Actually our growing debate (links here and here) in the USA about "women and working" will clarify just how far our values have changed…the insinuation is that it is now preferable for children to be raised by daycare providers, schools and government programs while women go out into the marketplace and live a "real" life…for those of us who see what damage has happened to the family as a result of this societal shift it is extremely enlightening…what is fascinating and sad at the same time is that a majority of women I know would love for the clock to turn back and for our culture to return to single wage earner paradigms so that children could be cared for and raised by the people who brought them into the world in the first place and in whom is ultimate responsibility – parents. I have said it often – I thank God for the women in my life who have chosen sacrificially to stay at home with their kids…these women are competent, intelligent, leaders, and extremely gifted women who could and did and would make a huge difference in the marketplace but they CHOOSE to raise children…their children and they work hard at guiding, mentoring, training, disciplining, and essentially preparing children to grow up as responsible adults in the world. Many families are CHOOSING to live "smaller" economic and materialistic lives because they "GET" that it is more important to raise children and love children…they are choosing to (and I quote a great Hybels book's title) to Descend into Greatness…in this instance, greatness is a scenario that involves the family at the potential cost of giving up materialistic and personal goals. Now, I know that this is a multi-faceted issue and that many families don't have that choice…I get that and accept that. Vicky and I had to make tough decisions in our past…in fact, we were both single parents for a time in our lives. So, we know both sides of the debate by personal experience. But for anyone to imply that women don't have a "real life" (or that doing this, as noted by the President, they have some sort of "luxury" in their life) or understand the world because they choose to raise children is purely ignorant, arrogant, and delusional when it comes to real importance in life. It is aggrivating…I hear yesterday that there are cities and states where kids can have three meals a day at school (breakfast, lunch AND dinner)…again, I get the issue of poverty and their importance of "ministering" to those individuals and families..but to "train" children to depend upon the "state" vs. their families to feed them because of the economic and values structure of culture is way off base. There's much more that could come from this post and I'm under the "gun" timewise…I'm already running 10 minutes late. For now, let's chew on that!