Good Christian Woman? Not So Much . . .

messy kitchenWhen I think of a good Christian woman, I think first of someone who is a good housekeeper. Superficial, I know, but stay with me. It has to do with growing up in the Midwest among good Methodists, where cleanliness was indeed next to godliness. My grandmother and my mother, both full-time working women, were also excellent housekeepers. Grandma made beds instantly upon getting up and discouraged “wallowing” on the couch, and Mom couldn’t let a countertop go messy or a floor unswept.

When I was growing up, dinner—meat, starch, and vegetable—was always on the table at 5:30 PM, exactly 15 minutes after my father arrived home from his job. We all ate together, no TV allowed, and asked to be excused before we got up from the table. Cleanup, which fell to us girls, happened immediately after dinner and was done right or done over again.

These days at my house, dinner is rarely served on a table at all. If my teenage daughter and I manage to eat dinner at the same time, it’s usually in front of a bad reality TV show. I know. I know! Dinner together as a family is super important to kids, and I should enforce it more, but . . . I just don’t. Maybe it’s because we don’t have that Norman Rockwell family of Mom, Dad, and three cute kids (though my daughter is definitely talented, beautiful, and hilarious!). We do eat breakfast together, and conversation sometimes ensues when we can tear our attention away from the morning paper (me) or the cell phone (The Teen). Cleanup, though, is sporadic; if it’s a busy morning, the scrambled egg pan can sit unwashed in the sink all day.

As for overall housekeeping let’s just say that I’ve made friends with microbes. I sometimes vow to clean one room per day or to spend fifteen minutes each evening redding up, as we say here in Western Pennsylvania. But when it comes right down to it, I’d rather lie on the couch with a good book.

So, when I thought about starting a blog, especially one focused on Christian content, I felt a fair amount of terror. I mean, just look at the superficiality of my opening topic. Being a good Christian woman isn’t really about housekeeping;—Jesus didn’t even make his followers wash their hands before eating, and we all know that Mary won out over Martha. But, like the famous line in The Fault In Our Stars, it’s a metaphor. My flaws as a housekeeper are the tip of the proverbial iceberg, as will surely become apparent in my blog entries to come.

What I am is a flawed Christian woman. And who I enjoy hanging out with is . . . other flawed women, Christian or not so much. We women can be hard on each other, and even harder on ourselves. Let a woman gain some weight, or have a bad hair day, or, yeah, let her housework go . . . and even if other women don’t shame her, it’s pretty likely she’s shaming herself.

In my novels, I like to write about flawed Christian women. Women who have maybe suffered a blow or two from life. Women who don’t always say the right thing or make the right choice. Women with messy hair and messy houses and messy psyches, too. The kind of woman I’d like to sit down and have a cup of coffee with . . . maybe even a glass of wine or a giant chocolate chip cookie that’s way too many Weight Watchers points.

Anyway, from one flawed Christian woman to another, welcome. I’d love to hear your comments or to connect with you on Facebook or Twitter.

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Mary Kay

I think a good Christian woman is one who acknowledges, first off, that she is flawed. We all are, as humans, flawed. The Christian part is the part that strives to become perfected through Christ. For me, that means that He loves me, flaws and all. Sorry, I don’t mean to sound so pompous. And by the way, I’ve been known to leave a bed unmade or a pan in the sink myself.