One aspect of the marriage relationship with which God’s Word deals extensively, yet is receiving less and less attention today, is the primary function of the woman in the marriage. While I do not believe the Bible prohibits a wife from working outside of the home, unless by doing so she neglects her primary responsibilities; it is vital to understand, believe, and appreciate that her primary area of God-given responsibility is in the home.
In Titus 2:4-5 Paul wrote, “That they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be dishonored.” Again, from 1 Timothy 5:14 we find, “Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach.” Notice the phrases, “workers at home” and “keep house.” God placed the primary responsibility for earning the income the family needs upon the shoulders of the man, and He placed the primary responsibility for the care of the home upon the shoulders of the woman. They have different functions, but each is vitally important.
There are so many today who believe that God’s way does not allow a woman to utilize all of the abilities He has given her. Many argue that this makes a woman little more than a domestic servant and does not permit her to have meaning and purpose in her life. Many speak of wanting to “have a career,” not realizing that the role God has given to the woman in marriage is the most noble of “careers.”
Let us take the time to look at Proverbs 31:10-31, the epitome of the woman who is a keeper of the home and who guides her house. Has any CEO ever been praised by God in such a way?
“An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels, the heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life. She looks for wool and flax, and works with her hands in delight. She is like merchant ships; she brings her food from afar. She rises also while it is still night, and gives food to her household, and portions to her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; from her earnings she plants a vineyard. She girds herself with strength, and makes her arms strong. She senses that her gain is good; her lamp does not go out at night. She stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hands grasp the spindle. She extends her hand to the poor; and she stretches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household, for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She makes coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies belts to the tradesmen. Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future. She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and bless her; her husband also, and he praises her, saying: Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all. Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her the product of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.”
There is not much I can add to this great tribute. The godly woman in the marriage relationship gives herself wholeheartedly to the task of caring for her home. It has been said that the man has the responsibility to provide for the things of the home, and the woman has the responsibility to make a home out of whatever he is able to provide. She is not ashamed of the work that she does, for it is the work that God would have her to do – a work of the utmost importance. She is industrious and makes her home a welcome place for her husband, a place to which he wants to come home. She looks well to her household, and she does not have the time to partake of idleness.
More to come….