Nancy Wolgemuth’s “Better Understanding” of Keepers at Home

Nancy Wolgemuth’s “Better Understanding” of Keepers at Home

“A woman who is not content to have a priority placed on her home and her role there – who has to be always out, always doing other things, always engaged with people outside her home – you may find that, if she’s not willing to be content with her home ministry and responsibilities, there are other sins that will accompany that as well.” (1 Timothy 5:11, 12)

 “If women would focus more on making their home a place of beauty and order, and a haven of peace and joy and contentment for their own husband and their own children and for guests that God brings into that home, how much protection might there be on other fronts and from the possibility of other kinds of sins.”

Both of these quotes were given by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth before she got married many years ago and are no longer on her site. She clearly understood the importance of women being in the home and working there. I was excited about her new book Adorned since it was based on Titus 2:4, 5. I was especially excited to see what she had to say about being keepers at home, since this is the topic I get most anger about from women in our feminized culture.

When I read this, I was concerned: “As a result of studying this over the years, this is one phrase in this passage where my thinking has evolved over the years, and I’m teaching this a little differently today than I did when I first recorded this series eight years ago because I’ve grappled with more of what it’s talking about, some of the cultural and historical background and some of the interpretation of the Scripture. So I want to share with you a better understanding of what I think this passage is saying to us.”

But then she said this: “The world’s idea of home is so messed up, so fractured, so splintered, which isn’t to say that Christians don’t have family problems. They do. We do. But we’re supposed to have grace for dealing with those issues. And people who are the result of multiple generations of serial divorce and re-marriage, promiscuity, and gender confusion, their hearts are longing for home. And it’s Christian homes tended to by Christian mothers and wives and women that ought to create in the world’s mind and in their hearts an appetite for our ultimate home of heaven.”

 And this: “The ‘private sphere,’ on the other hand, the home that used to be the center of productivity and the economic engine for the society, the ‘private sphere’ has now been devalued—that’s the home where loving marriages are nurtured, where children are discipled and trained, where disabled or elderly family members can be cared for, and hospitality and care can be extended to friends and neighbors. Those things you don’t get paid to do in your home, so that work has been devalued while the work outside the home that you get a paycheck for has been exalted.”

Then she began to veer off in another direction: “Far from demeaning women, Paul was actually in this passage progressive for his time and his culture because he called Christian women throughout his epistles to be intentional about employing their heads, their hearts, and their hands for the sake of the gospel.

 The apostle worked with Priscilla and her husband in their tent-making business.

 His ministry in Philippi was supported by the business successes of a woman named Lydia.”

She argues that the home is no longer a place of commerce like it was back in biblical days. Families worked together to provide a living for themselves. Nowadays, she states that the home is a place of consumption and people leave their homes to make money so they can use it in their homes. I disagree. Homes can still be a place of commerce. Women can save money by cooking from scratch, growing some of their own food, using things up, not wasting, being creative, sewing, selling goods or services from home, and many other things. There are many women today who live simply and carefully while living within their husband’s income, so they can be home with their children.

 “Paul is not mandating that women are only to work at home or that the home is to be their only sphere of influence or investment. He is not saying that their domestic activities are to be their sole focus of that their home requires 24/7 attention at all times….As we have seen, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the only or number one priority at all times. But he is saying to women, ‘Don’t drop the ball!’…This passage also implies that ‘young women’ – that is, women in the child-bearing, child-rearing season of life – have a distinct responsibility to prioritize their homes and children…Periodically we need to push the pause button and ask ourselves if some of those activities (jobs, hobbies, even ministry involvements) would be better postponed for another time when we can undertake them without violating other God-given responsibilities.”

“What matters – particularly for married women and moms – is not what a woman’s home looks like or what she does there, but whether she is giving it the appropriate priority…Having a heart for home will look different for different women, depending on the configuration and particular circumstances of their family and what best serves their needs at any given time.”

Then Nancy gives examples of women who worked in various ways to make money but she never mentions family, relatives, and the church financially supporting widows so they don’t have to leave their homes as the Apostle Paul did in 1 Timothy 5. Nor does she site studies that prove that children with mothers home full time are much more emotionally stable and secure. I am seeing the devastating results of mothers not being home full time on women I mentor who didn’t have mothers home full time with them and how it affects their lack of ability to be mothers and wives.

Nancy does give a story of a woman who hated housework and became involved in a ministry outside of her home, leaving her husband to do all of the housework. Eventually, he found another woman who was interested in him and left her. But her eyes were opened and she saw how she had torn her home down with her own hands and “how she had devalued and neglected her husband, daughter, and home.” Thankfully, they were able to rebuild their marriage.

 “And when we cultivate homes where others can grow and be nurtured, where they feel welcomes, loved, and cared for, we put the heart and character of God on display…The often tedious and mundane tasks of homemaking become acts of worship, our ordinary movements works of art.”

She also used a great quote by Jani Ortlund: “Our homes, imperfect as they are, should be a reflection of our eternal home, where troubled souls find peace, weary hearts find rest, hungry bodies find refreshment, lonely pilgrims find communion, and wounded spirits find compassion.”

Nancy’s mother did have seven children and was a keeper at home. “My mother worked hard to create an atmosphere in our home that reflected God’s beauty, His order, and His merciful, welcoming heart. In so doing, she gave our hearts a taste for heaven.”

My thoughts: Nancy has definitely softened her stance on women being keepers at home and I can understand why. Women are merciless in trying to get me to soften my stance but I try hard to stay true to Scripture. Feminism has invaded the Church and made it very difficult to teach women to be keepers at home. Nancy still clearly teaches the value of women being keepers at home but gives many exceptions and I know there are some, but I have a hard time finding them in Scripture and especially when the exceptions become the majority. Priscilla and Lydia most likely worked in their homes. We are not told if they had children, but I seriously doubt they left their homes for eight hours a day and their children in the care of others.

Single mothers have a greater opportunity today to seek the Lord in wisdom in how to be able to stay home and make money from home. Family, relatives, and the church should be supporting widows so they don’t even have to think about providing for themselves. They can then focus upon raising their children who need them now more than ever since they have lost their father. The last thing these children need is to be raised by someone other than their mothers.

Nancy fails to mention the high cost of higher education and the debt most amass because of it or the debauchery in most universities. Also, many times when women achieve good careers, they can’t quit when they have babies due to the debt and amount of time spent getting their career. Husbands many times want their wives to work when they have good careers because they see dollar signs instead of the value of their wives raising their children.

Therefore, I will continue to encourage women to be full-time keepers at home since this is what God commands that older women teach. What each woman wants to do with this teaching is up to them but I encourage them to search the Word for themselves without being swayed by feminist teachings. If only we had another President who was able to articulate clearly the importance of a keeper at home:

 “The good mother, the wise mother…is more important to the community than even the ablest man; her career is more worthy of honor and is more useful to the community than the career of any man, no matter how successful.” – Theodore Roosevelt

 “To me, feminism has backfired against women…I see feminism as the Great Experiment that Failed, and women in my generation, its perpetrators, are the casualties. Many of us, myself included, are saddled with raising children alone…Feminism freed men, not women…What’s worse, we asked for it. We packed them off to day-care canters where they could get their nurturing from professionals. Then we put on our suits and ties, packed our briefcases and took off on the Great Experiment, convinced that there was no difference between ourselves and the guys in the other offices…The reality of feminism is a lot of frenzies and overworked women dropping kids off at a day-care center.” – Kay Eberling

Finally, from one of my favorite older women who teaches truth, Nancy Campbell: “Ephesians 6:8 tells us: ‘Whatsoever GOOD thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive the Lord.’ Dear mother, I want to remind you that you are doing a GOOD work. God tells us in Titus 2:4, 5 that the ‘GOOD’ things the older women must teach the younger women are all about the home–loving your husband, loving your children, and being a keeper at home. When you embrace this lifestyle God planned for you, you are doing a good work. When you nurse your baby, teach your children, prepare the meals, clean, and keep your house in order you are doing GOOD things.

This is why I will never stop teaching younger women to be “keepers at home… that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
Titus 2:5

36 thoughts on “Nancy Wolgemuth’s “Better Understanding” of Keepers at Home

  1. Evil triumphs when good people sit idly by and do nothing. Feminism is a prime example of this. The truth is, most women cannot do what men can do, they were not physically created to and lack the stamina and strength men have. Sadly, many church teachings today go away from scripture too, often encouraging the teachings of feminism within the ranks. Thanks for another great post Lori.

    1. You’re welcome and right, Patrick. The Church is scared to teach the truth of the Word and women’s roles due to the heavy influence of feminism. All it has done is lead to more destruction.

  2. I have been following your blog and Facebook account for some time now, and it initially infuriated me. I am a stay at home mother, and I would not trade a minute of it. However, I went to college, and then to graduate school, I amassed $30,000 in loans to do it. And then I worked. And worked hard, 70 hour weeks 7 days a week. At that time, we needed my income to survive, but it was also a source of personal pride in what I’d achieved.

    When I became pregnant I quit working, which I’d always planned to do. And I suddenly found myself very depressed. I didn’t spend all that time, energy, and money to change diapers! No…anyone could do that. This was meaningless work, totally unfulfilling personally although I would never put my child in daycare.

    I’ve grappled with this for several months. I read. I studied. I prayed. I consulted older women in my church. And I began to accept that this is my career. This is what I was meant to do. And I began to find joy in the mundane. (Let’s face it, housekeeping and diaper changing can be monotonous). I prayed steadily for the Lord to give me joy in this season and this new role. To take the desire for outside work and career achievements from me. And he has answered me.

    I have been so convicted to keep my home, feed my husband, raise and teach and train my son, and if there be any time else after personal studies then I add in play dates, excursions, etc, but my first priority is to keep my home and family ordered and maintained. My husband works 2 jobs for me to stay home so I don’t take the job lightly. But I admit, in my personal/postpartum depression I was resentful and lazy. He has been so impressed the last few months coming home to a clean house, a happy family, and a hot meal. And his joy in working has improved as a result.

    Following the Scriptural plan for your life isn’t always easy. Not when it requires such a drastic change from the life you’d been living/dreaming. But it is always worth it. I did what I was told to do, whether I “wanted” to or not, and the Lord in his grace has also now given me the heart and joy in doing so. Obedience is ALWAYS better.

    1. Amen! God’s ways are perfect for us. (I just made a YouTube about this because I found just this morning a verse that states exactly this: “As for God, His way is perfect” (Ps. 18:30). I say this so often so was thrilled when I read this verse!)

      The verse that sustains me through the hard times and that I have on my mantel: The JOY of the LORD is my strength.

      Keep up the good work! You are storing treasures in heaven.

    2. Anonymous,

      Three cheers for you! Hip-hip-hooray and Hallelujah x three!

      It’s all about my response to God’s Word, my attitude, my heart. I was so thrilled to read your testimony, but I’m most excited for your good husband and fortunate son– two males who are blessed to have your godly, feminine influence in their lives, right where you belong. It takes a strong woman to be obedient to the divine order detailed in God’s Word. You really touched my heart.

      *hugs*
      Kelley~

      1. Loved this statement by you, Kelley: “It takes a strong woman to be obedient to the divine order detailed in God’s Word. ” Feminists believe they are strong women but they aren’t. Weak women are led by their emotions, feelings, and doing what is right in their own eyes, instead of what is actually right.

        1. That’s a correct assessment, Lori, of feminists: they are weak. Obedience is stronger, wiser and bolder than any feminist could ever imagine or think.

          I choose to be a strong woman, too!

          *hugs*
          Kelley~

    1. You’re welcome, Trudy. I was just made aware that Nancy has no problem teaching to men, either. This was sad for me to hear. On her website is this statement: “At the same time, Nancy does not believe that occasional teaching by women in mixed audiences is inappropriate, as long as two things are clear. First, that it is taking place under the headship of male spiritual authority. (The word translated have authority means “to exercise authority on one’s own account; to domineer over—one who acts on his own authority; to have dominion.”) And, second, as long as the woman involved is not put in a position of ongoing responsibility for the spiritual direction of men. (The word translated to teach in 1 Timothy 2:12 is in a tense that indicates ongoing instruction.)”

      This departs from the clear Word of God. Women are commanded not to teach men and to be silent in the churches.

    2. Trudy,

      I am with you. I have been deeply saddened by the “succumbing,” the lowering of a standard and bar set high for a reason in God’s Holy Word. These are the times in which we are living, the “softening,” as you called it, of truth. But of course, Truth is Truth and it will never crumble, never soften, never be anything but true. Our faith doesn’t stand in the wisdom of man but in the power of God. Taking joy in It is our strength.

      *hugs*
      Kelley~

  3. I want to comment as a former church leader and husband of a stay at home wife. We discussed this way back when we were starting to have children and we did what we needed to allow my wife to stay at home. Also in the churches we went to throughout our marriage this came up as a subject. How to care for the widows with children and single mothers.

    What I find interesting is how some bible teaching churches and some of the more liberal theological churches will offer “Christian” based daycare. They do this as a ministry to those around the neighborhood who are not saved to present the gospel. This is also a ministry to those in their church to take away the guilt some of the female members have for going back to work after having children.

    I put the the word “Christian” in quotes because they started with good solid bible stories – mini Sunday schools. But as time went on and there was more government control of daycare we see that what started as a good program is now just as bad as the local public school.

    So yes they are trying to meet the minimum biblical mandate by having the older women whose children have families of their own and a few young women not married and without children run the daycare and after school services to help these younger women. Yet as I said government took over control. The phynancial costs and the restrictions on presenting the gospel got stringent to where there was no difference between the church based group and the non-church based group. Also as a part of trying to reach more the concept of inclusion got pushed into the whole mix and the daycare program had to water down the message as to not offend the parents of some of the children because of the parents choice in lifestyles.

    Thus the churches my wife and I attended woudl not have or even think of starting a daycare program but we woudl do what we could so that the young widow would could get married and not have to work and the young single mom would be encouraged to get married so she could stay home.

    What scares me is the new drum beat in the feminist circles of calling on the civil authorities to make it illegal to be a stay at home mom. All in the guise of it is our civic duty to do as much as we can to build up our economies. And these feminists see stay at home mothers as a drain on our economies. Which then shows us that money, the goods bought with the money, and the power gained with money has become our god. We will do anything and sacrifice anything for that god. Meanwhile we will play lip service to the one true God.

    Thank you for your work here and note many of us husbands are praying for all of you wives who are doing what is right and working as our helpmates.

    1. Thank you, Tim. I have a post going out about trying to make it illegal for moms to be home full time but when the feminist mindset began, this was their intention. Feminism has a evil root and it is only getting worse. And we know who is at the root of it all. It’s definitely a spiritual battle.

      I would love all preschools to go out of business. This is what would be best for the children.

    2. Exactly where in the Bible does it say to take care of single mothers? Widows and orphans, yes. Single mothers who frivorced their husbands or drove them out need to go back their husbands or back to their father’s house.

      Lori,
      I don’t know why Nancy DeMoss’ comments surprise you. She built her reputation with the money given her by her father. She didn’t earn that. She might not be a core feminist, but there is a blending with the female imperative. To do what you feel without accountability or consequence. If you go back and reread her books and articles you’ll see it there.

  4. Great post today, Lori, and the comments are good as well. It’s disappointing but not necessarily surprising to see someone cave and capitulate to a more feminist position. I pray that God will convict Nancy to regain courage to teach what the Bible actually says the aged women are to teach the younger women in the Lord’s power and might.

    1. Yes, this is what we should do with all of our sisters in Christ, Lady Virtue. It seems it is easier to error from the truth as one becomes popular and well known. There are some that do not and I always appreciate them so much for holding fast to the Word of God no matter how unpopular it becomes.

  5. That’s a very sad thing seeing an older woman “throwing the towel” after all those years of trying to teach the Truth…

    I am SO happy I have the Bible to know by myself what is God’s will for my life. The things I see there are true, unchangeable, THE foundation of my life.

    I suppose that us, younger women, are confused when we see older women doing the opposite of what is written in the Bible. It questions the reality of what we read in the Bible. It makes exceptions normal. It makes disobedience acceptable. And because older women are disobedient, it sets an example for younger women searching a model of Christian woman…

    Lori, you are a good model, a nice example, I am blessed to know you through the internet! And yesterday I found some of your YouTube videos! God bless you, your husband and all your family!!??

    1. Thank you, Daniele. The Lord is still working on me and He always will, thankfully, but I do want to stay glued to the truth of His Word since then I don’t have to remember what I teach because it’s constant and unchanging.

      I’ve enjoyed creating my YouTubes and getting more comfortable as I go along. I love learning and encouraging women so it’s just one more way for me to be able to do it “in person.” 🙂

  6. I typed out this long response and then of course something went wrong, so hopefully I can remember it all.

    This seems like a case of she can talk the talk, but can’t walk the walk. Seems like it was easier for her to point people to God’s word as long as it didn’t apply to her. I understand she could be caving in to pressure and the criticism I am sure she received, but it makes me question if it is a case of trying to change what God’s word says now that it is affecting her. Makes me wonder if now that she is called to be submissive, she has tried to “study” and find an exception for herself or tried to justify not being submissive. I wonder if now that she is the one that is called to obey and be a keeper at home, maybe she realizes it’s not as easy and takes allot of faith because you have to trust God to lead your husband. It’s a shame really. And one more point I want to make, all these people who use the “Greek” and “culture” excuses to tell me why God didn’t really mean I am to submit to my husband, do you really think and believe that in order to read and understand the Bible, you have to study the Greek language and theology? Women and men from years ago, before it became popular to study Greek, read the Bible and applied it. Are you saying they didn’t understand it? I think they understood it fine, I just think they didn’t try to change it to say what they wanted it to. I mean really, all you have to do is compare the times and that is evidence enough that whether you agree with what God says about a woman’s role in marriage or not, it works. Look at the people in the different generations, yes there were and always have been bad people, but as a general rule, people had morals and character.

    Thanks Lori for this post. I was considering getting the Adorned book, but I think I will pass now.

    1. I believe that Nancy is a born again Christian and a sister in Christ, along with some of the other women who teach/preach to men, HH. But I disagree with them on this issue and on the keepers at home one. Usually, they go hand in hand, unfortunately. In her book, Nancy is very strong on submission, thankfully, and many other topics. I am saddened when I see godly teachers veer from the truth of God’s Word because God’s ways are perfect.

      I understand about the Greek, Hebrew, and cultural argument. I get this a lot too. I also hear things like how “hostile” and “judgmental” I am when I answer back with the truth. This seems to be the new word to use against those who speak the truth and I do it in love because I care more for people’s eternal salvation than anything else.

      Blessings to you!

      1. I’m sorry if it came across as questioning whether she was a believer or not, that was not my intention. I guess I should have been more clear that what makes me wonder is why the change in the stance of being a keeper at home. I guess I just generally group together being a keeper at home and being submissive because most of the time if someone is questioning how I believe, it is usually both issues. I understand taking a stand about either issue is hard and usually gets lots of backlash, even for me and I don’t have a blog, so I know it’s harder for the ones that have blogs. Again, sorry if my post came across like I was questioning her Christianity, I was really just questioning her stance.

        1. I didn’t think you questioned their faith, HH, but I wanted to make it clear to those who read my blog that I am not questioning any of these women’s faith (Beth Moore or the other women preachers/teachers that I have written about). They all very well may be sisters in Christ. We don’t know their heart. I am simply pointing out things that they teach that don’t line up with the Word of God.

          1. And I appreciate that. Your blog is one of the few places that I know of that teaches submission, obeying your husband and a woman’s role as her husband’s helper. I am thankful for all you do and for helping us ladies know what our role is.

    2. I agree HappyHomemaker! I used to think that the Holy Spirit inspired the Bible to be understandable by my dear grandfather who stopped school in 3rd Grade… That is my opinion, knowing that through the ages and until now many people don’t are able to read, so they listen to whom can read the Bible to them. I don’t think God intends for them to learn to read their own language plus Greek before understanding His Word!!! God is good and gracious!

      1. He sure is, Daniele, and His Word is understandable to those who have eyes to see and ears to hear but God blinds the eyes of those who “hold the truth in unrighteousness.”

  7. Do you have the link to Mrs. Wolgemuth’s site where she speaks of this “better understanding?”

    I couldn’t find anything when I looked right now. I’d like to be able to read it.

    Than you!

  8. Keep speaking the truth..even if no one else does.
    Nancy Leigh has softened the truth, and there are few who will take the stand you are taking.
    I appreciate your words.

    1. Thank you, S.C. I actually hate to see teachers/preachers of the Word soften what they teach to conform to culture since I know it’s going to hurt a lot more people than help since God’s ways are perfect for us!

  9. Lori, I just commented on another of your articles. 🙂

    I love this one as well! I have a college degree and it’s gathering dust, because I got married and had children and never used it. 🙂 I decided that being with my husband and raising my children is my lifelong calling and I don’t think I’ll ever regret it. Hearing from people that send their babies off to daycare and then to preschool at 4 years old breaks my heart. Then they grow up and are raised by their teachers and other caretakers and not their parents!

    I just started my first homeschool year with my oldest daughters, and my husband and I both agree that this is exactly where I need to be, I’ll never change my mind on it because I think that it’s exactly as God ordained it for mothers to be home with their children and husbands. Thank you so much for speaking truth.

  10. The truth is refreshing. After years of being a “carnal” Christian, I can attest to what happens when the Bible is not revered in one’s life. I was never really happy out working and faced many problems while doing so. Jesus came so that we could have life more abundantly, and he knows us better than we know ourselves.

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