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Embracing Our Calling: Workers at Home

  • Julie Austin,
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Reprinted with permission from Unless The Lord ...Magazine

Here is a topic that seems controversial to some, but I honestly don't believe that it is, if we look to Scripture, not to societal beliefs that are clearly not based on God's Word. I like how Douglas Phillips of Vision Forum put it into perspective. He said that we need to picture ourselves on a deserted island and then pretend all we have to go by is the Bible that we have with us

Well, shouldn’t this already be what we go by? Not what we feel, not what we think, but only what the Word of God says. Wow, that might change how we live. Well, that is how we should be living isn't it? How would you structure your family life, your society, and even establish a governmental system, if you based it solely on the inerrant Word of God? Christian women need to look to the Bible for their direction, not the latest trend in an evolutionary based, feminist society.

Being a Worker at Home

Should a Christian woman have a job outside the home? I believe that if you do, you will suffer consequences, as will your husband and definitely your children. The woman was never meant to be the breadwinner in the structure of the family God set up.

Even many churches of this age are promoting women in roles that the Bible clearly says they should not be in. Many churches have eroded to such a state that there is really no discernible difference between the people who attend there, and those who attend a local secular club or civic group. Is that Biblical? Well, to some this may be surprising, but we need to look to the Bible for our answers. If we listen to whatever is told to us, even by the popular radio preachers and speakers of this time, we could be unknowingly going down the wrong path.

Look to Genesis. The man was the one who was cursed with the work that he did. Not that the work was the curse, but the way it would be done would not be easy.

The woman's curse dealt with what she was made to do — that is, to have children. We are to raise a godly offspring. (Malachi 2:15).

Let's look to Scripture!

Titus 2: 1-5: But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine; that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things — that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, home makers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. 1 Timothy 5: 14: Therefore I desire that the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully.
Ephesians 5: 22-24: Wives submit to your own husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is the head of the church; and He is the Savior of the Body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

Let me stop here for just a moment. Here are a few questions to ask yourself. 1) If I work outside of the home, am I subject to my husband in everything? Or to another man's (my employer) authority? 2) Would that encourage me on to godliness — and obedience, or make my thoughts wander toward the things of this world? 3) If I’m to live for my husband as the head, just as Christ is the head of the church…shouldn’t that job be all consuming? Or is that just when I can fit his needs in, after I return home from work? 4) If it is my job to be a keeper of the home, manage the home and raise a godly offspring…do I have the freedom to drop my children off somewhere else while I go off to work?

The Proverbs 31 Woman

Now let's look to the Proverbs 31 woman. What did she do? Here we have a role model set before us. Did she have a career apart from her family?

Proverbs 31: 10-31

Vs. 10-11: Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her: So he will have no lack of gain.
Observation #1: I don't believe she was a pleasure shopper. If she was alive today, it doesn't sound like this lady would be spending money frivolously or charging up the credit cards.
Vs. 12: She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.
Observation #2: Sounds like she had a purpose. She didn't just do as she pleased and when it suited her, she'd fit in her husband. She did him good not evil ALL the days of her life. She clearly felt that was one of her main purposes. How sad it is when women get into the martyr syndrome of: "Woe is me, my life is so hard with THAT man!" That attitude does not sound like the one God intends us to have for our husbands. Is the church supposed to live for Christ following Him obediently, or to complain about Him?
Vs. 13: She seeks wool and flax, and willingly works with her hands.
Observation #3: We've lost so many valuable skills in this age. I think it is so wonderful when the older women teach the younger to have skills in sewing, knitting, crocheting, quilting and other similar things. It is a good thing to learn these skills and then pass them on to our daughters.
Vs. 14: She is like the merchant ships she brings her food from afar.
Observation #4: I heard no mention of dropping the kids off at the daycare on the way to go shopping. She can use that time to teach them skills involved in "bargain hunting" and planning meals.
Vs. 15: She rises while it is yet night, and provide food for her household and a portion for her maidservants.
Observation #5: Well, food preparation doesn't take as long anymore. But we should plan and take care to make well-balanced meals that are pleasant for our family and presented in a way that shows effort. (Every night MacDonald's or microwave quickies should not be the norm) Also she is providing for anyone who is working for her.
Vs. 16: She considers a field and buys it; from her profits she plants a vineyard.
Observation #6: This shows me that her husband had enormous trust in her. She had proved her abilities. She knew how to invest their money wisely.

It doesn't sound like she was a couch potato, does it? She had to have studied to accomplish this. —But again, it doesn't say that she dropped her kids off at daycare and took some courses at the Jr. college.

Vs. 17: She girds herself with strength and strengthens her arms.
Observation #7: Does that sound like regular exercise?
Vs. 18-19: She perceives that her merchandise is good, and her lamp does not go out at night. She stretches out her hands to the distaff and her hands hold the spindle.
Observation #8: She is a hard worker, perfecting her craft. She pays attention to details and gets the job done.
Vs. 20: She extends her hand to the poor, Yes she reaches out her hands to the needy.
Observation #9: Since she managed her home so well, didn't spend frivolously, and wasn't self pleasure seeking, she had the means to help others, and she did. This is a strong lesson to us!
Vs. 21: She is not afraid of snow for her household, For all her household is clothed with scarlet.
Observation #10: She made her family their clothing, they were warm and used material that was beautiful…she seems to always be paying attention to details, not just throwing something together to get by.
Vs. 22: She makes tapestry for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Observation #11: This is not a frumpy housewife. She fixed herself up for her husband in beautiful clothes that she made herself. She didn't go on expensive shopping trips for herself to the merchants, but took the time to make herself attractive for her husband within her means.
Vs. 23: Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land.
Observation #12: She must have spoken well of her husband, not slandered him. She helped him look good to others. She must not have attended the husband bashing socials.
Vs. 24: She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies sashes for the merchants.
Observation #13: She worked making things from her home (just as the New Testament says we should be encouraged to do). She sold them to the merchants and made money. So did she have a business? Yes, but she didn't leave her family, place herself under another man's authority and pursue her career. Her career was her husband and family and providing for their needs. She made her crafts at home, and then sold them to merchants to sell.
Vs. 25-26: Strength and honor are her clothing; she shall rejoice in the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.
Observation #14: She is well prepared. She has conducted herself honorably. She is kind and wise. Wisdom comes from God's Word and in reverencing God as the Almighty.
Vs. 27: She watches over the ways of her household. And does not eat the bread of idleness.
Observation #15: She is not trying to get out of working or making excuses for herself. She is a "Goer" and doesn't waste time.
Vs. 28-29: Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her; "Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all."
Observation #16: Wow, is there any greater reward than that? To know that you have obeyed your God, pleased your husband and children and taken care of their needs, to the best of your abilities? That would be tremendously gratifying. Why would any woman want a career apart from her family if she embraced her calling as wife and mother?
Vs. 30-31: Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but the woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands. And let her own works praise her in the gates.
Last Observation: It appears that if we, as women, are living our calling, it is a reward in itself. We need only look to our “life's manual” for direction. The world’s solutions will not bring satisfaction and will result in heartache and negative consequences.

Have I accomplished all that is taught in this passage of scripture? No, but I do not wallow in my inadequacies and my sin of disobedience. I need to press on to my calling as wife and mother with vigilance and enthusiasm. I need to continue in repentance when I do veer off track. We will not be perfect in this world, but our hearts should constantly be striving toward obedience to our Sovereign LORD of all.


I would encourage you to do a Biblical study ....not a study of what everybody else might do or think...... of God's view of children. If we truly believe that our God is Sovereign over all, then shouldn't we leave the number of children He blesses us with up to Him? The church is about equal with the world now in stopping the blessings of children from coming. What are our motives in this? Is there a place in the Bible that says we should limit how many children we have? I've never found that anywhere in Scripture. God's word says quite the contrary. Children are described as a blessing, not a curse or an imposition to our desired life style of pleasure seeking. What a selfish society we have become. We say we are pro-life, then take measures to stop the lives that God may place within our bodies. We figuratively try to slam the door in God's face and obstinately say, "No more!”

I believe the church has jumped over the line into secular thinking on this point BIG TIME, and we are reaping the consequences in a variety of ways. Do not take my word for this. Go to the infallible Word and study the subject throughout the entire Word of God. It will be extremely enlightening, and convicting. It took five years for my husband and I to come to terms with this and this year he had a reversal from a vasectomy. I guess we are "technically" old enough to be grandparents now (youthful grand-parents), but I am still in my child bearing years and to us, it is a matter of obedience and acknowledgment of God's sovereignty in our lives.