Every single time I write on women being keepers at home, I am asked the question, “What if my husband wants me to work outside of the home?” God has made it clear that He wants women to be “keepers at home” so they don’t blaspheme His word. “To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed” (Titus 2:5). He commands younger women to “marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully” (1 Timothy 5:14).
“That’s what it says: get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no cause, no occasion, for reproach. A married woman is in a safer place, a more spiritually beneficial place, a more protected place; and she must care for her husband. It’s a more selfless place and she must care for her children, and it’s again more selfless. This isn’t hard to figure out. This is a divine principle. Abandoning children to work outside the home is a violation of Scripture.” (John MacArthur)
Then here’s a verse about barren women. “He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children” (113:9). The Proverbs 31 woman was “known for looking well to the ways of her household.” She was NOT a career woman. This is a modern day fable in order to support feminism and its goals. All of the Proverbs 31 woman’s work revolved in and around the home. There were no factories, hospitals, daycares, or office buildings back then.
God has commanded that men be the providers. “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (1 Timothy 5:8). A man who doesn’t provide for his family is worse than an unbeliever! Right after the Fall, God’s curse to Adam concerned providing. He would toil in the soil all of the days of his life. The woman’s curse revolved around the home. She would have pain in childbirth. God’s will for women and men is very clear. There is order in the home and marriage when roles are clearly defined.
So what about the husband who wants his wife to leave the home and work in the workforce? Is he asking her to blaspheme the word of God since God commands that she be a keeper at home? Who is she to obey? She is also called to submit to her husband in everything (Ephesians 5:24). Can a husband’s command supersede God’s commands? The answer is not a simple “yes” or “no” as the husband cannot supersede the truth of God’s ideals for the family’s lives. Yet, one of the reasons God gives a husband the right to lead is that life does not present itself at all times with a clear path in application, as there can be circumstances that a wife seemingly must work for a time with a mind to accomplish God’s Word.
When a wife sets herself up to overrule her head, chaos and confusion is often the result. A wife faced with two seemingly opposing commands must follow her husband’s lead except in times where he may be asking her to blatantly sin or place herself in harm’s way. Not only is she to keep the peace, but she also must realize that if God placed her husband over her to lead in the marriage, as she follows in this area, it is honoring God by honoring her husband. It is his responsibility to stand before God for this decision, not hers, unless she is complicit in not wanting to stay home in the first place. In a few cases of a disobedient wife, it could be for her own good that he is asking her to work, even if she cannot fully see it or agree.
One woman on Facebook wrote that her husband makes plenty of money for her to be home to raise her children, but he insists she work for more money. He’s not a believer and if she decided to disobey him, he would probably divorce her. A divorce is worse for children than not having a mother home full time with them, in my opinion. The problem with women choosing to leave their homes for the workforce, however, and men insisting their wives work outside of the home is the lasting damage it does to the children. No one seems to care what’s best for the children anymore.
“Working women contribute to lost children, delinquent children, children who have lack of proper understanding of God-ordained roles in the home, terrible decline, drugs; we don’t even talk about the working woman phenomenon of adultery and divorce.” (John MacArthur)
Does your husband insist you work out of the home and leave your children in the care of others? If so, make a well thought out gentle and kind appeal to him. Have facts to back it up. Read The Way Home by Mary Pride and all of the statistics that prove how much healthier mentally and emotionally it is for children to have their mother home full time with them. Figure out how much you would actually bring home after taxes and all the money wasted, since you won’t be home to live frugally and simply. Explain to him how much harder his life will be without you home to care for him, the children, and home.
Pray before approaching him. If he is wavering and tells you it is your decision, then stay home! If he is adamant then you must, seek the Spirit, yet it seems that God’s desire is for you to follow the biblical guidelines in 1 Peter 3:1,2 and try to win him without a word with your godly behavior. Go to work, but pray consistently that your husband will change his mind. Ask the Lord for daily strength and wisdom.
Young women, make sure you discuss this before marriage. You want to marry a man who wants YOU to be the one home raising your children. One who knows the value of a mother at home, either because he had one and knows it’s what God commands, or he didn’t have a mother home full time and understands the pain of her absence in his life.
My husband always understood the role of being the provider and me being at home with our children. It’s a huge blessing to be the one disciplining, training, teaching, nurturing, protecting, and caring for one’s own children. It helps them grow up secure and emotionally stable. Do what it takes to give this to your children. Our culture has become like Sodom and Gomorrah. Children NEED to be with their mothers at home. And yes, MANY have learned to live on one income, contrary to what many claim these days. It only takes learning to live without all of your wants and being able to clearly discern between wants and needs.
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
1 John 5:3
***If a wife is spending her husband’s money on herself (Botox, breast implants, fake nails, expensive clothing, etc.) and causing them to go into deep debt, then I can see a husband asking his wife to work to pay for her extravagant lifestyle, or a wife who does no housework nor care for the children…Rebellious wives are a different story.