Women and Working

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Kristine with a K

Puritan Board Freshman
What are your convictions on daughters holding a job outside the home? Daughters who are, for example, out of high-school, not pursuing college, and still live at home? Is it *biblical* for young ladies to pursue a career, to become financially independent of their parents?
 

Kristine with a K

Puritan Board Freshman
I should have been more specific in my question. I'm definitely talking about a lady with believing parents. - Thanks for your thoughts, Josh.
 

Coram Deo

Puritan Board Junior
How about a Christian Father who is the only one who believes he is called to start churches and so denies his daugthers any right to go to a true church but insteads makes them sit in his living room every Sunday which only consist of his family. In Addition to this, this has been going on for 30 years so the daugthers do not have any elders to go to.....

How about if this father prevents his daugthers from any form of college, getting a drivers license, any form of work outside of the home and unduly rejects all suitors if they qualify or not thus preventing his daugthers from marrying and letting them get beyond the flower of their youth?

Michael


I think it can't be a blanketed thought. It depends on many factors, In my humble opinion. For example, are the parents Christians? If not, are they hostile to the faith and do they seek to suppress the daughters involvement in church, etc. Of course, even at this point, if the daughter has elders to whom she can go for counsel that's preferable to trying to independently finance her own departure. It's a last resort, in my opinion. If the parents are Christians, I don't think it's a good idea. The ideal is she stay under her father's headship until she's married, learning home-making (in a Christian worldview) from the mother. Then, after she courts a Christian young man who is not disapproved by the father (on biblical grounds), she gets married and is then under his headship.

As noted, though, if the young lady's parents are not Christians and they're hostile to her faith, and keep her from being involved in church, etc., and she cannot get help from elders/church leadership etc., and there's no Christian young man to be her knight in shining armor, I'd say that it might be permissible. But I'm not an expert So...
 

Coram Deo

Puritan Board Junior
Sorry, I missed those when I speed read your post....

*Edit* of course I believe I read them as a father who is not a Christian, so I believe I was asking if he was a christian...

Thanks for the clarification....
Michael


I thought this would be covered when I typed this:
...do they seek to suppress the daughters involvement in church, etc
And this with this:
...who is not disapproved by the father (on biblical grounds)
 

bob

Puritan Board Freshman
It would be my preference based upon my understanding of what the Scriptures teach in regard to the roles of women to not have my daughters work outside of the home. I am not rigid in this view and could envision myself consenting in an opportunity in which she could help a church family who owns an operates a business of some sort. (Of course, the task would have be domestic in some fashion. If the elder's son owns a cement removal company, I'm probably not going to desire to have my daughter run a jack hammer, even if they are a godly family!)

In regard to the gift of singleness, it seems as if such a gift or calling is in context with the work of the gospel in some way. It could well be some ladies may be called to just such a life. If it is just a matter that God has not turned up a suitable husband, I am not sure that it is necessary to cast the young ladies to the workplace.

I'm not sure that I have seen it very often within the church, but wouldn't it be a refreshing change to see some young unmarried ladies available and able to minister to needy folks in the church. I can recall thinking when I used to come home from work and finding an exapserated wife who was weary of chasing four little ones around the house that it would be nice to have someone who could help out from time to time!
 

satz

Puritan Board Senior
I think, with respect to Kristine, that the OP does contain certain terms that within the context of this particular topic are loaded and hence potentially confusing. Words like ‘career’ and ‘independent’ can have rather different meanings to different people. So ‘independent’, for example can mean a daughter deciding to leave her parent’s home and stick it out on her own, possibly regardless of her parent’s wishes, or simply having the capacity to bring earn income, even while still living at home and submitting to her parents. I got the feeling that it was to the former option that Josh’s first response was primarily directed, though I have certainly been wrong before. Likewise the word ‘career’ can encompass a whole spectrum of different levels of dedication and prioritization to a job, some excessive and some not, regardless of the person’s gender.

With regards to if unmarried daughters can or should pursue jobs or ‘careers’ outside the home, I believe that allowing for the circumstances of each family, it is to a large degree a matter of liberty for the parents/child to decide. A woman certainly has duties at home, but I do not see anything in the bible that decrees that holding an outside job is always inconsistent with the fulfilment of those duties. In Old Testament Israel, a society running according to laws set out by God, it was not the case that each and every woman was at home. Rather, it seems that fair numbers of women were working outside of their homes as maidservants for other men. And God not only did not condemn this, but his Fourth and Tenth Commandments even presuppose this state of affairs.

I am not promoting in the worldly mentality that tries to force women out of their homes or belittles those unmarried women who chose to stay home. However, I do not believe the bible is as conservative on this issue as many reformed Christians are.
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
I am not promoting in the worldly mentality that tries to force women out of their homes or belittles those unmarried women who chose to stay home. However, I do not believe the bible is as conservative on this issue as many reformed Christians are.
I think there is wisdom there. For one thing, I think scripture encourages women to understand trade, manufacturing, agriculture, marketing, finance, philosophy, art, and related things, in addition to being keepers of the home and family. It's a tall order, I know, but sometimes learning those things has to be done outside the home.

I don't have a problem with the idea of "independence" if it is really another name for competence.
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
Let me clarify that I've said these things within the context of a Christian daughter. I believe that the Proverbs 31 woman is the most exemplary wife and mother in Scripture. She worked, no doubt, to the enhancement of her family and home.
Right, Josh. But my point is that sometimes a daughter has to learn things outside of the home, too. Not for the purpose of being free from parents, but for learning in preparation to be that elusive Proverbs 31 woman.;)
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
And I hope I've said [typed] nothing which would contradict such. My whole perspective is from that of a daughter who's trying to become independent from her parents without valid biblical reason. In other words, she just wants to be free to do as she pleases.
I didn't think you said anything contrary, friend. :up:
 

Puddleglum

Puritan Board Sophomore
For what it's worth . . . I'm a single woman, living independently, who is a member of the same church that my parents are. And I'm doing so with the support of my session (who I have talked to - repeatedly - about this).
I'm not saying this to get into an argument . . . I think that life is way more complicated than some people seem to believe it is . . . but I also think that it's not the greatest idea for me to go into everything that brought me to this point in my life on a public forum. But I did want to say something to let anyone else out there in my situation (if there are) know that they aren't the only ones. :2cents:
 

Ivan

Pastor
For what it's worth . . . I'm a single woman, living independently, who is a member of the same church that my parents are. And I'm doing so with the support of my session (who I have talked to - repeatedly - about this).
I'm not saying this to get into an argument . . . I think that life is way more complicated than some people seem to believe it is . . . but I also think that it's not the greatest idea for me to go into everything that brought me to this point in my life on a public forum. But I did want to say something to let anyone else out there in my situation (if there are) know that they aren't the only ones. :2cents:
:up:
 

Reformed Baptist

Puritan Board Sophomore
I hope that as we raise our daughter she will have skills both in and outside of the home. I pray she develops strong home skills so she will be a God-honoring wife and mother someday. I want her to have marketable skills so that she doesn't have to depend on some man for her support.
 

calgal

Puritan Board Graduate
I hope that as we raise our daughter she will have skills both in and outside of the home. I pray she develops strong home skills so she will be a God-honoring wife and mother someday. I want her to have marketable skills so that she doesn't have to depend on some man for her support.
:amen: And even if she is a wife and mother, there are times she may have no other option than to work. If her husband becomes severely ill and is unable to work, she may have to work so the family has medical coverage and a home to live in. Or putting the kids in Christian schools (at $4-6K per kid) may require a second income to pay for school. Or she makes enough $$ that her husband can be a dad at home. :2cents: IMNSHO, a wife and mommy working is better than daddy working 2 or 3 jobs and never being home to be head of their household.
 

Calvibaptist

Dallas Cowboys' #1 Fan
I would say that making any blanket statement about this question would smack of the same kind of "fencing the law" that typically goes on in other issues such as drinking. Simply put, if the daughter has the support of her parents and church, then the Bible does not forbid her to be independent.

If, however, the parents do not support her independence and she does it anyway, she is in violation of honoring her father and mother. But again, you have to be cautious in trying to apply this to someone else in various situations. What about a 40 year old single woman whose parents are 60 and want to retire and force her to stay with them to clean their house and cook them dinner because they are lazy? There are any number of scenarios one could come up with as exceptions. This is why blanket statements where the Bible is silent are dangerous.
 

ServantOfKing

Puritan Board Freshman
I am quite close with a family who believes the first post to a "t." Their daughter is 19 years old and is not pursuing college or any sort of work outside the home. She is amazing in the sense that she has all sorts of cottage industries and manages an online business. She also helps her dad with his business. She is going to be a wonderful homemaker. She is just now learning to drive but that doesn't seem to bother her at all. She is content to be under her parents' authority. She wants to get married, but there is really nothing in the foreseeable future for her in that department.
My only real problem with the whole thing is that this family considers what they are doing with their daughter to be the ideal and perfect way that God envisioned it for every family.
That is where I agree with many of the original posts and depart from agreement with them.
They think it is morally wrong for a girl to go to college! Or to work outside the home! Personally I think that is crazy.
God used college in my life in many ways and I know that it was his will for me to go.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that it seems like most of the people I have come in contact with in my short life whose daughters are never allowed to go to college or work outside the home or become independent in any way (like driving), hold to their views so dogmatically that they end up looking down on others.
 

Kristine with a K

Puritan Board Freshman
This has been interesting to read. I agree there is no "one size fits all" answer. Every family situation is different, especially in the last 100 years or so!

Blessings to all,
 

Laura

Puritan Board Junior
May I recommend Pastor Al Martin's series of sermons called "Marriage, Motherhood, and Homemaking" (can be found at SermonAudio)? As always, he deals thoroughly with the root of the matters according to Scripture. I've found it, on the first, second, and third listens, to be a matchless help in my own thinking through these issues, even though I have chosen a practical course slightly different from the one he seems to put forward as ideal. :)
 

BJClark

Puritan Board Doctor
Kristine,

What are your convictions on daughters holding a job outside the home? Daughters who are, for example, out of high-school, not pursuing college, and still live at home? Is it *biblical* for young ladies to pursue a career, to become financially independent of their parents?
I have no convictions on this, but I do desire my daughters to go to college and
pursue a career before they marry.

My oldest is 19, just graduated high school, just started working in a new daycare, so that others can work to support their families and so that she has her own spending money to buy clothes and her own car, and she will be starting college later this month.

She knows how to keep house, she's been helping around the house since she was little, she knows how to cook, as she's been helping cook since she was little as well. I want to know that IF she needs to be the sole support of herself one day she can be...

I would hate to think she was never allowed to pursue a college degree or career in order to provide for herself, in the event she never married and something happened to ME and her father..who would provide for her then??

My youngest daughter it may be a little more difficult, although she knows how to keep house, and how to cook some things, she has a medical condition that will interfer with her abillity to drive and do certain things, the medication she is on costs over $600 a month, so if after she graduates high school and is not in college full time or working full time (where she can have medical insurance) she would lose all medical benefits (as is how many insurances work) and we certainly couldn't afford to pay for her medicine without insurance.
 
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