Wednesday, March 7

Just for Women Wednesdays-Bitterness and Free Time

What do you do with your free time? Some women will laugh when reading this question saying to themselves, "What free time!!! I have no free time!" That's the problem. Many women don't get a hold of time. They let time get a hold of them. If life is not planned, life will plan you. What women need more of is the ability to say "no" and to deliberately plan for things that make them enjoy life.... like a nice walk or coffee with a friend, etc. Without a moment of quietness and sanity, we wilt. We lose our joy because we feel like all we do is something for others all the time. The cycle continues when we complain about not having time than making time to plan a few things to do some things we enjoy.

I read an interesting article in the New York Times about women being the enemy of their own free time. I found it interesting but quite true. More interesting than the article were the 52 comments left by people in regards to the issue of free time. Some people shared how they hired help to clean their home so conflict could be avoided in their marriage while others boasted about leaving the dishes in the sink and sitting down to read a book for an hour. I don't have a problem with either one. What I felt came resonating through the article was an attitude of bitterness against men for not doing "their part" of the household chores. I believe many women struggle with harboring bitterness against their spouse for not helping with the household chores because they see them enjoy their own free time. Most men don't think about the chores. They want some down time. Harboring this attitude as a women only adds to conflict in a marriage.

How do you become a woman who doesn't harbor bitterness about doing chores at home when you feel like you do them all the time? How do you find a few minutes to enjoy some free time?

Saying Goodbye to Idleness
"She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness." Proverbs 31:27
God has called women to be watchful over the affairs of the household not be watchful over email, Facebook, twitter and the Internet. Take care of these things. But don't let technology rule your life. These things are all good but we have to not let them lead us to becoming idle. Being watchful means we know what needs to be done. It means we delegate tasks. One of the greatest ways women sabotage getting their husband to help them is simply harboring an attitude of resentfulness instead of humbly, kindly asking for help. The best way to do this is to ask your husband to help you and give him a time frame that it needs to be done by. He can't read your mind. If he can't do it by the time you ask, talk through (lovingly) what would be a realistic time frame for the task to be done. If your husband doesn't help at all and resents you asking him, pray. Pray for God to change his heart.

Taking Ownership of Your Witness
"Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives,"  1 Peter 3:1
We have a witness in our home. Whether your husband is a believer or not a believer, he is watching how you conduct yourself inside the home. Are you a witness pointing him toward Jesus? Or are you complaining all the time about how you do 'this' and that you are so tired and never get any help? The more we take this kind of attitude the less we have a godly witness in our home.

Learning to Say "No"
The more we say "yes" to things, the more we bring conflict into marriage. The more things we do outside the home make our home off balance. Learn to ask yourself, "Is this something that only I can do? Can they find someone else to do it besides me? What is my motivation for saying yes? If I take on another thing will it benefit my family or take more time away from my family? The greatest word you can say is "no." You don't have to be everywhere all the time and do everything for everyone. Let God raise up other people to use their gifts too.

Carving Out Free Time
Free time means to have down time. I am not talking about having three hours of free time or having a "me day." I am talking about setting aside time in each day to read, think, do something you like to do. 30 minutes. 20 minutes. 1 hour. Whatever time you can get. Time to recuperate and relax. Time to let your mind not think about anything and everything. The only person who can carve out is you. Your friend cannot do it for you. Your husband cannot do it for you. Only you can do it. Look at your schedule, analyze it and search to be diligent and disciplined to carve out time where you can. You will be so glad you did.
To read more about the article in the New York Times click here:
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