Back in 2005 I didn’t know what a “blog” was. I used my computer for email and that was about it, until my friend Carolyn McCulley took the time to plug in a list of good websites on my favorites list. She was also one of the first to encourage me and give me helpful input in the early days of writing blog posts. So, if you’re a follower of this blog, in one sense you can thank Carolyn. I want to introduce you to her today.
Carolyn is one of those rare women who could be intellectually intimidating, but because of her gracious approach, her willingness to listen, and sincere appreciation for others, conversation with her is stimulating and encouraging, but never intimidating. Her sincere love for her Savior is evident. Carolyn lives the commitment to not only studying the Word, but she also applies it to the tough areas of her life.
Carolyn has written three books —The Measure of Success, Radical Womanhood, and Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye? —and contributed to Sex and the Supremacy of Christ, edited by John Piper and Justin Taylor, as well as the newly released ESV Women’s Devotional Bible. Carolyn is the founder of Citygate Films, a documentary film company based in the Washington, D.C. area. She is also single (although I’ve worked on changing that) and the proud aunt of six nieces and nephews.
This week, I’ll be featuring Carolyn’s newest book, The Measure of Success, (co-authored by Nora Shank) and giving you the chance to win a free copy. I think her book is going to help women to grapple biblically with a topic where there’s been much confusion and misinformation. I’m thrilled to have her share a bit with us here this week! After you spend some time with her, you’ll see why I love her and count her as a kindred friend.
Today Carolyn will be answering a few questions for us.
On Women, Work and the Home
Q: Your book is about work, success, and family life as a woman. And you’re not afraid to say that, “Yes, women should work.” But tell us what you mean by that.
Carolyn: Should women work? Absolutely! Women should work and work hard every day. As Christ-following women, the Bible calls us to work for the glory of God. But the location of where we work is neither the definition nor the measure of our success. I think it’s no surprise that far more verses in the Proverbs 31 portrait of a successful woman are about productivity and financial management than relationships. In the biblical narrative, work is a co-labor of love, tasks done in partnership with a gracious God who uses our labors to bless others. In response to criticism that He healed a sick man on the Sabbath, Jesus said, “My Father is working until now, and I am working” (John 5:17 ESV). His work was to glorify His Father and help others. Ours is the same.
Q: Why did you write the book?
Carolyn: to help women in all stages of life think clearly about the God-given gifts and opportunities they have, and how to invest those individual and specific situations in light of eternity. What we really need to know is the purpose of work or how to think about the multiple facets of productivity that make women’s work different from men’s. This isn’t a new idea. What we really need are timeless wisdom principles straight from Scripture.
Q: What is the measure of success?
Carolyn: We should think as recipients who will one day give an account for how we managed what we were given. We are stewards of all that we have received, including our relationships. It is God who gives us the relationships, children, time, talents, interests, opportunities, and tasks that fill our days and years. We may be wives or mothers, but as important as these are, they are roles that end in this life. We continue on into eternity as children of God and sisters to those who have been rescued by Christ. We may work in highly esteemed professions or we may not be paid for our daily labors. Those roles are not our identities, either. They are merely opportunities to be invested for the glory of God. Those things God gives us in terms of relationships and opportunities, He wants multiplied for the sake of His kingdom. That’s the true measure of success.
Today we’re offering you the opportunity to win a gift copy of Carolyn’s new book, The Measure of Success. Leave a comment below letting us know that you’ve shared this link on your Facebook page or Twitter account and you’ll be entered into the drawing for a free copy.