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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8 thoughts on “HOT TOPIC: He Said What?!”
Oh, Natasha. I loved that I mostly stayed home with my children. I worked from home–a great gift. But most women in world aren’t asking that question. They are asking How will I feed my children? Who can care for them while I work? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a man around to carry some of the load? Health insurance? What’s that?
We are so privileged to be able to consider it. But each of us must do what God calls us to do.
Exactly, Judy. I love and respect women who are able to stay at home as you have with your children (and as my mother did at certain seasons of her life with us). Thank you for realizing that opportunity was indeed a gift (privelege or luxury that so many cannot afford today). I wish (as I know that you do) that the church were asking more important questions like how a woman can focus on the main things like cultivating her relationship with the Lord, being kingdom-minded, and how she can join in with the work that God is already doing around her. Typically, we don’t hear those messages over the radio but In this way, we all keep our focus while maintaining the spirit of unity, edifying each other, and prayerfully training kids who are dedicated to serving the Lord in the same manner.
and how did the church respond to her wayward husband; that, to me, seems the more important issue.
As I understood it, Judy, the woman was a radio listener like me and not a member of his local church so (at least in my humble opinion) that changes things a little bit. I agree with you that the church needs to do a much better job of holding husbands and wives accountable to the marriage covenant that they made before God. Another hot topic for another day I guess
Natasha, Natasha, Natasha!!
First of all, as Christians we should be unified in our love for Christ and willingness to do His will. In my opinion, one of the greatest divides in the church is amongst working mothers and stay-at-home mothers. We narrowly define the role of the Proverbs 31 Biblical woman. She was a merchant, a wise business woman and a homemaker and wife.
I had the pleasure of working from home in 2010. This truly was a priviledge. However, I am back at work full time now. My MISSION field is in the board room and in my home. My husband supports my decision to return to work, as this has allowed him to operate in the work that God has called both of us to do.
Christians should definitely be united in love. Of course, this is part of the problem. Sometimes church leaders focus too much on non-essential issues that are either not clearly outlined in scripture or certainly leave room for discussion which causes division. Concerning this particular issue, I find it troubling because women are already faced with so much pressure from outside of the church about who they are, who they should be, and what they should do without the church imposing yet another “one size fits all” restriction on them. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus walking under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I shuttle at the thought of people telling folks about what God did or did not say what they should do without providing solid scriptural foundation.
I went back to work within 8 weeks of my twins being born – at the time in my life I had little desire to stay home and financially could not stay at home. But many years later when I had my youngest child I was able to stay at home for the first year of his life and felt that I was truly blessed by God. However, my marriage begain to crumble so I once again joined the work force and am now the sole provider for all three children. Yet by working and supporting my boys, they see a strong woman able to not only support them financially,but supporting THEM in school, sports, youth, and church. Now do they always appreciate it now? NO and I often grumble and complain, but I know once day I will reap what I sow and these children of mine will see that just because I had to work – they lacked nothing in the areas of love, care, or support! Would I love to be MORE available to them? Of course I would but the reality is there isn’t any person or organization that is going to say “Hey, quit your job, stay home with your boys, and we will pay your mortgage, electric, phone, gas, and car payments”……….what would THAT ultimately teach my children?
Lynn, You are a strong momma. Be encouraged! You rock! Blessings Natasha