There is a poster that confirms the fact that nurturing children, our very successors in this world, is a #1 priority for parents, especially the mothers, who are fitted providentially not just in a physical way, but psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually for that all-important task. The old story of Corenlia’s “jewels” is eternally true.
The virtue of [Women’s Bible Study Groups] is that basically they agree; they are not “fulfilling” themselves by stuffing envelopes or grocery checking-out, etc. More, while their own children may be grown, they are doubly influential in the lives of their married kids and grandchildren, plus creating a climate in church and society.
Before leaving that important subject, isn’t it ironic that many of the people who get exercised about the sin of abortion bring children into the world (with immortal souls) only to throw them to the wolves via nurturing neglect. Sin of omission! Is comparable to the people who insist that the Bible is indeed the Word of God, and then ignore its obvious precepts. I have said in many a mother’s day sermon, “Is better not to have children at all than to raise them in a non-Christian environment (as do the unbelievers),” but a Christian mother can be guilty of non-Christian nurture as well; cf the frightening prospect of government day-care centers.
As regards our daily work, which for many is just for extra income: Our entire present life is a training, preparation for endless life hereafter in the same fashion as gestation (for less than a year) is preliminary to “real” life (expectancy 70-80 years!) outside the womb. Most people, if they think about it at all, think that the hereafter (which is endless!) bears very little relation to this life on earth. But, just as in the case of gestation, our sex will not change (i.e. men won’t become women, nor both become sexless, anymore than failure to marry or to have children de-sexes a man or a woman on earth). Ergo: What we are basically doing in our few fleeting years on earth is building the basis, foundation, for endless life. That basis determines the form, structure, of our endless life, just as a round house cannot be built on a square foundation, nor a big house on a small one.
This is exactly what Paul is getting at in I Cor. 3:10-17, great scripture reading! The Judgement Day has nothing to do with a person’s salvation, as though that is just another higher court after a lower one has already condemned or acquitted a person. It has nothing to do with sin and sins per se, as though all of one’s life is reviewed like a drowning person’s last moments. For the Christian the judgment Day is what Jesus describes in the parables of the talents and the pounds; an award assembly in which each person “reaps what he (she) has sown.” That is what Rev. 14:13 means, and 22:10, the “last words” in the Bible.
If that concept would grip all and each of us, it would do far more to change our life-style, our choice of “calling” and the way we discharge our daily duties, than the higher concept of “serving the Lord” instead of others and even self. By being what God made us for and by simply following his simple and plain directions for our lives, we not only please him, (naturally), but best serve our fellows (through the unique gifts as generic women and individual women) but EVEN OURSELVES AND OWN HAPPINESS – which happens to be the approach of the Heidelberg Catechism itself as to what salvation and Christian service is all about.
I think any of my “work” (Labor Day) sermons would have less relevance for women (assuming we could still lay our hands on such a recording) than some Mother’s Day sermons which I have preached, but much of the contents of those are results of our combined conversations and looking at life through your very own life.
One final thought regarding heaven; some people think we will all be like uniform clones, when some will be spiritual “pygmies”, dwarfs. Who wants to get into heaven by the skin of their teeth, which is what Paul means by “being saved as though by fire”. Lot’s wife got out of Sodom, but Sodom didn’t get out of her. Think how her daughters, after her death, turned out!