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Why We Like Hard Working Women

By: Kristen Clark

“How much is your allowance?” My snobby 12 year old neighborhood friend asked me. She was at it again. Always trying to one-up me.

She didn’t have any siblings and I had seven. Take a quick guess at whose allowance was bigger.

I stood there brainstorming for a good comeback. I was in a perpetual state of competition with this girl. How was I going to tell her that I actually didn’t get any allowance money.

“Well..” I slowly said. Then I had it. With my chin raised I delivered my speech. “My parents don’t give me an allowance because they say when I grow up to be an adult nobody is going to give me free handouts. I do chores at home because I’m a part of the family and we all help each other out. That’s how families should work.”

Stunned. She didn’t have anything to say.

That was that.

Thankfully I’ve learned how to be more tactful since then. Most of the time. Seriously though, my parents didn’t give me or my siblings an allowance as kids. They taught us to work hard for the benefit and good of the entire family.

Nobody was going to pay me for washing my own dishes in the future…so why should they? That was their thinking. I was allowed to do “extra” chores to earn money, but the basic chores came as a requirement as contributing members in the family.

My parents were instilling hard work ethics in me from a young age. They knew real life was hard and wanted to prepare me in small ways. And I’m really grateful they did.

Work was God’s idea.

Working hard was God’s idea from the beginning. In fact, He introduced the idea of “work” before sin came into the world. Right after God created Adam, He put him in the garden and told him to take care of it. “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it (2:15).”

Next God gave Adam the hard job of naming all of the animals (Gen. 2:19). Can you imagine how long that must have taken? “I’ll call you…hmmmm…Anteater. Perfect.” Adam lived in a perfect world where hard work was central to his existence.

Then, after Eve was created God said to both of them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Gen. 1:28).

Adam and Eve were given dominion over the entire earth and called to work hard on the land.

Men and women are both called to work hard.

From the beginning of time God created men and women to be hard workers. He created you and me to be hard workers too.

Throughout the Bible we see glimpses of women doing all sorts of hard work. We see everything from a shepherdess (Rachel), midwives (Shiprah and Puah), tentmaker (Priscilla), field worker (Ruth), seller of purple (Lydia), and others.

The Bible is clearly on board with women doing a variety of hard work.

And so are we. These women worked very hard…probably harder than most of us will ever work.

Our modern culture also encourages women to be ambitious and hard working. However, our culture encourages us to work hard for very different reasons. The purpose and motivation for hard working women in the Bible was very different than most modern women today.

Almost without exception, the godly hard working women of the Bible worked hard for two reasons:

1. To glorify God.
2. To serve their families.

Their purpose for working hard wasn’t to exalt themselves. It wasn’t to hang their achievements on a wall. It wasn’t about becoming “something.” It was rooted in serving others.

It was centered in loving their families.

Sadly, our culture encourages us to be a very different kind of hard working woman. They encourage us to “get out there and work” so we can build our independence. Become self sufficient. Advance our name. Further our personal career. Make it to the top.

The motivation to be a hard working woman is now focused on something different. Self.

Be an ambitious woman for the right reasons.

The Proverbs 31 woman is the poster child for the go-getter woman. Although she never really existed, her example was written in the Bible to show every reader what a God-Defined woman should look like.

Mrs. Proverbs 31 was one ambitious gal! Just reading about her makes me dizzy. She was smart, industrious, business savvy, wise, loving, generous, talented, etc. etc. etc. To name a few. She worked hard from sunrise to sunset and long into the night.

She’s an incredible example to us of a hard working woman.

She worked inside the home and outside the home doing various tasks. However, her work had very little to do with her.

As you read Proverbs 31 you quickly see why she worked so hard. Everything she did was for one purpose. To bless and serve her family. To bring honor to God. Everything she did was centered around being a godly wife, mother and excellent homemaker. Her family and home were truly the center of her focus.

Her work wasn’t about her. It wasn’t about her career. It wasn’t about her independence. It was about honoring God and loving her family.

We need to take serious notice of the godly women in the Bible.

Most Christian girls say they “admire” the Proverbs 31 woman, but very few work hard to become like her. As women, we will never glorify God in our work if it’s all about us. We need to be smart about what we do. We need to plan ahead. We need to prepare now to become hard working, others focused, gospel centered, Christ honoring women.

Do you work hard?

Are you a hard working ambitious woman? If so, what is your motivation for working hard? What is your motivation for getting an education? Are you advancing your personal skills for the purpose of advancing your own name?

I pray whatever you do now and in the future will be centered around hard work.

Not hard work for yourself though. Hard work for the sake of honoring God and blessing those around you.

If God blesses you with marriage someday, I pray you will be a hard working wife. I pray you will bless your husband with many skills and talents as the Proverbs 31 woman did. I pray you will serve him and work hard to make your home a priority.

If God blesses you even further with children, I pray you will be a hard working mom. A mom whose focus and purpose for working is founded on loving and serving her family. A mom who nurtures and loves the lives inside her home before she pursues anything else. I pray you will become a mom who faithfully teaches your children about God.

 Do we like hard working women?

I think you know the answer to that question. Yes. Yes. Yes! We love hard working women because God loves them. Being hard workers was part of God’s design for us.

As I close this post, I can’t encourage you enough to seriously evaluate what you’re doing in your life right now. Ask yourself why you’re doing it. What is your long term goal? Does it align with God’s version of a successful, hard working woman?

Are you working hard for your own name or for God’s glory? Are you investing energy and time in your family? Will your current pursuits set you up to be a godly woman like Mrs. Proverbs 31? Will your future husband and children rise up and call you blessed? I hope so!

The work you do is extremely important. So make sure it has eternal value.

PS: I know this blog might bring up a lot of questions in your mind about women and work. I can’t address everything in one short blog post, so please ask your questions in the comment section below.

Photo credit: www.flickr.com | Robert Bejil Productions

Girl wearing skirt. GirlDefined.

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  • Haley

    Great post! You made me think of something to say when other girls say, “so you’re against women working?”and they get all feminist. I know that feminism was good to start with, getting women’s rights, but it seems the female society has gone on a power trip and did the same thing when Rosie the Riveter came out. Feminism (the bad part of it) has sadly revitalized in the past few years and people are admiring it without knowing all the behind-the-scenes stuff. Now, when girls/women (yes, even as a teen, worldly women don’t understand my conservative Christian logic) ask me, “so you don’t like women to work? You’re so sexist” I can say,”well, I believe a woman has her place in marriage and family but no, I am not opposed to working women- they contribute a lot to society, but it’s just a matter of working because you want to help provide for a family or to serve God if you think your purpose is to work in a certain field, as long as it’s Godly.” Thank you Kristen, for this post and feel free to elaborate on or disagree with what I said. Have a great day 🙂

    • Elizabeth Williams

      Wow, those are good thoughts! I know what you mean, it’s like people think you’re a member of a cult or something just because you have certain beliefs lol

      • Haley

        Thanks Elizabeth! You’re so right on the way worldly people see us- it’s comical sometimes 🙂

    • Hey Haley! Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I’m so glad you found this post helpful. I agree with you, the feminist movement has caused a lot of confusion among modern women today. Most women used to find great joy and satisfaction in working hard to serve their children and husband. Now, being a excellent homemaker isn’t even viewed as a “job.” My prayer is that young women would see the pitfalls of choosing a job or type of work that is self-centered and me-focused. We need to change the minds and hearts of Christian women to view non-career oriented jobs as successful as well. There are MANY opportunities to work hard for God’s glory without abandoning our families. Like the Proverbs 31 woman, I pray we find that balance again.

      • Haley

        I feel the same way! The fact that being a homemaker isn’t considered a job is sad to me. Homemakers work 24/7. Stay-at-home moms don’t get a break.. you can never quit your kids. You are bonded forever. It’s crazy. The harder you work as a Godly woman the less people consider what you do a job. I’m not saying that homemakers need recognition individually, just as a whole. They do a lot and I respect them.

  • Simply Searching

    What jobs would you recommend I aim for long term that would ultimately benefit my family and glorify God? I want to be a hard working woman now as well~ I just…have no idea where to start. I help around the house already–but I’m not sure where to go/what else to do from there.

    • Great questions! I always encourage young girls to think carefully about what type of education, job, skills, etc. they pursue as a single girl. Since most girls do get married and have children, doesn’t it make sense for us to pursue a job/skill that will aide and compliment our future role?

      For example: If a girl desires marriage and kids in her future, but chooses to pursue a 10 year medical school route what will happen? She will have loads of debt and will be forced to work form her doctors office (away from family) for the next 5-10 years to pay off her student loans. Once the loans are payed off, she probably wont want to “stay home” or invest a lot of time in homemaking because she will be too far into her career. After all, it did take her 15-20 years to get there.

      See what I’m saying? Instead of locking yourself down with a demanding career and loads of debt, choose to pursue something that can easily transition into marriage and family.

      For example: Musical talents (you can teach from home), online business, author/writer, blogger, selling something like Mary Kay or Pampered Chef, book editor, salon skills (you can cut hair/give highlights from home), etc. The options are endless…you just have to be creative. By choosing a skill or job that will easily transition into your future marriage, you will be one HUGE step ahead of the game. And you will never be faced with the tough question of choosing between your career or your kids.

      • Bea

        While I agree with 100% of what your mission is for young girls, I found it disheartening that you chose to pick on female physicians in a very stereotypical manner. As a Christian woman (who happens to be a physician) the path to being a doctor-while I agree is often not compatible with raising a family simultaneously-need not close the door to a girl who believes God is calling her into that ministry. Please be more careful and considerate with examples you chose provide. Teaching girls to honor God first, next their family and lastly other pursuits will look very different to many different people. It is God we beg to examine our hearts and motives and it is He we ultimately answer to regarding our life decisions. I do wholeheartedly appreciate your ministry!

  • Julia

    Thanks for this great post! The perspective is one I had never really looked at. This will definitely be the way I teach my daughter to think about her future career. Not only that, but it’s a great encouragement and reminder to me! Next year I will have all of my kids in school and am looking to go from a stay at home mom to a part time working mom. This viewpoint really affirms in my heart that whatever “job” I choose it has to be for the benefit of my family.

    Keep up the great work! You blog is inspirational and a blessing!

    • Thanks for stopping by Julia! Sounds like you have the right perspective about working hard for your family. 🙂

  • Elizabeth Williams

    This is a great post! It gives a great perspective on this issue. What’s so good about this one is that it’s a great follow-up to the last post and really clarifies some things. Also, on the last post, I commented but couldn’t exactly think of the right way to say what I was thinking. This post really summarizes exactly what I was trying to say! We should really check our heart and our motives with anything we do 🙂

    • Hey Elizabeth! Yes…this post was sort of designed to be a “follow up” to the last one. I’m so glad it summarize what you were trying to say. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • Hannah

    Amen!

  • Phoebe Saywell

    Thank you so much! I’m home educated so sometimes I find it hard to be motivated but when I read this, it motivates me to be God honouring, and that I will be diligent if I marry one day 😀 n

    • I am home schooled too!

      • Jo

        I am home schooled too! and my parents don’t give me allowances, either!

  • thehappygirl

    This is really motivating for me today! I’m striving every day to be more Christ-like and to follow the lovely example given in Proverbs 31!

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  • Nikole God’s child

    That’s cool my parents don’t/didn’t give us allowances either.
    At my Bible study we noticed that the proverbs 31 woman also has a influence on her community. It says her husband sits at the city gate where the city leaders sit. It wouldn’t mention that when talking about a woman unless it was a result of the woman’s work or words.

  • Thea

    Thank you for this article. I am a 17-year-old high school senior with plans to attend college after graduation. Depending on which school I will attend, I will major in Baking and Pastry Arts, Chemistry, or Food Science, but I realized over my high school years that I cannot jump into a career for my glory. I want God to choose my career so I can best glorify Him. I am looking to the whole “college option” with open eyes, and I plan on praying to Him more to see what career option is the best for Him to be praised.
    Thank you for your blogs regarding college and working. It has been a huge help.


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