Calculating Her Worth

When we stop to think about a mother’s worth …
Mommy In recent years women have made important gains in the workplace. Some take jobs out of necessity, but many who don’t necessarily need the income choose to do so. As a result, those who make the choice to be stay-at-home moms are sometimes disparaged. “What’s wrong with you?” others seem to say. “Why don’t you want to work?”
I learned long ago to carefully phrase my questions. Instead of asking a woman, “Do you work?”, I know it’s better to ask, “Do you work outside the home?” Mothers, whether they work only in the home or also at the workplace, are worthy of great respect when they fulfill their motherhood tasks well.
Salary.com provides an interesting tool for calculating a mother’s financial worth. I entered the pertinent data for my daughter-in-law, a mother of two preschool children. According to the calculator, the median income for the area in which she lives, doing the work that she does as a stay-at-home mom, is $111,853. If you wonder why that figure is so high, consider some of the hats a mother wears, according to that site: housekeeper, day care center teacher, cook, janitor, van driver, psychologist, nutritionist, staff nurse, etc. (Now you’re beginning to think mothers are undervalued?)
Long ago King Lemuel mused on this very subject. He didn’t have access to Salary.com’s calculator, but he arrived at a similar conclusion about the worth of a godly woman. “Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies” (Proverbs 31:10, NKJV). He also points to some of the many hats such a wife and mother wears: seamstress (vv. 13,19), purchasing agent (v. 14), cook (v. 15), business manager (v. 16a), gardener (v. 16b), benefactress (v. 20), wardrobe manager (v. 21), and teacher (v. 26).
The conclusion naturally follows upon consideration of all that a godly mother does: “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her … a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised” (Proverbs 31:28,30). Not all mothers are worthy of such praise, for not all fear the Lord. But there are many of us who can say, “My mother is described well by this beautiful passage.”
Let us not take for granted the gifts God has given us. On Mothers’ Day 2008, may we do our own calculations and praise those women whose words and deeds have taught us to follow the Lord.
“‘Honor your father and mother,’ which is the first commandment with promise: ‘that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth'” (Ephesians 6:2,3).

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