Why do I work?

Why do I work?

The reason why I am going to share this with  you is because some Christian women jump to conclusions about women working and they are generally wrong. Whilst their comments don't generally hurt me, they can be very upsetting (and pressuring) for other women to be called un-Christian because they work.  



So why do I go to work every day and my husband stays at home?  It is very simple, to allow my husband to do something he feels very passionate about.

I can’t think of a better reason to work and isn’t it my job to help my husband as his helpmate?

And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. (Genesis 2:18)

It isn’t about me, it is about my husband. 

Love . . .  bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:7)

Our home hasn’t fallen apart whilst I have been at work (and nor is it being neglected) and it is a small sacrifice that I can make that will make all the differences to the lives of the many people he is helping.

My husband feels very strongly about bullying in the workplace. I am not talking about the mild sort of bullying, I am talking about bullying that pushes people over the edge to the brink of suicide, where they can hardly function in society. This is far more common than you think and it happens in many workplaces. Someone needs to stand up for these victims and be their voice and be there when they need help and advice. Whilst my husband helps many people who are suffering badly (for free), I work. My small help makes a huge differences to many others. And to be honest, we aren’t suffering because I am working.

I have read many time “I will never work” — think about it, if you are capable of working and your husband believes in something very strongly, aren’t you in fact being a little selfish — it isn’t about you at all.  It is about your husband and if the situation arises where you may have to work, believe me, God makes it much easier than you think. Some would argue that my husband (who is now almost 60) should be out working and earning an income regardless, without going into personal details — he can spend all day (and well into the evening) helping these vulnerable people, some phone calls can last more than 2 hours. He is busy almost every day of the week and often on weekends. I am happy to work and pay the bills whilst he does his bit to help these people.

And, to be honest, I am still able to care for my home, make the home cooked meals my husband enjoys, potter in the garden and do the many of hobbies I enjoy including quilting. And it might surprise you, but as an older woman I can can still reach out and help others in many different ways too! Our children are all grown up (which does make it much easier) and I have a job that fits very well into our lifestyle and allows me flexibility with holidays and I am home at a reasonable hour every day. It isn’t the end of the world and the sky hasn’t fallen in and my husband does help by doing a few jobs around the house such as vacuum cleaning.

Being a helpmate to one’s husband comes in all different shapes and sizes and this is my major role in helping my husband, who in turn is helping many others.

I hope those who are critical are more understanding (you may not agree with our decision but that is ok) about why I (and many others) go off to work. I am completely content in the decisions the LORD has made for me and I do not sit at work grumbling about my lot in life and asking the Lord to change things (which none of us should). If He sees fit, He will makes the necessary changes, not me. It is simple . . . Trust in the Lord.


As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried: 
he is a buckler to all them that trust in him. 
(2 Samuel 22:31)


*****

Comments

  1. I think the issue usually is not do I /should I work when the children are older and have left home, as in your case, but should I return to work while the children are younger. When did you return to work Jo? How old were your children and did they need to go to child care when they were younger? What was the initial reason you returned to work as I'm sure your husband would have been in paid employment when your children were younger.
    I returned to work when my children were young; one had to go to child care while the others were school aged. This was a difficult decision even though I returned to work part time, and only so I would not loose skills gained and be unemployable in my field, should the need arise in the future to work.
    I think the economic climate is harder today as many women I know who do work and send their children to child care are paying much higher fees than what I did when mine were younger. Often the fees are so high it is better financially for the woman to stay home. This is another difficult choice families have to make as often skills are lost and the woman becomes unemployable, in a particular field, when the children are older and the woman feels she can return to work. Many women then find employment in lower paid jobs than what they were in previously.
    It sounds like that is not the case with you Jo, so you are one of the fortunate few.

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    1. With grown up children and a very good job these sorts of decisions are easier to make compared to very young children who require childcare (which is costly). I am in an excellent job with an organisation that allows flexible working conditions and is family friendly and very importantly, I have an excellent boss - all these make working much easier on me and my family. I also work with a group of people who are very nice, so going to work is not stressful. I don’t have to take work home and I don’t work long hours - this makes a big differences. I completely agree about women who become unemployable because they have been out of the work force too long, this is a big issue and one that stops many older women from returning to work as it is simply too daunting. And you are quite right - often childcare is more expensive than the salary the mother brings home, which is why many women return once their youngest reaches school age. It isn’t simple for many women but does become much easier when the children are older.

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  2. I admire your husband's heart in helping others and you for helping him. There are all types of ways of being a helpmate. You're absolutely right.

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    1. There are 100s of different ways of helping our husbands and this for me is a very important one as he can make such a differences to other lives.

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  3. Thank you for sharing your heart at Good Morning Mondays. It seems to me that once we decide on a way to "do" something we become judgemental of others when they do not do the same thing. I think that if you work, it is your business and you have no need to explain it to anyone else, it is between God you and your husband. I appreciate what you are saying here and I understand why you have written this post. I hope and pray that we can all stop judging others and realise that while we are looking at others and asking them to remove the sliver of wood from their eyes that we can see to remove the log in ours. Blessings to you Jo and your husband and it sounds like he is carrying out a wonderful ministry.

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    1. I do think my husband is doing a great thing and I keep encouraging him to reach out and help these people and now that he is retired he has plenty of time to do just that. We are very blessed and some of these people need hope so they to can have a life that is blessed to.

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  4. We each must do what we believe is right according to what the Scriptures say and what our husband wants of us. :)

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  5. Well, you certainly seem happy to do it so it's obviously working for you both. My husband would never be happy at home with me working, and I'd never be happy working, lol! So what we do works for us. I do provide after-school care for a friend's daughter and that brings in some money, and my husband doesn't want me to get another job anyway.

    I have some friends that really love their jobs and they prefer working. In fact, they preferred working over being home with their children. They couldn't understand how I could be happy at home with the kids, and I couldn't understand how they could be happy away from them, lol! So we just accepted that we're all different!

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    1. I do have a great job, but I don’t allow my job to dominate my life, it is just a job and not a career that consumes my every minute and I never take work home and I rarely ever work late (home by 4:30). At no stage would I prefer work over home, but there is a happy medium that I have found where I can enjoy both equally. I can confidently I have a very good work/home balance which sadly many women either struggle with or are in jobs that don’t allow that.

      I also love my home and pottering about in it, making it cosy and comfortable for my husband and I. I also have plenty of hobbies that I enjoy doing, quilting and sewing are my big ones at present with reading in bed each night :))

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  6. Jo, thanks for sharing! It is so true that each situation isn't created equal and God definitely puts differing things on our hearts. What a wonderful blessing you are being to your husband to support his ministry! I feel blessed to be able to work part time from home so I am always around for our kids during this stage in life and this allows us to be foster parents as well. It allows my husband to go do what he loves and I feel strongly this is what God wants us to be doing right now. Who knows what will happen in the future though :) God is good and I think as long as we are seeking Him first then the decisions we make in this arena should be pleasing to Him. The energy that we expend judging others who make different decisions is completely wasted and not honoring to God in the slightest. Glad I found your post today!
    -Sara, uncommongrace.net

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    1. I have thought about working from home many times, but my skill set is not one that is very suited for home based work unless I set up a business and that is incredibly hard work and far more demanding to what I currently do. Thankyou for your comments Sara and thankyou for stopping by.

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  7. I feel a little sad that you need to explain your life to others. We should trust that other Christians are trying to follow the Lord and do what they're called to do. We shouldn't be pointing our fingers at others! We each have enough to work on just worrying about our own lives!
    That said, I hope your post helps some who might judge to think before they draw conclusions.
    It sounds like you and your husband have found a very good arrangement.

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    1. No, I didn't need to explain anything but I do think sometimes it makes those who don't want to listen have a better understanding that many women do work for valid reasons, not just to go on expensive holidays or buy more things!! Have a wonderful Easter :))

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  8. I so enjoyed reading your article. While I agree that I would have liked to stay home when my daughter was younger it just wasn't possible. But I did try and work hours that were while she was in school (I actually worked at school) and if I couldn't watch her I make sure is was at a very loving and caring church ladies house. It sounds like your husband talked this decision over and decided what was best for you together which, I feel, is the key. Blessings to both of you !!!

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    1. There are ways to make it work, the arrangements may not be perfect but worth doing. My children have no regrets that I wasn't at home - in fact they think they were very blessed :)) I think mothers get far more worked up about things than their children do - children are very accepting if they know their parents love them dearly. Thanks Rebecca for stopping by.

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  9. Yes even though people think its is the norm for the husband to work and the wife stay home if they can,..it is up to each couple what they do. No one else but God. You two have made your decision and it its best for the both of you and that is all that matters. No one is being forced to do anything and you are both satisfied with how things are working out. What others feel is their thoughts and should be kept to themselves. You two are happy and they should be happy for you. Sarah

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    1. Great comment Sarah, because that is what it comes down too - what works for each family and where no one is being forced to do anything :)) Thanks.

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