Has God Called Women to Be Independent?

Has God Called Women to Be Independent?

Corrie, who loves the ways of the Lord, wrote a comment on my Facebook page supporting a post I had written. Then “Lauren” responded to her comment this way: “Yes, I’d love to be able to rely on a man and not contribute or make my own money to feel independent.” Corrie then asked the women in the chat room, “Why the need for independence? To be independent from your husband is to go against God. Even the connotation of independence seems to be in rebellion of the Bible. It’s like you are saying you need no one in life, not even Christ.”

A woman wrote to me the other day and told me she was proud of raising three independent daughters who will be able to take care of themselves financially, therefore, not be in need of husbands. Is this a good thing and something to be “proud” about? Is this how God requires that we raise our daughters and can any of you find Bible verses that commands we do this?

Here are the responses to Corrie’s comment from the wise women in the chat room:

Paige: It is definitely rebellion. And sadly it is due in part to our individualistic society. Everything is about self, whereas in other cultures, the emphasis is the family unit – mom, dad, grandparents, extended family.

Helen: Women today HATE to feel dependent on anyone. They want to make their own money so they don’t feel beholden to anyone or have to rely on anyone for their ‘bed and board.’

Molly: Yes, we are to be dependent on our husbands who are to be our heads. It is a safe and fulfilling place to be, however, it goes against what girls are taught today. Lori is counter cultural because she teaches that we are to respectful of our husband’s calling and role.

Lindsay: It’s silly to claim that a woman staying at home and caring for her home and children is not contributing. They’re assuming these things don’t count and only making money is a contribution. Yet caring for the home and children is a huge contribution. Someone has to care for these things, and if the couple doesn’t do them, they have to pay someone else to do them. Plus, no one is going to care for the children like their own mother, so there’s the quality of care to consider as well as the cost. When a woman stays home, she is dependent on her husband financially, but he is dependent on her to care for the home and children. That’s not a bad thing. It’s a good thing. A couple needs to depend on one another. If they aren’t doing that, why in the world are they married?

Katie: I think it stems from lack of trust. Also, so many of us have divorced parents or absent fathers, so because we couldn’t rely on our fathers for one reason or another, we mistrust men in general. Before I was saved, I had the same mistrust. I put all my effort into becoming financially independent, so I didn’t need to rely on a man. I achieved my goal but it felt so empty.

Taylor: If I’m not contributing, I wanna know why I’m so tired!

Jessica: My stepdaughter just said the same type thing. I’m sure her mother has drilled into her to never trust a man; you can’t depend on one. Society shoves it down everybody’s throat too. We live in a sad world.

Rachel: While growing up, it was drilled in my head that one should not depend upon a man. One should get a degree, and a man wouldn’t want to have a woman who was lazy. And where we live in California, even health and human services drilled messages through ads at the movie theater to teenagers that families need two incomes.

Likewise, growing up with a divorce rate of 50% – watching everyone’s parents getting divorced – it reinforces that message. Having the personal experience of losing my dad as a teenager to a heart attack, two friends in high school lost their dads to heart attack and aneurysm, then friends in college lost their dads to suicide (two different friends). There’s a lot of reasons why people do what they do, and why they have trouble trusting God. Some ideas are so ingrained into your consciousness, it takes God, faith, and a whole lot of courage to go against an upbringing and experience.

Likewise, I also have the added perspective of the life we are living…Not easy, but doable, and God has blessed us with all that we need. Truly amazing. I hope all women with the desire to have good, loving husbands who support them and the desire to have children may be so blessed by God, and I hope God may supply all their needs too.

Rachel: I’m not sure this woman, Connie, feels so obviously defensive. It would be hard to go through life distrustful in a marriage, feeling like one’s contribution were directly tied to a monetary contribution, and that the option to stay at home and be happy in a traditional role was not a possibility – either because the concept of marriage or trust in man is so broken or having a feeling of poverty in one’s life. What happens at the end of one’s life, when one is infirm and cannot work? Does their life become less meaningful or worthy of life? It’s a deep and painful question to deal with. I’d wish her well and pray for her.

Brittney: I’d be curious to know if this woman goes to work for a man. Does she not rely on her male manager to make decisions for her and tell her what to do? Where a SAHM makes many independent decisions daily for her family because her husband has entrusted her to do that. To me, the latter seems more “independent.”

Helen: People also mistakenly believe you are only “contributing” to the family if you bring hard cash into the coffers. Those other contributions to the family as Lindsay and others have talked about are equally valuable. It’s a sad day when only a paycheck equals contributing.

“The decline of the family as the primary haven in a heartless world, the growth of individualism, and the retreat from community loyalty and dependence have made it increasingly difficult for anyone to achieve an adequate sense of belonging in a hostile, fragmented world” (Dr. Archibald Hart).

Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
1 Corinthians 11:9

5 thoughts on “Has God Called Women to Be Independent?

  1. It is often overlooked that God said concerning Adam, “It is not good for man to be alone”. God made us to be in relationship with each other. He even tells us concerning the church, “Do not forsake the assembling of each other”. So this “rugged individualism” is not of God.

    So many women are proud of their or their daughter’s independence but it just displays their either ignorance of God’s Word or arrogance towards it.

  2. Lindsay has it exactly right. Both spouses depend on each other, but people always get caught up on the woman’s part in that.

  3. I absolutely agree that to be a woman that is a stay at home wife and mother is the highest calling any woman could ever dream of, wish for or ascertain. That is my dream as a woman.

    I will however say, I’m the oldest of 6 children, I’ve grown up in a strong patriarchal home and submitted in everything for many years. My father chose never to work a job, never to provide and also took the belief that his children could not do the same. (Among many other radical beliefs) This disallowed medical care for the family, as well as barely having enough groceries to survive. I lived this for many years. I saw my mother lay down her life for him in every way, every day being the strongest woman I knew by submitting to him and pleasing him and depending solely on the Lord for our family’s provision. My dad was and is a very angry person, and it got to the point that safety for the family was called into question. After counseling with several pastors and highly conservative Christian friends, my mother and the children (including myself) separated from my father. This was nessecary. I have been providing for my entire family from the home for over 6 years, as a very young child I had the stress of feeling the need to provide for my younger siblings. I now have to work a full time job to support my mom and siblings as we walk through a very dark valley. I do this willingly. God has me here to be a support and an encouragement to my family.

    I would never have chose this for my life, for my family, for myself. I always dreamed of growing up and courting with my father’s approval and happily marrying and settling down with my own family to serve and love my husband. But God has other plans for me in my stage of life right now. I’m struggling not only with the stress of caring for my family right now, but also with a shattered trust of men in general. Men do brutal things to women. There are single moms out there struggling. Because they chose to? No. We are human. We make mistakes. But there are men who DO abuse women, who do not step up to their roles as men and fathers even when their women are doing EVERYTHING they can to obey Christ and obey their husbands/fathers in Christ.

    Some people might look at me on a Monday morning and say, there goes another independent woman to her job, being a feminist. And they will be wrong. My heart breaks to have to live with the stress and not be able to do the things that I love and want to believe in. But I know God is in my life right now. He is faithful. He alone can repair the trust issues I have with men. He alone can find the one man that will love me and cherish me someday in the future and lead us together. And when God does, I’ll be ready to follow him. But please, for my sake and the sake of others like me, don’t throw all the apples in the barrel out at the same time as the bad ones. God does sometimes allow bad things to happen to good people, he is sovereign, and if he is calling me to support my family right now, I rest with peace in my heart that I’m doing the right thing before him, even if I’m working. Ultimately this is a heart issue. Having a career to flaunt it, is different than having to work to provide for a family, and if I am providing for my family, because my father abdicated his responsibility, it doesn’t make me a feminist. Because that isn’t my heart. My heart is to serve Christ, and that is where I am, right now, and where I am at peace with my Savior, in this moment, on this earth.

    Blessings~ Sasha

    1. Dear Sacha. Thank you for this account of your life. My marriage was very similar: my ex-husband left the house very often, he worked but spent all our money on other women. He had eight affairs. Eventually he brought the family to ruin, I ended up sick with pre-cancerous cells on the cervix, and our eldest son has grown up with feelings of abandonment.

      I have actually always ‘worked’, in that I am a pianist. I hoped that when I got married I would stay at home, look after the children, practice and do some concerts. As it was I had to go back to teaching (which I consider a noble vocation), and today I am having to be ‘independant’. I did meet a very good man in the church but unfortunately I discovered that he became thoroughly dependant on me to make decisions, even going so far as to say I was a mother-figure to him.

      Evidently, this calls into question how each generation has been reared, and how that impacts our own ideas. Independence…yes I am independent, but not choice and I am not independent from the Lord. Everything I do and say is accompanied by prayer. After all without Him we are nothing.

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