September 14, 2015

4 Questions to Ask a Stay-at-Home-Mom

As a Stay-At-Home-Mom (SAHM) I mostly get asked one question after church: “How are the kids?” It has several variations—When do the kids start school? Are the kids playing soccer this year? Have the kids enjoyed the hot/cold/rainy/snowy weather we’ve been having?—but it is essentially the same question. About the kids.

I know this question arises from love. People care about me; I care about my kids. And, sometimes, “how-are-the-kids” gets right to the heart. (Like last Sunday, when one elder asked me that question and I crumpled into unexpected tears over the state of their young souls.)

But, too often, I think we—myself included—go around the church fellowship hall swapping information about our kids and never look their parents in the eyes. The kids are probably fine. But how is their mom?

If we are to rejoice with our Christian sisters (Rom. 12:15), if we are to bear their burdens (Gal. 6:2), if we are to pray for them (James 5:16), we need to ask some better questions. We need to smile at that frazzled woman with the diaper bag and figure out a way to ask: Dear sister, how are you?

Here, then, are four questions I like to ask SAHMs:

1. What did you read/watch/hear this week that was interesting to you?

Maybe it was a YouTube video demonstrating a new technique for baby-wearing. Maybe it was a radio news story about welcoming refugees. Maybe it was a scientific finding, a craft project, a blockbuster movie. Maybe it was a Bible verse that suddenly made sense. Whatever it was, you’ll learn about that woman as a person: what interests her?

2. What part of your week was the most rewarding?

Whether it’s a potty-training victory or a half-marathon personal best, you’ll discover something about that woman: what is valuable to her? And this will provide you with ways to encourage her in the future.

3. What part of your week was the most challenging?

Paying the bills. Finding time to pray. Cooking dinner while chasing a two-year-old. Eating dinner while chasing a two-year-old. Making friends. Feeling human. This is where you can begin to see how to come alongside that woman: what are her burdens? And then you can consider ways to help her bear them.

4. How can I pray for you this week?

In the body of Christ, our interest in one another is not merely social. We are not talking to each other out of idle curiosity or as a means of network-building. We are concerned for each other’s souls. Asking a SAHM how you can pray for her is an investment in her spiritual well-being. You are offering to bring her needs and desires to the One who knows her best. It’s a great question to ask.

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More in the 4 Questions series:
4 Questions to Ask an Older Woman
4 Questions to Ask a Child
4 Questions to Ask College Students
4 Questions to Ask Your Pastor

4 comments:

  1. Oh, I think this is so true!!! Thank you for expressing it so well. Sometimes its just the hugs we need to give each other. The comfort of a caring friendly smile, but without true knowledge of another sister's struggles we never connect at a level to truly offer them the encouragement, he;lp or aid they need.
    Thank you for sharing. I'm sharing this with the women in our church in the hopes they will see its the small things that make a big difference. Loving you both and praying for you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. These are really good, helpful questions. Have you considered doing a post like this for what to ask a single woman? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the suggestion! We may revisit this series again in the future.

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