So, uh, is Titus 2 still sound doctrine in your circles?

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Idelette

Puritan Board Graduate
As a side note, I just wanted to share with you all a certain situation of a woman that I know.

She is a divorced reformed christian mother of four children......and felt commanded by Scripture that her place is in the home with her children. She does receive some child support (but it is very little) and she lives in a trialer home, and lives INCREDIBLY simply. While many people have criticized her for not having a full-time job ,including believers, she truly felt that she honored God more by being a good steward of the children that HE has entrusted into her care. She felt it was HER responsibility in bringing them up in the fear of the Lord, rather than having someone else care for or teach them. She was convinced that if she worked outside the home...that it would be at the spiritual expense of her children. She truly felt that she needed to honor God and His Word regardless of how grim her circumstances may have seemed at times! And I have to tell you that she has had some incredibly desperate times....times where she wasn't sure if she would have food on the table tomorrow, or gas for her car, or shoes for her children when they began outgrowing their old ones. But God has ALWAYS been faithful to provide for her!! I have seen Him put food on her table exactly when her children needed it, and I have seen Him bring shoes exactly when she prayed for them, and I have seen Him provide for her over and over and over again!! Honestly, I have been so blessed to see her strong convictions....her faithfulness and reliance upon the Lord...and to witness God's provision in her life when times seemed so hopeless!
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
Well, that will be your decision for your wife, but it cannot be placed on other women otherwise you are usurping her husband's authority. I'm sure you are not advocating that I'm just saying...
Sarah, that's why I added this.

But that's just me.
I do have one question for those who think that Prov 31 is a slam dunk for women working as they please. Would the fact that her husband sits with the elders of the land not suggest that they are, in fact, older, and no longer have children in the home? I know it is speculation and that the age gap in marriage at the time was greater, but does that not carry some weight in the argument?
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
Well, that will be your decision for your wife, but it cannot be placed on other women otherwise you are usurping her husband's authority. I'm sure you are not advocating that I'm just saying...
But that's just me.
Sarah, that's why I added this.

I do have one question for those who think that Prov 31 is a slam dunk for women working as they please. Would the fact that her husband sits with the elders of the land not suggest that they are, in fact, older, and no longer have children in the home? I know it is speculation and that the age gap in marriage at the time was greater, but does that not carry some weight in the argument?
12 She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life. This verse isn't talking about just old men and women. It's about a woman throughout her life

28Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her: I think this shows that her children are still with her.

Someone can correct me, but I don't believe that it was only old men who sat at the gaits of city.
 

lynnie

Puritan Board Graduate
Lady Flynt, I do not mean that in any way we can fail to have compassion on the legitimately poor. I know people right now who are laid off, lost overtime, or developed a physical disability. Their economic woes are not spiritual sins or laziness or anything like that! Things are bad, and I know the awful struggles people have. We've lived in a trailer and few fixer uppers/handyman delight type houses, and I've known what it is to have the toaster die and you don't have 10 bucks for another one.

But in a perfect and ideal world, I think God's answer is diaconal ministry or caring friends and relatives supporting the Mom of preschoolers being at home. Not Mom going back to work. In the end of Acts Ch 2 & 4 the holy spirit fell and they started sharing with the needy and nobody had a need. I would love to see that happen. On the not too common occasions when we could give away substantial money, we usually gave to struggling families.

At the very least, I wish this was seen as a goal to at least pray for in our churches, and not as something outdated and no longer applicable. We will never be perfect in this life and we all struggle, but I wish this was at least presented as God's will for Mom's today if possible, and the best thing for the children.
 

Beth Ellen Nagle

Puritan Board Senior
Lady Flynt, I do not mean that in any way we can fail to have compassion on the legitimately poor. I know people right now who are laid off, lost overtime, or developed a physical disability. Their economic woes are not spiritual sins or laziness or anything like that! Things are bad, and I know the awful struggles people have. We've lived in a trailer and few fixer uppers/handyman delight type houses, and I've known what it is to have the toaster die and you don't have 10 bucks for another one.

But in a perfect and ideal world, I think God's answer is diaconal ministry or caring friends and relatives supporting the Mom of preschoolers being at home. Not Mom going back to work. In the end of Acts Ch 2 & 4 the holy spirit fell and they started sharing with the needy and nobody had a need. I would love to see that happen. On the not too common occasions when we could give away substantial money, we usually gave to struggling families.

At the very least, I wish this was seen as a goal to at least pray for in our churches, and not as something outdated and no longer applicable. We will never be perfect in this life and we all struggle, but I wish this was at least presented as God's will for Mom's today if possible, and the best thing for the children.
Good points. :up:
 

DonP

Puritan Board Junior
So Scott what do you think of all of this so far since you have been taking it in?

In response to a couple previous comments 1 Tim 5:14 Therefore I desire that the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully. 15 For some have already turned aside after Satan. 16 If any believing man or woman has widows, let them relieve them, and do not let the church be burdened, that it may relieve those who are really widows. NKJV

It seems this would indicate the general rule for most younger women as well as widows. They are to marry and bear children, manage the house so that they are not tempted to sin by the greater temptations out in the world.

Also note that the church is not socialist and that families are to relieve their widows not the church, unless they have no family at all or who can relieve them.
Only in times of extreme persecution or famine etc. would we all do as was done in acts with giving all we had in common. And hey that day may be coming on us. :book2:
 

Grace Alone

Puritan Board Senior
Lynnie, I got married just a couple of years before you did, and it was common for mothers to stay home or work part-time at that time. I am a teacher, so I see what a lot of young women do now. The vast majority take from 6 weeks to 3 months maternity leave and come right back to teaching full-time. I honestly can't remember the last time one resigned to stay home. I am sure that some are living simply and need the money to put food on the table, and others may have to work for various reasons such as for health insurance. But there are plenty of others in their late 20's living in $200-300,000 homes with 2 cars, membership to the health club, etc. who "cannot afford" to stay home with their babies.

I did teach part-time occasionally when my kids were small, but in retrospect, I did not have the worldview I do now. Our oldest daughter wants to be a fulltime, stay-at-home mother, and I pray that she is able to do it.
 

LadyFlynt

Puritan Board Doctor
Lynnie, I understand and agree to an extent. But some churches cannot sustain these families, have an over abundance of these families, etc. Others don't want to have to continually keep relying on the church everytime things go south and some churches have people in them that resent those that need assistance.
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
Lynnie, I understand and agree to an extent. But some churches cannot sustain these families, have an over abundance of these families, etc. Others don't want to have to continually keep relying on the church everytime things go south and some churches have people in them that resent those that need assistance.
That may be true, and those people need to learn different.

My suggestion would be that even the URCNA (as a denomintion) is a big place, and I don't think there is any sort of problem with a URC church in PA, USA supporting those in need in a URC church in Ontario, Canada or vice versa (or other believers outside of this denomination).
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
Lynnie, I understand and agree to an extent. But some churches cannot sustain these families, have an over abundance of these families, etc. Others don't want to have to continually keep relying on the church everytime things go south and some churches have people in them that resent those that need assistance.
That may be true, and those people need to learn different.

My suggestion would be that even the URCNA (as a denomintion) is a big place, and I don't think there is any sort of problem with a URC church in PA, USA supporting those in need in a URC church in Ontario, Canada or vice versa (or other believers outside of this denomination).
I'm stealing Peacemaker's verse:

1 Tim 5:16 If any believing man or woman has widows, let them relieve them, and do not let the church be burdened, that it may relieve those who are really widows. NKJV
While the church should be able to help the needy it isn't to be used as a source of income. Each household is responsible their needs and should work to meet those needs.
 

DonP

Puritan Board Junior
Most pastors wives do not have jobs. Does anyone think this is improper or they are a burden on the church and she should be working to help support their family like many of the others?
Then why should it be different for others?
We are so overly critical when we shouldn't be and loose when we should be critical. :oops: I just did it too didn't I.
Forgive me.
In His Service,
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
Most pastors wives do not have jobs. Does anyone think this is improper or they are a burden on the church and she should be working to help support their family like many of the others?
Then why should it be different for others?
We are so overly critical when we shouldn't be and loose when we should be critical. :oops: I just did it too didn't I.
Forgive me.
In His Service,
My pastor is very clear that if he needed his wife to go out and get a job he would have her do that. He is able to meet his family's needs on the income he gets as being a pastor and so not be a burden to the church.
 

Beth Ellen Nagle

Puritan Board Senior
Most pastors wives do not have jobs. Does anyone think this is improper or they are a burden on the church and she should be working to help support their family like many of the others?
Then why should it be different for others?
We are so overly critical when we shouldn't be and loose when we should be critical. :oops: I just did it too didn't I.
Forgive me.
In His Service,
My pastor is very clear that if he needed his wife to go out and get a job he would have her do that. He is able to meet his family's needs on the income he gets as being a pastor and so not be a burden to the church.

Even if she has small children?
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
Most pastors wives do not have jobs. Does anyone think this is improper or they are a burden on the church and she should be working to help support their family like many of the others?
Then why should it be different for others?
We are so overly critical when we shouldn't be and loose when we should be critical. :oops: I just did it too didn't I.
Forgive me.
In His Service,
My pastor is very clear that if he needed his wife to go out and get a job he would have her do that. He is able to meet his family's needs on the income he gets as being a pastor and so not be a burden to the church.

Even if she has small children?
Yes
 

Hebrew Student

Puritan Board Freshman
Hey Everyone!

First of all, there is some question as to whether or not the Proverbs 31 woman actually exists, or if she is an ideal. For example, it was mentioned that her husband was an elder, but the same text says that she plants a vineyard, and girds up her strength [v.16-17]. It is hard to imagine an elderly woman doing that kind of work. Also, not only does she plant this garden, but she also weaves clothes for herself and in order to make money [v.22, 24]. On top of that she works late into the night [v.18], and then gets up early in the morning to make breakfast [v.15]. I don't think it is possible for an elderly woman to do all of that in a 24 hour period day after day without eventually running herself into the ground.

Also, it is difficult to avoid the parallel of the vineyard to what we call a "carrier" today. The reason is because, not only were vineyards a major crop in the ANE, but also, because all of this was done by hand. The entire field had to be planted, weeded, watered, and harvested all by hand. That is hardly easy work. In fact, it is likely, for such a task, that she would have had to hire servants. Hence, the amount of time and effort required to keep something like this up would certainly be parallel to a "carrier" today.

However, more pertinent to our discussion is the fact that the Proverbs were probably given in the context of a royal court. We have several proverbs from the ANE, especially in Egyptian and Sumerian, and they are all royal in character. Hence, it is likely that the family would not just have consisted of, not just the husband and wife, but also servants, maids, and all kinds of royal officers. Hence, the mother could still see that the children were taken care of during the day if she embarked on such a task as farming in a vineyard.

Also, with regards to Titus 2, I have never been convinced of the interpretation that says that this is giving the woman a gender role to work in the home. Notice some of the other things in the context:

Titus 2:4-5 so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.

Notice how, logically if you take "workers at home" to be a gender role, you are caught taking everything else to be a gender role as well. It then becomes the wife's primary responsibility to love the children. Hence, while the husband may love the children too, he could conceivably hate the children, and nothing would be wrong because it is the woman's primary responsibility to love the children. Could we also say this for purity? kindness? sensibility? It really doesn't make any sense.

Paul's context here is not to set up gender roles. It appears that he is laying down what Christian behavior is to look like, regardless of whether those behaviors are the primary responsibilities of the individual sexes. He is simply saying that women do have a responsibility to be involved in the affairs of the home, and, I would say that men do too. Imagine a man who gets home, and then just puts his feet up, and does nothing every day after he comes home from work. Most people would be upset with him, and rightfully so.

Hence, I don't think that any of these are gender roles. However, I do have sympathy for those who have concerns about the children simply being neglected. Hence, while I would say it is not wrong for a woman to have a carrier, she cannot do so if it means compromising her children. The same thing for the man. It is not wrong for a man to have a carrier, but he cannot do so if it will compromise the security of his children. Whatever the arrangement, one must make sure that the children are taken care of and raised properly in the training and admonition of the Lord.

God Bless,
Adam
 

Hamalas

whippersnapper
Adam, if Paul is not talking about gender roles here, then why does he carefully mention "older men" & "younger men", "older women" & "younger women"?

Obviously both parents are to love their children and provide for them. No Christian is exempt from the commands to show kindness, purity, or sensibility. However, there are clearly specific roles that God establishes. :2cents:
 

DonP

Puritan Board Junior
It was common for the students to have guardians, and servants to care for them. So there is nothing wrong with that if you can afford it. And if the parents also oversee the religious education and worship and show love to the children.

So the wife could be out working her part of the business overseeing the servants work that she rose early to feed.

If you can't afford servants then you better make sure you get it done. Much preferable than handing the kids over to the state to brainwash :worms: then say at least I am a stay at home mom here fore them when they get home from school.
:eek:
Acknowledging that some moms or dads may not be equipped to educate their children, so hopefully Christians friends would help do this or a Christian school could be used and funded by the church if necessary. :stirpot: And I know for physical conditions there are exceptions. :offtopic::drool:
 

refbaptdude

Puritan Board Freshman
Below are some helpful comments concerning Titus 2:5. It is an excerpt from the book “Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood – A Response to Evangelical Feminism” edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem. The selection is from chapter 20, page 348.


B. What About the Wife and Mother Working Outside the Home?
Some Christians have interpreted Titus 2:5 (“workers at home,” NASB)4 to mean that any work outside the home is inappropriate for the wife and mother. But the fact that wives should care for their home does not necessarily imply that they should not work outside the home, any more than the statement that a “overseer” in the church should “manage his own household” (1 Timothy 3:4-5) means that he cannot work outside the home. In neither case does the text say that! The dynamic equivalent translation of Titus 2:5 by the niv, “to be busy at home,” catches the force of Paul’s admonition, namely, that a wife should be a diligent homemaker. Moreover, Proverbs 31:10-31 depicts a wife and mother whose support for the family extends well beyond ordinary domestic chores (cf. e.g., verses 16 and 24: “She considers a field and buys it . . . she plants a vineyard. . . . She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies belts to the tradesmen,” NASB). Since Scripture interprets Scripture and its teaching is consistent and unified, we realize that the picture of Proverbs is not contradicted by the Apostle Paul. Furthermore, we must realize that the emphasis on the home is the very point of the Proverbs passage. The woman in Proverbs works to care for her family and to fulfill her responsibility to her family (cf., e.g., verses 21 and 27). She does this not only for her children but also to support her husband’s leadership role in the community (verse 23). She is seeking the good of her family. Furthermore, she seeks to aid the poor and needy by her labors (verse 20).

Here, then, are keys to the question of a wife and mother working outside the home: Is it really beneficial to her family, does it aid her husband in his calling, and does it, in correlation with these first two, bring good to others? Can she do it while still being faithful to her primary calling to be wife and mother and to care for her home? It must be noted that even though the woman in Proverbs has not sought to “find herself” or to make her own career, but rather to serve her family, in the end she receives praise from her
family (verses 28, 29) and recognition for her labors (verse 31) because she has conducted the whole endeavor in obedience to the Lord she reverences (verse 30). The decision in this realm must not be unilateral on the part of the woman but made under the leadership of her husband as the head of the marriage and the family.
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
Even if she has small children?
Yes
Well, still reflecting on this but my first reaction is... :eek: :)
Why? Their children would not be left at a daycare. They could work it out where either he or she is there to raise them in a Godly atmosphere. Even if this was completely impossible, the church members could be their daycare. I have more time than money and others do too. We would be happy to care for them for a few hours if it came to that. They wouldn't be with church members 8 hours out of the day or anything like that. They are godly people with sense and are creative. She especially is creative. She could easily set up a website and sell the things she makes or she could work part time outside of the home when he is done with his studies. This gives him time with the children alone which isn't a bad thing. There's all sorts of things that can be done. I wife doesn't have to only clean house, cook, and take care of children. There's so much more she can do to ease the load of her husband. We must also remember that it is only lately that people make their children the center of their universe. There is a balance to be had. We shouldn't neglect them nor should they run every aspect of our lives.
 

DonP

Puritan Board Junior
OK lets really get hairy here. Can the woman make more money than the man?
Can she be the main provider?
What if her father was wealthy and left her lots of land etc. they can live off of?

What if the husband is unable to find work and she has training and can?? I am thinking for a period of time not their entire life.
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
Below are some helpful comments concerning Titus 2:5. It is an excerpt from the book “Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood – A Response to Evangelical Feminism” edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem. The selection is from chapter 20, page 348.


B. What About the Wife and Mother Working Outside the Home?
Some Christians have interpreted Titus 2:5 (“workers at home,” NASB)4 to mean that any work outside the home is inappropriate for the wife and mother. But the fact that wives should care for their home does not necessarily imply that they should not work outside the home, any more than the statement that a “overseer” in the church should “manage his own household” (1 Timothy 3:4-5) means that he cannot work outside the home. In neither case does the text say that! The dynamic equivalent translation of Titus 2:5 by the niv, “to be busy at home,” catches the force of Paul’s admonition, namely, that a wife should be a diligent homemaker. Moreover, Proverbs 31:10-31 depicts a wife and mother whose support for the family extends well beyond ordinary domestic chores (cf. e.g., verses 16 and 24: “She considers a field and buys it . . . she plants a vineyard. . . . She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies belts to the tradesmen,” NASB). Since Scripture interprets Scripture and its teaching is consistent and unified, we realize that the picture of Proverbs is not contradicted by the Apostle Paul. Furthermore, we must realize that the emphasis on the home is the very point of the Proverbs passage. The woman in Proverbs works to care for her family and to fulfill her responsibility to her family (cf., e.g., verses 21 and 27). She does this not only for her children but also to support her husband’s leadership role in the community (verse 23). She is seeking the good of her family. Furthermore, she seeks to aid the poor and needy by her labors (verse 20).

Here, then, are keys to the question of a wife and mother working outside the home: Is it really beneficial to her family, does it aid her husband in his calling, and does it, in correlation with these first two, bring good to others? Can she do it while still being faithful to her primary calling to be wife and mother and to care for her home? It must be noted that even though the woman in Proverbs has not sought to “find herself” or to make her own career, but rather to serve her family, in the end she receives praise from her
family (verses 28, 29) and recognition for her labors (verse 31) because she has conducted the whole endeavor in obedience to the Lord she reverences (verse 30). The decision in this realm must not be unilateral on the part of the woman but made under the leadership of her husband as the head of the marriage and the family.
AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I couldn't say this well! Thank you for saying what I've been trying to say!
 

lynnie

Puritan Board Graduate
Can she do it while still being faithful to her primary calling to be wife and mother and to care for her home?

When the kids are away to school from 8:00 to 3:00, maybe.

When they are babies and toddlers I have to say no- which was clear in my initial post. I try to cut more slack on this subject when kids start school, especially if you need tuition money for Christian school.

Frankly, even when the kids get older, all the working Moms I have ever known are stressed out of their minds. No time to get a daily walk, no time to read the bible and pray every day adequately. Throw in soccer and softball and all the rest and they are walking messes. And I have been shocked!!! at how crappy their sex lives are when they talk about it.
 

DonP

Puritan Board Junior
Can't we talk about a doctrine where I can have some simple answer that settles it all? This practical application is intricate stuff!

We are a mess !!

Please Come Lord Jesus!!
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
Can she do it while still being faithful to her primary calling to be wife and mother and to care for her home?

When the kids are away to school from 8:00 to 3:00, maybe.

When they are babies and toddlers I have to say no- which was clear in my initial post. I try to cut more slack on this subject when kids start school, especially if you need tuition money for Christian school.

Frankly, even when the kids get older, all the working Moms I have ever known are stressed out of their minds. No time to get a daily walk, no time to read the bible and pray every day adequately. Throw in soccer and softball and all the rest and they are walking messes. And I have been shocked!!! at how crappy their sex lives are when they talk about it.
Have you read everything the Proverbs woman did? That's enough to stress the strongest woman out, but the Bible calls us to be just that type of woman. Strong in constitution because they are strong in Christ. I know stress and anxiety! They were my constant companions until Christ threw them out. Being constantly stressed out is wrong and is no excuse for having a crappy sex life with their husbands. Something else is wrong.
 

forgivenmuch

Puritan Board Freshman
As has already been stated, I think the wife's main responsibility is to her household. She is to support her husband, help raise her children, and keep her home in order. If she is able to do all of that well, and still have time left over, then I believe it is o.k. for her to work, but only if these things are taken care of first. My opinion is that if the family is struggling financially then the husband should go out and get a second, or even third, job to provide for the family. That is his responsibility, not the wife's.
 

LadyFlynt

Puritan Board Doctor
Lynnie, I understand and agree to an extent. But some churches cannot sustain these families, have an over abundance of these families, etc. Others don't want to have to continually keep relying on the church everytime things go south and some churches have people in them that resent those that need assistance.
That may be true, and those people need to learn different.

My suggestion would be that even the URCNA (as a denomintion) is a big place, and I don't think there is any sort of problem with a URC church in PA, USA supporting those in need in a URC church in Ontario, Canada or vice versa (or other believers outside of this denomination).
I'm not discussing any particular denomination. I've seen it in more than one. I'm mentioning possible issues that can come up an any variety of church.
 

refbaptdude

Puritan Board Freshman
This is how women work around the world and have since the beginning. Let’s not read into the text the rich American way of life.

Women working in the mines of India


A woman selling her goods at the market in Israel






 
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