It’s Saturday and my children are playing on the new rope swing the boys hung from our tree. It’s right outside my window, and I can see and hear them as I sit and wonder how to approach this slippery slope. Part of me would rather be outside, swinging with the kids, watering the flowers, weeding the garden, or anything other than this. The other part of me sees the slope ahead and wants to attempt the climb.
It is difficult to broach a topic such as this; should all Christian women be full-time homemakers, for no matter what I say, no matter if I wax eloquent, my words will be misconstrued, misunderstood, or missed altogether. Yet so be it. As a woman approaching older woman status, it is imperative that I “teach the younger women…”
Not to mention, this is a subject of contention between women. We are to encourage one another, not attack and not tear down. It’s a subject that needs to be addressed:
Should All Christian Women Be Full-Time Homemakers?
We always want to go back to the Scripture and do as the Bereans did to see what is true. What does the Bible say about homemakers? If we are going to point to chapter and verse, we would look at 1 Timothy 5:14 and Titus 2:5.
So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander.” 1 Timothy 5:14
…to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.” Titus 2:5
To manage your household, Biblically speaking is to guide the affairs of your house. This verse is speaking to younger women who had been widowed, yet is relevant to those still married.
Verse 13 says that these widowed women have begun to be idle, gossips and busybodies. The remedy is a husband, children and home to manage.
The teaching for the older widows is that, to be cared for by the church, she had to first have been a woman who diligently sought good works, raised children, shown hospitality… cared for the afflicted.
The Titus 2 mandate for being a keeper at home is literally the keeper of a house, as in a guard. She is to guard the dwelling and household her husband has provided her with.
Is A Wife Who Works Outside the Home in Sin?
Since the Bible doesn’t directly say, “Woman shall not be employed outside her home,” we mustn’t add what isn’t there. There are reasons I am, however, against it as a default option. If a wife works prior to children, the danger is relying on that income and job perks after children are born.
A wife and husband can be accustomed to the additional income and it may be quite difficult to give up. A wife may at that point have the desire to be a full-time mother and homemaker, yet her husband may require her to keep on with the job.
Couples may acquire debt that the wife’s paycheck supports. Again, this will produce difficulties when she wants to stay home with her children. And, there is the area of temptation with other men in the workplace.
Is a Mother Who Works Outside the Home in Sin?
A working wife compared to a working mother is a whole other ball of wax. It is most definitely not in her, or her children’s, best interest. As Christians, we are to raise our children to love, fear, and follow the LORD. Women are to provide care for their own. The most meager of creatures does this for their own young. The sparrow goes to great lengths to care for their young offspring.
God designed the mother’s body to grow, nurture and feed an infant. Even without His written Word, we can easily see He meant for mothers to raise their own young children. All throughout Scripture, the overarching message for mothers is that they are the caregivers for their own homes and their own children (those with servants or extenuating circumstances aside).
The LORD in His providence gave Moses back to his mother, and Psalm 113 shows a God who takes the barren woman, puts her in a home to manage and makes her a joyful mother of children. This is to cause us to praise Him.
I’m about to choose one of three roads, which are:
- Yes, it is a sin for a Christian woman to be employed outside her home
- No, it is not a sin for a Christian woman to be employed outside her home
- It’s not black and white
Each of those roads have naysayers and cheering supporters and the lines are clearly divided. The problem with going down the first road and declaring that it is a sin for Christian women to work is that the Bible doesn’t support this, directly. We live in a fallen world where sometimes… women find themselves in a position where they see no other choice. Yet this is not God’s best.
The issues with road number 2 are many. It very well could be a sin for women to work outside the home and be under the authority of other men. The role the LORD designed for His women is to be home-centered, there and caring for her family. Everything in scripture related to motherhood, along with the design of a woman’s body screams: “Mothers are to be in a place that allows them to care for their own young children.” Road number 2 is lined with thorns and misleading signs.
Road number 3. Although I’m generally a dogmatic kind of girl in many ways, I have to say that this particular subject isn’t always black and white. I am not choosing this road as my final say, yet, there is some truth to it. See my response in regards to road number 1.
All in all, it’s tough to come to a conclusive decision simply because of the dynamics of life on earth.
My final thoughts are this:
The LORD created women to be a helpmeet to one man, to bear and raise up children, and to keep their homes. Married women with children who are off “doing their own thing” are indeed in sin. Married women with children and burdensome amounts of debt are reaping what they’ve sown if they must work to pay what they owe (although I always recommend they took a long, serious look at their finances and see if some changes can be made that will allow them to stay home and perhaps start a home business). Please raise up the next generation to value family over college and career.
Married women with husbands who are, for whatever reason, unable to provide for the family should be helped by the church (I know, it doesn’t always work out this way). She should explore options that allow her to work from home.
There are so very many things a woman can do from home to earn an income. I know many women who are earning more by working from home than their husbands are earning through their day jobs. It can be done and it often doesn’t take upfront funds, a college education, or 80 hours a week.
If you are working outside the home, talk to your husband, search what God’s Word says about the matter, fall on your knees and beg the LORD for His wisdom… and then explore some other options. You were created to care for your family and home.
Please share, if this would encourage another