Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor
Volume IV, Issue XI
One's True Value isn't Reflected in Their Pay
"Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates." -- Proverbs 31:10-31
This week the 'other' Weekly News Magazine [click to read] tells us that women are increasingly outearning men and becoming the breadwinners. History tells us that the industry and influence of women have always enriched families and cultures. Proverbs 31 stands as testimony of that fact. Time concludes that the rise of women as wage earners is a good thing for everyone.
But looking at Proverbs 31, we run the risk of cheapening the true value of a person if we reduce her to simply a wage earner, albeit a powerful one. A while ago I asked a young artist to help me in the studio. I told her: "I'm not going to pay you what you're worth, I'll pay you what the job is worth. If I had to pay you what you are worth I couldn't afford you." That distinction comes to mind as we ruminate on the value of our wives and daughters to our family and society. Every now and then someone will try to assign a number value to the service of a women who takes care of her home and family (not working outside the home). It is always in six figures and that calculation makes a great point. There are many great people who's influence far exceeds their monitary earnings and society is the richer for it.
Here's the catch. This great value and service is most evident in the traditional supportive structure of family. Another darker statistic is the fact that most single female heads of households are living on the verge of poverty. Kay S. Hymowitz, a contributing editor of City Journal, has added further evidence that suggests that as young men prolong their adolescence, women take up added burden as members of the productive sector and parenting the children sired by these children.
Ms. Hymowitz's article Child Man in the Promised Land [click to read] details this trend and its long-term cost to society. The New Girl Order [click to read] follows it its wake. Inner City Pastor Tony Evans [click to read] regularly speaks of the lost influence of young men who are sidelined by perpetual adolescence. In an article entitled Fleeing from Fatherhood [click to read], Suzanne Fields also addresses the trend.
"But as with any momentous social change, the New Girl Order comes with costs—in this case, profound ones. The globalized SYF upends centuries of cultural traditions. However limiting, those traditions shaped how families formed and the next generation grew up. So it makes sense that the SYF is partly to blame for a worldwide drop in fertility rates." -- Kay Hymowitz
As young people increasingly defer marriage and children, the developed world faces the very real possibility of a population dearth. Who will maintain the engines of growth and pay the taxes to support the benefits for the present generations as they grey?
No doubt, a more wholistic way of valuing ourselves will need to be embraced if our society is to survive long term.
Recently a thirty-year old law student from Georgetown University made the news when she testified to a Congressional subcommittee. She essentially demanded that Georgetown University pay for her contraception, which she claimed cost her thousands of dollars per year! Aside from the religious liberty implications (Georgetown University is a Catholic institution and such a demand infringes on their religious teachings), there is another observation to be made. Societies have traditionally supported families and the need to raise children. Tax breaks for caring for dependents have long been accepted practice. It is assumed that it is in society's best interest to support parents in educating and providing for their offspring.
The demand that the 'New Girl Order' now be subsidized runs counter to that way of thinking. Indeed, here is someone who's earning potential is in the upper stratosphere, asking that someone else pay for her to not have children while she enjoys her upscale life. Mr. Obama may think her parents should be proud of her but might I humbly suggest that they read some of Ms. Hymowitz's writings before bragging to the neighbors.
Tony Evans plainly states that both men and women are essential parts of a larger dynamic and when either neglects their place society suffers. Some of Evans' best messages include a discussion with his wife, Dr. Lois Evans, who has her own ministry to women. Like a modern-day Priscilla and Aquila, the Evans would offer this definition of true success: “Success is not what you have done compared to what others have done. Success is what you have done compared to what you were supposed to do.” ― Tony Evans
Pond on Elliott's Knob.