Anytime I hear of mothers who are torn between staying home with their children or contributing to the family income, it both thrills and saddens me. It is wonderful to know of their concern for God's will and doing His will as it pertains to their families. But there is a real strain in trying to find a balance between fulfilling God's plan and the goals of the world around them.

Although times and circumstances of the world and society change, God's will never does. Not many years ago a young mother who worked outside the home and left her children's minute-by-minute upbringing to someone else, was unheard of. Today we are constantly berated on all sides by psychiatrists and other "professionals'' telling us that we actually disadvantage and stunt the social growth of our children if we care for them at home. We are also made to feel guilty if our children are not wearing designer clothes or playing with all the latest toys and gadgets.

As it says in I Cor. 1:20: "God has made the wisdom of the world look foolish." God did not set forth his principles to torture us or to cause us to feel deprived. He knew the ultimate good that following his commands would bring, and He also knows the outcome when His plan is not followed.

It is really hard for me to understand why all the so-called professionals continue to sing the praises of young women leaving their precious children while the teenage crime rate, teenage suicide rate, pregnancy and drug abuse continues to rise. There seems to be a correlation to me.

God says, in Titus 2:5, that "women are to be keepers at home." One meaning of the word "keeper" is guard or guardian. Women are to be guards of their home. That means that we are responsible for the guarding of our children, constantly watching for any ungodly influence and protecting our family from it.

I agree that there are situations where a mother finds herself in the position of having to work; but in those instances it is the situation that needs changing, not God's will. Living expenses can very easily become too high for the husband to provide for, but the logical conclusion is to reduce expenses, not to sacrifice a mother's primary duty--her children. Maybe the second car, larger home or a more expensive wardrobe will have to be set aside. When an adult looks back over his childhood, he doesn't remember the square footage of his home or the quality or quantity of his toys or clothes. He remembers the times spent with his mother. Time she could spend with him in the afternoon at the park, in Bible study, cutting and pasting, reading, learning to care for others by visiting the sick or lonely, or just resting in the yard and looking at the clouds.

We are all only human. The "super mom" image is an impossible goal. When a woman works outside the home something suffers. She can't allow it to be her job, and the house must be cleaned, clothes washed and shopping done. There is not time for the important task of training the children. Remember Deut. 6:7? "Thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."

This is written for encouragement to those wrestling with this dilemma. Many mothers who work outside the home feel a constant sense of guilt at leaving their children and many who stay at home feel guilty for not contributing to their husband's income. In times like these, we need to readjust our way of thinking to God's way of thinking. He has given us a very important role--raising the future generation of Christians. Our children are developing their character and learning the values they will teach their own children. We need to accept our role as the important one that it is. Our children are gifts from God.

Jesus promises us in Matthew 21:22: "whatever you ask in prayer, believing ye shall receive." If our desire is to accept the responsibility that God has entrusted to us, we need to make that desire known to Him. He is faithful and just concerning His promises.