The wife at work

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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.
1) No one is advocating it as a norm...certain circumstances have been mentioned throughout various posts.

2) No, they can't MAKE us do xyz. Some of us are willing to accept the consequences of a boss overstepping the originally agreed work hours when they interfere with our family life. I've said, "No" to a boss many times.


Puritan Board Freshman
In my household, it came down to a question of faith. We were both committed to the principles of covenant theology and coverture marriage, yet my employment problems after 9-11 became dire- for three years I made less than $30,000 combined- that's less than ten grand a year. My annual mortgage alone was more than this, much less any other bills, food, etc. So I do understand dire straights.

I was told by my elders that if I didn't have Toni go get a job, I would be disciplined. I in turn, in writing, gave my biblical reasons (several pages of exegesis) why I did not feel that even under these extreme circumstances I should do so. Toni also wrote to them, exegeting the situation from her perspective. The session did not agree with us, but also could not give a single biblical reason for their position- pragmatism reigned supreme.

Toni and I both believed that, as bad as we thought the situation was, if we remained faithful to the convictions that the Lord placed in us and worked hard within the confines He presented, He would eventually bless this work and heal or finances. And he has done so. We did lose that house, but we now live with a very good income and are closing in on being debt-free- something unthinkable five years ago.

We both trusted in His promises as we understood them despite the pressures from elsewhere. This is not an easy thing to do. This is not something everyone can or will do. Not everyone has the same strength of conviction on this issue or the same circumstance. But circumstances do not dictate faith, but rather they reveal it.

What an awesome testimony!


Puritan Board Sophomore
There is a remarkable lack of appeal to Scripture in this discussion. Thank you to those few who actually took time to reference Scripture. Theognome's statement should throw up some cautionary red flags: "I think it's important to keep in mind that this issue is not one of explicit command in Scripture; and thus is not one that can be addressed in a 'blanket' fashion. Both liberty and conviction are paramount in this."

Remember, folks, Scripture is out guide; if the issue isn't so cut and dry in Scripture, neither should our convictions be.


Puritan Board Freshman
From personal experience::2cents:

My wife worked outside the home for two years while I finished my bachelors degree. We found it difficult to make the transition from work to home and keeping proper roles in the home. I would not do it again if I had the chance to do it over. If a stay-at-home wife is bored for 10-12 hours while hubby is at work, why can't she bless her community or church after she is finished preparing blessing for her household?:detective: I can't offer scriptural proof for my position, just what we experienced.

That said, if you do decide to allow your wife to work outside the home, I would strongly recommend that you put one of your paychecks directly into a savings account, lest you get used to a higher income than you can afford when children arrive and she returns home to nurture her family.


Puritan Board Sophomore
The original question was is it ok for the wife to work before children. If we look to the principals set by the bible, we will see that children play no part in this decision.

Eve was created to be a helpmeet to Adam. They had no kids yet. Also we see that God had given Adam a job, tending the garden, and Eve was created to help him with that. The principal is that the role of the wife (who is equal in value but under headship) is to further the vision of the husband. If we understand this principal, we will not get sidetracked on pragmatic issues.

The issue of the wife working outside the home is that she will be promoting someone else's vision. Not her husbands. This also clears up the headship "what if her boss is a woman" decisions. Now some will determine that "promoting the husbands vision" will be making some money and working outside the home. That is a case by case basis for each family to decide but you must be willing to make the compromise in principle.

All the issues of obeying traffic laws and such are a non-issue. That is obeying the civil government that God has put over us. Obeying the speed limit or being pulled over by a male policeman is not promoting their vision. If she takes a job at the police department, then it is the same thing.

The Proverbs 31 woman shows that a keeper at home is no slouch. She is a woman of MANY talents and her works are known.
"31Give her the product of her hands, And let her works praise her in the gates." Verse 31 says that her works are praised in the gates. But we see in verse 23 that her husband is at the gate so she is still promoting her husbands vision.
"23Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land"

This also brings up the point of husbands that work all kinds of hours. I also believe this is wrong. We as husbands are commanded to lead at home. Bringing home the bacon is not the same as leading. We are to shepherd, disciple and train our family (wife or wife and children) daily. If we are not doing that, then we are not qualified to hold any church office or duties per 2nd Timothy and we need to repent for our failure to lead properly at home.

Also, if the needs of the day require us to work 10-12 hours a day for some time, it is still our job to lay out the vision for the family and lead. We must also determing what is the cause of this. If it is to afford our lifestyle, then we need to sell everything that is not nailed down and make it our life mission to get ourselves in a position to be a home more. Better to be in a smaller house then to lose the hearts of our children and fail to lead at home.

One other point that was mentioned is what about our unmarried daughters working. While my daughters are not my wife and so not my helpmeet, they are helpmeets in training so the same principal goes. They learn how to promote their future husbands vision by first promoting their fathers vision. This is proper since they are under the headship and protection of their father until they are married. Once they are married, they will no longer be under my authority, but the sole authority of their husband. That is why it is critical and my job to interview and approve who my girls marry. It is my job to protect their interests and to provide for them.
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