The purpose of paid work for women.

As I mentioned, I accepted a full-time job this fall, or at least “full time” during the academic year; I won’t work in the summer even though my employer is already saying things like, “Just making sure you know that you can work over the summer, too, if you want!”  This is one reason why my ability to write more detailed essays on my new blog has been curtailed: between work, commuting, housekeeping, and shuttling our children around to the myriad activities they are involved in, I’ve barely even been home, let alone had time to write.

What’s the point of this? Am I doing this because I just love being a speech language pathologist so much? Well, sort of: I’m doing speech therapy for pay, as opposed to say being an auto mechanic for pay, because I like and am good at teaching communication. And I’ve done volunteer work in this area in the past, but the reason I am doing this job full time for pay as opposed to part time as a volunteer is for one reason and one reason only: to earn money for my family.

Feminists with their bloated egos tell women that their paid work is their path to personal fulfillment. This is a lie. Personal fulfillment is found in God and family – nothing more and nothing less. Chasing the elusive and incredibly selfish dream of “personal fulfillment” will leave you empty for the simple reason that – unlike God and your family – your job does not love you.

You may, of course, have some very kind co-workers who will help you out in times of trouble; recently one of the other women in my department was in a serious car accident and I was impressed by how quickly everyone at work rallied to bring flowers and gift cards to the hospital and arrange to bring meals to her husband and children. This type of personal charity is kind and thoughtful but is not sustainable among non-kin in the long run because it is not based on familial love.

My husband had misgivings about me working full time but agreed to let me try it because we want to save money for a very specific purpose: purchasing another ten acres of land across the road. We believe this will be a good investment and inheritance for our children. And as much as I like my job and strive to do excellent work for my employer, my goal in performing work for money is the same as the Proverbs 31 woman’s was: to serve my family, not my ego.

10 An excellent wife who can find?
    She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
    and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
    all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
    and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
    she brings her food from afar.
15 She rises while it is yet night
    and provides food for her household
    and portions for her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
    with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She dresses herself with strength
    and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
    Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
    and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her hand to the poor
    and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
    for all her household are clothed in scarlet.[c]
22 She makes bed coverings for herself;
    her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates
    when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them;
    she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
    and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
    and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
    and let her works praise her in the gates.

My advice to young women: prioritize family formation over education and career. Prepare yourself to earn money as a means of serving your family but don’t get wrapped up in worrying about your personal fulfillment at work because that isn’t why you are there.