Chris and I have almost finished our 20 readings from the Briefing about guidance. They were based on the book Guidance and the Voice of God by Phillip Jensen and Tony Payne. We found the first half of them hard going but we battled on and by the end we found ourselves enjoying them more. Possibly part of the hard going related to the fact that the majority of them were done after 11 pm at night. We probably need to find a better time to schedule Bible reading but we figured this was better than doing no reading at all.
The best bit was the last few readings, when we were discussing what were matters of righteousness, matters of good judgement and matters of triviality and relating these to church, work and marriage/family. I think that this is a helpful framework for decision making.
I also think that some of our decisions regarding work and marriage/family might be categorised differently by others. Our decision that I will return to paid work, for example. I think that this is a matter of good judgement. In the past we have made some poor judgements in this area in relation to how much paid work I can realistically cope with, but I think that me returning to work two days a week is now something our family can manage.
I may be wrong here, but I think that there are people who consider that women working outside the home (or perhaps not working outside the home) is a matter of righteousness. Yes, I know that in Titus 2:5 it says that women should be busy at home. And I certainly agree that at this stage of my life, bringing up godly children is my number one priority. I just don't think that these priorities completely exclude the possibility of some participation in the paid workforce.
But time will tell, I guess. I know that when I am working, I tend to become stressed more easily at home. I find it hard to be available for the kids as much when something has happened at work that is bothering me. So I will need to pray for wisdom in how I manage my working life. At least after years of managing different amounts of part time work, I am getting a better understanding of what to expect when I return. And an ever-increasing understanding that work is not the most important and fulfilling thing in life.