Thursday, November 30

Her lamp does not go out at night

Perhaps if I had more controversial opinions this blog would generate more interest. Those bloggers who concentrate on politics and religion (or a mixture of both!) have comments by the dozen. Personal anecdotes and recipes just don’t get the heart pounding and nostrils flared, if you know what I mean. I like to keep this blog fairly lighthearted because arguing online is rarely helpful for me. I would rather talk in person about such things. I have, however, unearthed a strong opinion on a religious matter that I’m not afraid to share.

By way of Facebook I came across a group dedicated to the support of Ladies Against Feminism. Most of the articles I’ve browsed through seem to contain mostly good and true information and advice. “More Time In A Day” drew my attention because the desire to get everything done is something with which I struggle. Time management tips are always welcome, and this article contains some good ones. But this advice should raise a red flag:

Get up earlier and stay up later. This is the golden key to success for the round-the-clock homemaker! The famous Proverbs 31 wife and mother rose while it was yet night and let not her candle go out by night - meaning that she got up early and stayed up late…. By getting up earlier and staying up later, you can enjoy more time with your husband and children…. one thing’s for sure: you’ll enjoy the fruits of your labors!


Not only is this not what Proverbs 31 is telling us to do—it doesn’t even work! The author urges us to get a good night’s sleep, but how can we if we’re getting up earlier and staying up later in order to work? (Doing one or the other is great advice—but not both; that’s called “burning the candle from both ends.”) Last week I had a lot of things that needed to be done before I left for the holiday weekend, so instead of going to bed I stayed up late and worked until they were done. The next day I got up and went to work as usual. But instead of “enjoying the fruits of my labors,” I felt exhausted and had to go to bed early that night. Which I knew would happen, because I know my body needs sleep.

Proverbs 31 isn’t a list of things for women to complete in order to be virtuous. One read-through will show you it can’t all be done by any one woman. The principle here is to be hard working and diligent. But in order to work hard, our bodies need rest. Telling women the Bible says for them to get up early and stay up late to get their housework done is ridiculous. It goes against common sense and the true intent of scripture.

3 comments:

wendell said...

preach it sister. Although female empowerment in its most developed form (man hating) scares me, I am glad to see some healthy throwing-off of the myth of perfect christian homemaker. And though I'm not married, I think I can say confidently that I would not want a wife who doesn't sleep at night. The interpersonal ramifications could be disastrous...

The demytholizing of pop literature is a hobby for which you seem to possess considerable talents. Maybe you should pursue this professionally?

Paula said...

I can just hear your blood boiling. Well-said. I shall take your advice and get a good nights rest.

Brad said...

I read a newspaper article about Japan's de-population policies recently. It was interesting and scary. Basically, Japan is trying to shrink it's population through birth control, etc., but the result will be a populace that is something like 60-70% children and eldery in the coming years. Their solution? Raise the retirement age to 65 and try to find new ways to squeeze every last mother loving drop of productivity out of the poor elderly populace in order to keep their economy growing. Another problem is childcare. The daycare system is overwhelmed since so many mothers work. One genius government official said something along the lines of, "If more mothers would just stay home, the problem could be avoided."

I think this story is only slightly related to your post...