Proverbs 31 describes a worthy woman as one who “looks well to the ways of her household.” What exactly does that mean in real time? And why does the Word of God assign this task to a woman, specifically a wife and mother?
Adam was never intended to carry out the dominion mandate without a companion who would give special attention to his needs and vision, and who would be uniquely suited by God for the task. God’s creation of a helpmeet (a suitable helper) came after Adam became aware of his “unmet need.” Thus, it should not surprise us that women have giftings and talents that are separate, yet complimentary to those of men.
In day-to-day life, a woman, in fully embracing the role of wife, ensures the smooth running of the household. In addition to the obvious responsibilities of overseeing the meals, seeing that all have proper clothing, and attending the needs of the children, there is the overall management of the place called home. Whether it is furnishing the household, purchasing necessary items, overseeing the repair of broken appliances, ensuring that vendors make good on the quality assurances of products they’ve sold, guaranteeing that the family isn’t paying too much or receiving too little service with utility companies and/or service providers, the woman is the God-ordained manager who sees to it that things run smoothly. Additionally, there is the important function of being an active volunteer, staying up–to-date and in touch with family and friends, and being ready and able to provide assistance when the need arises. These are all important aspects of marriage that are often overlooked in the education of girls.
An engaged woman during in her prenuptial months should be mentored by a seasoned “veteran” who can walk her through the various aspects of the role of wife. Those raised in a homeschool setting should already be familiar with the managerial tasks of a wife, as they have had their mother as an example. In the case of those who do not have a mentor, they should call upon stay-at-home wives as potential tutors.
Women who work outside the home end up with the responsibilities I have outlined above, which only adds to the stress of their lives and unduly burdens them. Divided loyalties and work deadlines and projects stand in the way of a smooth-running household. It is just another small aspect of the sanity of God’s plan for families that men were created to act as the protectors and providers and women as the nurturers and administrators. The Creator knew what He was doing!
- Andrea G. Schwartz
Andrea Schwartz is Chalcedon’s family and Christian education advocate, and the author of eight books including: A House for God: Building a Kingdom-Driven Family, The Biblical Trustee Family: Understanding God’s Purpose for Your Household, Empowered: Developing Strong Women for Kingdom Service, Woman of the House: A Mother’s Role in Building a Christian Culture, and The Homeschool Life: Discovering God’s Way to Family-Based Education. She’s also the co-host of the Out of the Question podcast, and Homeschooling Helps (weekly live Facebook event). She can be reached at [email protected].