This is a sensitive area in Christianity today
but failure to give heed to this scripture is causing the Lord's
churches to suffer the consequences for disregarding his word.
Our modern career oriented society is diametrically opposed to the
scriptural teaching on this subject. Furthermore, our indulgence in the
prevailing atheistic, materialistic philosophy of our times is
resulting in the consequent loss of God's blessings in our families
It is simply not possible to have a career and be a keeper at home.
The scriptures never teach a woman to seek a career. The
scriptures consistently teach a woman to be a keeper at home.
Further the scriptures do not say be a keeper of the house.
You can keep the house clean and hardly ever set foot in it.
No, the scriptures say be a keeper at (meaning in) the
home. Houses may sit empty but a home is the place kept by a
special person, a woman.
This does not mean that women are prohibited
from having any role outside the home. The scriptures do not
teach that a woman is prohibited from trying to earn income for her
family. The Bible teaches that a virtuous woman may earn
income. Proverbs 31 says, She seeketh wool, and flax,
and worketh willingly with her hands. She girdeth her loins
with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. She perceiveth that
her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto
the merchant. (Pr 31:13, 17-19,24). The woman spoken of in
Proverbs 31 is an example, meaning a woman doesn't have to be
engaged in tailoring clothes but the point is her business is based in
the home. It is important that her business is home based
because it is the only way she can fulfill the requirements set out
in God's order of authority. The order of authority teaches
that a woman is to be submissive to her husband, Eph 5:22,24.
If she works for an employer, there is a conflict with the order of
authority because she must now submit to another man's authority
rather than her husband's.
Another Biblical avenue open towards women
desiring to earn income is to work for their husbands. Working
for one's husband keeps the order of authority intact and allows a
woman to be an asset to her spouse in the operation of a business.
I'm sure some reading this may feel this
doctrine is too ridged. Aren't there exceptions to the rule?
Are there not times when it is OK for a woman to have a career?
First, let me say that we are not under the law but under grace.
A Christian woman who has a career is not endangering her redemption
in Jesus Christ. However, we are not to use grace as an excuse to disobey the word of
God. Second, there might be extenuating circumstances where
God doesn't necessarily look down on a woman who holds a job outside
the home. But those circumstances would be exceptionally rare
and not the norm. In our day, Christian women with careers
have become the norm and not the exception. It has
become too common to be scriptural. Third a woman who
works for her husband may still fall under the category of being a
keeper at home. By remaining under his authority as a laborer
in his work she fulfills the duties of being a help meet to her
husband, Genesis 2:18.
If you hold the philosophy that a woman is too
smart to sit at home having no career and not living up to her
income potential then I encourage you to read once again the
Proverbs 31 woman. I have heard some woman say they are too
smart to just be a house wife and use that to justify a career.
If you are indeed that intelligent the Bible authorizes you to put
that intelligence to good use through a home based income. An
intelligent woman with drive and enthusiasm can be very successful
and Biblically sound working for herself of working with her
What is a young unmarried woman to do?
The Bible gives instruction about this in two places.
First Paul says in 1Ti 5:14, I will therefore
that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give
none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. It is
the purpose of God that ordinarily, the younger women are to marry.
Seeking higher education etc. is not necessarily wrong but such
things should be pursued with the understanding that following the
instruction of 1 Timothy 5:14 takes precedent. Such things as
higher education are good if you can afford it. What
can be afforded really doesn't include borrowed money. Our
country makes getting into debt too easy and getting out of debt
very hard. A young woman exiting college with large debt is
under bondage to pay it back. Too often when she marries and
has children she is forced to work to pay off the debt or her
husband, if he is able, must pay off the debt for her education.
Likewise, new cars purchased with borrowed money are to be avoided
for the same reason. It is a
mistake for Christians to take upon themselves financial burdens
that will interfere with their duties to the scriptures when the
time comes for marriage and child bearing.
Second, Paul says The aged women
likewise ...that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love
their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste,
keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word
of God be not blasphemed, Titus 2:3-5.