In the part of the world where I come from, there is this thing we know as “house helps”. Usually, women are regarded as home keepers and when the burden of taking care of the home becomes overwhelming, they often get help. Sometimes, they don’t opt for services that will require them to enter contracts, they rather bring in a younger person, most times a minor who comes from a less privileged home.
The compensation is always to send her to school, feed her and provide for her basic needs. Unfortunately, most of these house helps get sexually molested by the men as they grow up, they also get physically abused by the women that they are supposed to be getting cares from. Some grow up to continue the cycle of maltreating others because they were maltreated too.
If you are privileged to have enough resources, God has blessed you to take care of others and not necessarily to enjoy luxury. Most times, people bring in “house helps” who are almost the same age as their children, they heap lots of responsibilities on them but never raise their kids to do anything.
If you can take in a minor who is almost the same age as your kids and heap responsibilities that is too much for her to carry, then you have a problem. You have a problem when you ask your house helps to do what you can’t ask your kids who are of the same age to do. If you can’t treat them the same way you treat your kids, you are not worthy of them.
Someone had tried arguing with me that no matter how much we pretend and claim to love others, we can’t love other people’s children like we love our kids but I think that it is a careless statement. I will make my point with the story about my mum and how she treated house helps.
I grew up seeing people around who always helped mum out in taking care of the house. Mum has almost all of her kids with little gap and therefore it was necessary having someone who was handy and would be of help especially as she was consistently nursing.
These persons weren’t called “house helps” in our home, they were treated so well to the point that sometimes I get jealous. If Mum ever had anger issues, she would be venting it on all of us and if she was ever overwhelmed with joy, we all would be getting an equal share of that joy! They were beaten for the same reason we were beaten and they were commended for the same reason we were commended.
Of course, Mum would feel more attached to her kids, she would feel more committed to us because we outright belong to her but it never warranted treating others any less.
Because they are our senior, there were things Mum would give to them and never give it to us, they were not given foods in a different plate, they were not given a second place in the house, we all grew up together!
Guess what? Some of them stayed with us till they got married, they still refer to my mother as their mother, they still come around to give mum gifts and they also come around to receive words of advice when things aren’t going well.
If every man is prone to treating other people who aren’t their own children with absolute wickedness, then my mother isn’t human. If we had any complaint about mum, that’s the same complaint they will have and if we had any testimony to give about mum, that’s exactly the same testimony they will give.
They still see me and call me “brother” because that is what we are, we are family! Everyone under your care is supposed to be family, that someone is helping you out gives you no right whatsoever to treat them like animals! That you put food on their table gives you no right to abuse them.
More so when we’re believers, we should treat everyone the same! If you can’t send your child to poor schools, don’t send someone else daughter who is living with you there, if you can’t ask your kids to do laundry, don’t ask someone else who is their age to do the same. It shows you don’t only lack the capacity to raise kids, you lack training in yourself!
We know how much you can love by how you treat others, especially those who aren’t related to you! We know how cultured you are when you have people serving you and they still enjoy some level of peace and freedom around you.
If you can’t love your “house helps” as you love your kids, you don’t deserve them, you don’t deserve to be served by anyone. Let’s read a few places in the Bible. Paul wrote
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” – Galatians 3:28 ESV
When we understand that in Christ, all our diverse classes are levelled into one being, we will treat others better because we will stop seeing their background and start seeing Christ! Even more profound is the words Paul to the Colossians saying
“And masters, treat your servants considerately. Be fair with them. Don’t forget for a minute that you, too, serve a Master—God in heaven.” – Colossians 4:1 MSG
He didn’t just ask that the servants be treated fairly, he also compared it to how God treats us, bringing more deeper meaning to the fairness he means. As much as God has loved you, put effort to love your servants the best way you should, not the best way you feel you can!
God is our Master but also our Father and friend, in the same way, make your servants or “house help” see parenthood in you, let them see a friend they can always fall back on. If God hasn’t given you the ability to love those who aren’t your children, He wouldn’t have asked you to do so. You’ve got it in you, stop suppressing it! All the while your “house help” is with you, let her find a mother or father in you.