Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Weekly Workplace Wisdom From Saddleback - Women at Work

How ironic and timely that this email just arrived in my inbox!! I have been stewing over the right path to take in my career and praying a lot about it. It is very relevant to those women, like me, who struggle over work/life balance and who also want to make a contribution in the world - not just at home. I honestly feel that shouldn't be an EITHER - OR decision; we can have BOTH. It's just a matter of juggling - which we are naturally good at.

Without further ado...


Special Edition: Women@Work
by Helen Mitchell

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30 (NIV)

Every little girl dreams of being a princess and living happily ever after. One day, those little girls grow up to be women who enter the workforce or choose to stay home and raise children of their own. But that dream of being a princess and living happily ever after never leaves her.

Most working women struggle with balancing work and family and being confident in their role in life and society. We tear ourselves apart between the internal battles over self worth and seeking the affirmation from our culture--which does not come. But we keep on dreaming.

“Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function…We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.” Romans 12:4, 6 (NIV)

God has given each woman a unique purpose in life, along with the talents and spiritual gifts to fulfill it. He calls some to be in the workforce for a season, some not at all, and a few to serve in the highest positions of leadership and influence. God created every woman special, each one different from the next.

In Judges 4:4, we meet Deborah, a wife, a woman of great influence and a mighty leader. She was a spiritual and political authority in the nation of Israel. “Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time” (NIV).

God used her courage, wisdom and leadership skills to fight out on the battle field. She
accompanied Barak into battle against Sisera, to bring victory and liberation to the people of Israel.

Phoebe, an influential woman in her community served in and was a contributing part of Paul’s ministry. “I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church in Cenchrea. I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been a great help to many people, including me” Romans 16:1-2 (NIV).

But perhaps the most challenging yet influential role a woman may have is that of mother. On mornings when we are running late, the kids are slow in putting on their shoes and they are in danger of missing the bus and you the morning meeting, it may be hard to see our work as a mother as service unto the Lord and our children a gift. “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.” Psalm 127:3 (NIV)

But Jesus cares very much about the role of the mother. Jesus knows how important the bond between mother and child is; he understands what a mother’s love and touch does to an impressionable mind and heart. In fact, Jesus’ last act of kindness was to take care of his mother and make sure that she was not alone. “Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother… When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, ‘Dear woman, here is your son,’ and to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ From that time on, this disciple took her into his home” John 19:25-27 (NIV).

We are also the bride of Christ and Jesus is our husband. Married or not, we should all desire to conduct ourselves in such a way to honor Jesus because of our love for him. If we live as if Jesus were our husband, then we cannot disappoint our earthly husband.

Ladies, know that you are loved by the King and you are his princess. One day you will live happily ever after. God has specially gifted you to carry out your life’s purpose at home, at work, in the church and in the community according to his perfect order and plans.

Until next week…

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

1. Women in the workplace need each other. Who do you work with that you can offer encouragement and support?

2. What misconceptions about working women do you need to let go of?

3. What is holding you back from recklessly abandoning yourself to God and knowing that you are highly esteemed by God and madly loved by Jesus?

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