Monday, October 01, 2012
I'm going to tackle a tough topic that will not win friends and may make a few enemies. This is a subject that I've struggled and wrestled with for years, so I do not approach this lightly. The question is: should women work outside the home?
My answer is a a qualitative one. Of course, it is best and wise to turn to Scripture for our answers. Sometimes....many times....our own personal biases or upbringings cloud our thinking and conclusions. We must always use Scripture to interpret Scripture and remember who each passage of Scripture was adressed to and what culture was like at that time and what are the underlying principles. Titus 2 says the following:
3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive totheir own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
Did you see the end of verse 5? Those words are pretty serious. Some translations use the word "blasphemed." Obviously, if a woman is married, her primary focus should be her family and home. But, does this mean that a woman cannot work outside the home? I don't think so; this is where my answer is a qualitative one. If a woman is able to keep her home and family in order and happy, then I see nothing contrary to Scripture in her holding a job outside the home, provided her husband is in favor of it. If you look at the Proverbs 31 woman, she is quite the businesswoman with employees under her, selling merchandise, buying land, and helping the needy. Some women are natural powerhouses of energy and creativity and can manage their home beautifully and still hold a job....I am not one of those women. I never have been one of those. I am a slow mover. I see no shame in being aware of my capabilities and/or limitations. I can eek by, but not manage beautifully.
What if you don't have a family? While it is the biblical normative for women to marry, I do believe that there are women who are called by God to be single and have a job. Honestly, I am very thankful for women ob/gyn's and mid-wives. I am also grateful that there are women counselors with biblical training for young girls struggling emotionally. In the case of singleness, I see nothing wrong with holding a job. Being called to singleness, does not mean second class....do not let anyone make you feel that way!
* SIDE NOTE: All this being said, I am NOT a feminist and do NOT like pushing young girls into career-mindeness for self-fulfillment. I am not in favor of anything that promotes self....be it for women or men. Education and work should never be about "finding" one's self or any other silly psychobabble. Education should be about equipping ourselves for services to God in whatsoever capacity He chooses for us. It's about fine tuning our God given talents and abilities for the furtherance of the Kingdom.*
Honestly, times are tough economically for just about everyone and those who are able to stay at home are very blessed indeed. I was blessed to stay home for eighteen years. I am so grateful that God allowed me to stay at home with our daughter until she was grown! What a blessing and a delight to have been able to homeschool her! If you can stay home, more power to you! If you are talented enough to have a home based business, that is awesome! I personally have not been able to succeed in that arena. If you are not one of those fortunate enough to be staying at home with your children, don't loose heart. God is sovereign over every area of our lives and He knows best. He can and will see you through these times if you trust Him. He has a purpose and a plan. Go to Him with your concerns, but leave them there and obey your husband.
So, how does my thinking tie in with Titus 2 if I believe that working outside the home is permissable? I believe the Word of God is blasphemed if a woman who has a husband and a family is so career oriented that her family/home suffers or is neglected OR if she is not busy at home if she is a stay at home mom. I think both of those are offensive to God. We are not to be self-absorbed in any way; we are to be living our lives in service to God. Going out to "find ourselves" or lying around eating bon bons are not included in man's chief end description.
I know this is opening a huge, smelly can of worms, and I welcome comments provided you are gracious and do not attack any one. I'm sure I've left lots out as usual. So comment away....go on....I know you're thinking it. lol
Posted by Ruthie Sisemore at 9:21 AM