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Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
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In an effort to understand the stubborn pay gap between men and women that exists in the workplace, researchers at Harvard University recently conducted a long-term study to isolate the reasons for the disparity. They took pains to study men and women who worked the same jobs at the same place under the same work rules. Even in those conditions, they found a small pay gap. As the researchers dug deeper into the details, they discovered the culprit: when overtime opportunities arose, the women were less likely than men to seize those opportunities. Men wanted the extra money to support their families, while women wanted the extra time to spend with their kids. The researchers concluded that “the gap . . . can be explained entirely by the fact that, while having the same choice sets in the workplace, women and men make different choices.”
Men and women make different life choices because on the whole, they have different interests, different priorities, different goals. Contrary to what radical feminists assert, women have a nurturing instinct that makes them ideally suited for caring for children. They have an innate level of tenderness, patience, and unselfish devotion that men struggle to grasp. That explains the universal phenomenon of mothers giving up the last piece of pie for the kids to eat; or little ones running to mom rather than dad to treat a skinned knee; or judges in divorce cases overwhelmingly awarding custody of kids to the mother.
The description of "the virtuous wife" in Proverbs 31 is saturated with this kind of domestic language. Her primary role is to "watch over the ways of her household" (v. 27), and she accomplishes that mission with dignity and honor. This does not preclude her from earning an income on her own (v. 13-14, 18, 24); but that is secondary to her primary role as homemaker. In contrast to the feminist dogma that denigrates homemakers, this woman is praised for the work she does for her family (v. 28-30).
If men build civilization, it is women who preserve it. When women try to compete with men as absolute equals, they not only lose, they undermine that which makes them special. Young women, your femininity contributes a unique benefit to humanity. Take pride in that role, and you will find all the fulfillment your heart desires.