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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN



A man came home from work to find his house in chaos. His children were outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud. Inside the house, a lamp had been knocked over, the throw rug was wadded against a wall, and the living room was littered with toys and clothing. Dishes filled the kitchen sink, cereal was spilled on the counter, and a broken glass lay under the table. The man went up the stairs, stepping over toys and piles of clothes, looking for his wife. She was still in bed in her pajamas, reading a novel. She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went. "Never mind my day," he said. "What happened here today?" She said, "You know every day when you come home from work and ask me what in the world I did today? Well, today I didn't do it " What's up with the term "working moms?" Whether gainfully employed outside the home or what our culture calls a "stay at home moms," every woman who can truly be called "mother" is a hard working human being. About 3,000 years ago, the writer of Proverbs 31:10-31 described her work load. She was on call 24/7/365 in her various roles as wife and mother and household engineer and manager. "She rises while it is yet night. ...And her lamp does not go out by night (verses 15a, 18b). Proverbs 31:27 sums up her task and reminds us being a wife and mother is not a job for wimps: "She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness." We tip our hats to the tireless women among us who bear the mother's load.

A mother's job is not easy to completely describe. Her work is not "9 to 5." She is a master multitasker and performs invaluable work inside the home that no machine could ever do and that no substitute could ever replace. Her unique job assignment, indispensable role, and powerful position is summed up in two New Testament passages — 1 Timothy 5:14 and Titus 2:4-5. According to these verses a mother's load after marriage is to "bear children, manage the houselove their husbands, to love their children, be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed." These are not cultural statements that change from one generation to the next. These verses describe the mother's load in the home. Some homes manage without a mother, but almost never as well as with one. It has been observed that if motherhood was going to be easy, it never would have started with something called labor. What a mess things would be in if mothers all got together and decided to go on strike. Let us thank God for the women among us who are willing to bear the mother's load.

Dan Gulley,
Smithville church of Christ