Take care of any widow who has no one else to care for her. But if she has children or grandchildren, their first responsibility is to show godliness at home and repay their parents by taking care of them. This is something that pleases God. But those who won’t care for their relatives, especially those in their own household, have denied the true faith. Such people are worse than unbelievers. (1 Timothy 5:3-4, 8)
I know this verse is specifically about how to care for widows and is written to a church who was having difficulty learning this ministry, but it offers relevant principles for women. As some of you read in my blog, Feminine Identity, the first few months of marriage was a time where I struggled finding my identity as a wife. For me, this verse is another reminder that my first care needs to be for my home and family – even to any extended family members who are near and may be in need.
I recently had an enlightening talk with a friend who’s a few years further down a road similar to the one I’m just beginning. She encouraged me to stop trying to be so involved in so many roles and empower other leaders to fill those gaps instead. I started transitioning out of positions and took a few steps back from my involvement in volunteer and ministry roles. I’ve already felt noticeably more peace and even a degree of freedom. I’ve enjoyed taking care of our home again and am starting to have ideas for other areas of ministry – only this time with the vision to build and train up leaders to take my place more quickly.
The emotional and psychological switch I made from the pressure, stress and insignificance of over-involvement, to the peace and freedom of striving towards more balanced living was so strikingly different I would almost consider it miraculous. No amount of focus on changing my own thoughts and feelings had helped before – in fact, it just made it all that much worse. But the second I realized I could let go of some things and decided to actually make tangible changes in my life, I felt so much peace it was overly refreshing!
There is no way I could have come to this point on my own. I have many wise women in my life who speak so much life into me on these topics, as well as other spiritual mentors God has given me. Even more importantly, I’m blessed with a husband who is unceasingly encouraging, supportive and loving.
I add these notes simply to show that we can’t make it on our own. We need to reach out to those God has placed in our lives. These people didn’t come to me to help out – they didn’t even know the internal struggle I was facing. But when I reached out to them and received the wisdom and encouragement, I was lead to peace.
I know this is just one part and I have further to go in this journey of uncovering what true feminine identity is designed to be, but I’d say this is a huge step and I’m feeling so full of life!