Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Having it all?

Just recently came across this ...read this article in the October 26th issue of TIME and ladies, it turns out we can't have it all after all...but I think most of us have already figured that out. The article is titled The State of the American Woman and here are a few of the statistics comparing where we are today with where we were in the 70s:

• Today 61% of women are overweight compared with 41% in the 70s
• 39% of all births are to unmarried mothers compared to 12% in 1972
• 71% of women with children under 18 are working moms - it was 47% in 1975
• By the end of the year (2009) they're guessing the majority of workers in this country will be women (a first in history), which lays more of the family's financial stress on the shoulders of women.

The article celebrates the fact that women are now making .77 for every dollar a man makes, compared to .58 in 1972. This might sound a little disappointing to some, but we are definitely making progress and that's worth celebrating. It also notes that more women are holding high ranking positions in companies and places of power; 57% of college students are women; and more women than men are going on to get advanced degrees. However, after crunching all the numbers and weighing the facts, the finding that has everyone stumped is that "as women have gained more freedom, more education and more economic power, they have become less happy." Interesting. It turns out that what we thought would make us happy has actually left us stressed out, empty, and exhausted.

This article gives a hint of the fallout our girls may experience if we support that lie in our homes. It's obvious when you read the statistics that our generation bought fully into the "have it all, do it all, be whatever you want" myth and now we and our families are paying for it. Instead of teaching our kids to trust God with whatever He has planned and live fully for Him, we've modeled a lifestyle that's about following our own plans and asking God for help to get what we want...which reminds me of that line in Bruce Almighty when God asks Bruce "Since when do people know what they want?" Ummm...almost never.

Along with fighting the "you can have it all" myth, we need to help our girls understand that whether God has motherhood in store for them or a career as an astronaut (or both), each job has value but neither should determine their personal worth. Our value was settled once and for all when Jesus gave up everything in order to save us from ourselves and the consequences of our sins. We were never meant to pursue the things of this world with all our hearts and put all our hopes and dreams on the outcome of that pursuit. We were told simply to seek God with all our hearts and trust Him completely with our lives.

If you get a chance to read the Time article, it's worth the read. It offers valuable insight into the world in which our girls are growing up. Of course, the most valuable tool we can offer our daughters is our own personal example of living a Christ-centered life. It's time to expose the lie and tell our daughters that the world's formula for "having it all" is a faulty equation that doesn't add up in the end. Most importantly, let's show them by the way we live out our daily lives that "having it all" is the product of making Jesus Christ our all-in-all.

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