(CCSLQ-19) – Homemaker/Ultimate Career

This is part of a series (typically it’s weekly) exploring quotations attributed to C.S. Lewis that are questionable for one reason or another. There is an “at a glance” page HERE to quickly see what has been posted so far in this series. Also, if you haven’t already, be sure to read the INTRODUCTION to this series. 


Homemaker-Ultimate Carere
“The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only – and that is to support the ultimate career.”

What would you do if you made a lot of great statements and people kept paraphrasing them? If you were dead like C.S. Lewis then you would be rolling over in your gave! So, you can probably guess the verdict on this quotation is that it isn’t from him, but he DID write something similar.

What follows is a condensed version of a letter Lewis wrote to Mrs. Johnson on March 16, 1955:

“A housewife’s work…is surely, in reality, the most important work in the world…your job is the one for which all others exist.”

While that statement is clear on the thoughts Lewis conveyed, I’m sure you will fine the context even more enjoyable (the above excerpt is in bold):

“I think I can understand that feeling about a housewife’s work being like that of Sisyphus (who was the stone rolling gentleman). But it is surely, in reality, the most important work in the world. What do ships, railways, mines, cars, government etc exist for except that people may be fed, warmed, and safe in their own homes? As Dr Johnson said, ‘To be happy at home is the end of all human endeavour’. (1st to be happy, to prepare for being happy in our own real Home hereafter: 2nd, in the meantime, to be happy in our houses.) We wage war in order to have peace, we work in order to have leisure, we produce food in order to eat it. So your job is the one for which all others exist.


The next quote examined is:

“A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.”


Related Articles:

What Lewis NEVER Wrote  (Podcast)

Not Quite Lewis – Podcast Version

Not Quite Lewis – Questionable Lewisian Quotations (Conf. Paper)

Updated 1/30/2016

2 comments

  1. Raylene Cochrane /

    Thank you for clarifying this quote! I had heard it and that it was a C.S. Lewis quote, but I wanted to make sure I’d gotten the quote correctly written down and also locate the actual source (I, too, am very aware of misquotes, and thus seek to have a credible source). Initial research didn’t yield anything about the source, so I’m very glad to have found this article! And yes, the full context (and correct wording) make this all the better!

    • William OFlaherty /

      I’m happy to hear you are one of the many growing number of people who actually care about checking sources!