In Defense of Desperate Housewives

I have a question. What is better.. to build a billion dollar empire, OR to be a faithful husband and a loving father, or a good wife and mother?

I read about a survey done in the East Coast which showed that in one week, the average time that married couples TALK heart-to-heart is . . . 6 1/2 minutes. 9 out of 10 cases of sex on television is not between married people. In Metro Manila, a recent consumer survey revealed that half of our nation’s youth live with only one parent, presumably as a result of double-income households, and the lack of jobs which has created the OFW phenomenon [no offense to our migrant workers].

Face it. Society has somehow programmed us, OR leaves us no choice, too often it seems, to de-prioritize, if not altogether destroy marriage and family. And too often, we willingly conform to this program.

Take a second look at the television shows, the blogsites, the URL's or magazines we get addicted to these days [again, no offense meant to content developers who try to capture real life.. ok.]: Grey’s Anatomy. Heroes, 24, Desperate Housewives. Locally we have our own share of these in our tele-novelas and reality shows.

I must confess I too find some of these modern day shows addictive. But think about it, some very bizarre messages are conveyed. As an illustration, is it true that 90% of sexual relations are either pre-marital OR extra-marital? In some episodes, most protagonists or extras therreof, were at one time or another, hooked to one or the other! Is this fact or fantasy? Seriously, the rate at which pre-marital sex, infidelity, adultery, materialism, self-gratification, and violence is hyped up in the media is alarming, to say the least.

Time and again we laugh about these comical "abberations" of human nature, but let me submit that the long term effects of selfish interest, pride, vengeance, violence, un-moderated greed are by no means funny.

Question is - are these things we watch on television- normal human traits? In a practical sense, are all men [even the villains] tall, dark, and with abs to die for [ouch, ouch]? Do all women look like FHM cover girls? Think about that for a second. Do couples “make out” as soon as they wake up in the morning?? Do wives wear make up when they wake up?

There is an intrinsic conflict of interest in media, which is also a main challenge to their leaders. Are they there to entertain, to increase ratings, and to make money, or are they there to share wisdom and truth?

Take another case – say, the role of women in society. My wife and I were at one of those alta-sociedad gimmick-places. This bar was jam-packed. The smoke, sweat., booze, and perfume in the air made you dizzy!

Small talk. Shop talk. I must admit the women were stunning. Wittingly or unwittingly in these occasions, we assess each person around the table. “What keeps you busy these days [subtexts: where do you work.. are you better of or worse of than I am.. how much money do you make.. how can I sell you my product or services.. ugggh, the flesh can be simply terrible!!!!]?” When we’re done with our self-synthesized ranking or pecking order, we try to impress those in the highest posts with our Curriculum Vitae.
The survey goes on. “What keeps you busy these days?” At the end of the table, a shy, modestly dressed lady – in her mid 30’s - confesses “Oh…. I am just a housewife.”

Every time I hear that, I feel offended for all “housewives”, or for all those women raised by moms who were “just housewives” or for that matter “just teachers” or “just domestic helpers”. Why do we do that? Why do we put people in Pecking Orders? Are we not all created by the same awesome God – for His will and purpose?

Can an elevator tell its parts “you’re just a screw” or “you’re just a pulley”?

SO . . why does society seem to look down upon full-time home-makers? I read an article where the resignation of a highly qualified lady-executive to be a full-time wife and mother, was criticized for being "an affront to the feminist movement ". Strange logic , I thought. Why should an accomplished lady-executive be exalted any more than the mother who raised her? And for what price was this accomplishment to be had?

What indeed is the greater accomplishment? To be the first woman President, or to sacrifice your own life to be able to raise the first woman President? Is it better to be a the first female CEO of a multinational conglomerate, OR to ensure that your home is clean and well-organized, designed to be an environment that nurtures and trains children in the way they should go?

Is there no relevance in raising our children to be blessings, rather than curses to society?

Sometimes I think, even us men, we try to show what we have accomplished at work or in society, to justify our failures at home, or our neglect of family. Christ said 'He who can be trusted in small things, can be entrusted to handle bigger responsibilities." How can I be trusted to bless the world, if I cannot even be a blessing to my own family?

Hey, I have nothing against working women. My wife, Vicky, is a distinctively competent dentist, an event planner/organizer, an expert master of ceremonies.. Yet, she finds time to love as a wife, a super mom to 3 super-kids, and Chief Operating Officer of our home..

By the way, Monday nights @Strumm's Jupiter, Vicky sings with the 8-Trackband of fellow-dentists and professionals.

There is no question in my mind. God is able to use each person, in whatever circumstance or however his or her situation, for His will and purpose and for His glory. Therefore it is not for us - by no means is it for us - to pass judgment on anyone. Fact is, we are all vulnerable to err or to sin, when we try to do things on our own. I believe we are all nothing –apart from God - some saved only by the grace of God, through Christ, but still fallen beings in a fallen world. . . subject to make mistakes or turn from good to bad at any point in time.

But while I know there is redemption, and restoration in Christ, I am also convinced that no amount of worldly “success” can compensate for failure in the home. The damage neglect can do to a child is far too great, to ignore. What good indeed is a billion dollars in net worth, if in your own family, you leave a legacy of spoiled brats, drug addicts, murders or rapists, who will steal more from future generations of the world than you ever contributed to it in you entire lifetime.

Is there anything embarrassing or shameful about prioritizing marriage and family, or being a Master in home-management, marriage or, say home-schooling? I think one of the greatest, most relevant, and significant undertakings in this world, with the most far-reaching impact, is to take care of your family, to train them how to live, according to God’s word. This draws them closer to God and gives them a glimpse of Heaven at home. With this, your children will mature in Christ, and appreciate you for it. They will make better decisions as they lead their own lives, and nurture their own families.

I believe marriage and family were precisely created by God as vessels to bless the world, to approximate His love, to mirror His image, and as the means to build a society designed according to His Godly Heritage founded on Solid Rock, that is His Son, Jesus Christ. Let us be careful, conscious, and let us not allow Society to distort our view and to pressure us to pursue the “patterns of this world” with all its bizarre values, self-centeredness, greed, deceit, and corruption, to the detriment of marriage and family.

It is written, let us not compare ourselves with others, or we will either be too proud or envious. Let us recognize how we are designed by the Creator, for specific purposes He has created us for.. Therefore let us SEEK what that is, and DO that for Him, in Christ’s name, with all our heart, and body and mind and soul, for His glory.

Christ in us. Trusting in His wisdom. Sharing His love.. This is the hope of glory. This is how this world, even this nation, shall be re-created to spread this Godly heritage we can choose to leave behind, for His glory and purpose, for the future of society. This is all within God’s agenda [as Larry Crabb suggests in “Finding God”] “to draw all mankind back to himself through Christ, and not just, to succeed or make life work.”

All this we do, in preparation for eternal life with Him in Heaven. I can only imagine..

- JN Pangilinan

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