One of the most significant demographic forces to shape American society in the past 50 years has been the massive movement of women into the work force. Now there are signs that half-century trend may be reversing. While this is not a return to the nostalgic days of the forties and early fifties when families looked like the mythical Cleavers, the resulting impact of women's return home on our culture—and on the church in particular—could be significant.

Karol Emmerich, 45, was listed by "Working Woman" magazine as one of 73 female executives "ready to run corporate America." As vice president, treasurer, and chief accounting officer of the Dayton Hudson Corporation, she became the highest-level woman in the $18 billion retailing company. Then, in May 1993, she resigned to pursue community-service projects and offer her expertise to Christian organizations.

Said Emmerich, "I recognize that career advancement is not going to fill all the needs in my life." She says she is after a "more balanced life" where she can focus on "nurturing relationships—with God, my family, old and new friends."

For every Karol Emmerich leaving the heights of corporate success there are thousands of women abandoning the workplace for different reasons. A top reason for many is the realization that, financially, it just may not be worth it to work. The cost of childcare, meals, clothes, taxes, transportation, and other expenses may equal or exceed the paycheck. When a woman realizes she is working for nothing, she often decides to quit.

HOMEWARD BOUND

While this trend—which shows a relatively small percentage of women are currently returning home—is still in its early stages, it is nevertheless well enough established to ...

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