Example
- Discipleship, Shepherding Hearts, And Teaching The Word Of God In The Christian Home
- Education In The Home: Purposeful And Powerful Kingdom Conversation
- Preparing Your Home: The Influence Of A Godly Atmosphere
- The Influence Of Entertainment
- Making Memories In The Kitchen & Gracious Hospitality
- Serving On A Mission Together As A Family
- The Foolish Woman Tears Down Her Home
- Guarding The Home
- The Secret To A Happy Home Life
I have discovered what I believe to be THE most important thing we can cultivate in our lives and instill in our children–the thing that will most determine how happy they are in life:
I know, you were hoping for something more spectacular or less common. But there are shades of gratitude (or ingratitude) we might not readily recognize.
First of all, we understand that gratitude isn’t simply remembering to say “thank you” when someone is kind or giving. Gratitude is a posture of processing everything in life that happens to us through the correct lens of truth.
It’s recognizing that we came into the world with nothing, no one owes us anything (not even God who has already given us the priceless gift of eternal life through His Son’s death) and all that we have is a gift.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss, in her book, Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy, describes gratitude as the result of humility, and ingratitude the result of pride, because the proud in heart believes he is owed something and can, in fact, never be satisfied with what he gets.
Have you seen a spirit of ingratitude lived out? We can talk about it in a book or a blog post, but until you’ve seen its destructive power you can’t quite grasp just how important it is.
A person with a spirit of ingratitude can’t move forward, especially when trials come (and trails will come!) They become paralyzed with the thoughts of “life is so unfair” and unable to see the blessings, gifts and grace poured out to them along the way.
Conversely, a grateful spirit, when faced with trials, can focus on all he has been given, look at his trial as an opportunity to grow and learn, and though there may be grief still, he doesn’t get bogged down with a victim mentality, shaking his fist at the world, never able to get back up and move again.
He is able to say with Job, even through pain, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Of all the many things I wish to cultivate into the hearts of my children, I’m trying fervently to get this lesson across. To point them, even in the smallest of examples, to give thanks for where they are, what they have, and God’s abundant grace, and to recognize how he uses others in our lives to pour out that grace.
I believe it can make all the difference in the world to how they will respond to challenges as they grow up. It will make the difference in an overflowing heart (even in the direst of conditions) or an overwhelmed one.
May we grow them into real joy!
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18