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Destructive Myth: A Woman Can Have It ALL

A truly good wife is the most precious treasure a man can find!
11 Her husband depends on her, and she never lets him down. Proverbs 31:10-11 (CEV)

And the Proverb goes on to say that this woman:

  • is good to her husband every day
  • makes her own clothes (and the cloth!)
  • gets up before daylight to cook for her family and the poor and needy
  • is a realtor who finds and negotiates the buying and selling of their home
  • is a hard-working farmer, growing her own food
  • stays up late at night working
  • does her own sewing, even winter parkas, and it’s all beautiful!
  • is a distributor of her sewing
  • strong (though she doesn’t have time to eat!)
  • graceful (even when sleep deprived)
  • cheerful about the future (if she doesn’t work herself to death!)
  • speaks sensibly and gives thoughtful advice (when does she have time to think!)
  • takes good care of her family and is never lazy (DUH!)
  • has children that praise her
  • a husband that says, “You are the best!” (no kidding!)

Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting,but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised.
Give her the reward of her labor, and let her works praise her at the city gates.
Proverbs 31:30-31 (HCSB)

nurseI was a young girl/woman in the 1960’s-70’s when Gloria Steinem and others began the modern feminist movement that began with the idea that women deserved equal pay and benefits for equal jobs and did not deserve to be sexually harassed in the process. Frankly, I didn’t need Ms. Steinem to tell me this as I thought it was common sense. When I entered the profession of medicine that was, and still is, male dominated, I did find that there was inequality and I did experience sexual harassment by doctors. But, again, I did not need Ms. Steinem or the U.S. Congress to write and pass laws to help me stop the sexual harassment. The inequality of pay continues to this day but I have found it on both sides of this pendulum swing with employers pressured and coerced to be “fair” because of sex instead of job performance.

The so-called revolution that began in the 1960’s has birthed a new generation of women who have been destructively deceived that they “can have it all.” I am writing today to speak the truth – we CANNOT have it all! No one can have a 50-60 hour/week profession, give their spouse and children the time and attention they need, and also spend time on your own spiritual and physical health that is required to allow you to do the rest of your life well and with joy.

Mom and her twinsI wish an older and wiser woman had told me in 1975 had told me what I now know to be the truth. Maybe I would not have spent the next 25 years mentally beating myself up because I couldn’t be the Super Woman that I thought I should be. I certainly was given enough t-shirts during those years to reinforce my belief!

The responsibilities and demands for my attention are too numerous to list here and our lists are certainly unique to each person. All of us, no matter our age, marital status and demands, should periodically assess our priorities in life. From this priority list, what are the top three? Those are the ones that I can chisel in stone and use as the standard for what is important and how I will manage the rest of the list. There are a finite number of hours in the day and to attempt to accept more tasks than can be accomplished is to experience frustration and failure in all aspects of my life instead of determining that some things will have to be released. I do not minimize the serious consideration and prayer that must go into this “reality check.” It requires me to let go and listen to the Spirit who is wiser and has a better view of my life than I do. I have to be flexible to allow changes as my life changes. It will also involve a discussion with my spouse about what I need to be healthy, what my spouse needs, and what our family needs to be healthy and how we can work together to do this. This discussion must also keep the reality of finite hours.

I believe the key to what I truly can have is in the ongoing conversation between myself and my Creator, myself and my spouse, and myself and who I really am. None of these are static relationships. They grow and change as my life progresses. I know a successful life when the priorities are set not by the “they” but by the we.



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