Anne over at the Modern Mrs. Darcy is looking to "redefine the accomplished woman." (Click the link to see her post about it!) It got me to thinking: what is an accomplished woman? More importantly, what does God consider an accomplished woman?
Proverbs 31 and Titus 2 both describe what it means to be a godly woman. A godly woman submits to her husband as she does to the Lord (Ephesians 5), provides food and clothing for her family, takes care of the home, is a hard worker and not lazy, trusts in God above all things, and is a credit to her husband and family.
God doesn't say that he wants all women to work at home, and he doesn't require all women to be wives and mothers. Now, it's assumed that women work at home, partially because that's just how it was in the Bible and was for centuries; only recently has it become accepted and expected that women work outside the home.
Personally, I believe that one of the most God-honoring and productive "jobs" a woman can have is to be a wife, mother and homemaker. She can serve God and others in so many ways! However, I do not by any means condemn the woman who works outside the home, either by choice or by necessity. She, too, is providing for her family, helping to take care of the home, and is a credit to her husband and children.
Nor do I condemn the woman who chooses to remain single or who chooses to not have children. I believe it is best for women to marry and bear children, but neither is it wrong to do otherwise. Children are a great blessing from the Lord, but some people may choose not to become parents, and that is absolutely fine. They will have opportunity to make a difference in the lives of many people, both children and adults. And the woman who remains single is able to focus more directly on serving God in whatever vocation he has placed her, without the distractions of husband or children.
The point I am trying to make is that there is no one definition of womanly, godly accomplishment. I believe that each person has their own unique God-given vocation, so accomplishment is as unique to a person as their vocation. An accomplished woman is one who fulfills her vocation to the best of her ability, with the help of God, no matter what it is.
That is the woman I seek to become.