Friday, June 7, 2013

The Quick and the Bored

Gate at Altonrea - - 551082
My youngest daughter is a sneaky little thing.  At two, she is smart enough and small enough to slide under the gate on our deck and escape the safety of our fenced-in back yard.  I try not to be a helicopter mama, so I let her go out alone, but I have to check every few minutes and make sure she hasn't pulled a Houdini.  

It's interesting to watch her.  She doesn't immediately go to the gate.  First she goes to the slide and goes down a few times.  Then she loves on Questor, our dog. She'll make a few rounds walking around the yard.  The back yard is a fun place!  Soon, though, I can see what's happening.  She's getting bored.  The slide is old hat, and the dog has gone to his hiding place.  "What to do?  Oh yeah!  I see that gate.  That was awfully fun last time, seeing what's beyond the fence.  I think I'll do that again!"  Until Mommy catches her, and then it isn't so fun anymore.  (By the way, kids, if you run away when you get caught, Mommy knows you are aware of your disobedience). 

It struck me today that people don't really change that much when they grow up.  I am still more likely to sin when I am bored than any other time.  House is in good shape and children are napping?  If I don't find something productive to do, I'm more likely to slip on over to that website that is distinctly impure or call someone to hear the latest juicy gossip.  

Paul knew good and well that boredom is bad for women.  When he urged younger widows not to be put on the list for the church to care for, he gave a compelling reason. "At the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention. Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach; for some have already turned aside to follow Satan" (1 Timothy 5:13-15).  Basically, Paul says that if the church takes care of all the needs of younger widows, they'll be too bored.  The worst result is that they could begin following Satan.  Yikes!

As frightening as that is, notice that Paul gave the solution.  Get busy!  As a Christian woman, wife, and mother, I have absolutely no reason to be bored.  Paul assumed that a woman who gets married and has children will be too busy to become an idle gossip.  Single women aren't off the hook either.  An unmarried woman is free to concentrate fully on serving the Lord (1 Corinthians 7:34).  There is too much work to do in the kingdom for anyone to say they don't have anything to do.  

My daughter is 2.  I still have the job of keeping her entertained so she doesn't try to sneak into danger.  But I'm an adult Christian woman.  The next time I'm tempted to sneak under the gate, I'll take a good hard look at spending my time producing fruit for the kingdom of God instead.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE(R), Copyright(c) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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