I have been blessed to be a stay-at-home mom with our children since the day our daughter was born 19 years ago.
However, when she went to college last year, my husband, Hans, and I started talking about how I would pivot back into the workforce and what that would look like for our family.
I will be honest; I had a lot of fear and anxiety thinking about going back to work… That was until my husband said something very simple, yet very profound, that changed my perspective.
“Stop saying you are ‘going back’ to work. You have never stopped working!”
While I knew he was right, I struggled to see what I had been doing as valuable to anyone outside of my family.
It’s hard for me to think of changing diapers, checking homework, cooking dinners and doing laundry as significant work. Were these things necessary? Yes. But were they important and meaningful? I wasn’t so sure.
I viewed work as the world typically views work: Spending long days perhaps at an office or worksite, reporting to a boss, participating in annual performance reviews and advocating for a promotion. While all of those things make up our concept of “work,” that’s only a part of it.
After hearing what my husband said, I knew I needed to go back to the Bible to better understand and remind myself of how God views work.
Here are a few verses that I came across:
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might. (Ecclesiastes 9:10)
Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth. (Proverbs 10:4)
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord and not for people… It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. (Colossians 3:23-24)
Didn’t my time as a stay-at-home mom pass God’s litmus test?
So, why was I discrediting it?
These verses reminded me that the metrics God uses to judge work are not based on a company name, job title, or the size of a year-end bonus.
Work hard at whatever our hands are doing, be diligent and not lazy, and do all things for His glory. These are the standards He wants us to live by. And if you would like to learn more about how God views work, sign up for Building your Finances God’s Way, a financial discipleship study that will show you what the Bible says and how you can practically apply it to your life.
Ultimately, I found God’s heart in Ephesians 2:10.
“We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we should walk in them.”
God created all of us with unique abilities, and He wants us to develop those fully to accomplish His purpose in our lives.
Significance and dignity can be found in any job, as long as we are using our God-given talents to further His Kingdom.
I loved every minute of being a stay-at-home mom, and I count myself blessed to have been able to spend those years taking care of my children and family.
Now that I am shifting into working outside of the home, I pray the verses I’ve shared will continue to guide my actions and decisions going forward. Regardless of the career path you’re on or stage of life you’re in, I pray they will also encourage honest reflection on your view of work. Let us align ourselves with God first to bring glory and honor to Him in all that we do.
Meredith Kunzke, Contributing Writer