Summer Book Club: 3 Things You Need to Know About Work

"Should women work?"

Maybe you've heard that question asked. Maybe you've asked it yourself. But we've got a better question. In fact, we've got four:

  • How do I choose which work receives the most time and attention at this stage in my life?
  • Am I giving my home the focus and priority God wants it to have?
  • Am I determining the value of my work based on earthly or heavenly economics?

And, most importantly (drumroll please):

  • What is God's view of work?

I'll answer that big question soon, but first, mind taking a little quiz? (Don't worry, everyone gets an A for effort). This comes straight out of session 6 from True Woman 201: Interior Design. In fact, you may have already taken this quiz if you are following along in the Lies Young Women Believe Summer Book Club.

Do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

  1. It's important for a woman to feel fulfilled in her chosen work. Agree or Disagree?
  2. A successful woman has a successful career. Agree or Disagree?
  3. A married woman needs to have a back-up plan for financial independence. Agree or Disagree?
  4. Menial and/or trivial work is a waste of a woman's potential. Agree or Disagree?
  5. The goal of work is to get enough money to retire from work. Agree or Disagree?
  6. Economics plays the biggest factor in work decisions. Agree or Disagree?
  7. The value of work is determined by how much money the worker gets paid. Agree or Disagree?
  8. It's a valid option for a husband to stay home with the kids if the wife earns more. Agree or Disagree?

Getting the Answers Right

If you are a Type A achiever like me, you want me to pass along the right answers at this point so you can give yourself a gold star. But I'm not interested in telling you what to think. I'm interested in teaching you how to think. Specifically, I want to give you practice in lining up your thinking with God's Word.

Work does not primarily exist for the purpose of financial gain. Its primary purpose is to glorify God.

Which brings us back to the most important question about work: What is God's view of work?

Nancy and Mary answer that question beautifully in session 6 of True Woman 201. I'm going to pass their wise words on to you. Here are three things the Bible teaches about work.

1. Work was created to put the nature and character of God on display

Leonardo da Vinci once said, "Make your work to be in keeping with your purpose." The first thing you need to know about work is that it exists because we've been created in the image of the great worker, God. We work because He works. Work is a God-ordained activity. Honest, diligent, attentive, productive, innovative, creative, faithful, fruitful, conscientious, hard work bears witness to God's nature and character.

Work does not primarily exist for the purpose of financial gain (though we may get paid). Its primary purpose is to glorify God. "Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God" (1 Cor. 10:31). So the question, when weighing work options, is not which option will make you the most money or be the most satisfying or interesting—but which will bring God the most glory.

2. All legitimate work is an extension of God's work.

Medical work is an extension of the work of the God who heals. Construction work is an extension of the God who builds. Design work is an extension of the work of the God who creates. Tidying a room reflects the work of the God who brings order to chaos. Rocking a screaming baby reflects the God who comforts. Cooking a meal reflects His work of providing our daily bread. All legitimate work (work that's not illegal or immoral)—whether it's paid or unpaid—has value insofar as it is done for the glory of God.

3. Your work has eternal significance.

No legitimate work undertaken for the glory of God is menial or meaningless. Hard physical labor wasn't beneath the dignity of the Son of God. Jesus worked as a carpenter for about seventeen years and only about three years doing itinerant ministry. Carpentry was a lowly, ill-paying profession. Yet Jesus was doing God's work when pounding a nail just as much as He was doing it when preaching on the hillside—because He was doing what God wanted Him to do when God wanted Him to do it.

What matters in eternity is that you are faithful here on earth with the resources, responsibilities, and relationships God has entrusted to you.

What you're doing is not "just a job" or a series of insignificant, repetitive tasks. Before you even existed, God uniquely, purposefully designed your gifts and abilities. He determined that you would do work for His glory. Your work matters to God. It has eternal kingdom significance. What matters in eternity is that you are faithful here on earth with the resources, responsibilities, and relationships God has entrusted to you.

When you work—whether at home, in the church or community, or in the marketplace—you're ultimately working for the eternal paycheck.

Think It Through

  • Do these truths change any of your answers to the quiz above?
  • Where do you work now?
  • What job do you hope to have some day?
  • Does answering the question "What is God's view of work?" change your future plans?

About the Author

Erin Davis

Erin Davis is married to her high school sweetheart, Jason, and together they parent four energetic boys on their small farm in the midwest. She is the author of more than a dozen books and Bible studies, the content manager for Revive Our Hearts, and a host of the Grounded videocast. You can hear her teach on The Deep Well with Erin Davis podcast.