The Proverbs 31 woman did a lot of things, some of them were directly related to running her home, some of them were business opportunities. The bottom line is that the truly Virtuous Woman used her abilities and made the most of them for the good of her family. And her husband supported her efforts. For modern day women, there are two camps. Kind of like the Israelites and the Philistines geared up for battle. On the one side you have the stay-at-homers and on the opposing side there are the go-to-workers. Battles lines clear and weapons drawn…
According to the recent Ann Romney tweetgate, there is no work involved in raising children. If you are a stay-at-home mother, you were probably RELIEVED to learn that you don’t work per the unpleasant comments directed at Mrs. Romney stating that she never “worked a day in her life”.
When I heard the news, I was filled with a sense of relief…it was confirmation, actually. I think my daughter thinks all I do is check out facebook and file my nails all day. (She needs to take a closer look at my nails…)
But honestly, women tend to be extraordinarily harsh with their sister counterparts…berating them if they DO work outside the home and belittling them if they DON’T work outside the home. I cannot believe the damage women do to one another…I literally am shaking my head as I write.
I have, in the course of my LONG life, had the opportunity to do an awfully assorted and diverse array of jobs…let’s see if I can remember them (at least in part):
- Lab Technician in my dad’s lab
- Nurse’s Aid in a retirement center
- Sales Clerk at a children’s clothing store
- Assistant Manager at the same children’s clothing store
- Janitorial Assistant (to Nathan)
- Stay-at-home Mom
- Stay-at-home Mom
- Stay-at-home Mom/Babysitter
- Administrative Assistant (local non-profit)
- Director of Development (same local non-profit)
- Director of Client Services (same local non-profit)
- ESL Para-professional at a local high school
- Leasing Assistant (representing high end businesses)
- Stay-at-home Nana/Babysitter
So if you were paying attention, there were some commonalities across many of these occupations…babysitter comes up often and believe me, I consider myself a PROFESSIONAL in this category: I am an expert at evaluating diaper contents, rashes, teething, potty training, weaning from the bottle, sharing, cleaning up messes, having fun, laughing, frowning, singing, dancing, being silly, teaching to eat independently, teaching to share happily, teaching not to hit or bite, helping develop muscles to crawl and walk…bla bla bla…and believe me–I can make that all sound really good for a resumé if the need ever arises.
(You could probably add Laboratory Technician, Janitorial Assistant and Nurse’s Aid to the above list also–I do a lot of those tasks daily as well.)
I found that working in the non-profit arena was very rewarding on many levels–but it really didn’t feel like WORK–it was ministry. Kind of like being a Missionary on the home front. And a lot of the creative problem solving that went into those jobs, well I use those skills every day with my little guys…hmmmm
The ESL gig was pretty fun, and believe it or not, when you have to be fluent in baby talk and toddlerese, that ESL experience helped make me the PRO I am today! Working in that children’s clothing store was fun–probably spurred me on to the baby experience that much sooner. And believe me, you can’t be afraid of administration and management in this house. We would never make it.
The one job that just seems kind of “out there” is that Leasing Assistant job. Although, buying and selling land…I guess even that one fits in neatly with the list out of Proverbs 31.
Coordinating the schedules of so many people with so many preferences is a lot like coaching a sport and giving an inspirational speech. Making it all flow…well, let me direct you to our creek out back–it’s really flowing today. There are days when I don’t feel like I have made any difference in the world at all, but when a child doesn’t wet his pants, or when he takes a step or we figure out how to sing or share, well that doesn’t really impact MY life so much, but I know that the lessons learned at Nana’s house will carry over into how each child interacts with others in their own little world…laying a foundation for the future.
And that is exactly what Ann Romney has chosen to do with her life…I find that example to be very encouraging. Others may fault her for having a cushy life…I don’t begrudge her that at all. I may live in a pretty small house and it may be overflowing with bodies, and it may need a lot of work done to it, but I am making those sacrifices to be where I need to be, fulfilling the job that needs to be done TODAY. It is the same choice she made, even though our circumstances are very different.
Can we make a deal? I won’t criticize you for going to your job, and you won’t criticize me for staying home to do mine. I really think that the Proverbs 31 woman can apply to both of us, right??? Do we have a deal?
In Praise of a Good Wife/Virtuous Woman (Proverbs 31:10-31)
10 A truly good wife is the most precious treasure a man can find!
11 Her husband depends on her, and she never lets him down.
12 She is good to him every day of her life,
13 and with her own hands she gladly makes clothes.
14 She is like a sailing ship that brings food from across the sea.
15 She gets up before daylight to prepare food for her family and for her servants.
16 She knows how to buy land and how to plant a vineyard,
17 and she always works hard.
18 She knows when to buy or sell, and she stays busy until late at night.
19 She spins her own cloth,
20 and she helps the poor and the needy.
21 Her family has warm clothing, and so she doesn’t worry when it snows.
22 She does her own sewing, and everything she wears is beautiful.
23 Her husband is a well-known and respected leader in the city.
24 She makes clothes to sell to the shop owners.
25 She is strong and graceful, as well as cheerful about the future.
26 Her words are sensible, and her advice is thoughtful.
27 She takes good care of her family and is never lazy.
28 Her children praise her, and with great pride her husband says,
29 “There are many good women, but you are the best!”
30 Charm can be deceiving, and beauty fades away, but a woman who honors the Lord deserves to be praised.
31 Show her respect—praise her in public for what she has done.