So, everyone was mad at the president the other day.
I usually don’t pay attention to any political rants coming from any political source, whether it’s the president making the statements or the people all over social media who are roasting the president over the statements he’s made. Letting things bother you to the point of losing your marbles all over the place and becoming a shrieking harpy isn’t what Jesus intended for any of us. Give to Caesar what’s his, and go on living for God. Exactly.
But this. This, y’all! The president was telling women that staying at home is a waste!
Well, actually, that’s not what he said. What he said was that a woman who leaves the workforce to stay at home and then goes back to work at a lower salary than what she should be earning is a waste. Hurts the economy, makes women unequal, is a waste of a woman’s perfectly good education and brilliance, blah, blah, blah. Training up and educating women to simply be mothers and never earn a dime or, even worse, to have them go back later and earn far less than they could is a waste.
I kinda agree with him. Gasp! I know, right?
I agree with him because he’s right, at least in part. I was a straight A student all through high school. Most Likely to Succeed. Full academic scholarship to college. Cum laude with honors for my BA. Then, an MA in record time. Potential, potential, potential, all over the place. All that education!
And I’m using that fine education to cook, to clean, and to raise children. Things I could have done without ever stepping foot in a classroom.
What a waste! And I’ve heard the argument and made the argument myself that everything I learned prepared me to be a better example/teacher/mentor to my daughters, but I’m telling you, there’s no use at all for the majority of what I learned. Calculus. What was the point of that?! My fancy degrees, in a box somewhere, collecting dust. Yes, Mr. President, it is a waste. I’m not fulfilling the potential that was the expectation of all those years spent preparing for a career. You’re absolutely right on that. And this, staying at home with children? It costs a lot. Oh, wow. For now, forever. It costs something. I’ll never make what I could’ve made. I’ll never be who I could’ve been.
But I’m not a waste.
We’ve got to stop defining ourselves by a standard that God Himself doesn’t apply to us. Is my education wasted? Is my life wasted? Is my potential wasted? By the world’s standards, it sure does look like it. So when the president says it, speaking from our culture’s worldview, he’s absolutely right.
But by God’s standards, I’m not a waste. I believe it. I know it. I can attest to the certainty of it when I can share the truth of Christ with someone, when I can see His Word change lives, and when I can spend all of my days and all of my time telling my children about who He is.
And it does cost me. Praise God, it costs something to all four of us for me to be available all the time to the three people He’s entrusted to me. And it doesn’t look smart a lot of the time as we put numbers to it and consider how the rest of America lives and how we live (we love us some PB&J sandwiches around here, y’all!), and we can affirm that it costs something. And if something happens to Wes and I go back to work to provide for the girls, we’ll feel the cost again.
But it’s worth it to us. It’s our choice. It’s a cost we’re gladly paying, a sacrifice that we’ve made knowing that you can’t something for nothing.
We have to stop expecting the world to give validity to things that the world just doesn’t understand. And we have to stop getting our dander up when the world acts like the world, when men who judge success and value by a worldly standard fail to see any importance in a life set apart and lived for God alone. We have to stop asking for affirmation or permission to waste our brilliance and our potential when God has called us to something that doesn’t look smart by the world’s standards.
So, don’t be offended by what you thought he said. And don’t be offended by what he actually did say. Because he’s right, from a secular perspective. But I’m not living my life for secular purposes. And his words and the words of any man don’t have authority over God’s words and what God deems valuable, what God esteems as good, and what God redeems in our lives.
Look to God for affirmation. Not to man.
Look to God for affirmation. Not to man.