Friday, March 21, 2008

Being a Life Giver, Part 3: Life Giving in the Community

Based on the biblical basis for being a life-giver, there are three areas where we, as women, can, by God’s grace, apply this principle to our everyday life. At a practical level we can be life-givers in our community, home, and church. For each woman, these interactions will be quite varied. But not matter our location, stage of life, or circumstance, we are called to be life-givers in our communities. And whether we are stay-at-home mothers, working mothers, college students, or single, working women, we each have a community to give life to.

Because I am not married, I will not attempt to speak to what life giving means as a married woman in her community. I can say though that the Girl Talk blog is an excellent resource in this regard. In fact, being a life-giver as a married woman might manifest itself in different ways, but the principle still stands—married or single. And the Girl Talkers have been a tremendous help to me in this regard! You can visit them at the link on the side of this blog.

As single women, our lives should not be characterized by the endless quest to climb the corporate ladder and secure the corner office and six-figure income. And even if your ultimate goal is to stay home with your children, your time at your job should not be seen as a useless means to a greater end—even though the end goal is great indeed! Every place of life that we are in should not be seen as useless, even if it is filing papers or making Starbucks coffee for the same frustrating customer every day. It is divinely appointed by our God for our good and growth.

There are many practical things that we can do to exhibit the humility and kindness of a life-giver in our workplace. Instead of grumbling over the seemingly meaningless daily tasks required of you, consider that your work is not unto yourself, or even your immediate boss, but unto the Lord. Often work can become a very ordinary task, especially when our ultimate desire is to be married and have children. But this place that God has us in right now is designed to prepare us for that task, even if it is not for another twenty years. Being a life-giver is not a role that we take on the day we say “I do,” rather it is an ongoing sanctification process that begins when we say “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”

And when we go home at the end of the day it’s very easy to get out of our cars and walk into the house without ever thinking about the family next door, or the little boy without a father who plays alone in the front yard every day. Maybe instead of eating alone, or eating with the same people every day, we could invite our neighbors over for dinner—and not out of duty but out of a genuine desire to love them and point them to the Savior. Or maybe we could offer to watch our neighbor’s young children for an evening, while she and her husband have a much needed date night.

Being a life giver may mean that you stay up that extra hour with a freshman on your hall just so she can share with you her feelings of homesickness or struggles with her new found freedom. It may mean that you invite the single mother and her three children over for dinner, even though you are exhausted and know that your cultural differences would require the extra effort on your part. It might just mean that you wake up tomorrow morning asking God to give you more grace to enjoy the job that has become so mundane, because ultimately all of your work is done for him.

All of these things are possible because Christ has already done it all for us. We love because he first loved us. We give our lives because he gave his life for us. As you move into this Easter weekend, may you be able to give life to someone in your workplace, or neighborhood, because Jesus has already done it all for you.

p.s. Carolyn McCulley has an excellent blog for women called Radical Womanhood (http://solofemininity.blogs.com/). She posts often on biblical womanhood for single women. Check her out!

1 comment:

Anna said...

I love your broad, Biblically-based perspective on all of this. Sometimes I think that we Christian women who want to emphasize staying at home, do so to the neglect of many other opportunities. Thanks for highlighting so many.