You’re Defined by Your Love

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You're Defined by Your Love - what you do for a living doesn't define you. How you love people does.

There are all kinds of pressures and challenges in this life. If you spend your days in the workplace, you might know the struggle of balancing work and home responsibilities. If you’re in the church, you might struggle with the spoken (and unspoken) expectations folks have of what a wife and mom should be. If you’re in the PTA, well, I don’t even know what to say.

It’s a rough world out there.

I’ve had friends who struggle at their husband’s company events when asked what they “do”. The idea of being a full-time mom is foreign and odd. In some circles, it’s the reverse.

In the workplace the number of degrees or what college we went to matter as do the cars we drive or the clothes we wear.

There is always someone to please. And there is always someone who will be disappointed or judgmental. I don’t know why. It just is.

How are you defined?

The world would like to define us according to position or social status. But, God defines us differently.

In his book, Multi-Careering: Do Work That Matters at Every Stage in Your Journey, Bob Goff dispels these ideas that our work defines us. He says it’s our love that defines us. Our love.

(It’s a quick read that can help anyone. I read it, and I’m a mom for a living. FishPapa is reading it. I’ve assigned it to FishBoy16 as a career exploration assignment.)

Work doesn’t define us.

That isn’t who we are. It’s what we do. Who we are is how we love.

From the book (emphasis mine),

When it comes down to it, the only person we should compare ourselves to is Jesus. Instead of measuring ourselves against the success, happiness, and wealth of others, let’s measure ourselves against his joyful, relentless love.

Whatever it is you do, give your love away freely. Give away so much of it that it looks like you’re made of the stuff. In the reverse economy of Jesus, the more extravagant you are with your love, the less is wasted.

How we love people — at home, at school, at work, in the drive-thru lane — this defines us.

Love on that grumpy parent, demanding administrator, or ornery kid. Love that crabby neighbor, snippy checker, or snarky hockey mom. Love that wayward child, that slow guy in the fast lane or that idiot boss.

You're Defined by Your Love - what you do for a living doesn't define you. How you love people does.

Are you patient? Are you kind? Are you quick to forgive? Slow to anger? Are you generous?

These are by no means easy things. Heavens! They are some of the most difficult things in the world. But, they are some of the best — when done because of Him. If you treasure those things, if you seek them, your heart will follow. How can it not?

Mama, you are not defined by your title, your resume, or your diploma. You are defined by the smile you give, the hug you offer, the helping hand you extend.

People matter. Relationships matter. Your worldly “status” doesn’t.

But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.

— Matthew 6:20-22

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  1. When I was raising young children and went to a party where there were folks I didn’t know and was asked what I did for a living, without batting an eye I’d say I was an engineer. I would get a look of approval and an oh, what type of engineer asked of me. I’d unabashedly say, the most important kind, a domestic engineer. Embrace who you are and what you do, no matter what it is. If you need or want to be in the work force, be the best you can be. If you choose to be at home (with or without children) or have a career where you work from home, enjoy it. Life is too short to worry about what other people think of you.

  2. Wonderful thoughts! This is right where I am. I definitely need to read this book. Thank you for posting.