If you missed the beginning of this series, you can get caught up here.
As we discussed last week, there are many practical reasons for a wife choosing to be at home over having a full-time job; ministering to the needs of her family by preparing nutritious foods, keeping the home, providing clothes, helping her husband's business, and ministering on behalf of her family to those outside her household are just a few.
Aside from all those (very important!) tasks, though, is perhaps the most important reason a woman should choose to stay home. That is, to disciple her children. When you become a mother, your children become your life's most important work. Training them to love and serve Christ is one of your absolute most important priorities as long as they are in your home. In each of your children, there is huge potential for Kingdom-advancement, not only in their lives personally, but also in the generations that follow them. Raising your children to follow Christ has the potential to impact hundreds of thousands of people with the gospel.
Just think about it. I'll use my in-laws as an example. They have nine children. If all nine of their children persevere in the faith and go on to have even five children each (and, I know for sure several of them--including us!--are hoping for very large families if the Lord is willing), that is forty-five grandchildren. If those grandchildren have five children each, that is 225 great grandchildren. That makes for a potential of 279 disciples in just three generations! And, those 279 disciples will most likely not just influence their own children for Christ, but many in the communities around them.
If Ben's parents had slacked in their duties and failed to disciple their children, that potential would have been lost; no amount of 'ministry' or other work they could have done would have made up for the loss of disciples the generations following them could have produced.
In Deuteronomy 6:4-7, parents are given a clear mandate for the discipleship of their children:
4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
How can we best obey this mandate? Spending time with our children. Of course, there needs to be formal instruction time, but nothing will make up for living out a life of obedience before their eyes and using "teachable moments" as they present themselves. If both parents are gone all day working, it is inevitable that someone will have a greater influence on their children than they do. Since God has given the husband the burden of providing for the family and has called women to be at home, moms have the role of discipling the children in the father's absence.
So, why come home? At work you can be replaced. Most likely, you and your family can learn to live without a second income. However, no one else can be a mother to your children.
As a side note: I am in no way trying to condemn those of you who, for one reason or another, are absolutely not able to stay at home with your children. Obviously, if you are a single mom, your husband is disabled and can't work, or something of that nature, you have no choice but to work to provide. Next week, we'll begin talking about how to come home; hopefully some of you will be able to use some of those tips to be able to spend more time at home even if you can't completely leave the work force.