Monday, October 19, 2015


Having Your Hands Full: What Society Tells Us to Be Busy With

{This post is by Andrea Roltgen. She is a mother to ten children; just having twins recently! She loves her husband, loves having children and being a keeper at home.}

There are things that society, and even largely the Christian world, encourages adults to have their hands full of.  With this comes the unspoken understanding of what is "best" to instruct children with so they will desire the very same overwhelming goals.  Interestingly, these societal pursuits contain no promise from the Lord for blessing, or even for strength or endurance, peace or knowledge, because these pursuits are not generally defined as selfless and godly pursuits.  In our generation in the US, we are encouraged to "Have our Hands Full" from the time we are small, doing the following ~

Becoming as smart as we possibly can via textbooks, so that we might go to college.

Be involved in multiple sports and activities.

Posses all the latest technology, even if it means we can't afford it, or if it isn't beneficial to our family or priorities.

Go to college to prove our worth.

Obtain lofty career goals, regardless of gender.

Have many hobbies.

Spend money ensuring you look our best at all times, if it needs a bit of silicone, tucking, etc., "go for it!"

Take many vacations.

Do whatever "makes us happy and fulfilled".  If this includes marriage, be sure to wait a certain amount of time after career is obtained, and ensure we have plans in place for preventing pregnancy.  If we don't want to marry, try out living together; in fact, we'd better have sex with anyone we find interesting or appealing, to ensure we marry someone we are compatible with. If marriage leaves us unfulfilled, or we figure out he/she isn't our "soul mate", then we deserve to be happy.  No fault divorce, please. If one is homosexual, transgender, etc., pursue that as long as one is happy.

Pursue entertainment on ones time "off" from lofty careers.

Leave very little minutes in a year free, open or "boring". Fill every moment with activity and sound.

Obtain many material possessions for which we are unable to pay cash.

Buy a home, and all it's contents on whatever means of debt we can get our hands on.  Have a large home, though we are rarely in it; a huge gourmet kitchen, even though we don't cook much or anything from scratch; great furniture despite not keeping our homes clean or uncluttered, and get it through the largest mortgage and lines of credit we can manage.  After all, we deserve it.  Then, blame the mortgage company when you can't afford to live there anymore.

Obtain multiple car payments for new and incredibly depreciating vehicles.  Everyone does it. We can't expect to drop kids off at school in a paid off ten year old vehicle!

Demand what is owed to us. In marriage. In life. In society. If we don't get what we "deserve" then abandon, sue and/or jump ship.  

Uphold the appearance of planned prosperity and organized futures.

Plan, limit and fund children around debt, house, entertainment and career.

Place education of our children higher than any other quality or goal for their lives.

Send children to college through planning for the funds to do so.  If we don't have the funds, go into debt.  College is a must for any responsible parent.  Begin making jokes and counting down the years/months/days until they are"off to college" and out of our lives.  Provide a credit card with little accountability for their behavior and character while away at college.  It's what we have to do.

"Put in" our time with the kids, and then retire to pursue more of what we didn't get to accomplish because of the kids being in the way, thus making ourselves unavailable for mentoring or assisting in the raising of our grandchildren.

Society seems to not bat an eye at any of these pursuits and accomplishments that make an adult valid, worthwhile and successful.  Being busy and overwhelmed by these life "necessities" is honorable.  When a career woman mentions she is stressed because of deadlines at work, and striving for the above mentioned societal expectations, she's given kudos for being able to do it all, for being so successful, and for being so involved in raising her children right. When a young mama confides to a friend at church she's stressed because there are no mentors, no true models of godly mothering left for her, and because she's overwhelmed by negativity regarding her high calling, she's laughed at and told to deal with it; she is lucky she gets to be home.  

When a young mother is struggling to understand how to put into action what she knows is true and right, she may find herself isolated, even in church and family, among a sea of women telling her that she is less-than for being at home; for wanting the simple; combined with waves of societal reinforcement that if we don't "have to work" the result is we are home, disheveled in sweat pants, and living in a messy and chaotic home; making hamburger helper. Why would we be interested in doing anything more?

Then there is what God says about the focus of our lives ~

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal." Matthew 6:19

"Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint."  Proverbs 23:4
"But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?  So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."  Luke 12:20-21
"For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness."  1 Corinthians 3:19
"Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others."Philippians 2:3,4  
"Just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit but the profit of the many, so that they may be saved. Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ." 1 Corinthians 10:33, 11:1 
The Bible, however, is not condemnation of spirit without giving direction on where our hearts and actions should be!  The following verses deal specifically with instruction about children, and lastly, convictions to live out the truths of God's Word, which are diametrically opposed with the approved hands full living of society.
"For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.”  Genesis 18:19
 "All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children."  Isaiah 54:13
 “Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children."  Deuteronomy 4:9

"And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."  Deuteronomy 6:6-9

"But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus."  2 Timothy 3:14-15 
Having our hands full with the eternal vs. the carnal, with the soul winning vs. the self serving, with the Kingdom vs. the crowd, with the permanency of Salvation and Heaven vs. temporal hedonism of here and now, is such a huge blessing. 
While I used to cringe at the comments,"Wow, you sure have YOUR hands full!" I no longer do so; to have our hands full with the work of God pleases the Creator Himself.  I now take the comment {which we get exceedingly interspersed with kudos on our family, their behavior, etc.} as a reflection we are pursuing what is right.  I know that no one would ever comment on a person having their hands full with societally acceptable pursuits, as they are not remarkable today!  A society, even a once Christian society that has lost it's purpose through having their hands full with pursuing today's me centered accomplishments and noise, mean little for the Glory of Heaven.
What do you have your hands blessedly full of today?

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