What does the word balance mean to you? This word is often thrown around in our world. Brace yourself; I’m going to date myself here. Remember that commercial from the 70s from Enjoli Perfume; the one with the woman bringing home the bacon and frying it up in the pan. That along with many other things going on at that time gave the message that we had to be the powerful corporate woman by day and the perfect wife and mother by night. This created a very unrealistic image that you could have it all. This was the great lie that left many women feeling inadequate.
There is nothing wrong with a women working outside the home. It is often necessary in our society for women to be out working to help support the family. The problem was that many thought that they had to be at the top of the corporate ladder and then be able to come home and be the so called perfect wife and mother. Many were left to feel like failures when it didn’t look like the perfect image that they had in their mind. That image plagued me throughout my childhood and well into my adult years. My mother had always worked two or three jobs while I was growing up. She had very little time to take care of her family, and even less time to take care of herself. It seems no one ever talked about loving yourself back then. Also, there seemed to be few men that would support their wives by helping with the kids or pitching in around the house.
The first few years of my marriage I tried to work and take care of everything around the house. Pride took over and I thought that I was going to be able to do what my mother had failed to do. After a few years of this pace, my health began to deteriorate, and it took me some time to realize that balance was needed. I began to share my feelings with those I thought had it all. I began to realize that most of the women that seemed to have it all, were struggling as well. Many were angry, resentful, exhausted and felt guilty that they weren’t able to care for their families the way they deserved to be cared for.
So began my search for balance. This journey has been a little erratic with twists and turns, but today after digging into God’s Word and asking God for revelation in this area balance is starting to become less elusive. A few things I have learned are …
1. It’s ok to ask for help. (My family members are not mind-readers)
2. Perfection is over-rated. (My husband might not fold the towels the way I think they should be folded, but does that matter as long as they are getting folded?)
3. On my death-bed I will not think to myself “I wish I would’ve cleaned my house more” “I will wish I would’ve spent more time with my family and friends”
4. I shouldn’t compare myself with others, because none of us really knows what others are facing.
5. I need to show myself some love, so I’m not expecting others to do for me what I won’t do for myself. (This helps to put an end to resentment.)
In Mark 12:- 29-31 it is says 29”Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD; 30AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.’ 31“The second is this, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
To find balance, we must first love God with all our heart and then love others as we love ourselves. You can’t love others if you don’t love yourself.
What have you learned about balance? Please share your thoughts.