Recently a blog post surfaced from The Focused Homemaker posing the hard, and often times, confrontational question…. Should all Christian women be full-time homemakers and is it sinful if you work outside of the home?
I have to admit, my stomach dropped when I first read the title of the post. It dropped because I have friends on all sides of the spectrum on this issue; working moms and wives, part-time working moms, stay at home moms, PRN working moms, housewives, and even double time working moms. Each with their own unique family story and situation, not a single one of them alike. And so often in many Christian circles, I’ve met women who work outside of the home who feel frowned upon or belittled.
So, which of these scenarios are sinful ones? Let me tell you. Rather, let me step aside and let the Word of God speak clearly on this issue.
“You shall have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:3
“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” 1 Timothy 6:10
So there’s your answer: any of the above scenarios become sinful when they become your idol. As women, when we place our jobs or the love of money before our relationships with God or the well-being of our family, that is when it becomes sinful. That is when Satan gets a foothold in our hearts and uses our jobs and source of income for evil. When the things of this world that can be bought with the money made from our jobs become a higher priority than tucking our kids into bed or spending time with our husbands is when the enemy begins to win and our families start to crumble. And just because we can do something, doesn’t mean we should, when we look at each of our family units as a whole.
In 1 Corinthians 10:23, Paul writes, “Someone may say, ‘I’m allowed to do anything,’ but not everything is helpful. I’m allowed to do anything, but not everything encourages growth.” I believe that this is true in the case of women working outside of the home. In this day and age, Christian women can and are able to work outside of the home; we are intelligent, gifted, and often times educated women who love the Lord. But the question we each have to ask ourselves is this: is it the best thing for our family in this season? Does my job encourage the growth of my family and does it glorify the Lord?
Each of us must come before the Lord in prayer and with the Word to search for the answer that God has for us. We need to sit down with our husbands (if we are married), our close friends, pastors and mentors and seek what God’s will is for our family as we move forward. Because as Christians, we know this truth: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”And when we are truly seeking God’s will and not our own for our lives, He will remain true to this promise in Matthew 7:7 and show us the direction we need to go when it comes to being a Christian woman, in and outside of the home. And when we are walking in His truth and not our own selfish desires, the darkness of sin flees.
So to the single mom working her tail off to provide for her family, who longs to be home with her babies, but the choice is not hers to make – keep working.
To the wife who picks up an extra shift to help make up for the increased cost of monthly health insurance – keep working.
To the woman who is educated and gifted and truly loves her job – keep working.
To the wife who is working hard to save money before she and her husband start trying to grow their family – keep working.
To the wife who goes back to work while her husband battles sickness and injury at home – keep working.
And to the stay at home wives and moms who wipe bottoms, cook meals, scrub floors, and sit in the school pick up lines – keep working.
And remember ladies, you can, “be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to your own husbands, that the word of God may not be dishonored,” (Titus 2:5) and at the same time, “work with eager hands… provide food for your family… and work vigorously… while being profitable (Proverbs 31:13-18). What matters is that you’re putting God first and seeking His will with your entire heart – there is nothing more black and white than that.