Even before we married, my husband and I resolved that we would do whatever it took for me to be a full-time wife and mother. It is not just something we decided haphazardly. We knew that it would be a commitment, but God would give us the grace and resources. Has it been easy? Absolutely not. Ask my husband if it was easy for him to work two part-time jobs and run a paper route (which would count as a third) while he also attended college in order to provide for his wife and baby son who were at home. I am so thankful to the Lord for giving me a man who has that kind of courage and diligence. There were many times that we stayed up all night so he could get a term paper hand-written to me so I could type it out on a word processor just in time for him to rush to class and turn it in. Throughout our life together, when funds were low, he would do fencing, concrete, roofing or whatever work he could find to provide for our family.
You see my husband never said, "I wish we could afford for my wife to stay home with the kids." Nor did I ever make such a statement. Considering our visible possessions, people may have thought that we could not afford for me to stay home. It has nothing to do with that. It has to do with what one is willing to do to make it happen. For us it was a choice and a commitment to God. It wasn't always easy for us to be so frugal with our finances. But it is possible for families to live on one income. It is possible, if a true desire is there, for a young mother to stay home and rear her own children. You just have to learn to live on less. You have to learn to be frugal. You don't have to keep up with the Jones. The Jones are probably up to their eyeballs in dept.
My husband and I took the responsibility of parenting seriously. We knew that when we brought a child into this world that child would be an eternal soul that would spend eternity in Heaven or Hell. Deuteronomy 6:6-9 is where God described to the Jewish parents their responsibility of training their children to honor God and His word. I believe that scripture is an example to us New Testament believers of how we are to diligently train our children. How can we speak to our children of the things of God as often as we should if we aren't with them? I said earlier it has nothing to do with being able to afford staying at home. It also has to do with trust in God's faithfulness to provide. He is Jehovahjireh. I would love to tell you of the many times our Jehovahjireh came through for us. I will tell you a few. Like the time we were out of groceries, so I mixed a few tortilla chips, some leftover beans, etc. and mixed it up and called it a casserole. We thanked the Lord for it, ate it, and asked the Lord to meet our need for more groceries. That afternoon a man from Thomas Road Baptist Church knocked on our door with several bags full of groceries. We had not asked anyone but God. I couldn't wait for Tony to get home that day so I could show him what the Lord had done.
Another thing God did: my husband was about to graduate, and a class ring company was at Liberty University taking orders. My husband was wishfully looking at the brochure. Then the lady told him they were giving out coupons for discounts on the rings, and one "lucky" person would actually get a coupon for a free ring up to a $600 value. While my husband tried to figure out which of the cheaper, even fake gold, rings we could afford, several customers came, got their discount coupons, placed their orders and went. Finally, my husband picked up his coupon, the lady swished it with the special marker that revealed the discount. Well, Lo! and Behold! The revealed message said, "Free ring $600 value!" She told him, and he said, "Well, then, give me the best you got!" So she showed him the executive design, genuine gold with 4 diamonds. I was thrilled when Tony called me to tell me that. It was either my birthday or my spiritual birthday that day. I can't remember; it's been 20 something years. I could not have gotten a better birthday present from the Lord than to see my deserving husband get blessed like that. It wasn't "luck", it was God. He still wears that ring very proudly. There's nothing wrong with bragging on God. He is worthy of our praise. I could go on and on about how God has provided our needs and many wants through the years.
If you are a young mother already being a keeper at home, and maybe your curtain climbers are small and driving you nuts sometimes, be encouraged, things will get better. And just in case you feel that you are not doing anything important, remember, "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world." You could be training up the next Charles Spurgeon, or the doctor who will discover a cure for cancer, or the president of the United States, etc. Motherhood is a worthy career.
Here are just some ways to stretch your income, whether you are a one or two income family:
- Learn to cut hair.
- Make your own birthday cakes. If you get good enough it could become a home business.
- Make lunches instead of buying.
- Grow your own veggies.
- Learn to do your own hair coloring (if you color.)
- Use a clothes line.
- Learn to coupon.
- File your own taxes.
- Make and sell homemade jellies.
- If you are crafty, make something and sell it at a local flea market.
- Make your own cleaners instead of buying.
- Shop at thrift stores.
- Buy off season clothing. You can save boocoodles! (Is that a word?)