He Said-She Said: The Career or Child-Rearing Choice
- Wednesday, March 05, 2008
EDITOR'S NOTE: He Said-She Said is written by two longtime friends and fellow singles. Each column features a question from a Crosswalk.com reader with responses from a male and female point of view. If you’ve got a question about anything related to singleness, please click here to submit (selected questions will be posted anonymously).
QUESTION: I really want to start a family and not have “child care” rear my children. A lot of women I know are working professionals, and I've always thought that they love their careers and wouldn't want to put them on pause to start families. Because of this, my guy friends and I never ask them out. There's just no appropriate way to ask someone before getting involved with her what her thoughts on this subject are. One female friend recently told me that, contrary to my thinking, many professional single women would love to trade in their careers for a family. Is this true?
HE SAID: I, too, would like to marry a woman who wants to (jointly) raise our children at home and not send them to child care. I used to think of “working professionals” as having the priority of “work first, family second.” As a result, there were times that I did not pursue a person based upon that notion.
What I now realize is that I missed out on getting to know a lot of godly professional women who do want to take an active parenting role as mothers someday, as well as those who want to stay in the work force. The women who want to be “stay-at-home moms” have just chosen to pursue a career over waiting at their parent’s home for “Mr. Right” to show up.
For me, my choices were an attempt to not put myself (or someone else) in a position to be hurt or disappointed emotionally. I took the “safe” route when it came to meeting new people whom I didn’t “perceive” to have the same desires as myself.
I acted as if I had a “gift of observation,” the ability to look at someone and know who they were, what they liked, what they thought, and what they had planned. However, the “gift” was probably just a blend of pride, a lack of confidence, some ignorance and a little naivety. Who was I to think that I could know what a woman thought?
Many of my single female friends, who are working professionals, have confided in me that they would like to have children someday and raise them at home. And they don’t understand why guys won’t ask them out. (I addressed some related issues in a previous article, “what men really think about successful, independent women.")
It’s natural to want to know the probable outcome before entering into a situation. We want to be on the winning side of a sporting event, profitable in a financial decision, and successful in a relationship. Yet, a relationship is not a one-sided proposition. It involves two people who share their hopes, dreams, desires, and then come together as one.
King Lemuel shares what a wife of noble character should be like in proverbs 31:
- She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day’s work (v 15).
- She goes out to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard (v 16).
- She is energetic and strong, a hard worker (v 17).
- She watches for bargains; her lights burn late into the night (v 18).
- Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber (v 19).
- She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy (v 20).
- She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs with no fear of the future (v 25).
- When she speaks, her words are wise, and kindness is the rule when she gives instructions (v 26).
- She carefully watches all that goes on in her household and does not have to bear the consequences of laziness (v 27).
These are all traits that a person is not just born with; they are developed. It takes time to learn and grow into a person of this kind of character. These characteristics can be gained by being a working professional.
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