Sunday, 2 December 2012

Responsible Single: Make Some Money

I'm going to get into a topic in this post that can be controversial in some Christian circles and that is young women getting jobs, or developing some other means of making an income.  Some Christians believe that women belong only in the home and should not be in the workplace.  I don't entirely agree.  I will share in this post what I have done in the past five years and what encouragement I have to offer single young women.

When I was 15, I started babysitting and this was my first small, somewhat consistent stream of income.  With that money, I completed a year of my secondary education and put myself through Driver's Ed.  From there, I had a couple short term jobs, before I got a part-time job at a local Christian bookstore where I was for almost three years. This year, I have taken on an administrative position (that came with a lot of non-administrative tasks) at a solar company that has stretched me to the limits at times.

Why should a single young woman go out and work?  I see several benefits to this.  First of all, it's not good to be idle.  Idleness breeds discontentment and sometimes unhealthy habits in our lives.  I know at times when I haven't worked much, even if it initially seems fun to spend most of my days at home, I quickly become depressed and restless.

Second, I think it's good to learn to meet your own needs.  In my home, I had to learn to do this much earlier than most young people, as my last paragraph indicates.  Through my small, part-time minimum wage income, I got my full driver's license, paid my insurance, purchased and maintained my own car, paid room and board, and paid for my other needs and wants.  I learned how to take care of myself.  I learned the value of work and money.  I learned what it takes to pay the bills and make ends meet.  I'm so glad I had the opportunity to learn this responsibility when I did.

Third, I believe it's good for young women going into marriage to understand the value of work and money.  So even if you desire to be a housewife, I think it's good to have some work experience behind you.  I fear that if a young women doesn't have this experience, she will not value what her husband does in efforts to provide for their family.  (And yes, I believe it is his responsibility to provide.)  She will not understand how difficult it sometimes is to stay faithful at a job and make sure there's money to meet expenses.  I fear she will in turn take advantage of what he does and what he brings home.

I said in my introduction that I would be honest about what I perceive to be disadvantages to the topics I cover, so I will take a moment to address that.  One of my fears for myself is that in working, I have become so independent, and so used to providing for my needs, I will have a hard time letting someone else do it for me.  Not that I would have a hard time staying at home while my husband works, but I fear that I will not feel like I deserve the money he works for.  I think I may at times feel guilty about spending our income on things beyond necessities that I want because I don't earn it.  This may not be a challenge for a young woman whose needs have always been met by her parents.

As I mentioned in my introduction to this series, the Proverbs 31 Woman was an entrepreneur.  She was a wife, mom, and managed her own business, making and selling goods.  She made money, she purchased land.  She was competent in financial and business matters.  If you as a young woman see an opportunity to pursue your own business venture, or be a part of a family business, I would encourage you to take it.  It's still a desire of mine.  Finding a job can be hard, but starting your own business is harder, and not everyone is cut out for it.  But I definitely see it as something that can be very beneficial when you're single or married.

Having said all this, I know it can be difficult to find a good job, especially if you want something in a good environment.  Depending on your education, skills, and geographic location, it can be even more difficult.  But I encourage you to make an effort.  You don't have to work full-time.  Although I do work full-time now, I do prefer to have more time at home where I can cook, bake, study, pursue my writing further and the like.  I definitely miss that often about my last job.  If possible, find something where you can not only use, but grow your skills and talents, a job where there are new opportunities in sight.  It may be hard at times, but it will prove to be much more rewarding.

In the end, the goal should be to be productive, to learn how to provide for your own needs and to understand the value of work and money.  I hope that whatever you pursue, you can learn, grow, and enjoy it all at the same time.

Next Post: Learn to Drive

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