Some time ago, as I was beginning my work online, I found myself dealing with some angst about whether or not it was OK for me to pursue a business in my home. I’m a firm believer that God wasn’t kidding when he said teach the women to be keepers of their home. (Titus 2:5)) I already have a pretty full plate with homemaking and home schooling. Would those things have to suffer if I also took on the role of “work-at-home-mom?”
I thought about my motives. Why do I want to do this? Is it the money? Is it fun? Do I enjoy the challenge? The camaraderie of working with other business owners?
Sometimes when I’m working through an issue, God deals with me in questions. I believe He gave me my questioning spirit, and helps me use it to make wise decisions. So I began to pay attention to the questions, and pray about the answers.
If you’re a stay-at-home and/or a homeschooling mom, and you’re wondering if it would be acceptable to God for you to also work from home, these questions may help you think through (and pray through) that issue. I won’t presume to give you the answer, that’s between you and God, and depends on your circumstances. But maybe the questions I asked myself will be helpful to you as well.
We’ll start with the one that was bothering me the most.
How much money is enough?
If I started a business to “help with the finances”, how do I know what amount of money I’m aiming for? Money is one of those things of which there is never enough, if you lose your focus. I didn’t want that to happen. I don’t want to just keep working more and more because the financial target keeps moving. How much extra would be enough? How would I know when to be satisfied? I prayed about it for a long time and the answer I received was this:
I can’t explain the freedom I felt with that simple answer.
With that question answered, I was able to move on to more questions.
Does it bring out the best in you or the worst?
When I’m in a season of being self-employed, and especially since I started blogging, I do things that help me grow as a person. I read high quality, non fiction books. I learn about my business, I spend time watching leaders and becoming more like them. I could let working from home make me a worse person if I forget my priorities.
But when I’m intentional, having a business actually helps to make me a better person.
Do you have your husband’s support?
Notice I did not say permission. (I don’t believe Biblical submission has anything to do with permission.) Even if it did, you need more than permission. You need for him to be on your side, believing in you, and even willing to help and offer grace for times when you slip up or can’t get everything done. When he has to eat pizza instead of your wonderful chicken cacciatore, he doesn’t complain but tells you he believes it’s worth it.
I can’t make that happen for you but I do pray that God will.
Examine what you will have to give up. Are these things negotiable?
There is only so much time in a day, and when you start something new, something else has to go. You might not be able to make all of your family’s food from scratch, or attend every available church event. You certainly won’t be watching much TV if you intend to build a business while raising children. What will you have to give up in order to make time for a business?
Are those things negotiable?
What message will you be sending to your children?
Depending on how you work your business into your family’s priorities, you can send different messages to your children. You can either send the message that your business comes first, or, you can use your business to teach your children some valuable lessons. You can show them how to manage time and be productive. You can teach them the value of pursuing a dream, and of hard work. You can teach them skills and team work by having them work alongside you.
Can you involve your kids and husband in such a way that it’s good for them?
Maybe they can learn entrepreneurial skills by working with you. Are you currently doing most of the work around the house, mostly out of convenience? It’s often easier to just do it yourself than to teach and require your child to do it. But you might be inadvertently teaching the kids that it’s not their job, and to wait for someone else to do it. Give them a reason to be involved with the family and a reason to respect themselves for helping out.
Because my answers to these questions are positive, we decided that it is acceptable, and even good for me to work from home. If you’re in the position of wondering that for yourself, I hope that these questions will help you gain some clarity on what God is leading you to do.
Yep, you guessed it.
Get out your journal and prayerfully answer the above questions.