CAVEAT: Get ready to be rattled
A friend of mine recently asked a very thought provoking question on face book; maybe I should say it was in line with my perception of money. She asked:
“This thing about side hustles, is it about needs or just materialism and wanting to acquire more and more. I believe God has designed us to enjoy what he has given us, most of us stress out trying to earn more and we miss to enjoy what we already have. . .” Janet Isaya
The Bible teaches us very clearly in 1Timothy 6:6-10 to be content. It is written:
6 Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; 7 for we brought nothing into the world, so that[d] we can take nothing out of it; 8 but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. 9 But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.
Godliness combined with contentment is of great gain to the one who practices and lives both out. And the reason given for it is that we brought nothing into the world and we shall leave this world the same way. And therefore if your basic needs are being met – there’s a roof up above you, a good place to sleep, food on the table, clothes on your back and shoes on your feet – be grateful and content: desist from the desire to always want more. The bible continues to warn us of the consequences of the insatiable desire for more; desire to be like the Joneses; ruin, destruction, wandering away from the faith, piercing of self with many pains.
I left formal employment (this makes it sound like I am self employed – actually I am, by my children ) in early 2011 after my second miscarriage. It was due to a combination of many reasons but my declining health was top on the list: I have not been employed ever since. After leaving work, later that year I joined Bible School and was there for next four years. Just as I was about to graduate, my husband and I discovered that we were pregnant. We sat down one day in our living room and made a couple of decisions: after graduation I would stay home and take care of the children and when time came for them to start learning I would home school them, and he would work and provide for our needs (and sometimes want J J).
Since then, it’s been 2 years plus, these decisions have been challenged and continue to be challenged. Opinions have been given, politely and impolitely. Family and friends, I think even our enemies J J have come up and out rightly questioned my husband and I separately and together. It has not and it will not be an easy path. However, I am firmly convinced that we made the right decision. We might not have all we want, but we have all we need. We have had to cut down a lot of costs: moved to a smaller and cheaper house, eat at home (healthy food) rather than eat out, shop in bulk at wholesale price and many others.
When I ask my friends who are working in offices (have husbands who are also working, can meet their basic needs) and have young children why they work, they give me varied responses:
- Wewe! (Swahili for you ) – it’s normally an exclamation followed by the question – I stop working and then what happens to me?
- I stop working, and then who will support my parents and siblings?
- I stop working, and then what happens when this man (referring to their husband) stops supporting me (this word support shows up again )
- I stop working and who will take care of my children
- I am cut out for employment not to stay at home
- You think everyone can do what you do, let me stay in my lane
I will not start war or the unending debate of working moms versus stay at home mums (or as Stanley Mukolwe once told us – working from home mums) but I will say this – there is a time for everything under the sun. A time to bring up children and a time to pursue career, a time to cut down cost for the sake of raising up children and a time to go all out and earn. It is possible to earn while still raising up children, but I have observed that it is increasingly impossible to pursue both a career and raise up children. Note earning and pursuing a career are two different subjects. So, am I earning? Not yet, but as I continue in my purpose am convinced the money will come.
If we are honest with ourselves for a minute, we will all agree on one thing, no matter how much you make money will never be enough. Maybe we could also agree on a second thing, children will not always be children they are growing up and will soon be on their own. And in the end, we will have to live with the consequences of our choices and priorities – chasing after money/career or raising up children.
I think we are now ready to wrap this up. In conclusion . . .
To Be Continued. . .