Listening to a recent business and career podcast I heard an ambitious woman lay out her situation. She desired to move up in the world financially. Her plans were being made and goals were being set. What she needed was a little advice. She submitted her question by voicemail and the podcast owner was reading it to his audience before giving his coaching advice.
“I’m in a good position, because I’m single without kids,” he read. The rest of the particulars are lost from my memory. This one sentence arrested my attention. Is it true? Is she in a good position because she is single without kids?
If ladder climbing, business building, or money making are the aims of her life, then maybe she is in a good position. The end determines the means.
Now, it’s true that some women never marry. It’s true that some have a long period of time after school until they marry. There may be time and place for business and financial advice for young unmarried women. But to say, “I’m in a good position” seems to showcase a heart set on mammon. The arguments for and against women in the workplace aside, Scripture says, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing.” The opposite must also be true and could be stated, “She who is found is in a good position.
To this woman the career path was the dominant goal. Living life as a homemaker, wife, and mother would interfere with upward mobility. This is nothing new, of course. Millions of women are ambitious to work outside the home and climb to the top in their chosen field.
The leaning of one’s heart is the issue. The woman calling the podcast was leaning away from domestic life. She saw the career as important and family as unimportant, or secondary at best.
As a Christian father I must think through such issues as I raise my daughters. The other night I was discussing this with someone I met at a picnic. “I don’t want my daughters to invest tens of thousands of dollars and years of study into a degree and career field like nursing,” I said. “Then, when they marry, they will feel pulled in two different directions. They won’t want to waste the investment of time and money but may desire to be home and raise children. Why set them up for that tension?”
My advice to my girls as they grow will be structured to help them think through issues like this ahead of time. I want them to see a model in their mother of someone who loves the domestic life and the joys of caring for a home and children. I desire them to have hearts leaning toward being keepers at home (Titus 2:5).
I desire as well that they be able to help with the household income when necessary, like the woman of Proverbs 31. At the picnic, the man I spoke with shared this same idea. He said his wife had a degree in music and was able to teach voice lessons from home. That’s a good use for a music degree if you ask me. These are the kinds of things I want my daughters to think of. How can they be educated, learn a skill, create a business, or find work that is flexible and can be done from home if they so desire.
Being in a good position not so much about our flexibility or availability to achieve career goals but about our hearts leaning toward the things of God. I want my girls to know that being in a “good position” has little to do with money and much to do with faithfulness and obedience.