The wife at work

Discussion in 'Family Forum' started by Joseph Scibbe, May 26, 2009.

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  1. Joseph Scibbe

    Joseph Scibbe Puritan Board Junior

    What are your thoughts on a wife having a job (either part or full time) BEFORE the children are born?
     
  2. Theognome

    Theognome Burrito Bill

    If she can work for her own business (or her husbands) from the home, fine. If she has to work for someone else outside of the home, I'm against it whether there are children or not.

    Theognome
     
  3. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    Not a problem. Particularly if there are times of necessity.
     
  4. Tripel

    Tripel Puritan Board Senior

    I'm all for it. If she has talents that can be rewarded through a full-time job, great!
     
  5. Josiah

    Josiah Puritan Board Senior

    My Wife and I are married with no children yet and she is working full time. We have agreed that once we start having children that she will become a stay at home Mom taking care of the kids. She also has mulled around the possibility of working part time on Saturdays.
     
  6. Craig

    Craig Puritan Board Senior

    Only in extreme circumstances would I think it wrong to have a wife working outside of the home when there are no children.

    If one's wife has a tendency toward building a "career"...then that man is marrying off his wife to another man (i.e. her employer).
     
  7. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritanboard Commissioner

    Biblically, I don't think there is a prohibition. There is an ordinary pattern that tends to flow even from the creation order but there are lots of exceptions of circumstances.

    It would be unwise to try and biblically preclude all those circumstances. Many of us have been blessed by women who were working outside the home (e.g. nurses, school teachers, etc.).

    Of one thing I am sure- a woman must not violate biblical priorities in seeking employment and if married, the responsibility for setting the tone for this rests with the man, including, by faith, setting a lifestyle before God that will not presume on debt or pursuing materialism.
     
  8. larryjf

    larryjf Puritan Board Senior

    There is wisdom in Proverbs 31

    13 She seeks wool and flax,
    and works with willing hands.
    14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
    she brings her food from afar.
    15 She rises while it is yet night
    and provides food for her household
    and portions for her maidens.
    16 She considers a field and buys it;
    with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
    17 She dresses herself with strength
    and makes her arms strong.
    18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
    Her lamp does not go out at night.
    19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
    and her hands hold the spindle.
    20 She opens her hand to the poor
    and reaches out her hands to the needy.
    21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
    for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
    22 She makes bed coverings for herself;
    her clothing is fine linen and purple.
    23 Her husband is known in the gates
    when he sits among the elders of the land.
    24 She makes linen garments and sells them;
    she delivers sashes to the merchant.
    25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
    and she laughs at the time to come.
    26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
    and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
    27 She looks well to the ways of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
    28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
    29 “Many women have done excellently,
    but you surpass them all.”
    30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
    31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
    and let her works praise her in the gates.
     
  9. ReformedChapin

    ReformedChapin Puritan Board Freshman

    I am all for it especially in this economy. Not to mention if there is no children in the picture it can be something that gives meaningful work to her rathern than just being a stay at home wife. I am certainly not saying that stay at home wives have meaningless work (especially with children in the picture) but I know that several woman want more and I respect that.
     
  10. kvanlaan

    kvanlaan Puritan Board Doctor

    I would avoid it at all costs beforehand. After children, no brainer.
     
  11. jpfrench81

    jpfrench81 Puritan Board Sophomore

    It seems like the answer to this question is the same as, "Can a man's unwed daughter work outside the home?"

    Unless one believes that a woman should never work outside the home, I'm not sure what basis one would have for saying that a married woman shouldn't be able to work outside the home (assuming there is no are no children and that she can maintain the home) if an unwed woman is able to do so.
     
  12. LawrenceU

    LawrenceU Puritan Board Doctor

    Yup.

    I know, I know. I'm a Neanderthal.
     
  13. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    Only if you aren't taking into account that not all situations are the same.
     
  14. kvanlaan

    kvanlaan Puritan Board Doctor

    I don't think anyone is recommending starvation as opposed to one's wife working outside the home (so maybe not at ALL costs). But let's remember that God has ordained that a woman's head be her husband; taking a job outside the home will put her under the authority of another man at some point... :worms:
     
  15. historyb

    historyb Puritan Board Junior

    My thoughts, sometimes with this economy it has to be done. Gone are the days of a one house wage unless you have a great wage, my wife worked until she was laid off.
     
  16. Kevin

    Kevin Puritan Board Doctor

    No problem.

    I think that some people have placed a burden on women, that the scriptures do not require.

    I do not agree at all with the "umbrella theory" of headship promoted by some fundamentalist cult leaders. And I consider it a great shame that many reformed men, out of a (no doubt) sincere desire to restor proper bibical sex roles have adopted it.

    This view is NOT the historic view in the Presbyterian tradition of the role of women. I know that some of the more anti-social (seperatist?) Dutch Reformed traditions hold this view, but it is an Anabaptist/radical reformation view, not mainstream reformed.

    It is also requires a very tortured reading of history, & some serious "shoe-horning" to try to make a modern cash based wage economy adopt a (flawed in my opinion) view of sexual variation in the economic production of pre-modern households.
     
  17. OPC'n

    OPC'n Puritan Board Doctor

    There's nothing wrong with it if that's what you decide is most helpful to you and the household.
     
  18. Montanablue

    Montanablue Puritan Board Doctor

    I don't see a scriptural prohibition - as long as it isn't causing her to neglect her responsibilities as a wife. I would also point out that if a husband's job/career is causing him to neglect his responsibilities as a husband, he also needs to re-evaluate. I think that sometimes we forget that this road can be a two way street.
     
  19. Grace Alone

    Grace Alone Puritan Board Senior

    Wow, this would have never occurred to us to even be an issue. I had a college degree and started teaching right before we got married. I would have been lonely and bored to tears if I had had to sit at home while my husband worked 10-12 hour days in those early years!
     
  20. raekwon

    raekwon Puritan Board Junior

    Two things . . .

    1) Why assume that she'd be under authority of a man? Would it then be okay if her boss was another woman?

    2) If you're going to use this as a reason to prohibit it, you'd also have to prohibit women and girls from (among other things) . . .
    - school (unless all of their teachers are women)
    - church (unless all of their elders/pastors are women . . . uh oh!)

    Just sayin'. That a married woman would be under the authority of a man in the realm of employment doesn't mean that she's no longer under the authority of her husband. This is like saying that a man shouldn't ever be under the authority of another man, because God has ordained that the head of man is Christ. Kind of silly.
     
  21. he beholds

    he beholds Puritan Board Doctor

    Wow!! I've never heard the logic of this played out and sort of blindly accepted this school of thought. Thanks for bringing it to its real logical conclusion! Very good points!
     
  22. calgal

    calgal Puritan Board Graduate

    :oops: And what about letting her drive a car alone? She might come under the authority of a male cop.......
     
  23. Knoxienne

    Knoxienne Puritan Board Graduate

    I just make sure I don't get stopped. :gpl::smug::gpl:;)
     
  24. ZackF

    ZackF Puritan Board Graduate

    I agree. I don't even have a problem with the wife working outside of the home after children have came along for the same reasons. It has to do with whether or not her home obligations are being met. I find this wooden view of the "under the authority of" clause inconsistent with the treatment of anything related to the husband and his relationships. Should a man be allowed to work where he might be in authority over any other women other than his wife and daughters? Even before his marriage or kids come along?
     
  25. BertMulder

    BertMulder Puritan Board Junior

    Women are to be, with the words of Scripture, "keepers at home"
     
  26. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    And many of us are. Many of us also have no choice other than to find work outside the home from time to time also though (and yes, I've worked from home as well).
     
  27. ZackF

    ZackF Puritan Board Graduate

    How does this advance the conversation? Nobody in this thread denies that.
     
  28. kvanlaan

    kvanlaan Puritan Board Doctor

    Rubbish.

    At school, there is oversight of the church, and thus of the same (or some of the same) elders who sit in authority over me. If you are talking about public school, then you're right, and that's one of the bazillion reasons that I am dead set against it.

    With regards to church, she would sit under the same authority that her husband sits under, so I don't see your point.

    What I am more talking about is the sort of attitude set forth in this article by John Bunyan. I didn't want to quote the whole thing, but there are profitable bits scattered throughout.

    -----Added 5/26/2009 at 11:22:02 EST-----

    And I don't think anyone is arguing that point either. But when it is a choice, to do so out of anything other than absolute need is where I have the problem.

    Perhaps they do not outrightly, but it's come pretty close.
     
  29. satz

    satz Puritan Board Senior

    That is absolutely true, but the question still needs to be asked what is meant by "keepers at home".

    If you have a method of bible interpretation that says a woman cannot work outside because she needs to be "at home", than a woman may not go to church, go shopping or go visit relatives and so on and so on. There is no biblical reason to limit the application of "keepers at home" to just employment, which is what seems to be typically done when the verse is used to rule out outside employment for women.
     
  30. ZackF

    ZackF Puritan Board Graduate

    I don't think most of the women on this board would have a problem with most of the above. Saying that I am sure Mrs. Bunyan got out and about more than usual and had to assume affairs discharged most often by men in those days given that he was incarcerated for a number of years.
     
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