Originally published May 25, 2007
“I need to work to keep my identity”. If that’s not a load of garbage, I don’t know what is. Excuse my rather blunt appraisal of what too many of us have bought. My identity is not in where I work or what I do. It’s in Jesus Christ as my Saviour. Plain and simple. Nothing else. So, if someone needs something to define her identity, then she needs a whole lot more than a job.
I work. I have my own business. I don’t make any excuses for it. I’d rather be home with my children full time, but my husband and I do the best we can to balance a few days of work with family life. But is my identity in my business? Absolutely not. I don’t work for me at all…with the notable exception that I go to the bathroom by myself.
So, before any mother gets a job or keeps the job she has, she needs to seriously consider why she is working and how it feeds her sense of self worth. I may not get a lot of stimulating conversation from my young children, but I get a lot of affirmation from them for just being with them. That is better than any kudos for meeting a deadline or helping a boss that is only using me to further his or her own agenda.
I have a neighbor who just died from cancer. She was in her 70s, and I’ve only known her for the few years she lived next to us. I don’t know that she ever worked. Even as I sat with her the day before she went to be with the Lord, she spoke of her family. She was a wonderful person, and my fond memories of her will be of her beautiful yard and her gracious smile. That’s the legacy I want to leave my family and friends. Not of rushing off to work every day.
My husband and I constantly work to simplify our life to need as little extra income from my job as possible. We save as much as we can because when the day comes that I cannot keep the right balance between work and family, then my family will most certainly take top priority.
So, if you work, think about why. Keep your perspective on who you are in Christ. Spend as much time as possible with your family, and as little time as possible on a job. Nothing else will matter in the light of eternity.