The Strawman Argument For Female Nurses and Teachers

The Strawman Argument For Female Nurses and Teachers

Undoubtedly, every time I teach women to be keepers at home, women will cry, “What about female nurses and teachers? We need them!” This is a strawman argument since there will always be female nurses and teachers. Few women read what I write and even fewer want to do what God commands of them, therefore, there is no need to fret that there will be no more female nurses or teachers.

Many women believe that being a teacher or a nurse is the ideal job for mothers. Is it?

There’s an article written called “Nurses in America are experiencing extremely high rates of burnout.” I shared this article on my Instagram and one woman wrote, “I am a nurse and I can confirm that it is absolutely exhausting: mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I feel like I am broken at the end of a 12 hour shift and it takes almost the whole next day to recover. I only work two days a week at the hospital but it really is so hard. I can’t cook or do housework that day, and I have to prepare the day before and morning of to get ready. It takes so much mental space. I am married with no children and my husband does help cook that day sometimes and I, deep down, feel guilty. Not to mention being gone one whole Saturday and Sunday a month working and many holidays. I wouldn’t suggest any young woman go into nursing based on my real life experience.” Other nurses agreed with her.

Another woman wrote, “I agree. I’m a postpartum nurse and it’s the best nursing job IMO. I’m not full time and I work exclusively with female patients except newborn baby boys. Nursing can be a soul destroying job. My babysitter  desires to be a SAHM once married and I’ve strongly encouraged her to not consider becoming a nurse which was her original plan.”

Most nurses have 12 hour shifts on their feet. It’s exhausting! The nurses who are mothers leave their children in the care of others while they go care for others. Don’t you see how backwards all of this is? Women were never called to go out and provide a living. Men can do these 12 hour shifts much more easily than women since they have more endurance, testosterone, and strength than women. God made them this way. God created them to be the providers for their families.

Teaching is also an exhausting job. I did it for two years with my first child. I left my baby in the arms of others to go teach other children. Ridiculous! Thankfully, I only had to do it two years. One mother I know who raised four children while being a full-time school teacher told me it was like running a marathon every day. She was always exhausted. During those two years that I taught, I didn’t feel like I was a good teacher, wife, nor mother. We were never meant to do it all! We were meant to be at home and minister to our husbands, children, and take care of our homes. This is our calling from God.

Next time you hear someone encouraging women to be keepers at home, instead of worrying about having female nurses and teachers, pray that more women will go home to raise their own children. The jobs of nursing and teaching are exhausting for women, and their children need them more than you do. It’s only selfishness to think what is best for you rather than what is best for these women and their children.

She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
Proverbs 31:27

30 thoughts on “The Strawman Argument For Female Nurses and Teachers

  1. Hi, Lori! May I politely disagree with you on this one? Your argument seems to be, “It’s okay for us to teach against female nurses and teachers, because there will always be enough disobedient and/or unbelieving women out there to provide us with the female nurses and teachers that we want/need.”

    I think that the point is simply that we need to teach a model that would work if humanity was 100% in obedience to the standards we preach.

    My response to the issue would simply be that careers like nursing and teaching should be left to (1) women who have devoted themselves to a lifetime of singleness, and (2) women who are not yet married. In the old days, it used to be quite common for women to teach until they were married. For example, Laura Ingalls Wilder – and the Amish still practice this today.

    Good thoughts – thanks for the post! I too would never encourage a married woman to work outside of the home – I did it for a short time, and it was a disaster. 🙂


  2. My mom was a nurse for over 30 yrs and loved it, but she could not wait to retire and would have chosen to be a full time homemaker if we had the income… At least she switched to part time so when I grew up she was present in my childhood and I was not shoved off on daycares…

  3. Being a mother and a homemaker means more than 12 hours on my feet every day. So I don’t think that’s a very strong argument against working as a nurse.

    I agree it’s best for mothers of young children to not work outside the home. But what about women with no children at home? Lots of women are unmarried, infertile, or have only adult children who have left the house. They have plenty of time and are gifted in areas where they can serve others through nursing or teaching.

    There’s also the demand side of the equation. At the very least, I want my midwives and doula to be female. Biblical midwives were female.

  4. That isn’t my argument, Diana. My argument is based upon mothers. I made this clear in the post and that these jobs are extremely difficult for those women who are mothers and have children at home. BUT nursing is exhausting for all women who have 12 hour shifts as the one women who I quoted in my post and doesn’t have children admitted. There shouldn’t be 12 hour shifts. It’s too much.

    Teaching is exhausting, too, but for those who don’t have children, it’s definitely manageable. Although, recently there have been some articles written about women quitting the teaching profession due to the out of control behavior from the children. It was bad when I taught. I can’t imagine what it is like now!

    The problem with both of these professions is that the women need to go to college and usually have to acquire a ton of debt which is bondage. Plus, the colleges’ goal is to keep women far from biblical womanhood and turn them into Marxist Feminists, as you will read in my post tomorrow. Many women who were raised in Christian homes are walking away from their faith after spending four years being taught things opposed to the faith they were raised with.

  5. Being a mother and a homemaker doesn’t mean more than 12 hours on one’s feet every day. I raised four children and I was never on my feet for 12 hours a day. I had plenty of time to rest while they were napping and in the afternoons, the neighborhood mothers would gather together sitting and talking while the children played together. The pressure that nurses have on them is far greater than that of being a mother.

    You will always have midwives and doulas as I stated in the post. You will always have female teachers and nurses, too, since most don’t give up their careers once they have children. The unmarried and infertile still may have children one day. Remember, I am teaching Christian women who want to live their lives according to God’s will for them. I want them to ponder their paths, not simply go with the flow of culture that demands women have careers and leave their children in the care of others since they have convinced women that marriage and motherhood are bondage.

  6. Good post today and good response, Lori. Thank you for teaching Biblical womanhood. So few women do.

    As for the unmarried, they may well become wives {and then mothers}. They certainly should order their lives in that direction, as that is God’s will plainly revealed in His word {I Timothy 5:14}. Women should not be single and independent. Just because many are, because of sin, does not change God’s will or His word.

  7. Amen! I listened to a great sermon by John MacArthur yesterday who taught on the raising of children and that parenting is something we should all be doing, Lord willing. Without parents, there are no more human beings. God created us to get married and be fruitful and multiply. We are told that it is not good for man to be alone, but feminism has so muddied these great truths that even Christian women have fallen for the lies.

    Here’s the sermon by Dr. MacArthur:

  8. Good thoughts Diana! The goal is for every woman to abide by the word of God, we shouldn’t think there will always be some women who don’t listen therefore there is no worry. My hope is for all to be saved and renewed.

    Solutions might be something like working before marriage like mentioned or maybe part time work. Single women topic is controversial but I don’t personally believe God ever called women to singleness I think Paul was referring to select men.

  9. Let me bust the myth of “part time” work for any young folks out there. I tried to work part-time during my single days because I was taking care of my terminally ill father. It turns out that part-time work really only means part-time pay. I was being called at home all the time on what were supposed to be my days off, being asked to solve office problems and answer customer questions, all while off the time clock. When I arrived at work on my scheduled work days, my desk was piled high with tasks that could not be completed during my scheduled hours, so I would have to take work home. I really was working 40 hours per week; I just wasn’t getting paid for it. So don’t get sucked in like I did! Enjoy your role at home with your family!

  10. Diana I agree we should aspire to a world where every woman fulfils the role for which she was designed by God and lives according to his command. To me that means for the overwhelming majority marriage and with his blessing motherhood, but for a small minority more direct service to Our Lord through a religious order.

    I believe God means young women to fulfil useful roles under the guidance, authority and protection of their family. Either by helping in the home, or through appropriate work such as teaching or nursing. However when she marries, her husband and children are here first priority, her place is at home and she is under her husbands leadership.

    For the minority following a religious vocation, continued work in medicine or teaching, perhaps at a higher level is acceptable so long as it is consistent with the beliefs of her Church and she remains under their authority.

  11. I think society has changed a lot and now Nursing and Teaching are just ‘Dreg’ jobs

    I won’t go into it, but I think we all know why they are miserable jobs now

    Even if I was a raging feminist, I wouldn’t let my daughters go into either field!

    My mother-in-law who insults me at least once ever 5 minutes for not working was a Nurse…but on a small island with population under 50K (I think it’s way less than that…oh my!)

    That woman wouldn’t understand real life if it bit her in the butt.

  12. I couldn’t agree more. I am a nurse and just left the hospital world to work in an office (eventually working from home) due to the stress, pressure, and demands of being a nurse at the bedside. Unfortunately, not working is not an option for me, as my husband is disabled, or I would be a SAHM. Not only is nursing physically and emotionally abusive and demanding, I have never worked in a hospital that was morally correct either. Adultery and idolatry are rampant in that environment, as well as many other sinful behaviors.

    There were many shifts I worked that I would keep completely to myself and my patients as much as possible because of the crowd I was working with. I even went to work at a faith based facility thinking it would be better, boy, was I wrong. I almost think it was worse. You would not believe the number of people that would participate in prayer and walk away cursing or going to meet their secret lover. Over the years it really took a toll on me. Then you add in the 12 hour shifts, abusive patients and coworkers, and the emotional rollercoaster I felt like I lived on (I was an ER nurse), it was just too much. I prayed for years for God to open a door so that I could still provide an income for my family and allow me to work from home to be present and available to meet their needs. He answered those prayers, in His own perfect time, and now I will be working from home in a few months.

    People ask how can I “give up nursing” after working so hard to be one. I used to explain that what I do now is nursing, but a different kind of nursing but now I simply respond with, “I feel strongly convicted that my place is to be at home with my family.” I am very thankful for the blessing of being able to be a nurse because it has kept the lights on and food on our table but I have known deep down, for a very long time, that my place is in the home.

  13. I started out as a nurse and worked in a hospital for 11 years.

    At the ripe old age of 31 I just couldn’t take it any more! I was worn out physically and emotionally.

    Unfortunately, I was not a Christian at the time, so rather than leave the work force all together, I found a desk job, where I worked for many years. That was much better physically, but the lifestyle still felt burdensome. The rhythm of life still felt un-natural. I didn’t understand what that feeling was at the time, because I didn’t know anything about God’s divine assignment for us as women.

    Many years later, I became a Christian and began to study God’s Word. A light bulb went off! This is it! That under current of nagging and discontent comes about from living in disharmony with our Creator’s divine assignment for women!

    We resist. We rationalize

    We deny. We try many many different jobs, schedules, work environments, etc., but the round peg never fits in the square hole! And it never will!

    Thankfully, by the grace of God, my eyes were opened to this and now I am a very grateful stay at home wife.

    I am praying for those of you who are still struggling with this truth, and feel compelled to work, and condemned if you don’t!

    I lived like that for decades! I understand!

  14. I’ve never had children and I can say that an 8 hr. per day job was hard on our marriage. I can’t imagine trying to work around a 12 hr. shift.

    During the holidays, there was a commercial that I think was for a phone company. The mom was a nurse and used her phone to see what her family was doing at home. Like she was included in their fun because she could watch. I think it was meant to give you the warm fuzzies, but it sure didn’t work on me. All I could think of was that she was missing time she could never take back and perhaps if they bought a smaller home, she wouldn’t have *had* to work. I thought it was a terribly sad commentary on family life today.

    My friend got her RN license at 50 to pay her kids through college so they won’t be saddled with debt. She was a SAHM. She said that when that last graduation is in sight, her notice is going in. She is looking forward to being back home again FT. She doesn’t call nursing her career, she calls it a miserable job lol.

  15. Before the birth of our oldest, I worked in a Music Conservatory for a couple of years. Even doing something as straightforward as teaching music, I often had 9-hour work days with no time for meals or restroom breaks. My husband hated that I was being treated unfairly in an environment where he had no authority and was unable to protect me.

    My sister is in her second year of teaching public school middle and high school science. She HATES it, but is stuck until she pays off her master’s degree or has enough experience to teach at a higher level. She’s gained a lot of weight, struggles with depression and anxiety, and has developed high blood pressure. She often disparages the fact that her pupils are allowed to badly abuse her with no fear of punishment or retaliation. Public school can be just as damaging to those who work in it as the students forced to endure it.

    Being a homemaker, I’m able to reign over the microcosm of our home during the day and transform it into a place of beauty and rest for my husband to retire to after a stressful and demanding day. It is a necessity for the balance and peace of our souls, and I’m blessed that God has provided us the means to live by His standards.

    I think it is interesting to note in Exodus 1 that when Pharaoh directed the two Hebrew midwives, Shiphrah and Puah, to murder all of the Hebrew newborns and they refused, God “dealt well with the midwives” by giving them families. Even in ancient Israel, it was culturally normal for midwives (women in “medical profession”) to have no family. It would be interesting to know if these women, who feared God, continued as midwives after God blessed them with children, or if they laid their careers aside and instead served their families.

  16. As a family law attorney, I cannot agree more with Lori today. I see many female doctors and nurses are burnt out with their jobs after taking care of their sick patients. No energy left when they came home to serve her family and submit to her husband at home.

    I’ve witnessed they end up in divorce as a result of their secured jobs but no energy left to serve their husband at home.

    Female doctors and nurses could work before marriage but upon marriage, they should prioritize their family first. Otherwise, your life will be chaos.

    Thanks to Debi and now to Lori, I am reducing my workload and eventually want to devote my full time to my family especially to be a helpmeet to my husband.

    Thank you Lori! I emailed you personally but it seems you didn’t get it.

  17. My mother in law is a retired ER nurse and I can say that it greatly affected her family, especially her children. My husband as well as his two siblings were a lone a lot of the time. She just wasn’t home because of her job. Their dad worked some also so that put them both out of the home. My husbands sister is also a nurse, she is divorced and is not in contact with her children very much. Now I will say, that nursing probably did not cause the divorce because at the time, she was not working in a public job, but I do think that it affected her mentally, and emotionally causing some other issues with her husband and her children. My mother in law thinks very highly of being a nurse and I think she would encourage my 4 daughters, all or individually, to become a nurse if she gets a chance. But I would that my daughters would want to grow up to be wife and a mother!! Girls are so encouraged to pursue college and these 2 fields of work, nursing and teaching are at the top. Why are we not encouraging them to be godly wives and mothers?? I wish I would have been. I worked in the school system before my first daughter was born, but I wish I could go back and even change that!! Thank you Mrs. Alexander for sharing this important topic, as well as other issues that you bring to our attention!!

  18. Hi Lori, i get where you’re coming from (though I don’t agree with everything) but what would you advise to young women that are seniors and aren’t sure what path they should take? Because on one hand everyone expects us to prepare for a decades long career but on the other hand that’s time consuming, often expensive and isn’t always what everyone wants to do. I’m 17 and definitely know that I want to try becoming a mom in a couple years but in the meantime there’s other decisions about college, jobs, and career that I have to think about

  19. Be creative, Camille. There are many things young women can do besides going to college. Most women in the history of the world didn’t go to college. Learn the practical skills needed to run a home in a post I recently wrote. Find ways to make money from home. Be a nanny to some children who need the tender loving care of a woman. Be a teacher’s aide in a school. I don’t think you need a college degree for this. Seek the Lord in prayer for wisdom!

  20. Maybe your SAHM experience allowed for afternoon rest, but not all do. My husband’s cousins are farming families, and I can assure you that while home with their children, they indeed were on their feet many, many hours daily when their children were in the napping stage.
    A better argument would’ve been the reality that for nurses and teachers, they have long days on their feet, followed by long evenings to keep up at home.

    There are some days, depending on tasks, SAHM’s put in many hours on our feet, especially if it’s a heavy cooking/cleaning day. I’ve been known to bring potato peeling into the living room to watch tv to get off my feet. ?

    You’re right, though, 12 hours for nursing shifts is entirely too long. If a SAHM is on her feet 12 hours a day (which is entirely possible), being awake 16 hours a day should give breaks throughout for sitting down to recharge.
    In college, in the restaurant I worked in, waitresses did 12+ shifts Saturdays all the time-I tried it once, never again.

  21. I Absolutely LOVE being a nurse- I’m extremely good at it and I KNOW God has blessed me with these talents, the skills and the ability to develop a therapeutic relationship with my patients. In fact since becoming a mum I’m even better with my job as part of being a good nurse involves life experience.
    Yes it’s busy and sometimes I’m just exhausted at the end of the shift but In almost 15 years I’ve never worked a 12 hour shift they are 7.5hrs here in Australia and sometimes less. I took the full 1 year (paid) mat leave with all my babies and then returned casual when I was ready and when I wanted to work.
    No one else other than my husband or I have ever looked after our kids and I guarantee we spend more family time together than most.
    One thing my husband said on our honeymoon was that he didn’t want to be like his dad (who is a wonderful man and incredibly hard working) but missed out on his kids lives because he was always working overtime to support them.

  22. Hi Lori,
    I agree with you that mothers should not be nurses, but I agree with many other commentators saying it’s ok until a woman marries, like they did in the old days. It would solve problems in both the family and professional realms. Most nurses don’t make it beyond 5 years or so on the floor bc it’s a soul crushing job and if the natural exit of marriage and family came along it would be a more graceful exit. I was an EXCELLENT ICU nurse and I loved my job and was contributing to my field…. until I met my husband, by the time I finished my first pregnancy (a painful, miserable pregnancy that ended with preeclampsia due, I believe, to the stress and physicality of my job) I was thoroughly convinced that married women should be keepers at home. Once I was married (and immediately pregnant) I felt just like you, that working made me fail at work and at home. But I think it was good experience and allowed me to support myself while I waited for my husband (living in my father’s house till God finally brought me my husband at 30 wasnt an option)

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