Should A Christian Mother Work Outside the Home? (Part 1)
Our lessons this week will focus on the question: "Should a Christian Mother Work Outside the Home?" This subject has great potential to offend many, which is one reason why I fear it rarely gets the attention and emphasis it should in most Bible classrooms and pulpits. We will endeavor to address this important question in a manner that is both kind and in harmony with Scripture (cf. Eph. 4:15). These lessons have been adapted from a booklet I read that was written a number of years ago by Art Kohl. I have updated and edited his work (significantly in some areas) and take full responsibility for the content of these lessons. With those introductory matters aside, let's begin.

In 1870, thirteen percent of the women of America worked outside the home. Almost without exception, these were single women working as secretaries or nurses. By 1970, forty percent of the women of America worked outside their homes. By 1991, it was sixty-nine percent. By 1994, it was about seventy-one percent. In 2000, it was approximately seventy-seven percent. They are no longer single women but married women and mothers who have children and teenagers at home.

We have all heard these statistics till we have become immune to them--highest divorce rate of any free country in the world, over one million abortions a year, only sixty percent of our children growing up in a nuclear family, teen pregnancies, crime, murder, suicide, and all types of abuses are on the rise and the list goes on and on. It does not take a rocket scientist to conclude that there is something very wrong with our society.

The blame can rightfully be placed in many directions. Included in these would be the devaluing of motherhood in America. Friends, do not forsake motherhood for money; do not miss motherhood for a career.

It has been sadly said of our generation of Christians that we get our beliefs from the Bible, but our behavior from the world. This observation is certainly true of much that goes on regarding womanhood and motherhood in the church today. Grossly missing from the average woman's life is a Biblical reason and Scriptural premise for what she is doing.

The Bible is to be our handbook for life! II Timothy 3:16 says, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine [teaching], for reproof [clarification], for correction [changing us when we are wrong], for instruction in righteousness [telling us how to live]." Why? The next verse, verse 17, answers: "That the man [or woman] of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."

Before you go any further, you must ask yourself the questions: "Do I want to be complete?" and "Do I want to be right with God?" If your answer to both is "yes," then read on, for the Scriptures are not silent about this issue. The New Testament contains two significant passages on the roles of mothers.

First, Paul expressed in I Timothy 5:14, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that he desired young widows to "marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully."

Note in this text there are 4 requirements stated:

  1. Get married
  2. Have children
  3. Manage the house
  4. Live wisely so that the devil can't say anything reproachful about you.

It is true that the context of this passage shows Paul to be addressing young widows. However, once a woman is married and has children, would not numbers 3 & 4 on this list apply to her regardless of whether or not she is young or formerly a widow? I believe they would. Mothers are to manage their homes. It is fundamentally their Scriptural duty.

We will consider another New Testament passage on this theme in our next lesson.