by Chris Adams
A recent study indicates most women are stressed out, tired, and overcommitted.
The Barna Group surveyed American women to find out exactly how they feel about their commitments to family, church, career, and community, and about the tensions that seem to pull them in opposite directions. Here’s what they found.
A majority of women (59 percent) are dissatisfied with their balance between work and home life. Among moms with children still at home, this rate increases to 62 percent.
Eight in 10 moms feel overwhelmed by stress (compared to 72 percent of all women), and 7 out of 10 say they do not get enough rest (compared to 58 percent of all women).
The real kicker is 88 percent of all women and 95 percent of moms want to do better in a least one area of life.
When women are told by our culture they can do it all, have it all, and do it well, they are given an impossible role to fill. The good news is the majority (76 percent) of women in both camps are satisfied with their lives in the midst of it all.
How can the church help?
1. Give them a break. Encourage them to put their family first. Provide ideas and ministry opportunities that include children and spouses whenever possible.
2. Help women discover their gifts, skills, and interests. Show her where those intersect with needs in the church and community. Help her hone her skills and allow her to say “no” to other opportunities that arise if the Lord has not given her those assignments.
3. Teach her how to make Scripture and a daily walk with Christ her greatest priority. If she will seek God on a daily basis, she will learn how to discern His voice and direction for serving her church and community.
4. Equip her in practical ways. Find out what issues she is facing and design studies and groups that offer support and knowledge around those topics.
5. Understand her many responsibilities and pray for her and with her! Let her know you see her struggles and want to walk alongside her.
Chris Adams (@chrisadams4) is senior lead women’s ministry specialist at Lifeway.