Sunday, July 26, 2015

Singleness Thought of the Week: Taking Your Work as a Single Woman Seriously

You’re grateful to God for your paycheck.  It keeps food on the table and pays the bills.  You’re thankful for the coworker camaraderie and sense of purpose your job gives you each day.  But, honestly, this isn’t where you thought you’d be right now.  You thought by this point in your life you would have ditched the Monday morning rush hour commute and daily grind for the much more fulfilling, God-honoring job of full-time wife and mother.  It’s what you’ve always dreamed of doing and sermons and books based on Proverbs 31 and Titus 2 seem to indicate that being a stay-at-home mother is the most biblical role a woman can have.  But marriage hasn’t come and, consequently, neither has motherhood.  You’re stuck in this 8 to late job you thought would surely be a temporary transition to your real work as a woman, that of raising godly children and running a household. 

Next to marriage and motherhood – displaying the relationship between Christ and the church and raising up the next generation of believers – your secular job seems thoroughly pedestrian and downright unbiblical.  But by living your life as if it’s still waiting to happen, constantly craning your neck around your current circumstances to see what God has for you in the future, you’re missing all the opportunities He has given you to glorify Him today.

Consider for a moment that though you may never have imagined being a career woman at this age, God knew you would be.  In fact, in His sovereignty He has lead you to the job you currently have.  Also consider that you do not become biblical only when you assume a certain role or marital status.  You, single woman, became a biblical woman the moment you became a child of God, the moment the Spirit convicted you of your sins and you turned to Christ for salvation.  Therefore, nothing you do is truly “secular” and “meaningless”.  Everything you do, everything you are is holy and set apart for God’s glory.

Some say that secular work is a curse, the result of the fall.  They point to Genesis 3:19, “By the sweat of your face, you shall eat bread.”  In his sermon titled “The Conscientious Christian Employee”, evangelical pastor John MacArthur clears up that common misconception about work. 

“In Genesis chapter 2 we read this in verse 15, ‘And the Lord God took the man and put him into the Garden of Eden to till it and to keep it.’ The Fall of man didn't come until chapter 3. In chapter 2, God designed man to work.  Work is not part of the curse, sweat is part of the curse.  It is the intensity of work necessary to earn the bread that implies the curse, but work is a blessing.

Not only were we created to work but all of our work is a sacred duty…everything you do is with reference to your relationship to God…..Whatever you do, whatever kind of work you're engaged in, housewife to senior executive and everything in between, whatever it is it is a sacred duty….every job has intrinsic value not particularly for its own sake, but because when it is integrated into the life of a Christian it becomes the arena in which that Christian lives out his spiritual existence….it becomes the arena in which your spiritual faith is lived out.” 

I hope this gives you a new, godly perspective as you head to your job this Monday morning.  Yes, it is a wonderful blessing to be a stay-at-home wife and mother but if God has not opened the door to that opportunity, don't despair.  As a single woman in the workplace, you are not spiritually inferior or unbiblical.  You are not a second-rate example of godly femininity.  God has placed you where you are to be salt and light to those around you.  Your work matters to Him.

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