he said she said

He Said She Said – The Empty Life: Work

I started a feature on this blog a long time ago that went the way of all of my other “features”…lost in the sea of good intentions. However, I will take the liberty to resurrect this feature, even if it’s for one post because I think the handsomest preacher (yes, my husband) did a great job on Sunday and there is a lot for me to apply as a woman. Let me re-introduce you to He Said/ She Said just in case you are new here or forgot because it’s been a while. He Said/ She Said is my attempt to take what Jason (or another pastor preached – said) and respond to it from a woman’s perspective.

You can listen to the sermon here, but I will attempt a quick summary. The preacher in Ecclesiastes is on a quest to discover the meaning of life. This week we learned about his passionate pursuit of “work”. Not only did the preacher give himself thoroughly to hard work, he was extremely successful in his work. And yet he comes to the sad conclusion that all that he has worked for will go into the hands of another when he dies. He sees this as tragic. All of his hard work was in vain, empty, futile.

Yeah, not your feel good kind of passage of scripture. But Ecclesiastes prepares us for the coming of a Savior whose work on our behalf through His perfect life, substitutionary death, and resurrection makes it possible for believers to enjoy working hard for His glory – which is what we were created to do. So how does this apply to me as a woman? My primary point of application was in considering the origin of work in scripture.

Jason briefly reviewed Genesis chapter 2 where we see that God assigned work to Adam. This was not a result of the fall. Adam couldn’t do the work by himself. He needed a helper. Enter Eve. Her design to be Adam’s helper in his work was not a result of the fall either. So when I consider how to apply this teaching on pursuing God glorifying work I can’t, as a woman, separate it from my role to be a helper. I am married so I need to think of my work in terms of helping Jason in his work. If I were single, I would still need to see how my design as helper relates to whatever work I am called to do .

So I had to ask myself, “how am I doing with being Jason’s helper for the work God has called him to do?”  A few questions of application come to mind:

1. Is my day oriented around myself and what I think needs to get done?  Or am I being intentional about what would truly be helpful to my husband?

2. Have I reversed this God-given work and viewed Jason as my helper particularly when it comes to parenting?

3. Have I resented  my husband’s work? Succumbed to complaining about his work? Been ungrateful for the work God has provided?

4. How can I encourage my husband in his work? How can I express gratitude to God and to Jason for working hard?

5. If my husband is unemployed, how can I encourage him and help him as he looks for work?

6. If I am a single woman, how can I be helpful to others in my work?

A secondary point of application that I think relates to us as women is this idea that even the most mundane task can have significance and eternal value because it brings glory to God. Think about this: because of the gospel, we no longer live for ourselves craving our husband’s position (remember that part of the curse, “her desire shall be for her husband…”). Jesus has redeemed us and now we are able to live a life of service that displays the amazing power of the gospel at work in our lives. So whether it is doing laundry, reading a book to a little one, running the kids to piano lessons, soccer, or boy scouts, our work has significance!

A third and final point of application I thought of for us ladies is this: God sees all of the work you are doing. Our husbands may not see. Our kids may not understand. But God sees every single work you did today, and even if it wasn’t perfectly executed, He takes pleasure in it because of His Son whose work has been imputed to you, just as if you had done it yourself. Amazing! Absolutely amazing!

5 thoughts on “He Said She Said – The Empty Life: Work

  1. Hi katie. thank you for the encouragement. Hope you are having a good Monday. (and by the way, i won Chicken Foot last night… of course I was playing against Maggie, but hey… 😉

  2. Great points to contemplate, Laurie! I think your comment, “Our husbands may not see” is an important one to remember. I think we stay-at-home mom’s may particularly fall into the trap of seeking worth/meaning/approval from our husbands in what we do at home while having the good intention of trying to be their “helper.” Our kids don’t usually appreciate all our work, so we look to our husbands to validate it. They may or may not. How good to remember it’s God sees all our work and it gives glory to Him. It can be an act of worship!

  3. yeah..I needed this particularly in this season! ANd, I started to tear up on the last paragraph…that God sees all I do when others don’t (comforting and scary all at the same time). These are good applications for me to consider in an ongoing fashion. I do well for oh, a half a day maybe even a whole day sometimes but quickly fall into self centered patterns of being about my agenda rather than Gods. I need constant prodding to keep me (get me back) on the path that GOd has provided light and grace for…the path of being my hubby’s helper. Thanks for writing again, Laurie. We all miss it (no pressure..I know you are busy at work being your hubby’s helper). 🙂

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