I have always thought that being financially independent is an important part of upholding the dignity as a woman. Being financially independent, especially in country with high costs of living, requires constant academic pursuit and somehow sets a career-driven mentality.
I am wondering whether my priorities are right?
Are my priorities compatible with Christian living?
Am I less Jesus-centered because of my priorities?
How to be let God take precedence in this kind of environment?
Any real life experience, books or bible verses to share?
Maybe you can find some inspiration in some of the contributions. I personally think that each of the opposing views have merit. As always, before personal interpretation, it is important to consider the Church’s guidance (remember - they offer guidance in this matter while recognizing exceptions).
working hard isn’t a sin in fact you should have a life and do what you want, work if you want, have a family if you want, i tend to hold true to sunday most of the time although im not a saint and do break that rule.
ACTS 20:35 is good
Jesus tought that you should pay your taxes and be good hard worker, and himself was a carpenter, and nothing in the bible says you CANT work
some other good verses are
3 And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn. 24 And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful? 25 And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him?
26 How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him? 27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: 28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
By all means work. Work hard enough so that you have a roof over you, food in you, clothes on you and shoes under you. But never let work come between you and God. But don’t forget your God given role. Men can become priests, and women can become mothers. The jobs are equally Important. if your called to be a mother, then that should trump work, given that you had a husband to do the financial supporting.
**Only you can answer the questions you posed. ** Is your career focus taking you away from a God-centered life? Is your career focus moving you farther away from marriage and family? Creating barriers to the Faith? Or is it creating opportunities for the Faith?
Something is bothering you, or else you would not have posted the thread. What is really bothering you?
My wife had a similar thought process. She is an educated women with a degree. We talked about her being a stay at home mom. She decided that she would go back to work for a short time after our first child. After about 3 weeks into her 6 week leave I told her that I had arraigned for my mother to care for our child while we were working. She told me in a crying voice that she cannot leave our daughter for work and she did not know how to tell me. It is amazing how marriage and children can affect your views in life. Anyways, she now stays at home with two little ones and we have never regretted it. In fact I would not have it any other way.
The problem with today’s society is that women have been hoodwinked into exchanging something eternal for something that will perish. Money, a house, careers, will all pass away; but being a mother means bringing eternal beings into existence and raising them up to love and honor God is the true fulfillment of Christian womanhood. But the key it so listen to God’s voice and discern your vocation. Always remember that the language of God is* silence *. Study the life of the saints, and read the New Testament.
I would recommend you sit back and watch the following interview of Alice von Hildebrand, who addresses many of the questions you ask. She gave this interview last month:
If you are single then i don’t see anything wrong with it. It is only normal under this situation to desire to be independent, once you find the right man and start a family then this of course will be your priority as his
This says something about the country we live in. It is not enough to work hard; one feels one must work hard to compete for one of the “right” jobs. The country would fall apart without all the people who are doing the “not right” jobs, but those jobs aren’t enough for basic family security? Not even the “haves” are necessarily spared in this system. There are so many more people who want a “have” job than there are jobs of that nature that it takes constant competition to obtain one and keep it.
Mother Theresa commented once that among the poor, those who were not academically gifted were the poorest.* Their* hard work won’t pull them out of poverty. It takes more than intelligence to reach academic achievement and achievement at a professional job, but one has to wonder if the current wage gap is just. If a professional could not do their job without people doing manual labor, is the professional’s labor really worth five times as much? Yet they have a lot of money invested in their education. Others invest lots of money in college degrees, but do not see an income return. Instead, they are saddled with debt. Has education become a racket by which people are convinced to spend lots of money with the expectation of becoming a “have”–sometimes a totally unfounded expectation, based on what they’re being taught–instead of a “have not”?
This doesn’t even treat the problem of which kinds of work “merit” basic health care for the worker and their family. Suffice it to say that I think if a person works 60 hours a week, they shouldn’t be wiped out because someone in their family has health problems. Yet isn’t this another reason that people feel they need to be “career-driven”?
Right now, it seems prudent that those women who can do so ought to try at the very least to obtain an education or career history that could get them a job with family health benefits, should their family need that. Otherwise, if their husband is rendered unable to work, how will the family survive? At that point, the wife’s willingness to work won’t be enough.
This is true, but there is far more to it than that. Today’s society requires more than work to meet a family’s basic needs, which is work that parents must see as part of prudently discharging the duties of their vocation to marriage.
Society has gotten used to compensating workers so that one worker per family is not always enough–particularly with regards to health care coverage. A husband whose career doesn’t provide health insurance is a man who is one disaster away from having a family in poverty.
I think Catholics don’t realize how much the issue of health insurance keeps many women from staying at home with their children, when that is what they would very much like to do. Many women are in careers such as teaching and nursing, which tend to be secure jobs that come with health benefits. Their husbands, meanwhile, may make enough to support the family, but at occupations without health care benefits or else subject to periodic lay-offs or job transitions. It is not enough to be able to get by on one salary; there must also be a salary with health benefits attached and a very high degree of job security.
Live the Christ-centered life you’ve laid out for yourself and seek real life, face-to-face counseling if you hit stumbling blocks.
Seeking views on “a woman’s place” put forth by anonymous Internet strangers is likely to be unproductive spiritually and emotionally. We don’t know you. We don’t know your family, friends, finances, culture, etc., etc. There are too many of us who would place Singapore between Switzerland and Somalia on a map. We’re not in a position to help.
Well, this thread is turning into a financial thread. I would suggest that the fact that medical coverage is presumed by the medical profession (at least until advised otherwise) is a reason that many preventative measures/treatments are practiced the way they are. (At least in the United States; I can’t speak for Singapore.) In other words, such issues are somewhat circular.
To the OP:
There is nothing intrinsically wrong with your goals and way of life. I would just point out that good things can conflict with other good things and when they do you have to make choices. And those choices will influence your opportunities to make more choices.
There are people reading this thread who are concerned that you are choosing career and financial security over the opportunity to be happy as a wife and mother. I have no idea if such concern is warranted. No one reading this can know what the future will hold for you. That is why your prayers for guidance for *your *life are so important.
I think that there is a lack of faith in Divine Providence. When God sends children, He also provides for them, provided we make Christ the Lord of our home and place our life in His hands. Christ Himself made the promise.
“…And if the grass of the field, which is today, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, God doth so clothe: how much more you, O ye of little faith? Be not solicitous therefore, saying, What shall we eat: or what shall we drink, or wherewith shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the heathens seek. For your Father knoweth that you have need of all these things. Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you…” Matthew 6:26-34
The problem in this world, especially in western countries, is that people have been ushered into an addiction to consumerism which has developed a dependancy on worrying about the future. For many, the mentality is that, unless they are enjoying luxuries that kings a few centuries could only dream of, they automatically think they are poor and suffering. Unfortunately this often makes Christians lose focus of the very purpose of their brief existence of earth. Detachment from the things of the world is a grace one should pray for. But one need only think about the hardships people had to live through not so long ago, before the invention of automatic flushing toilets, electricity, television sets, etc.
For some the thought of not having healthcare benefits is an unbearable cross which they do not think they could possibly carry. But I think at the heart of it all is* fear of the future*, instead of trusting in God’s providence. God will always provide the things we need, but not necessarily the things we want.
foolishly failing to avail oneself of opportunities God sets in front of one
There is an old joke about a man who, sitting on his roof during a flood, goes to his death “trusting in God’s providence,” after previously refusing offers of rescue from a rowboat and a helicopter. When he dies and asks God why God didn’t save him, God said, “Well, I sent you a rowboat and a helicopter - what more did you want?”
In the situation we are discussing, God may provide, but He may provide in the form of a secure job for the mother with medical coverage.
As other posters have said, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with having a career and being financially independent, whether before or during marriage, whether before or during motherhood. Also, only you can truly answer these questions for yourself, but it couldn’t hurt to use a trusted friend or family member as a sounding board.
I think that you are asking the right questions, and as long as you are willing to be intellectually honest and react accordingly if you discover your priorities are shifting away from center, you should be fine. (This is where it is particularly handy to have someone nearby who knows you and loves you, but be careful - some people have ulterior motives that can be somewhat difficult to see until it’s too late.)
It also helps to ask yourself - “Under what conditions would I walk away from it all?” That’s probably your best clue as to what your priorities are. But also keep in mind that at your stage of life, it’s hard to know exactly how the principle of prioritizing your family will express itself in your life.
For example, I was a stay-at-home mom for a year before my baby and I were homeless. As enjoyable as that was :rolleyes: long story short, I am the breadwinner for my family with a secure job with great family benefits, including medical coverage, (but demanding hours and travel for some projects), while my husband stays home (different husband than the one I had at the beginning of this paragraph). For me, that’s what prioritizing my family looks like - I am making sure that my kids will always have food on the table and a roof over their heads.
That is a false statement and it does not apply to women only, it applies to everybody. The dream of financial independence is just a dream that ruined a lot of lives because it is truly impossible to achieve and thus can and has become an obsession for many.
Being willing to work is a really good attitude and having enough money to cover our needs and some wants is not a bad goal. Just make sure that you do not become a slave of your wants.
There’s nothing wrong with women having a job or a career; the point is that a lack of faith in Divine Providence lead many to live in fear of the future. As your old joke so eloquently explains, God provides in the time of need to those who place themselves in His hands. Though it doesn’t mean you won’t have to knock, to seek, and to ask for it.
Sadly, most Catholics in the married state are failing to have larger families out of fear of the future or fear of the cross…
While I think you have a point about fearing the future, there is nothing sinister about planning for certain reasonably common future contingencies. I would argue that in most cases, such planning should be interpreted as prudence (which is a virtue) rather than fear.