Meekness vs. Anger -Yielding my personal rights and expectations to God (Psalm 62:5) – Bill Gothard
After a year living with our family, Kay checked out…and in many ways, so did my mother. Admittedly, my mom was more organized and seemed to take more control over her wild boys. The housework was being done and Elijah, the oldest, was being homeschooled four days a week. There was a schedule that hung on the kitchen wall and woe to the person who didn’t keep to it.
My father came home, when he was in town, to properly prepared and served dinners and a wife who “took time to make herself pretty” for her husband, “lest he should think she didn’t consider his desire to come home to beauty, rather than chaos”. Admittedly, the outside world thought my mother had got over her PPD and was now the picture of domesticity. However, the reality was that her vibrant and dynamic spirit was replaced with submission and guilt.
Between birth and the age of one, I shared a room with two of my brothers. In a three bedroom house, it was: Eli and Sam in one room, Joseph and I in another, and my parents in the third. Not too long after my first birthday, Kay spoke with my father about what she felt was an undue masculine influence on me. She, Kay, had noted and recorded (in my baby book) that I was “rambunctious and rowdy,…she climbs on everything if she can make it”. I was “improper”. That’s right, readers – by age one, I was ‘improper’.I don’t know what I did to warrant that description, especially to the extent that it was deemed reasonable to write in my baby book, but I’m sure it included immodestly twirling my skirts or climbing on top of my brother to pound him with a toy (which was apparently a favorite pasttime). In any case, Kay and my parents decided that it might be best to put me in a more feminine environment. I got my own room. Kay and my mother painted it peach and “mint green”. They hung Victorian prints of women and babies on the walls and placed floral curtains on the window. Above my bed, they placed a framed, 11×17 canvas with the following scripture cross-stitched on it:
“but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. 1 Peter:3-4″
Heavy reading for a toddler!
I don’t remember the first night I spent in that room. I was too small. I do remember lying in that four poster bed many nights thereafter, wishing to have a friend and sister in the room with me. In this way, I became a willing conspirator in keeping my mother pregnant through prayer. When Caleb and then Matthew and then Luke were born, in that order and over the next seven years, I wondered what I had done to jinx myself with God. As you might imagine, with every boy that was born between Rebekkah and myself, the boys room got pretty crowded. In a room that was 10×12, my parents had two, three tiered bunks. The boys were stacked like cord wood. Something would have to give…