glass ceilings

When I was applying to college, admission counselors kept asking me what I wanted to be when I grew up. “A wife,” I’d say.  “And a mom.”

“No,” they’d inevitably respond. “I mean, what do you want to BE?”

My parents raised my sisters and me with the understanding that being a godly wife and mom are the most rewarding vocations a woman can have, that careers and diplomas and letters behind your name are commendable and noteworthy but that they will never bring you the same joy and contentment that a family can.

So it always sets me back on my heels a bit when I hear people in the church saying that I shouldn’t work at The Lutheran Witness, that a pastor should be in my position, or that if no pastors are available, it should at least be a man.

The underlying premise behind the remarks is that I presumably don’t want to be a wife and that I don’t want to be a mom, that I’m shunning those good things, that I’m putting them aside to break through some sort of non-existent glass ceiling, that I’m a closet feminist.

So let me set the record straight: (1) You won’t find a bigger proponent of wives and mothers than me. (2) You’ll also never hear me say that there’s no place for women in the church who aren’t married or don’t have children. There is. There most certainly is. And it is necessary, and it is good.

All women have crosses. And those crosses are unique to them. And so, in the meantime, while we pray for them to be removed, we move forward in forgiveness, in hope, in joy that we are loved wholly and completely and without assumptions in Jesus Christ.

Case closed.

10 thoughts on “glass ceilings

  1. You’re doing a terrific job “redeeming the time” and using the gifts you have been given to glorify God. When someone comes along who is worth derailing your career plans for, you will be able to bless him and your children as the wife and mom you have been patiently waiting to be.

    Hey, perhaps this stuff would make good subject matter for a future issue of LW. *hint, hint*

  2. I must confess to being one of those backwards prigs who had my doubts. In my defense, given the direction things were going just prior to your appointment, I would have had my doubts about whoever ended up in your position, man or woman.

    Given the rather large quantity of men I’ve met who fit the category, I don’t know why we so readily presume that women who work professionally outside the home are careerist theological lightweights, or worse yet – opportunist apostates. I’ve met several ordained pastors who couldn’t exegete their way out of a paper bag and tell me that women should be ordained. I think every deaconess I have ever met could exegete you under the table, and they would slap you into next week if you even hinted at women’s ordination.

    Thank you for all that you do, for confessing God’s truth in all of your vocations, and for putting up with all of us “knuckleheads” with grace and poise.

  3. What’s the fascination with Lutherans needing and wanting pastors to do everything? This strikes me as not being very Lutheran.

  4. Yes, extremely well said. You’ve said what I’ve thought in such an excellent fashion. I’m so glad to have the opportunity to work alongside you!

  5. This whole thing is fascinating to me. Women, glass ceilings, men not being men, and why the whole male/female thing is such a mess today. I suggest it’s because men are selfish pigs. Nothing to do with feminist ideology working them over. I mean what guy can’t shove every girl he’s ever met over with his left hand while winking and waving at another with his right? It’s got nothing to do with presence or an ideology (idea). That’s a ruse. Right, ideas effect men such as don’t stare, don’t scheme, don’t touch, don’t pinch. None of those ideas stop men from staring, scheming, touching and pinching. Sure these guys had pukes for dads, but neither is that a defense. The men who are drivel are such because it serves their self interest. Every guy makes dozens of choices a day about everything. Many are about who he is and will become. One of the most powerful stimuli on a young guy is, certainly, a danged good lookin’ gal. Guys work through every single time they see every single gal exactly how they are going to handle that encounter. It’s crucial, it’s demanding, timing is everything because she can walk right past and in front of another guy and be gone forever. Am I going to be witty, serious, clever, academic, or funny to distinguish myself? It’s in our body. This is how we work. Don’t let anybody fool you. And once a wedding ring is on her finger that same urgency is at play every day. So guys, ditch the excuses, own up to your crap and be a MAN.

  6. I hear ya sister! I grew up in a Baptist home, school, and church. I am also a strong, intelligent woman who has enjoyed a successful career. Now, I am staying at home with my three boys and homeschooling them. It was difficult when I had to leave them and work- it is difficult to stay at home and sacrifice both financially and otherwise. I know I am doing exactly what God wants me doing right now- and wouldn’t want it any other way, but it’s never quite as simple as it may seem. It would certainly be easier if people didn’t judge or assume they know what is right for others. We are all in this thing together- after all.

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