Girls Write Out
Wednesday, December 21, 2005

What if when we give an account before God, none of our twenty-five years as a missionary or ten years as a hospice worker counts?What if we get up there and find out, it's not on the test?

That the only thing we're being graded on is how we treat those closest to us. Granted, it's a long shot, but think about it. Who you are in your home, is who you are: it's your character and your very being.

I figured this out watching two reality shows this week. "Wife Swap" had a spoiled, socialite, former beauty queen and mother to two teenage mini-me's. She swapped with a Christian charity worker with a bajillion kids who spent all her time with "Habitat for Humanity" and other good works. When I first tuned in, I thought, "Oh the beauty queen is going down. This oughta be good." But the more I tuned in, the more I realized, beauty queen had a lot right. She managed her household (with help, but still), took care of her temple (worked out), and provided for her family, albeit with the help of take-out.

In contrast, the Christian mother emphasized discipline, and her children all had various chores. As the mother of four, I will say chores are very important, and they do teach solid life skills. But I'll tell you, her Christian household was chaos. It was filthy, smelled like urine and none of the household items that needed to be done (like painting, putting switchplates on, etc.) had been done. To an outsider, and a non-Christian, this house was disastrous. The mom and dad spent so much time caring for others, that they had not managed their household well. I think that's why 1 Timothy says that a man who cannot manage his household is not fit for deaconship.

On another show, "Nanny 911", the father was a Christian pastor of six small children. The mother was obviously near a nervous breakdown, and he hadn't even noticed. He was off to nightly meetings at the church and was just not part of the home at the beginning. What kind of witness is that? To a non-believer, is that anything you'd want to emulate? And why isn't there a senior pastor saying, "Dude, you need to get home to your family."

My point is that "normal" people without faith do not identify with good works when the home is being ignored. If we're to be salt and light, don't you think we should live a life people might see something worth living? I mean, here that beauty queen mother had herself a beautiful home, brilliant girls and an adoring husband. The other mother had a chaotic, dirty house and was too busy to fix it. It's not about appearances, it's about the heart, but there's something very prideful about doing something that everyone sees and gives you credit for.
Kristin Billerbeck  
posted at 5:37 PM  
  Comments (9)
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At 8:57 PM, Blogger Rachel Hauck said...

Amen and here, here, Kristin. As Christians, it's easy to get caught up in the doing, rather than the being... Being with God, being with family, being with others. The chore of religiousity overwhelm us.

A lot of times people like the Christian Mom, or the Christian Dad are still really wounded inside, and do not feel adequate, worthy or loved. So they work to earn those feelings.

My guess is the beauty queen, saved or not, at least had some value in herself.

At 9:08 PM, Blogger Camy Tang said...

GOOD POST. I realize there's always a deeper story, but it makes me upset to see Christians being a poor witness because ultimately, it's a backlash on me when I talk to my non-Christian friends.

"Oh, did you see that Christian woman on Wife Swap? She totally neglected her kids! Christians say they love God but they're so..."

How do I answer something like that? "Well, not all Christians are like that."

"So what--you're the exception? Yeah, that's an easy answer."

Frustrated in the land of my sojourn, let me tell ya.

At 10:03 PM, Blogger Kristin Billerbeck said...

The former beauty queen had a lot of value in herself. She had plenty invested. LOL

You know, even if we aren't the exception, it's hard because people expect us if we're "true Christians" to be perfect.

Sometimes, I think a lot of christians see themselves that way, and then you see the pain in their kids. I'm sure my issues will give my kids Oprah fodder too. LOL

At 12:33 PM, Blogger south asia said...

Your last sentence was awesome. Something I'm realizing is that he has called us all to a special job, but the one he's most concerned about is our relationship with him.

At 2:34 PM, Blogger Robin Caroll said...

Isn't there an old adage out there..."charity begins at home"? IMNSHO, that should be "chistianity begins at home". Just my penny's worth

At 7:44 PM, Anonymous julie said...

I agree with you Kristen, but I hear so much from the pulpit about how we're never doing enough, that I think we Christians get kind of confused. I mean, in one breath we're hearing that it's all about GRACE, but in the next, it's that we don't give enough of our time and/or talents--or, more likely, both! There's got to be some kind of balance, but I haven't figured it out yet.

'Course I'm writing this just days before Christmas when I still have a couple gifts to buy, and a child to help prep for the Christmas play at church, and dinner to cook for ten family members on Christmas eve, and cookies to deliver to the neighbors...


At 6:09 AM, Blogger south asia said...

Julie that's a good point. We have to have a good balance of grace and good deeds. We can't get too caught up in works, just like we can't get too caught up in living solely for the grace and forgiveness of God. (Galatians vs. James, etc) Just another way to show us just how much we can't work our way into heaven...we don't know how to! :)

At 4:39 AM, Blogger Elaina Avalos said...

I thought the beauty queen was an idiot. And then again...who wants to live in a house with dog crap everywhere? Not I.

The whole point of that show is to take two extremes and drop them in the other's sides extreme and watch the you know what hit the fan.

And hopefully...somewhere in there people figure out how to live balanced lives. Obviously, idiot beauty queen's husband and daughters gained some things from the slob Christian. And vice versa.

Which is why at the end of the show ABC tries to sell us that both families have changed a little.

At 4:49 AM, Blogger Elaina Avalos said...

Also want to add...that the daughters may have been brilliant and beautiful but if you remember one of them cried her eyes out because she didn't have a mother who she could count on to be there for her. And if you also remember, the husband of the idiot beauty queen, praised the slob Christian, in spite of the ugly words his wife had for said slob.

Yeah...Christians need to represent. This is true. But geez, I don't really think the tart was a model of motherhood that I want to emulate. I'd rather not keep my children in line by buying them more crap to shut them up.

The whole point of the show? Balance. Balancing extremes. They don't pick normal folks on either side. Ever. Where would the show be if they did? Anyone remember the show with the Gillespies? The Christian family traded with the lesbian family? The brother of the Gillespies was former Republican Party Chair Ed Gillespie. They were "born again" Christians. But uber, uber-conservative. It wouldn't have worked to put a non-judgemental, we love everyone (but hate the sin) family with the lesbian gals. Where would the "fun" in that have been?

The show wouldn't work if a normal, average Christian family was represented. And it wouldn't work if a normal family on the other end was on.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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