The wife at work

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Montanablue

Puritan Board Doctor
Talents should not be thrown out the window, I wholeheartedly agree. That being said, I have a friend who is an MIT grad (holds a doctorate in engineering) and she homeschools her children because there is no more valuable expression or avenue for her skills than in the home. Their legacy is their children. That being said, she does help her husband with the family business, but it is under his headship and still with children in tow.
I completely agree with you here (on the topic of children and homeschooling). My mother largely left work (she did fill in work for people who were out sick) to homeschool us. Her knowledge of science and math was invaluable to my education. I think it was absolutely the right thing for her to do to do this for us and I'm extremely grateful for her and my father's decision in this matter. A woman's talents can often be used in the home for the betterment of her family and I think this is a wonderful and godly use of her talent.


As an addition to all this, I simply cannot conceive how a woman can leave her children in day care to work. That's me. I just don't see an upshot to it. My mom worked in the family business and we stayed with grandparents during the day when we were young. I look back on that time with them fondly. I think I would look back on things with resentment if I were in day care, and that seems to be the new norm. I don't see that as a cure-all to the issue, but it made the best of a less-than-ideal situation in my case.
And I completely agree with you here too. Daycare is not something that I would put my children in unless there was absolutely no other choice. (For example, if I was a single mother and had to work to support my family) My mother left us for about 10 hours a week with a woman from our church and the rest of the time she worked my father took care of us. (He was a teacher and thus could be home in the afternoons.) I remember both of these times fondly too - I am still close with the woman that used to take care of us and it also gave us an opportunity to spend time with our Dad.

When you add children into the equation, the situation become entirely different. I was speaking more of a situation in which there were no children to consider.

BTW, , but glad to have another hot topic-type dialogue with you and Jessi. I think we're almost ready for a Crossfire or similiar type news show - but not so fast - not until I'm completely rehabilitated!
PB Crossfire - I like it! Except, I'm not sure any of us are actually nasty/caustic enough to be truly entertaining! :p At least I hope not!
 

satz

Puritan Board Senior
How does one define the phrase that Paul uses? By Scripture alone.
I would say respectfully (and in all sincerity I have the greatest respect for the men with whom I have disagreed on this thread) that it is when we look at scripture alone to define "keeper at home" that it becomes impossible to support some of the "conservative" interpretations that are put forward.

The bible no where condemns a woman for leaving her home to work. No, an argument from silence is not by any means conclusive, but since we say we are going from scripture alone, we should note that the closest thing we have to a scriptural explanation for "keepers at home" is in 1 Tim 5:13-14 where Paul tells us that the "opposite" to being a good domestic wife is to be an idler and a busybody. When we let the bible interpret the bible, that is the sin that is being condemned when the bible tells women to keep at home.

Those who say women may work outside are sometimes accused of having been influenced by the evil age in which we live, but with respect, I think there is an equal element of contextualisation being performed by the "conservative" camp, because they are reading the dilemma of our day ("career women" vs homemakers) into Paul's words when there is no indication in the bible Paul even wanted to address that point.

There are more points that could be made... it is sometimes said that our society has departed greatly from what it used to be in the old days. But OT Israel, where God wrote and dictated all the laws was a society where many women were employed or owned by other men as maidservants. God even assumed this was going to be the state of affairs because he regulated it in the fourth and tenth commandments.

I agree that there are many times when a wife working outside may be unwise, and it is completely within a husband's rights to decide against it in his own home. But to say it is something that is always unwise or undesirable is without biblical warrant.
 

he beholds

Puritan Board Doctor
PB Crossfire - I like it! Except, I'm not sure any of us are actually nasty/caustic enough to be truly entertaining! :p At least I hope not!
I hope not too! :cool:
Well, if we all agreed to be, and no hard feelings, I would be able to be truly entertaining for the masses.
I would only take it personally for the half hour we were on the show. Afterward, I'd be able to go out for a beer with you both!
But I have a very quick temper, and forgiving often comes easy (or forgetting), but if the person I'm arguing with doesn't and is sensitive, I would be able to restrain myself♥
 

LawrenceU

Puritan Board Doctor
PB Crossfire - I like it! Except, I'm not sure any of us are actually nasty/caustic enough to be truly entertaining! :p At least I hope not!
I hope not too! :cool:
Well, if we all agreed to be, and no hard feelings, I would be able to be truly entertaining for the masses.
I would only take it personally for the half hour we were on the show. Afterward, I'd be able to go out for a beer with you both!
But I have a very quick temper, and forgiving often comes easy (or forgetting), but if the person I'm arguing with doesn't and is sensitive, I would be able to restrain myself♥
{Butting In}

I enjoy watching y'all banter.

{Bowing Out}
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
(Pro 31:16)

She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
(Pro 31:17)

She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
(Pro 31:18)

She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
(Pro 31:19)

She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
(Pro 31:20)

She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
(Pro 31:21)

She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
(Pro 31:22)

Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
(Pro 31:23)

She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
(Pro 31:24)


Sounds like a working woman to me.
Just an observation.... This sounds like one tireless woman who works inside and outside the confines of her home.
 

Knoxienne

Puritan Board Graduate
PB Crossfire - I like it! Except, I'm not sure any of us are actually nasty/caustic enough to be truly entertaining! :p At least I hope not!
I hope not too! :cool:
Well, if we all agreed to be, and no hard feelings, I would be able to be truly entertaining for the masses.
I would only take it personally for the half hour we were on the show. Afterward, I'd be able to go out for a beer with you both!
But I have a very quick temper, and forgiving often comes easy (or forgetting), but if the person I'm arguing with doesn't and is sensitive, I would be able to restrain myself♥
Okay, I'll make sure to curb my temper then. Sometimes it just comes out. :oops::flamingscot: :oops: It wouldn't be good for us to go off at the same time. :handshake: You haven't lost your temper with me yet, so I guess I've been pretty sensitive! :lol:
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
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.
Or that the church can't submit to Caesar, because Christ is her head.

Yet Christ, as our head, has commanded us to submit to Caesar.

But there are many cases when it would be imprudent for a man to ask his wife to work outside the home. When he does, however, he's still her head: he's exercising his headship by allowing her to be directed by someone else. As long as the husband retains the ultimate authority to decide whether she continues in the job or not, his headship hasn't been supplanted.
These kinds of biblical life issues are difficult enough.

This exchange above hits one important aspect of this, and does so, I think in light of biblical commands and principles.

All of us are under various levels of authority, all the time. The man is given responsibility (and with that goes the needed authority) before God, ordinarily, to lead and set the tone for his family. He is not "free" (in the moral sense before God) to disregard that responsibility as much as a woman is not "free" (again, in the moral sense) to have a career, or place herself under or over employment authority without his permission.

Both of these require a lot of humility. It ought not surprise us that, as sinners, we chaffe at these God given responsibilities. We don't want to do what God wants us to do- we want we want. And society is reflecting the complete mess of that rebellion.

But what a glorious thing it is when both man and woman submit to God! God blesses in ways that really count and often, it seems even gives us our wants and desires. Women who have a real talent, interest or skill can use that- and even make money at it. There's real freedom in this obedience, including circumstances which allow women to work in and outside the home and even prosper in so doing.:):):)
 

LadyFlynt

Puritan Board Doctor
I apologise for stomping off. I was getting hurt and angry, not things I like to be, so I had to go and chill for a bit. I care a lot about the people here. I also care a lot about my family. My family comes first in every way.

Grace, peace, and my last say on it ;)
 

Knoxienne

Puritan Board Graduate
I apologise for stomping off. I was getting hurt and angry, not things I like to be, so I had to go and chill for a bit. I care a lot about the people here. I also care a lot about my family. My family comes first in every way.

Grace, peace, and my last say on it ;)
I know you love your family. :)

Sigh. It's threads like this that make me glad we've got the tea parlor and can just discuss girl stuff, have a fun chat and pray for one another. :)
 

Montanablue

Puritan Board Doctor
I apologise for stomping off. I was getting hurt and angry, not things I like to be, so I had to go and chill for a bit. I care a lot about the people here. I also care a lot about my family. My family comes first in every way.

Grace, peace, and my last say on it ;)
I know you love your family. :)

Sigh. It's threads like this that make me glad we've got the tea parlor and can just discuss girl stuff, have a fun chat and pray for one another. :)
:ditto:
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
One thing my wife always comments on this sort of thing: "I want my children and my husband to get my best, I don't want my best to be done at work, and then my family gets what's left."

That's the 9,845,346,231st reason I love her. :up:

:2cents:
 

Knoxienne

Puritan Board Graduate
One thing my wife always comments on this sort of thing: "I want my children and my husband to get my best, I don't want my best to be done at work, and then my family gets what's left."

That's the 9,845,346,231st reason I love her. :up:

:2cents:
Amen, what a blessing! May your tribe increase unto 1000 generations.
 

LadyFlynt

Puritan Board Doctor
One thing my wife always comments on this sort of thing: "I want my children and my husband to get my best, I don't want my best to be done at work, and then my family gets what's left."

That's the 9,845,346,231st reason I love her. :up:

:2cents:
I could agree with that IF we are talking about someone that is outsourcing their children's care and mom is working full time.
 

he beholds

Puritan Board Doctor
One thing my wife always comments on this sort of thing: "I want my children and my husband to get my best, I don't want my best to be done at work, and then my family gets what's left."

That's the 9,845,346,231st reason I love her. :up:

:2cents:
I think it is sweet of your wife to feel this way and sweet of you to recognize it. I even agree with her, as she is probably right having ten kids!!!

I know I'd be unable to do both well, and I've only got two with another on the way. Especially that I am a teacher which would mean all day long was spent with other people's kids. But for me, I honestly consider this a preference, and count it as a blessing that we are able to survive with me at home. But the question is, I think, is it WRONG for a woman to work outside of the home. In my opinion, I don't think my preferences, or my limited ability to give my best in two spheres, can make a law.

I know you aren't saying that, but we have to remember to love our neighbors who are feeling pressed to work and those happy to work. If it is possibly a liberty issue, then give me liberty or give me death...oh wait, wrong forum...where'd politics and gov't go again?
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
But the question is, I think, is it WRONG for a woman to work outside of the home.
No, no. The OP was "what are your thoughts on a woman working BEFORE she has children". Then things got a little sidetracked...
 

he beholds

Puritan Board Doctor
But the question is, I think, is it WRONG for a woman to work outside of the home.
No, no. The OP was "what are your thoughts on a woman working BEFORE she has children". Then things got a little sidetracked...
I didn't quote the OP because you obviously weren't responding to that : )
I think the sidetrack became about women working in various seasons of their lives, and I think the question was still, may she do it?
 

OPC'n

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:
This is not a true statement. If the husband has decided that his wife is to work outside the home, then none of us who are not apart of that family can say he cannot do so, otherwise, you are now taking that husband's place of head over his wife. I will never consider my director (a woman, btw) head over me. She can tell me what to do concerning the work place but that never interferes with my home life. If a husband states that he wants his wife to work outside the home but puts limits on it (don't work Sundays) then the wife can be hired with that stipulation. So he is exercising his authority over his wife above the wife's manager. Just because a manager tells an employee to sweep the floor or clean this or that, manage the desk, etc, doesn't mean that manager has done away with the husband's authority any more than the government telling that same said wife to drive no faster than 65 miles an hour.
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
Take it as you will. I put it as a can of worms because it seemed intriguing to me - I've seen the same thing in other threads, but haven't looked to see how it was responded to.

I guess I just can't relate to those who advocate this as a norm. I have previously stated that I am not telling anyone to starve and keep their wife at home. If others wish to take it that way, so be it, I can't help that. I can't understand why we seek loopholes when God has given this marvelous gift to women to be keepers of the home. I just don't get it.

She can tell me what to do concerning the work place but that never interferes with my home life.
This is not a true statement. She sure can. "Work overtime tonight or you're fired." It just so happens to be your son's birthday. Fired (lack of income) or work (absence at birthday). Either way, it has interfered with your home life, don't kid yourself. And that's only the tip of the iceberg.
 

calgal

Puritan Board Graduate
Take it as you will. I put it as a can of worms because it seemed intriguing to me - I've seen the same thing in other threads, but haven't looked to see how it was responded to.

I guess I just can't relate to those who advocate this as a norm. I have previously stated that I am not telling anyone to starve and keep their wife at home. If others wish to take it that way, so be it, I can't help that. I can't understand why we seek loopholes when God has given this marvelous gift to women to be keepers of the home. I just don't get it.

She can tell me what to do concerning the work place but that never interferes with my home life.
This is not a true statement. She sure can. "Work overtime tonight or you're fired." It just so happens to be your son's birthday. Fired (lack of income) or work (absence at birthday). Either way, it has interfered with your home life, don't kid yourself. And that's only the tip of the iceberg.
How many times does this happen? And how many times do you guys stay really really late at work or work a second job? How many of you guys put your work life ahead of your home life? And how does that work with being head of the household when you are barely home? :worms:
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
How many of you guys put your work life ahead of your home life?
It can happen - I've done it before and will do my utmost to never make that mistake again. And if I do, I will drop to my knees and repent of the vile sin I have just committed in neglecting the pinnacle of God's blessings in my earthly life.

-----Added 5/27/2009 at 11:34:47 EST-----

How many times does this happen?
That particular type of incident? I can't actually quote a statistic on that for you, sorry. But whether it is a birthday or a soccer game or a school event or whatever, it will happen. If you had paid me for this post, I could put a money-back guarantee on it.
 

satz

Puritan Board Senior
I can't understand why we seek loopholes when God has given this marvelous gift to women to be keepers of the home. I just don't get it.
I don't think the issue is seeking loopholes. God has said that a woman is to put her family first. He has not said she may not under take other pursuits (although, as has been said many times before, sometimes practically speaking this will not be possible).

A woman needs to be properly caring for her family but if that is being done, the fact is God has chosen not to dictate anything further, and so neither be we. The woman of proverbs 31 under took financial activities to bring money into the household (v16,24). Whether or not those activities are similar to a modern "job" that was time and effort not spent on domestic affairs. So there is no biblical basis to say that just because a woman has outside committments, the family must be being neglected in some form.

We may not understand why another christian choses to exercise his liberty in a particular manner, but the very nature of liberty is that everyone is different.

She can tell me what to do concerning the work place but that never interferes with my home life.
This is not a true statement. She sure can. "Work overtime tonight or you're fired." It just so happens to be your son's birthday. Fired (lack of income) or work (absence at birthday). Either way, it has interfered with your home life, don't kid yourself. And that's only the tip of the iceberg.
[/quote]

I don't think the fact work may on occasion interfere with home life means that the family is being neglected. Again, these are all matters of wisdom for a family to decide based on the circumstances, not something that can be made into a general rule for christians. The husband has to decide whether the family can afford for the wife to be away for whatever period of time a particular job may require. It is the same principle as in numbers 30, where a husband may chose to annul his wife's vows, or hold his peace and allow them to stand, thus binding the family to a commitment.
 
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kalawine

Puritan Board Junior
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:
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

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 ever be under the authority of another man, because God has ordained that the head of man is Christ. Kind of silly.
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!
:agree: VERY well put!
 

Theognome

Burrito Bill
For me, how I understand the biblical spheres of influence of governmental bodies has much to do with my position. I hold to a three-kingdom view; that being Church, family and civil governments. Although almost every person is under the authority of each one of these forms at all times; thus how this authority in the workforce plays out- and in which sphere of law, becomes paramount. Someone (I don't remember who) mentioned a woman being pulled over by a cop and how this would 'interfere' with headship. If we understand the issue of wives working outside of the Familial government as a particular aspect of law, then this situation is obviously not in question- as these are two distinct and separate governing bodies with their distinct responsibilities, and thus a false dilemma is given.

If a consistent covenantal understanding of the issue is to be given, it must be given under the auspice of sphere law. This, of course, begs the question- Is a corporate entity (or sole proprietorship, for that matter) a form of government that fits within these three spheres, or is it a form of government beyond the three stated? My opinion is that a company is a form of familial government and not a fourth governmental structure.

Note that although a few folks have tossed Proverbs 31 about as a Frisbee, nowhere does this proverb suggest that the wife is working for someone other than her husband- only that at times her support of the household takes her outside of the home and into the marketplace. A wife can most certainly do these same things without ever having to be under the employ of another family government.

Nor can, in my opinion, a wife serve two families- any more than we can faithfully attend two churches or serve two nations- we cannot serve two masters. The company structure, as I see it, follows (in authority and support) very well into the Familial government structure through the husband in the same way that individual families fit into a clan which fit into a tribe- the structure of familial authority is through singular familial heads as is the support of same. The only breaching of this (that I am aware of) is when the civil government seizes servants from families and forces them to labors of the civil sphere's choosing. Note that this action is through curse caused of disobedience, and not a blessing.

I am very aware that there are some theologians that claim four or even five governmental spheres in order to justify some of these issues- however, I personally have not found their evidences or exegesis convincing.

Theognome
 

calgal

Puritan Board Graduate
The question remains unanswered: is a man's supervisor his "head" and how is it worse if the wife works part time or full time rather than have the husband working 2 or more jobs?
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
Take it as you will. I put it as a can of worms because it seemed intriguing to me - I've seen the same thing in other threads, but haven't looked to see how it was responded to.

I guess I just can't relate to those who advocate this as a norm. I have previously stated that I am not telling anyone to starve and keep their wife at home. If others wish to take it that way, so be it, I can't help that. I can't understand why we seek loopholes when God has given this marvelous gift to women to be keepers of the home. I just don't get it.

She can tell me what to do concerning the work place but that never interferes with my home life.
This is not a true statement. She sure can. "Work overtime tonight or you're fired." It just so happens to be your son's birthday. Fired (lack of income) or work (absence at birthday). Either way, it has interfered with your home life, don't kid yourself. And that's only the tip of the iceberg.
Nope, this has never happened at my work place. We do not have required overtime. And you can take a vacation day for your special days you want off....that's not a problem either. Also, it isn't biblical for a woman to just stay at home. What is biblical is for a woman to be a readied helpmate for her husband and to do as he decides is appropriate for his household. So no one is looking for loopholes. What I'm trying to get across is that neither you nor I can tell other husbands what their wives can and cannot do and the husbands are not disobeying God by sending their wives out to work. Proverbs 31 is proof that woman are allowed to work both in the home and outside the home as long as it is helping their husband and their husband has decided this for his household.
 

JBaldwin

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
To make a blanket statement that a woman is under a man's authority because she works outside the home is an overgeneralization.

The fact is there are plenty of jobs outside the home which do not require a woman to be under the headship of a man. My sister owns and runs a shop in town, and she is the boss. She started this business when her children were grown and out of the home. Her husband is very supportive of what she is doing.

I don't have a problem with a woman working outside the home before children. When I met my husband, we were already in our 30s, and though both of us were in debt felt like we should go ahead and get married rather than dely marriage any longer. I worked for 3 years before God gave us children. It was always the understanding that as soon as children came along I would quit working which I did. We lived in a tiny house, and it took less than two hours to do all the housework (except the cooking) for the entire week. During those three years, my husband and I drove to work together (we worked at the same place), we ate lunch together and road home together. If my boss (a woman by the way) asked me to stay late, or my husband's boss asked him to work late, we waited on the other went out to eat together and made a date of it. The fact is, this was the best thing for our married life. It solidified our relationship. If I had stayed home during those years, I probably would have gone nuts. As it turned out the $10,000 we saved while I worked that last year covered the surprise cost of our first child's birth which turned out to be an emergency.

As we look back, I think my working for those years without children was a blessing.
 
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