There I was, driving my little lady to school one morning while listening to a very well-known Christian pastor on the radio say, “The number one problem with the breakdown in American families today is working mothers.”
I wondered if I heard him correctly. Unfortunately, I did because he repeated himself and then began to defend his opinion from the pulpit (and not with the biblical text). Overall, the whole presentation made me sad.
To justify his position, he used several examples. One example included a woman who wrote to him expressing her grief of having to work and raise two children alone since her husband had an affair and decided to leave her. His solution was that the church should take care of her and her children so that she could stay at home to raise them properly.
To put this in context, I am a mother of a four year old daughter and I have worked full-time the majority of my daughter’s life. As my husband and I made decisions concerning whether or not I should work outside of the home, we were clear concerning the work to which God called me. Our decisions were made with much prayer and discernment given our circumstance, and I do not entertain the thought that I was operating outside of God’s will based on someone else’s dogmatic religious view.
The point here is not to defend my decisions against someone else’s opinion, but rather to highlight the fact that this issue needs to be approached from a biblical prospective against the current culture in which we live. Sometimes we take dogmatic positions while reading our culture into the biblical text and with no knowledge of how other people are humbly living out their Christian faith around the world today. Are we to point fingers at all working women, or all working wives and mothers, regardless of their circumstances?
On what biblical grounds would we base that decision? We could pick for example, Titus 2: 5 which states that women should be trained to be productive or manage their homes. It does not say, however, that women should manage their homes and nothing else.
I find it interesting that the pastor mentioned the church’s responsibility to respond and help the woman identified above. The reality is, however, that churches do not always respond as they are called to (take the care of widows for example). Isn’t that part of the problem as well? The failure of the church to act as God has outlined in scripture.
Believe me, there are few who are as troubled by the breakdown of the American family as I am. I am a proponent of strong Christian men marrying strong Christian women and raising kingdom-minded children to share the good news that Jesus saves! For the most part, this is not happening in our country and yes it is a failure of the church.
Let there be no doubt, however, this failure is not a direct result of whether or not a woman has a working profession. This breakdown has everything to do with our propensity to sin which is sure to happen when either or both spouses are not fully surrendered to the Lord.
What do you say about working women and/or the breakdown of the American family? And what can we do about it?
© Natasha S. Robinson 2011
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