You know the scenario in which Daddy goes to work to provide, and Mommy stays at home with the kids. You have even heard of people who claim that this is the Biblical™ Will of God for all Men and Women. (If you read this blog before, you probably know that I don’t think this is Biblical.)
Have you ever noticed the way they speak of work? Women’s paid work is seen as selfish. Women’s unpaid work is not recognized as work. Men’s paid work is seen as an effort to get money for their families.
Work does not, in complementarian doctrine, get described as a mission, as a way of giving love, as help to society, as a witness to the world. The contents of what men and women do outside the home seldom get discussed by complementarians. When it does, it is often in the class of this quote:
“If a woman’s job involves a good deal of directives toward men, they will need to be non-personal in general. If they don’t, men and women won’t flourish in the long run in that relationship without compromising profound biblical and psychological issues.
Conversely, if a woman’s relationship to a man is very personal, then the way she offers guidance and influence will need to be more non-directive. My own view is that there are some roles in society that will strain godly manhood and womanhood to the breaking point…” – John Piper to a woman who wants to be a police officer, in a sound clip at Desiring God.
In this type of work discussion, people are afraid that certain jobs may take people out of their pink and blue boxes.
There is more to work than that.
Whether you are a truck driver or teacher, a nail technician or a nuclear scientist, a librarian or a landscape artist, a short order cook or a stationery store owner, you only get paid for one reason. This reason applies to both owners of their own businesses as well as wage earners. You get paid because someone believes your work is worth something. You gave your boss or customer something they wanted, and they paid you for it.
We should put our Christianity into the things we do, and our jobs or careers are no different. The purpose of your job – whether you are a man or a woman – is not just about earning an income, it is living out our gifts and serving the world. Maybe this is another place where complementarian doctrine falls short