What comes to mind when you hear the term, “old maid schoolteacher”?   The stereotype female who no man really wanted to marry, so now she is an elderly, probably homely, crotchety spinster who has to support herself?

This idea is wrong.

My Aunt Bertha was a natural teacher.  She had the talent, training and passion for it.

But when she married my uncle in 1936, she was fired from her job teaching elementary kids.  Why?

Carden and Bertha Qualls
Carden and Bertha Qualls

In those days, a woman could not teach if she was married.  I have heard varying explanations for this practice:  a married woman should be in the home with her children, and men needed the jobs to support their families.  That last one didn’t make much sense – a single woman was already filling a teaching position, so what is the difference if she is married.

Actually the description “old maid schoolteacher” should be a term of honor, dedication, and self-sacrifice.  Many women gave up marriage and the chance to have her own progeny for the joy of teaching, to serve others and educate their children.

Investing in the future through education is a laudable goal.  An even greater goal is investing in the spiritual future through evangelization and discipleship.

Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”  Matthew 9:37-38.

The need for dedicated workers is great.  But answering this call requires self-sacrifice.  In Philippians 2, the Apostle Paul advised us:

3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  

What has God called you to do?  Are you willing to make the sacrifice?  If not, why not?



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