Saturday, October 30, 2010

On Coming Home: Why? (Part 1)

 **If you missed it, you can find the introduction to this series here**

In a day when it seems the vast majority of women choose to pursue careers outside the home, some may wonder why it is worth it to give up your career to spend your days at home. The foremost reason to come home is because home is where God has called us to be, in order to best glorify God by ministering to the needs of our husbands and children first, and then to the Body of Christ and the lost. The family is central to the advancement of Christ's Kingdom, and God has clearly assigned roles to each member of the family, including the wife/mother, as a means to accomplish that end.

In Proverbs 31, we find a description of the virtuous woman:
10  Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
11  The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
12  She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
13  She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
14  She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
15  She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
16  She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
17  She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
18  She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
19  She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
20  She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
21  She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22  She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
23  Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
24  She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
25  Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
26  She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
27  She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
28  Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
29  Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
30  Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
31  Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
By focusing the vast majority of her time and energies on her family, she meets their needs by providing nourishing food and warm clothes. In addition to making their clothes, she makes enough to give to the poor, ministering generously to their needs on behalf of her husband and family. She also sells some of what she makes to supplement her family's income. Her husband is successful, in great part because of her ministry to him. He and their children are blessed to call her theirs, and they all "rise up and call her blessed." If our virtuous woman was gone 40+ hours per week for a job outside her home, she would undoubtedly be unable to accomplish much of what she does.

I know when I worked full-time outside the home for several months before Katie was born my day looked somewhat like this:

Wake up early and get ready to go, fix something for breakfast and then leave for work, usually leaving behind dishes to wash when I got home (unless we drove through Dunkin' Donuts and got a bagel on the way, which we did at least a couple times every week). At the end of the day, I'd come home tired, but I couldn't rest long because it was time to make dinner. Most of the time, I'd cook, though we frequently ate something ready-made or went out for dinner. After dinner, I'd clean up and have a two or three hours to spend with Ben before it was time to go to bed and do it all again. Though everyone's situation is different, I am confident this is how life is for the majority of women who work outside the home.

I had a relatively easy job working for my dad in his office and the extra income was really nice. However, Ben and I both realize now that it probably would have been worth it to forgo that income so I could have stayed home more. Sure, we would have had to sacrifice things to have been able to make ends meet on one income, but there is much that could have been gained as well. We would have been able to eat a lot healthier, I could have set aside time to exercise to have a healthier pregnancy, and I would have been able to focus more of my energies on helping grow Ben's business, among many other things. Even as just a wife, before any children came along, we now believe my time would have been better spent if I had spent more of it at home.

What do y'all think? Next week, we'll talk a little more about the role of the mother at home, specifically.

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