Gender roles are a fun topic to discuss. There are so many ways that the conversation can go and at times it can lead to controversy. Perhaps this is because we don’t want someone to come along and tell us that we should be a certain way or cause us to feel less than adequate in our own flesh. Hopefully, you won’t leave here today felling less than adequate but rather encouraged and uplifted.
Keeper Of The Home
Women have a certain talent, a gift. The ability to turn the interior of four walls into an oasis known as home, is an artwork for the sake of caring for others.
Does this mean a woman is not doing right by her family when she selects a career outside the confinements of her home? No. I don’t believe so. From a Biblical standpoint this is completely irrational and yet society has lead us to believe that the Biblical path to womanhood can only be found when a daughter choses to stay at home and care for the family.
I will say that I did a quick search of the internet looking up the phrase “verses about women working” and I was flabbergasted at the quantity of Titus 2:5 appearing across my screen. One version read “To be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.” This is the version that appeared more frequently on my screen and not to get into too much theology but this is also a newer version. However, upon looking a little bit further you will find that others versions of the Bible state “To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” These verses are, as you may have guessed, talking about the role of wives.
Obviously, I am partial to the natural relationship between a man and woman and do love it when young girls have desires to be mothers and young men have desires to be protectors. You know this from reading the post I wrote a few weeks ago. Yet, this does not mean that it is unnatural for a woman to have a desire to work and provide for her family and in the same manner it does not make it unnatural for a man to have a desire to care for his child.
Truly, when I searched for those verses I was expecting to see how the Bible uplifts women who have chosen a trade, with the intention of doing well for their families. Verses such as the ones listed below.
“She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands” – Proverbs 31:13
“She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.” -Proverbs 31:16
“She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.” -Proverbs 31:18
“ She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.” -Proverbs 31:24
When I first wrote this post, I had no intention of pulling out the scriptures and giving you a Bible lesson. Simply, I came with the mission to show you that it is okay if you work at home or if you work outside of the home. However, now that my internet search has enraged me I am writing unscripted from the heart.
You should know, that yes, it takes a great woman to work inside her home. She should feel an honor in tending to the dishes and mending the laundry. Yet, it also takes a great woman to hand over her child in the morning and sit at a cubicle until she goes home late at night only to tend to the dishes and try to catch up to the laundry. One woman does not outweigh another, they are just simply different.
A woman who works inside of her home should not compare herself to the woman who works outside of the home. One wife or mother does have the liberty to sweep the floors and should take note that cleaning yet another potty accident does have honor in it. The at home woman should know that her home is a haven for her husband and for her children. She should know that it is possible to create a zen feeling within the boundaries of the bedroom. She should look forward to the moment when her husband is back in her arms.
A woman who works outside the home should never compare herself to the woman on the inside. This wife or mother does not need to feel that if the dishes are left in the sink for a week that she is a bad person. She needs to know that she is still a helpmeet to her husband, a guiding light for her children. You see, the woman on the inside does have a cleaner house (maybe) but she does not earn the same paycheck as the woman on the outside, nor should the at home woman feel the need to.
These woman have two very different jobs and yet, if done with the intention and desire of being a helpmeet for the husband and a loving mother to the children, both women are in the right.
Often times woman feel as if they must do it all. As if Proverbs 31 is the guide to a perfect woman. I believe Proverbs 31 gives women permission to work. I believe it gives women permission to own their own companies and it guides women on how to do this in a way that their children will still love them and in a way that the husband does not feel neglected but rather proud, to have that hard working woman as a wife.
Women are able to go to work, care for the kids, fold the laundry, mend the laundry, clean the floors, create menu plans, go grocery shopping, handle the finances, and the list just keeps going on. That doesn’t mean that as a wife, or as a single mom, that you should feel the need to do everything at once. Just because we have the ability to multi task doesn’t mean that the job will be efficient in every aspect.
Personally, I believe that a balance should be found between husband and wife, whether that means that one spouse stays at home while the other works or whether that means both spouses handle the task of life while both spouses work. That choice is as individual a journey as the individuals are from one another. But know this, just because a balance is needed doesn’t always mean that the balance will be even. Find peace in this. There will be times when your husband needs you to be a helpmate in a way that is hard but there will be times when you ask difficult things of your spouse.
Monday Marriage Challenge:
1) Working Wife:
If you haven’t already come to peace with working outside the home, please do so. There is more than one way to be a keeper of the home. By going to work daily you are ensuring that you are providing for matters such as food on the table, lights overhead and clothes on the back. You are in addition, still a helpmeet to your husband. Not every husband has the same needs, some need for clean sheets, others need for extra income.
2)At Home Wife:
Know that it means a lot to have a clean oasis to come home to. Please enjoy this quote by Gary Chapman to help guide you as you go about your week.
Such actions as cooking a meal, setting a table, washing dishes, vacuuming, cleaning a commode, getting hairs out of the sink, removing the white spots from the mirror, getting bugs off the windsheild, taking out the garbage, changing the baby’s diaper, painting a bedroom, dusting the bookcase, keeping the car in operating condition, washing or vacuuming the car, cleaning the garage, mowing the grass, trimming the shrubs, raking the leaves, dusting the blinds, walking the dog, changing the cat’s litter box, and changing water in the goldfish bowl are all acts of service. They require thought, planning, time, effort, and energy. If done with a positive spirit, they are indeed expressions of love.
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