I'm thinking, "Yeah!!" that she is remembering the stories so well and kudos to her for backing up what she believes and has learned on her own. (She reads her little Bible constantly when she has free time, Little Girls Bible storybook by Carolyn Larson, a great book) We talk a little longer and I get to the bottom of it with my famous, me-"Shanea, do you have a question you'd like to ask me?" Shanea-"Yes, Why do married people sleep in the same bed?"
Ok, so I'm faced with this question, mind you from a 5 year old, and I'm digging deep trying to put myself back in 1985 and remember what kind of answer I would have been looking for; trying not to go further than needed at this point....So, I tell her that in a marriage it is important to be physically and emotionally "close" and if we were to sleep in separate beds then this would not happen as easily. She seems happy with that answer, but comes at me with another one. "what does it mean to have a pure marriage?" I explain that if daddy had a girlfriend or mommy had a boyfriend then we would be cheating and this would make the marriage impure. That if we are to carry out another relationship with someone else we are not being pure, I then use the dictionary definition, which was to mix two things. She understood and then says with an excited dreamy look on her face, "I can't wait to get married so I can sleep in the same bed with my husband! I love to cuddle!" . I couldn't help but smile at her innocence. And giggle that we have made her so addicted to cuddling that she wants to get married so she can cuddle all night! For all you new parents this is what happens when you allow a child to sleep in your bed until she is 2 years old.
So to further explain Shanea's fascination with marriage this morning she is watching me feed Ezra and play with her. She's eating her breakfast right beside us and she says, " I can't wait to be a mommy, to give birth to babies, do the dishes, open the oven and take stuff out of it. Have my prince so when he comes home from work all the kids run up to him so excited to see him. (pause) I can't wait for that." I smile and tell her to try and enjoy being a child and keep the dream close to her heart and she will get it one day. Mean while momma needs her help raising the kids we are having now. She liked the thought of helping with her sister and the new baby, and continued to eat her food.
I then wondered if I was a working mom or if I was say a lawyer would her dream be different? Do our lifestyles directly effect what our children want in their hearts? Or are they born with these desires and passions? And I wondered if I should begin to show her all the different things she "could" be as an adult other than a mommy. Should we want "more" for our children than we as stay at home moms have? Or do we need to adjust how we see our lives and situations? Can we improve our outlooks and just leave theirs to God.
I read a book last year with a small group titled "The Legacy of biblical womanhood by: Susan Hunt and Barbara Thompson". It was a really difficult book to read, mainly because it goes against all things we women that have been raised in a society of feminism have been brought up to believe about ourselves. As a Christian you are taught that the bible is God's word, so all that is written in it is him speaking to us. Like a guide for life. I love this it gives me so much peace. And I find it true too. Well, this book makes you want to scream a little. The bible tells us women are helpers by design. "The Lord God said, It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." Genesis 2:18 Most of us ladies see this word "helper" as an adjective for the weak.
Well, ladies here's a some food for thought. Who is your helper? For me it is God. And if God my father and leader is a helper, then I really want to be one too! For me this word became transforming. The bible lends the word "helper" to the women of relationship between man and woman, essentially putting us second in a marriage (so our society makes us believe), we are anything but second, we are Equal. Our men can not be successful in leading with out us. This God designed. A marriage can not be successful without a willing submissive partner. One that allows the other to lead and helps them to make leadership decisions by offering our unique opinions fueled by love and compassion, much differing from those of our partner. Just some food for thought!
Also, the bible refers to us as the "mother of all living". "Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living." Genesis 3:20 Seriously, this is so amazing to me. This is more than bearing children ladies, this is God telling us he designed us as pure and good and though we are sinners and in no way perfect we have the potential of doing amazing things just by being ourselves. We can help to create more life not just infants from our wombs, but children through adoption, animals, broken people, plants, our homes, situations....really this list could go on and on. God has designed us to help him in creating peace through love. That is so cool to me.
Frequently in my life I see, as I'm sure you see, women and girls alike being manipulative, deceitful and just plain mean. Why is this? If God has designed us to be these amazing, loving and giving creatures why then have we becoming so mean? After some prayer, scripture searches and a talk with a great friend (thanks Wendy!) I feel I can confidently answer this question. Take a second to read Genesis 3.
Keeping in mind that God has created Eve to be this amazing giver and helper. Also, remember her undying love for Christ. Along comes this serpent (Satan the master manipulator) and he gives Eve this option of "More". Think of this term more in today's world; more money, more house, more love, more power, more more more. It's almost a mantra for some because of our sinful nature. He knew how to temp her. Satan taught Eve something other than Love. And he opened her eyes to sin. The original sin. Thanks Satan!
Well, ladies rest assured God doesn't want this for us. And he has given us the tools to fight this daily. We ALL have the ability to be good and pure. But not without a little fight and determination on our parts. And above all a creating a closer relationship with our Lord. Knowing that I have the ability to be a "quiet a gentle spirit" is so peaceful to me. I will get on my knees and pray for Gods guidance daily and ask for his forgiveness for when I stumble, because I will! and I will keep on a path to this better woman. Keeping in mind these two sections of verse.
"Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear." 1 Peter 3: 1-6
"So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature......The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, faction and envy, drunkenness, orgies and the like.....But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.....Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other." Galatians 5: 16-26
All this said how can I want to change my sweet baby girls dream of being all those things God has designed her to be. How could I be her serpent and derail her from Gods chosen path for her? I should just be happy in knowing things may be easier for her. Hoping she isn't showered with false truths of her possibilities. It is ok to want to be a mommy and wife. And to desire to be these things in a Godly way should only warm our hearts. There is a reason your girls will typically choose a baby doll over a truck at 1 year old!