The old adage that says “She who rocks the cradle rules the world” refers to an era when the mother, on the most part, was able to stay at home and raise the children.
There has been a shift back to the vale of one parent staying at home, where in recent years such was the emphasis on two working parents that a stay-at-home parent was seen to be idle and of little value. This created at outrage as it should have done.
Now, there is a fire storm the other way, in so far as politicians are going out of their way to be heard highlighting the values of the two working parent families, as they realise it needs two incomes to lead the prosperous lifestyle them espouse…
Oh, what a tangled web we weave!
Those who stay with the 'stuff' play a far more important role than they will ever be given credit for.
This word 'stuff' in the context of 'what you need to keep an eye on', carries with it some quite specific ideas for consideration. A very familiar image in cricket is the 12th man who amongst other things, looks after the 'stuff' in the change room.
“Growing up with the King James (The Authorised) version of the Bible, the word 'stuff' is quite a familiar one as it invariably refers to the material things that require attention.
- The first reference comes from Genesis 37 where Jacob challenges Laban his father-in-law that he had searched his stuff for the Laban family idol images.
- A little later in Chapter 45 Pharaoh tells Joseph not to regard his 'stuff' as the good of entire land of Egypt is his.
- In Exodus the word pops up in relation to 'law' when money or 'stuff' is stolen.
- And in Chapter 36 the word 'stuff' is in the context of ample offerings.
There are a total of eleven references to the word 'stuff'.
The story of David relating to 'stuff' is perhaps the best known reference, where in 1 Samuel chapter 25, verse 13 two hundred of his men 'abode by the stuff'.
Those who stayed behind with the stuff played just as an important a role as those who went out to do battle, and this same idea is put forward in terms of Salvation in the New Testament where one sews and another reaps.
In my own experience, all missionary husbands will vouch that their wives who hold the home fort are their greatest asset, and their greatest gift from the Lord.
Without such stalwart support, much mission work would not have been nearly as effective or as meaningful.
This idea of staying with the 'stuff' is not restricted to being 'home' rather it has far wider reference points as 'partnership'. This partnership idea carries with it a sense of equality and the part that prayer partners play in Christian ministry.
It is in these broader ideas that Christian ministry finds strength and which play a crucial role in ministry outcomes.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html