No. 363

Have you ever heard the old adage, “A woman’s place is in the home?” This old adage was in vogue several years ago and I heard it a number of times back when I was growing up. However, like many other things in our society, changing times has taken its toll and that old adage has now become “A woman’s place is in the home….after she gets off work.” This is something I had not thought about for years until one evening last week my wife and I were on our way to a Sunday School get-together and we passed the road that leads to the home of Rodger and Joy Gentry. When we went by the road I said, “I Quit” and we both started laughing, because it reminded us of a true but humorous story about our friends, the Gentrys.
This true story in just a moment, but on a more serious note, I believe in traditional family values, and I also believe that it’s important for a mother with young children to be home with them when it’s possible to do so. Mothers can hire someone else to take care of their children, but there is no way someone else can give them their own mother’s love. This is a personal choice and I respect that, but there is one point that needs to be made for all of us to consider. What we need to do in our society is quit demeaning women who are homemakers and stay at home moms, but rather lift them up and honor them because they are making a great contribution to our nation.
Now, for that true story about the Gentrys. They have reared two fine sons, Aaron and Nick, who are married and out on there own. About 20 years ago Rodger was a plumber and working for someone else and Joy was working the night shift at Mid-South Microfilm. As luck would have it, Rodger got laid off from his job. He looked around a little for another one, but not too hard, if you know what I mean. He finally signed up for unemployment compensation, and all the while Joy continued to work nights. Rodger said when he got laid off it was right at the beginning of winter and since most of his work was outside, he wasn’t in a big hurry to go back to work.
He went on to say that during the winter he hunted and fished a lot. They had a deer in the freezer and a lot of fresh crappie. Now, when he told this story here is the part that was really funny. One night about 11:30, just before Christmas, Joy came home from work, jumped in bed and said, “I Quit.” Rodger said, “You what?” She repeated, “I Quit” and then added, “If you ain’t gonna work, I ain’t either.” Naturally, a long discussion followed, but Rodger said the next day Joy propped her feet up on the coffee table and with a solemn poker face said, “If we are going to starve, we’ll both starve together” and she stuck by her guns.
Years later, Rodger said looking back on it, she did him a favor. She put him to work and he’s been working ever since. As a postscript, here is the latest chapter in the Gentry story that is really thrilling. Not too long after this episode, Joy made the decision to go to college. She stayed with it and got a degree in accounting and is now working in the accounting department of a major corporation. Rodger, on the other hand, continued to work but about six years ago he also made the decision to go to college. I don’t know his exact age but he is no spring chicken. Working and going to school part time, this past May he graduated with a degree in Environmental Health Sciences.
At this point, Rodger is looking for a job. As you know, our economy has been in a downturn and his degree is in a specialized field, but I’m confident he will land a good job soon. There is something else that I am reasonably sure will not happen. I don’t think that Joy will come home any time soon and jump in bed and say, “I Quit.” (Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)