We live in an age where many of us are working mothers. Our challenge is to juggle our family responsibilities with our highly demanding jobs at office.
In the UK the Office for National Statistics reveal that over the past 40 years there has been a rise in the percentage of women aged 16 to 64 in employment and a fall in the percentage of men. In April to June 2013 around 67% of women aged 16 to 64 were in work, an increase from 53% in 1971. For men the percentage fell to 76% in 2013 from 92% in 1971. There are, of course, a number of reasons for this shift towards childbearing later in life – the most obvious being economic constraints and the number of women in employment and establishing careers for themselves. The increasing number of women participating in higher education has also been a factor.
I love hosting friends in my home and we do a lot of it. It is amazing after a three course meal or sometimes four we move into discussions about our children and how they are faring. I enjoy these discussions because we find that our sharing of our stress and frustration at not being able to spend enough time with our children is somewhat similar. I also find out that many mothers end up going to bed very late due to the fact that we are trying to juggle so many balls, ensuring none falls. However a very wise man once said to me “sometimes Linda you may have to allow some balls to drop”.
There is an intensification of parenting. So what if there is?! Is this such a bad thing? Perhaps there’s a slightly obsessive dynamic at work that makes mothers, live their life for their child. However sometimes we can be physically at home, but mentally, our minds are miles away, thinking about some problem we are having at the office. Children have an uncanny ability to sense whether we are really paying attention or not.
Both parents have great roles in bringing up their children however being a mother is an amazing gift. The bible is quite clear in Proverbs 6:20. It says, “My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching.” In chapter 31 it goes even further and reads, “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”
Good mothers are great teachers who are diligent and thorough in their preparation. We must understand the value of teaching standards, values, and doctrine while we have young teenagers or young adults. My focus is the unabridged version of values, moral and ethical standards, and faith.
Perhaps some mothers have been unable to broach some of these topics. I will encourage you to read my column regularly, use it as a point of discussion with your young ones, use it as a teaching tool, allow your child to read it and during those dinners or outings with friends discuss the issue!
Purity. I prefer the term ‘purity’ to abstinence. Using the word purity, sounds like we’re holding onto something rare and wonderful. We need to discuss the Christian perspective on pre-marital sex, and our young adults need to hear it clearly: “Sex before marriage is not OK” And we need to tell them why. It has been stated that scriptures on sexual purity are outdated and archaic. This is not true. Second, having sex is no guarantee that the deep emotional intimacy that everyone longs for will develop.
I am going to ‘preach’ for few seconds so please indulge me. Look at what God says about sexual purity. “You should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honourable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God. . . . For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life” (1 Thessalonians 4:3–5, 7). This passage outlines God’s reasons for calling for sexual purity in the lives of His children.
Purity (Abstinence) is the only 100 percent effective method for avoiding unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. Teens—especially young teens—should be encouraged to delay sexual initiation. We should acknowledge the importance of purity and provide our youth with the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to make it work. However, even youth who pledge to remain abstinent need information about contraception and condoms to help them prevent unintended pregnancy, HIV and other STIs when they do become sexually active.
We cannot hope, fast and pray that this topic never comes up. We must not shut down our children when they come asking. Young adults please ask openly and honestly.
The truth is, when we teach our young adults about sex the way God designed it, the way He outlines it in the Bible, we should them that it is a good, beautiful, pleasurable thing designed by God because of His great love for us. It brings husband and wife closer together and builds trust in the marriage. It is a way to yield unselfishly to each other, to put each other first, and to be refreshed.
Let us open that line of communication and ensure it is relevant to their own world not ours! I am looking forward to my next discussion.
Power & Beauty is the blog of Ike & Linda Nnene.
They are a UK based Christian couple who strongly believe in family and are advocates for marriage as espoused in the Word of God. They believe that with better understanding of how to build your marriage, every couple can have the confidence to enjoy blissful fulfilled relationships.
They are gospel music ministers who understand that having a lifestyle of praise is instrumental to having a life of victory. They bring a wealth of experience from the professions in education (Linda) and medical practice (Ike) and will use this medium to share God’s love with words of wisdom and encouragement.