Christian Women on the Job: Excelling at Work without Compromising Your Faith
Updated: Jan 5, 2020
All women who work outside the home face obstacles to success; but for Christian women many of these obstacles relate directly to their faith. My colleague and co-author, Karen Moore, and I talk with and counsel Christen women all the time who are facing faith-related dilemmas at work. That’s why we decided to write our new book: Christian Women on the Job: Excelling at Work without Compromising Your Faith. Our book is available for pre-ordering at Amazon.com now and the pre-order price is just $12. We hope you, our readers, will help us get the word out about our new book to Christian women who need assistance in overcoming faith-related obstacles on the job.
If you are a Christian woman who works outside the home, we recommend you heed the advice Jesus gave his Apostles before sending them out to spread the Gospel (Matthew 10:16). Jesus told them they were going to be like sheep in the midst of wolves. Consequently, he cautioned the Apostles to be both wise and innocent while carrying out their mission. The advice Christ gave his Apostles as they went out into the world is good advice for you and all Christian women as you go out into the world of work.
The obstacles dealt with in our new book were selected by Christian women we have counseled, taught, and conversed with over the years. Each obstacle covered in our book is unique to Christian women. Some of the challenges are unique because if you were not a Christian woman you would not face them. Others are unique because of the way Christian women are called to deal with them. For an example, consider the issue of work and family balance. All women in the workplace face the challenge of balancing work and family, but for Christian women there is an added dimension: faith. Christian women must balance work, family, and faith. Further, if they don’t get the faith component right, they aren’t likely to get the other two right either.
THE WORKPLACE CAN MAGNIFY THE CHALLENGES CHRISTIAN WOMEN FACE
The workplace can be a virtual factory for producing sinful behavior. All people are sinners, even those who have given their lives to Christ. 1 John 1:8 makes clear that those who think otherwise are just deceiving themselves. Consequently, as a Christian woman you can expect to confront by behavior on the job you find inappropriate and even distasteful. This behavior may come from nonbelievers, but don’t be surprised if it occasionally comes from colleagues who claim to be fellow believers. It is not uncommon for Christians to allow the pressures and temptations of the workplace to overpower their faith. The workplace has a way of encouraging sinful behavior.
Deadlines, competition for promotions, office politics, ambition, the desire for job security, economic uncertainty, personality clashes, and other work-related factors can bring out the worst in people. Sin can manifest itself at work in many ways including dishonesty, greed, the desire for power, status seeking, envy, jealousy, bullying, crude language, adultery, stealing, cheating, sexual harassment, and misguided ambition to name just a few. As a result, there will be times when the workplace might feel like a hostile environment to you.
When this happens, just remember there is nothing new in your situation; it has always been thus for Christians. This is the message in John 15:18 where we are reminded that unbelievers first hated Christ, so it should come as no surprise when they reject his followers. As a result, you can expect to confront rejection, opposition, and anti-Christian bias at work from time to time. This is when Christ’s advice in Matthew 10:16 comes into play: be both innocent and wise.
COMMON WORK-RELATED DILEMMAS CHRISTIAN WOMEN FACE
Our new book deals with numerous questions Christian women who work outside the home often ask us. In this book, you will find answers to the following questions and concerns:
1. Why is the workplace often a challenging environment for Christian women?
2. How should I handle criticism from fellow believers who oppose Christian women working outside the home?
What does the Bible say?
How do I respond to fellow Christians who think I should stay at home?
Should I work when I have young children?
3. How can I balance faith, family, and work?
Sometimes I feel frazzled. I never seem to have enough time.
Work always seems to interfere with family time or my faith life or both. What can I do?
4. How can I shine my light for coworkers when I feel out of place among them or feel rejected by them?
I know how to interact with fellow Christians who share my beliefs, but how should I interact with coworkers who reject my faith?
How do I avoid feelings of anger, frustration, and resentment when working closely with people who reject or are even contemptuous of my faith?
How do I avoid the temptation to go along to get along in order to fit in?
How do I maintain a positive attitude in an environment where my beliefs seem so foreign?
5. How can I stand firm against the temptations and adversity the workplace presents and still honor God?
How can I stand firm when my coworkers want me to do things that are at odds with my beliefs?
How should I respond when my boss pressures me to do something unethical?
How should I react to men who want more than a work relationship?
How should I handle business travel?
What should I do if I find myself feeling attracted to a man at work, assuming one or both of us are married?
6. How can I control my emotions while still being aware of them? How can I effectively read and interpret the emotions of coworkers and use this information in ways that are positive, productive, and helpful?
Should I hide my emotions from coworkers?
How should I respond to the emotions of coworkers?
How can I use emotions—mine and those of coworkers—to enhance my performance at work?
How can I deal with angry coworkers or customers without becoming angry myself?
7. How can I lead men, particularly those who resent being supervised by a Christian woman?
Do I have to act like a man to supervise men?
Will the kindness, caring, and forbearance that are supposed to be part of my Christian example be interpreted as weakness by men?
How can I gain the respect of the men I am trying to lead?
How can I lead men without doing things that are at odds with my faith?
8. How should I deal with crude language and inappropriate behavior at work?
How should I handle dirty jokes, suggestive comments, sexual innuendo, and inappropriate language without seeming to be a self-righteous prude?
How should I handle crude behavior exhibited by other women?
How can I avoid being the victim of sexual harassment?
9. How can I cope with stress and stay calm in high-pressure situations?
What can I do to relieve the stress I feel at work?
How can I calm my fears and settle my nerves in highly stressful situations?
How should I respond to adversity and emergencies?
How can I help coworkers remain calm under pressure?
10. How can I build good working relationships with coworkers and superiors who do not share my faith?
I know I need to work well with my unbelieving coworkers but how can I establish good working relationships with people who do not share my faith?
How do I go about treating unbelieving coworkers as opportunities rather than the enemy?
How can I work with people whose worldviews are different than mine without appearing to validate those worldviews?
Am I allowing myself to become unequally yoked when I work every day with people who reject my faith?
11. How can I cope with work-related insecurity?
I have been a homemaker for ten years. Now that I am back in the workplace, I’m not sure I can do this. Will I fit in?
What if I’m not good enough?
Can I measure up against my coworkers?
12. How can I excel at work in ways that honor God?
These questions or versions of them have been raised repeatedly over the years by Christian women who have sought our advice and counsel. All of them are covered in our new book. Each chapter in Christian Women on the Job contains practical, Biblically-sound, workplace-appropriate strategies for overcoming the challenges you face on the job without compromising your faith. Each chapter also contains a prayer relating specifically to the content of that chapter. It is our prayer that this book will truly help you excel at work without compromising your faith.
Dr. Goetsch is the author of Christian Women on the Job: Excelling at Work without Compromising Your Faith, Fidelis Books, an imprint of Post Hill Press and Christians on the Job: Winning at Work Without Compromising Your Faith, Salem Books, an imprint of Regnery Publishing, 2019: www.david-goetsch.com