Carolyn McCulley is the consummate modern woman—author, business woman, public speaker and entrepreneur. So you can bet I took notice when she wrote in a recent True Woman blogpost, “Over the years, I’ve talked to many women about whether or not they should pursue a career. My answer is a qualified no.” I held my breath for a moment until she answered her own question, “So should women work? Absolutely!”
I have to agree with McCulley’s assessment that our modern idea of career is a self-centered one. “It’s ultimately about self-fulfillment and self-definition—how you are defined by what you do.” Although I desire both of my own girls to find meaningful, fulfilling work to do in their lives, I have never desired their chief identification to come from a “career.”
McCulley echoes my heart for my girls in my wish that they will spend their lives in God-honoring and God-glorifying occupations, “Women should work and work hard every day. As Christ-following women, the Bible calls us to work for the glory of God. But the location of where we work is neither the definition nor the measure of our productivity.
“We may be wives or mothers, but as important as these are, they are roles that end in this life. We continue on as children of God and sisters to those who have been rescued by Christ. We may work in highly esteemed professions or we may not be paid for our daily labors. Those roles are not our identities, either.”
McCulley would challenge women to find their identities through the many opportunities God gives them in their lives. Certainly we are responsible for the use of our talents and interests, which we may or may not be paid for, but we are equally answerable for our relationships, our children, our time, and the myriad of tasks, urgent or mundane, that fill our days and years. “Whatever God gives us in terms of relationships and opportunities, He wants multiplied for the sake of His kingdom.”
Our career, if we must, is to be good investors of these opportunities and to steward them to the glory of God. And that is no mean life-work.