Wednesday, October 12, 2011

a contented woman (paradox?). part one.

Two thoughts popped into my brain when I was considering the lies that women have been told over the past century.  There have been many lies, but I was focusing on two.  One, in the 40s-50s that said that women couldn't and shouldn't go to school (unless it was to get a degree in home economics, or fill a feminine role (ie: nurse/teacher etc.), and two, present time, that tells us that we HAVE to get a degree, or at least a career to feel fully content.

Both of these are on either side of a pendulum, and I'm suggesting a balance.  I think perhaps some women should go to school, and some women shouldn't, some should work in fast paced careers, and some should rear children.  Another thought I had, when considering these lies, was that woman have been in the same role for thousands of years, do you really think we had it wrong for that long?  Yes, I do believe there was oppression in some cases, but can we honestly say that all women being forced into the work force has helped our families, our homes, or our countries?  That's a big statement, I'll take a few steps back.

A lot, but not all women are natural carers.  We care for our spouses/boyfriends, our children, and really when it comes down to it, would do anything for them, therefore, whatever we do, it's often in support of the people we love, for example, if we're working, it's to pay for the families lifestyle, or if we're not working, it's so that we can raise the children.  Is this true?  Perhaps it is, or perhaps it might have been.  Nowadays, we've fallen under the belief that we need to "find ourselves," we need to know our "purpose," then we find jobs to fit that "identity" and are supposed to live long, prosperous, contented lives.

This really is a lot to think of, but the purpose of this series of posts, is to really find contented women, and see where it is that they find contentment.  I hope that in searching for this, we find where contentment generally is, and how to get there.  I think most of us would admit that we're not living in a time where contentment is really encouraged.

So, I've asked several women to answer a set of questions, and over the next few posts I'll be sharing the results of my research.  I really want to interview women of different beliefs, ages, and lifestyle choices. I'm really excited to see the outcome!

 Before I get to researching the results of the answers I've received, I want to leave you with one more thing to think about.  The woman that God wants us to be, the woman described in Proverbs 31, is not a one dimensional woman.  She doesn't just stay home, nor does she just work.  In fact it has been speculated that perhaps this "woman" is really a portrait of several different strong women.  The point is, however, that this woman (or women) is hardworking, provides for family, earns money, runs several businesses, and thinks for herself.  To stay home isn't to say that you're going to live forever attached to your couch watching OPRAH.  I'll leave you with Proverbs 31:10-31, what do you think about the woman described?

The Wife of Noble Character
 10 [b]A wife of noble character who can find?
   She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
   and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
   all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
   and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
   bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
   she provides food for her family
   and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
   out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
   her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
   and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
   and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
   and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
   for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
   she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
   where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
   and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
   she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
   and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
   and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
   her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
   but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
   but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
   and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Perhaps the 50s didn't have it right, and we still don't now. A contented woman, who can find?  Let's see.


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