Do you ever listen to radio shows and feel convicted about something?
I very rarely do this, I have a select number of radio shows that I will listen to and they're not the types of shows that make me feel like I need to change or do something better.
Today was different. As I left the church where I work, with my boys, I turned on the radio (they love music). It was a talk show. I don't often admit this, but I really strongly dislike Christian talk radio. I like NPR for talk. Since I was trying to lull my boys to sleep, I played the local Christian station that we listen to often. I did not change it after it switched to talk, because I wanted them to be bored and go to sleep. This tactic did not work today.
I did not hear the whole show, it's only a 10 minute drive between church and home. I did, however, hear enough that I had to take some time to mull things over. Shoot, I'm still mulling it over - which is why at 11:45pm (yikes it's late) - I'm up writing about this radio program.
Here is the basic problem that was presented. Women grow up thinking about how wonderful it will be to start on a career, at some point get married have children, take some time off, then at some point go back to working part time or full time. This is normal and expected in a lot of cultural groups in the US. It is okay for women to have these grand dreams about how life is going to work out as they grow and to express those things to husbands, friends, co-workers... anyone who will listen.
Men are taught that they have to work. It is great that they have children and we're so very glad when they take some time off to be with the family - as long as that time off does not present a financial struggle for the family. It is okay for men to have dreams, as long as they don't interfere with being responsible for earning money, raising children, leading the household... the list goes on.
WOW! That is a lot of pressure. I had not really thought about things that way but I see it as so true in my own life. I know that Mr. Crum has dreams and interests and things he would love to do with his time. I want him to be able to do the things he wants to try - but I am skeptical because I don't want those things to interfere with my comfort and ability to stay home and raise our children. I don't want to figure out how we can save or earn the money that it will take for him to go back to school so he can get into a job that he really loves and finds fulfilling. It's scary to think about what it would mean to us as a family - especially to myself.
So here I am, wondering how I can be better at encouraging Mr. Crum to be the man he wants to be. How do I make room in the life of our family for him to get more into the beekeeping that he was enjoying a year ago. How do I encourage his dream of going back to school and still acknowledge the reality that it is going to be a little while before we are able to figure out a way to afford it? Can I support his sense of adventure, his love of nature, his desire to work outside in a way that is meaningful to him and builds him up?
So many questions to try and work through. I want to be a good wife and mother, I want my husband to feel secure in his choices and supported in his dreams. How do I live the way I want and help him do the same?
That's it... something that's been on my mind. I've got to work it out. It will not happen today or tomorrow, it will take time, but I want to commit to learning how to be a better encouragement to his dreams.