Women Working At Home: What Does it Mean and Does it Apply Today?

According to the Bible, should women in today’s world work at home?

It’s one of those hot-button issues that gets people all riled up. And I avoid them like the plague {the issues, not the people}, because surely what needs to be said has already been said by somebody, somewhere, at some point in time.

But I was studying the book of Titus one day, and there it was:

[Older women] are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. 2:3-5

I am committed to writing about the beauty of the Bible and what it teaches me. Because that teaches me. {And because I can hardly keep it to myself.}

Today, Titus 2.

working at home

As one who works outside the home and was raised by a stay-at-home mom, here are the thoughts that went through my head when I read “working at home,” and said to myself, “Ok, what does that mean, and does it apply to us today?”

First, questions.

– Is this description directed exclusively to young women? Christian women? Married women? Mothers?
– What kind of “work”? For pay? Housework?
– Does this mean a woman cannot or must not work outside the home?
– How should generational and cultural differences impact this instruction and our application of it?
– Is it a general principle or a specific command?

Then, loosely-held observations.

– It is doubtful that the older women worked outside the home in their later years and, in the meantime, trained the younger women to work in the home. Women of all ages must surely be included.
– The passage assumes that these young women were married and had children, so perhaps “working at home” should not apply to single or widowed women, or even married women who have no children in the home.
– If working in the home was simply an understood practice of that day and naturally expected of all women, the specification would not be necessary. Therefore, the issue cannot be merely culture.

Finally, my personal opinion.

– Women should work at home. Because that’s what the Word says. I see no valid reason why this particular phrase of Titus 2 should not apply today.
– God does all things well. We do well to not alter, rationalize, or dismiss what he has so wisely set before us.
– Should a woman be given the glorious gift of a home, she should gladly and gratefully work in it.

But that’s nothing more than my opinion. And yes, I just told you what I think without really telling you what I think.

That’s because you don’t need to know what I think. You need to know what God thinks.

According to the Bible, should women in today’s world work at home? 

Well, you have a Bible, don’t you? You tell me.

 [image credit: pixabay.com & journeyoftheword.com]


58 thoughts on “Women Working At Home: What Does it Mean and Does it Apply Today?

  1. I see what you did there! 😉 Having been a stay at home Mom since our Only was born (and she is now all grown up and moved out of the house) and having been raised myself in a family where both parents worked at least one job each… I, too, would hesitate in telling anyone else what to do or what God says. I’ve lived on both sides of that issue! I think much of that Scripture IS cultural and due to the times, however I also think that we are always called to teach and pour out to those who are coming behind us. I think that much of the message behind that verse is that the older ones (men and women!) have wisdom to pour out and live as an example and be willing to teach the younger generation behind them! Our desire is to help them not struggle through the same battles – but to have an edge to overcome sooner! Whether you work inside or outside of the home, –well, I don’t know about anyone else, but for me -I needed someone to show me and tell me how to manage a household and how to love my husband and raise my Little in a way that honors God! Even if I did have an amazing example growing up, we are made for community and seeing how others do it or have done it draws us in and gives us support that we all so desperately need! Great post – and I really do love how you left it up to the reader to study and pray and hear from God themselves! Nicely done!

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  2. I always question one Bible verse defining how we are to be as women — and try to spend lots of time looking at the Bible as a whole — looking at other scripture like Deborah working as a judge who was a leader and went to battle – it doesn’t say if they sell from home or the marketplace, but Proverbs women who makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies belts to tradesmen and Lydia a seller of fabrics–I’d assume the sold outside of home..Phoebe worked as a deaconness..And yet, I appreciate the heart of your questions..how do we all best live as Godly women? I sense those women in the Bible who do work outside the home are doing so for the good of God and their families..not for their own gain. Blessings today from IntentionalTuesday!

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    1. Thanks for the great reminder to look at the Bible as whole. I certainly agree! At the same time, I realize no passage in Scripture can contradict another. So when it says “working at home,” it means it! No other passage removes or changes its meaning and intention. So our job is to seek to understand it properly in its context and to discern how we must apply it in today’s time. But yes, great illustrations with Deborah, Proverbs 31, and Lydia. I’ll have to add those to my “women working a home” file! 🙂

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  3. I just read this verse yesterday.. Love your incites on it. It is definitely a place to follow God’s lead, as there are many examples in the bible of each spectrum, as holyvacationqueen stated. I think when God gives you the opportunity to stay home and raise your child, that is the first and foremost importance to take care and work towards because it is such a huge responsibility and blessing. If you are a wife tearing down your own home as Proverbs speaks of and in this case due to your job outside the home, it would be wise to consider if you were fully following God’s leading or your own will.

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  4. Here we have a situation that is different for each woman. Lydia was a seller of Purple. Pricilla and her husband were tent makers. The proverbs wife bought and sold land. Personally I believe if it is possible that it is best for a woman to be home for her children. My mother was, and I was for the most part when my children were small. Later when my mother-in-law came to live with us, I went to work because two women in the kitchen was too many. Then I stayed home and ran my husbands business doing his books and answering the phone from our home. I believe Jesus loves all women, if they work at home or outside the home. Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. There is so much to consider when it comes to this issue. I pray Christian women will take the time to think through God’s plan for their marriages, families, and homes. He knows best!

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  5. This is a really interesting question.

    At this season in my life, I work outside of the home at a full-time job. I also work in the home, a lot. I cook (badly), I clean, I take care of my home.

    I don’t think it needs to be an either-or. It’s important to learn how to joyfully work in the home, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t also work outside the home.

    I need to keep my home well, not be lazy and avoid keeping up with the housework when I’m at home. I need to honor my husband and the home that God has provided for us, no matter if I’m working full-time as well or if I’m working at home all day.

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  6. I’ve been a working mom, a stay-at-home full-time mom mom, and am now a work-at-home mom. My mom worked full time and then some but my mother-in-love never worked a day outside the home after having babies. I believe we can glorify God in all those endeavors by making sure He is our priority before the working or not working either at home or in another place. He will lead us. I ultimately left my full time job because in our family situation there would have been no stability with the high-paced, gone all the time jobs my husband and I both did. God showed me that for us, I wouldn’t be providing the kids He gave to use what they needed by working full time. For us – its a very personal choice. There are lots of ways women work away from home and provide exactly what their children need. Thanks for starting a discussion about this often divisive topic. Blessings!

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  7. I write about this ALL the time! It’s my favorite subject and many young women want to come home as quickly as they can once they learn this is where they are supposed to be! Good for you for speaking Truth.

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement! Having grown up with a stay-at-home mom, and having wanted to be a stay-at-home mom for as long as I can remember, I surprised myself with “new” questions and thoughts when I came to this phrase in Titus 2. My goal in this post was to cause women to think, to beware of rationalizations, and, once they knew what God was asking of them (whatever that may be), to obey!

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  8. I agree that our homes are important. My first mission field is to my family, but I would shrivel up inside if I didn’t have activities outside of the home. Some women thrive on homemaking and knitting and such, but we are all given gifts and talents, which include motivational gifts, and God doesn’t make a mistake when He makes one woman a great doctor or great teacher and yet she has kids and a husband too. Balance and being led by the Spirit are crucial and not always clearly laid out in plain text. Often we read the Bible and try to put boxes around verses. That’s where being led by the Spirit is necessary to see how it applies to each person and at that particular time in his/her life. Ultimately God wants us conversing with Him. Thanks for sharing! Visiting from Faith Filled Friday.
    Real Church Life: https://realchurchlife.wordpress.com/

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    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Christina. I agree we should beware of putting boxes around verses. My aim is to seek to understand what the author intended for his audience to take away from his message, then, with the entirety of the Scriptures in mind, discern how to apply that single verse to my own life. And that’s what I’m encouraging women to do with the phrase “working at home.” What did Paul want Titus to get across to these women? How should these women in the church have responded to Titus’ instruction? And then, how do I learn from this and apply it today?

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  9. This is an interesting discussion. I left my position as a teacher a little over a year ago to be at home with my children. God has used this time to minister to my heart and to my family’s. However, I would not tell other women that they should stay at home, also because throughout the Bible there are women who God used to minister to countless others outside of their homes. And my Mum, as a pastor’s wife and later teacher, was used by God also to minister to many…just as she was when she was a stay-at-home Mum when we were little.

    Ultimately, I think the key here is to follow the Spirit’s leading: “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” The Bible namely both encourages and discourages working outside the home. Why? Because God made us all unique individuals, blessed with different gifts. We only have to be careful that our gifts do not become an idol: and that’s not just a warning for working Mums, but also stay-at-home Mums (we can also turn ourselves into idols for our children: an extremely dangerous thing).

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    1. Thanks so much for your input! I guess I’m a little nervous when people say “follow the Spirit’s leading.” While I agree that we should, I think we must be careful to realize that the Spirit will not lead us to do anything that contradicts the Word. But, I think I see your point, and I so appreciate you taking the time to share!

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      1. That is true, but you must be incredibly careful, also, not to become a Pharisee, who is more concerned about studying and applying “rules”, than following a living, breathing Saviour.

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        1. Totally agree! On the flip side, we should be careful to obey everything Jesus commanded and not make excuses. That’s where I mess up many times. I guess there’s always that other side of the coin! 🙂

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  10. Am reflecting on this some more and am reminded of this:

    2 Corinthians 3: 6 (NIV)
    He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant–not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

    The Pharisees prescribed the letter of the law, but knew not Love (God).

    The disciples followed the Living Word and got to know Love and be transformed by the Spirit of the Truth in them.

    Recently, I got to thinking about world history and God’s power. Have you noticed that all major revolutionary movements toward greater freedom have been birthed through men and women abiding in Christ: the abolition of slavery, the Civil Rights’ movement, the right for women to vote (first country to approve it being New Zealand: thanks to a Christian women’s movement). The New Testament was the start of this movement toward greater freedom.

    Women no longer wear head coverings in most churches today, and yet this is prescribed. Why do we not? Women are told not to speak in church and yet God is using women speakers powerfully now to minister to broken hearts.

    I think the most important question to ask is: am I loving the Lord my God with all my heart, mind and soul by working outside the home? For me the answer changed to a “no”, as God showed me I was no longer doing all things through Him who gives me strength, but in and through my own depleting strength, as grief and trauma mounted within me because I had refused to face it.

    Some women are energized in serving outside the home and take that energy home to serve their children and husband: to me that is a sign they are following their calling.

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    1. Again, interesting thoughts! A few responses, if you don’t mind. 🙂

      Regarding 2 Cor 3:6, following the Spirit instead of the letter does not give us an excuse to disobey. We must walk in truth, and if we follow the Spirit, he will lead us to all truth.

      I have not studied the “head coverings” passage in depth, though I hope to in the near future. As far as I can see, the passage says a woman’s hair is provided for her covering.

      Women speaking in church refers to their position being under their husband’s and church leaders’ authority. So I believe there are very few instances when women should speak in church (mixed group, men and leaders included). I listen to many women speakers who minister biblically, and part of that is the fact that they are not speaking “in church” and certainly not in authority over men or church leaders.

      Anyway, I realize those are beside the point, but I wanted to respond briefly. Maybe I will write a post on those eventually and work my thoughts out better.

      But I think I have to disagree with you when you say the most important question to ask is, Am I loving the Lord my God with all my heart, mind, and soul by working outside the home?

      The instruction here is to work at home. So to me, the most important question is, Am I obeying God by the manner in which I work in the home?

      Just my thoughts. Such a great discussion! Feel free to respond with your own disagreements! 🙂

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      1. Hi Lydia,

        we certainly should obey the Word, but we must also not look at the Word in an isolated context, pulling out one verse, but read it in the light of the overall context.

        Take for example the Sabbath and what Jesus shares of this to the Pharisees in regard to him and his disciples “breaking” it.

        If you look at the context of the verse you cite, you will see that the purpose is to instruct women to avoid activity that causes them to become busy-bodies / gossipers / meddlers, to the neglect of their families and household duties. Look closely and you will also find Paul working alongside women evangelists. This instruction is interestingly similar to the instruction to male leaders not to neglect their parenting duties (which sadly very often happens). When you look at the Greek root meanings for the words in this passage, you will also note that it addresses running a household. Look at the model Proverbs woman: she worked outside the home and yet is also prized for what she does at home. So, I would actually say that the context of this passage suggests we should only work outside the home, if we can do so, while not neglecting our household duties and not becoming busy-bodies who meddle and gossip.

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        1. Interesting perspective! I totally agree that we should be sure to understand a verse in the context of the whole of Scripture.
          You said, “You will see that the purpose is to instruct women to avoid activity that causes them to become busy-bodies / gossipers / meddlers, to the neglect of their families and household duties.” May I ask where you’re seeing this? I didn’t follow you on that one… 🙂

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      2. Just some Scriptures that I’d like to share that fit with our discussion here. Would love to hear what you think of them and what insight you think they give us into a woman’s greatest calling in life:

        1 Corinthians 2: 3 – 4
        Luke 2:36-38
        John 4:28-42
        Mark 16:14
        Romans 16:3, 6 & 12
        Phil. 4:2-3
        Acts 1:14-15, 2:1-4 and 14-21

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        1. You’re so sweet! I so appreciate your desire to honor Christ in these discussions. I have quite enjoyed it and have not at all felt uncomfortable or offended by your responses. But thank you for being sensitive to the needs of others. 🙂

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          1. Hi Lydia, thank you for your well-considered and gracious responses. In meditating on James 4: 11 – 12, I’ve decided to pull back from this conversation. It is not right of me to push what I believe upon others and I feel I went too far here, for which I apologize. May God continue to bless and guide you as you dig deep into His Word.

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            1. That is so thoughtful of you! Should you decide to return to the conversation, I would welcome it gladly, as discussion like this helps me to come to a better understanding of Scripture. I am very willing to change my position if I see it for myself in Scripture, so I need people like you to walk with me in this journey! However, I understand your cautiousness and greatly respect it! I hope you’ll come back often!

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  11. i looked this up to see some of the cross references recommended…just for curiosity. for sure, the punch of this passage is toward the older woman coming alongside the younger woman to teach/train her how to love her husband and children…as well as be self-controlled, etc.

    it doesn’t seem to be a teaching passage on whether or not we are to stay at home vs. work outside the home. cross references for this section are found in proverbs 31:16,18, and 24…as well as Ephesians 5:22-24 (passages on submitting to our husbands). that is often the key in terms of whether or how much we work outside the home. there really are a host of other factors as well including the stage we are in life…but that almost goes without saying.

    certainly, this passage indicates that the need for order in the home is needed…tied to self-control and no drunkenness. (must have been a problem) in one of the other epistles, gossip was a big problem and he recommended the women focus on their homes (and their own business) instead of going from house to house and gossiping.

    our culture is rather different than theirs so it is difficult to draw parallels with the working commands except that you and your husband must be in agreement and if you aren’t, you need to submit…realizing that he could change his mind at some time later. also, that your home and children need to be priority.

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    1. Thanks, Martha! Great insights! I agree this instruction was given to the older woman so that they may train the younger women to work in the home. I’m not sure how that keeps this passage from teaching us to do the same.

      Perhaps we disagree on the culture aspect, because I’m not sure I can see how this instruction is purely cultural. As I said in the article, if working in the home was common in that day, why did Paul bother to bring it up?

      Thanks for joining the discussion! I appreciate your thoughts!

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  12. I really enjoyed your thoughts on this subject! It’s too bad that working at home for pay or not for pay isn’t always feasible. I am 24 and not married. I live with my parents due to past circumstances but pay my own bills and provide my own food. Working out of the home is my only option at this point in my life and even then I can’t provide a roof over my head. I work full time and go to school full time online and blog part time to get my writing career off the ground. Even if I had time for a second job, I physically can’t have one with my phyisical limitations that would prevent me from doing any job that would be in the evening. My boyfriend and I have spoken on the topic, and he is willing and ready to provide while I stay home when we get married IF he is making enough to do so. Its too bad that working at home isn’t always ideal. If God opens up an opportunity for me to stay home, I will take it. Until then, I will go to the job He has so graciously provided for me.

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  13. This is a great point you bring up. I read that totally different. I work outside of the home for money to pay my bills, but I work in my home raising my children, working with my husband and making sure our home is always presentable and clean. After all, I am the compass of my household, with God at the center. I took that scripture to mean that we do work at home, but if we work outside of our home, we need to make sure that we’re not neglecting our household (working too many hours, gone for days, etc). This is a great post and great conversation starter. Thank you for linking to Open Mic Monday, Lydia! 🙂

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    1. Thanks for sharing your perspective. My only question would be, Why did Paul mention working at home if he knew they would do both, and why does he never mention working outside the home? Why don’t the older women teach regarding that, too? Would love to hear your thoughts!

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      1. Sure! There were no jobs for women outside of the home then. We didn’t have the right to work outside in the field, we didn’t have the right to be ministers, speakers, etc. Paul could never know they would do both because both were not available at that time.

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        1. Interesting. Not the answer I was expecting at all! I guess my response would be, How do we know that, biblically, these jobs should be available as they are today? How do we know that there *should* be jobs outside of the home for women? Who has given us that right to work outside the home?

          And I’m sincerely asking these questions out of curiosity. Don’t feel obligated to answer them. That is simply where my next train of thought goes.

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          1. No worries, Lydia. I actually don’t know the answer to these questions. I’ll pray about them. I believe in equal working rights for women, but at this point in my journey, I can’t show you that in the Bible. That’s me being honest. I think your curiosity is great. I would sit in prayer with it though. The answer should come from God and not other people. Look up and out for the answers. Have a blessed week! 🙂

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            1. Totally agree! And thanks for your honest answer! That’s a very sweet, humble response. I’ll be praying for you as you seek the Lord in this matter, and I ask that you do the same for me. I don’t know the answers either! If ever you come to any new observations, please come back and let me know!

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  14. Thanks! I think one certain application from this verse is that we must be faithful stewards in managing the homes God has entrusted us with and never grumble about it. Exactly how we do this (and whether we have other responsibilities elsewhere) may differ from person to person. Thanks for sharing at the #LMMLinkup.

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  15. Well this is a hot button issue isn’t it, whether involving the Word or not 🙂 I’ll be quite honest, I’m not a religious person but this is a topic that I struggle with. I have a 6 year old and always felt I should be home with her – I was for a few years and then circumstances dictated that I start to work outside the home again. I just had another baby and I’m struggling again. I do feel that both partners should work in the home in some way or another – in order to contribute, depending on what is happening outside the home. For me it was written at a time that is unlike our world today, whether it is for the good or the bad…thanks for writing this though, I love seeing other perspectives. Visiting from #WeekendBlogShare

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  16. I enjoyed your post Lydia!

    Sasha is working outside the home right now, and I’m a full time care-taker for two under two. It’s something we put a lot of thought into before committing to. We take the Bible very seriously and we know many people that find our decision odd.

    I like what some other commenters brought about about other passages to compare. Proverb 31 certainly helped Sasha and me. It praises a wife who takes leadership, makes independent decisions, and works outside the home regularly.

    There’s also the emphasis in Deuteronomy and elsewhere on the role of the father in raising the children. (We see more emphasis for the role of the father than the mother, though many of the references probably should be applied equally to both parents.)

    Some thoughts on that: Given the agricultural society of antiquity, every day could have been “take your kid to work day.” But not so much in today’s industrial society.

    So, since many ancient conditions do not hold, I believe we cannot reproduce the way of life that Paul had in mind. If I’m commanded to train my children, one way to do that is to be a writer and a stay-at-home dad. If Sasha is encouraged by passages such as Proverbs 31 to make money and grow in influence, one way to do that in today’s world is by managing a large team at a Fortune 100 company.

    Those books that say women cannot or should not do such things are kind of insulting, because women do these things very well, and the Bible hasn’t prohibited it.

    As I read the Titus passage, I don’t sense any indication that Paul is correcting women for some kind of tendency to spend too much time outside of the home. (For comparison, 1 Timothy 5:13 does explicitly address a problem with widows becoming busybodies. There, the nature of the problem is identified and the solution is given.)

    To understand a person’s meaning in context, it’s helpful to think about what kind of contrast they may have been setting up. Paul may be meaning, “work in the home vs. working outside of the home.” But what if, instead, Paul was meaning, “Work in the home instead of being lazy in the home.” To me this seems just as likely. The sentence reads as if Paul took it for granted that young married women (bearing children) spent much time in the home. “Home” was not the topic; it was simply a background assumption.

    If women needing to work in the home were a moral issue, I suspect we would have been given more emphatic teaching on it. Titus 2:3-5 seems only to take for granted that young, married, child-bearing women would obviously in that day have spent much of their time in the home. Paul is not here addressing a controversy over the role of women. He is encouraging women to be deliberate in contributing to the health wellbeing of their families so that the word of God will not be reviled.

    I’ve read entire books that attempt to hang a theology of womanhood on this single passage. These kinds of “life-application” books (see the whole shelf at LifeWay) seem to me to be flimsy in logic and a little insulting in their conclusions.

    However, I do love Piper, Grudem, Schreiner, Kostenberger, etc. on the topic of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. 100%. I’m no evangelical feminist. (Especially in regard to church leadership where the Bible’s doctrine is so clear.)

    However, when it comes to the question of marriage roles, I think the Bible has very little to say about women being full-time homemakers. The exhortation to work “in” the home is no prohibition from also working “out” of the home. I think Paul would trust people to think about such things and use common sense in applying his advice.

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    1. Thanks, Cody. You bring up some excellent points. Of course, I respect your position because I know you’re taking it seriously and desiring above all to obey God’s Word.

      I certainly agree the father should take the primary role of raising the children. Not only that, I believe there is great value in the “take your child to work” idea…a kind of apprenticeship where the child is working alongside the father learning the same skill. Sadly, it’s a model we don’t see very often today.

      While we cannot reproduce the way of life Paul had in mind, I’m not sure I see how women working at home has anything to do with that. It says the older women should teach the younger women to work at home. Perhaps the emphasis is on diligence as opposed to laziness, but the point is that women should work at home. The home is never mentioned in any instructions for men in the NT.

      There seems to be a general design for men to work a paying job and provide for the family, and for women to work in the home, keeping it orderly and training the children. This design does not have to detract from the father’s primary place in training his children, nor does it keep the woman in the home at all times, unable to interact with society. Rather, it seems to indicate that the father’s primary job is to provide, and the woman’s primary job is to care for the home.

      I’m suggesting that the reason why our culture functions differently is because we’ve slowly walked away from God’s design. I often wonder if our society would be in much better shape if we hadn’t!

      Sure, the Bible does not expressly prohibit women from working outside the home. But rather than act upon silence, my goal is to formulate a position based on what the Scriptures do say. So perhaps our difference in opinion here is a difference in approach to Scripture. If the Bible doesn’t say a woman shouldn’t work outside the home, but it does teach her to work in the home, I’m going to think seriously before I work outside the home!

      Another thought based on my own experience: If this passage is referring simply to diligence and devotion to the home, how is a woman supposed to do that when she’s gone 40 hours a week? My mom has never worked a job outside the home since she had her first child. She works tirelessly just to keep the home running, to train her children, to serve alongside her husband in ministry. She’s never been “on top of things.” It’s more than a full-time job! I cannot imagine how she could have fulfilled her responsibilities while working outside the home. I’ve seen many who have tried, and I’m personally not too fond of the results!

      By the way, it’s not that women can’t do the things men can do and do them well. My position is by no means degrading to women. God’s design is always best. So if this is truly God’s design, it is the most esteemed position for women, bringing out their best and beautifully displaying their God-given talents.

      And thus it has always been my dream. I “work outside the home” currently, because I have no husband and no children. But I would have gladly skipped all the education, years of experience and success, and all the rest, had God provided me a family and a “home.” And I will gladly drop it all at a moment’s notice, because the home is where I long to be.

      Having said all of that, I recognize that there are exceptions (e.g. widow, disabled), and I recognize that many God-fearing Christians see it differently. I don’t intend to force my opinion on anyone else or judge others according to my own standard. That’s why I left this blog post very open-ended!

      Thanks for the discussion, and I’m happy to keep it going if you have any further thoughts!

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  17. Thanks Lydia, this is really well thought-out. My main question would be, is there reason to think that in Titus 2 Paul is addressing the question of women working outside the home? Since Paul also advised people in another situation to not marry, I find it likely that there are many good vocations open to the Christian woman. Surely the young mother needs to treat motherhood as her highest vocational priority. I don’t know about inferences about who should be cleaning, cooking, sewing, educating kids, etc.

    I love the idea of helping my kids explore vocations, like you mentioned. I’m really looking forward to that. Thanks for the super relevant posts!

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    1. Why do I think Titus 2 is talking about working in the home as opposed to working outside the home?

      It says “train the young women . . . to be . . . working at home.” If he was talking about diligence, I suspect he would have said it differently. Diligence would apply to other areas of life as well, so why would he emphasize diligence vs. laziness by talking about the home if they would spend much of their time outside it?

      So he’s not just talking about working, but working *at home*. The idea of working outside the home isn’t necessarily excluded (but then, that might be the intent). It’s just that it mentions the home and working in it, but never working outside it.

      Now, an unmarried woman is a totally different scenario. This passage assumes the woman is married with children (“train the young women to love their husbands and children”). Yes, there are a good many options available for single women, and perhaps for married women who have no children in the home.

      As for cleaning, cooking, sewing, educating the kids, etc., woman typically do these sorts of things in the Bible (even educating the kids took place mostly in the home while the father worked outside it, so it must have largely been the woman’s job). That doesn’t mean men can’t or shouldn’t do them. Practically, if women are in the home and are prioritizing the task of motherhood, most of those jobs will fall under her responsibility, because those are generally “home” responsibilities.

      Thanks for the discussion!

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  18. Lydia, I read this blog post awhile ago and meant to comment on it–then, time went by . . . I have two very young children and I never returned! I remembered your name and this blog post when you recently commented on my blog, and so here I am, a day late and a dollar short :-). I am thankful that you drew attention to this topic, and most especially, that you encouraged your readers toward a Biblical interpretation of the issue. It is so, so important (imperative) that our hearts search the Scriptures and WANT or even if the initial desire is not there, want to be made obedient to the Word of God and its application into every area of our lives–because Jesus Christ is the living, breathing, life-giving Word. For me, personally, as I study and interpret the Word of God and as the Holy Spirit speaks to me in accordance to His Word, it always comes down to surrender and obedience. And it always comes down to this–nothing fulfills or satisfies like pursuing and living within His will for our lives. At times, His Word appears “confining.” But when we are filled with Him and really, truly surrendered, it is exactly the opposite–it frees us. For me, I have found freedom in pouring myself out for my children and have felt convicted by the Holy Spirit to “feed His sheep” in this way–at home. This is what He has called me to do at this time in my life, and I often feel like I need to examine myself to “test” whether I am embracing His will fully or halfheartedly. I believe that a woman’s primary sphere is within the home and from there she branches out into ministry–that is what I understand the Word of God to teach, understanding that there are other “sincerely held” beliefs regarding this topic. I know that I have found contentment and grace not because I particularly “love” homemaking (although I do), but because it is what I understand God’s will for me to be–and so I embrace it with joy. At any rate, I’m thankful for your boldness and willingness to address this issue.

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  19. There are alot of comments here and probably a whole day to read them. I like how you put it in the article.What caught my eye is not about the women working at home, but “Today”. And I am guy and I know i have my opinions. but I just want to say a simple thing. And this goes for things in the bible not just for this topic. That even back then those things that they did back then were not part of their culture. And it throws me off of how people trying to fit the culture into the bible. That today is a different culture we do things differently. And am not referring to the women teaching your women. etc. But have to take into account that if we’re going to follow Christ. We are on the opposite side of culture. Even back then they were persecuted for being Christians for doing things like praying and speaking truth.

    I am not trying to pick at your wording. But…. even 10 years from now.. we’ll ask how does this word of God fit in our world of today.

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    1. Thanks for the feedback! I’m not sure I followed your flow of thought entirely. Feel free to clarify if you like. Interestingly enough, you may want to come back and read the article I’m posting tomorrow. It sort of touches on this same issue.

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  20. I was saying.. That God hasn’t changed. People were dealing with issues back then to. Christians back then stood out and were looked down upon, by the traditions and the way they did things. 1 Corinthians 10:6-11 Paul brought examples from hundreds of years ago about how they tempted Christ and were destroyed by serpents or committed sexual immorality and 23,000 fell.” Was just tying to say that its not how the bible fits in our 21th century of today. because the word of God didn’t fit in Abraham’s time or Asa time or the early churches. And like it said i am not trying to bring things down. I am just saying.. that this is todays culture.. “they did that back then and it does not apply to us”. It will not apply to us 10 years from now. It will never apply to us. Because we change, Bible doesn’t. like you brought out the verses. We’re still are given the instruction : older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience;3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things-4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,5 to be discreet, chase, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

    and the whole instructions are summed up in the last couple of words: “that the word of God not be blasphemed. Thats what it matters. thats what is passed from generation to generation. yesterday.. today.. and till the second coming.. to uphold God’s word. Not to take it for granted. It’s like taking the name of God in vain.

    1 Peter 3:5
    5 for in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands,6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror. 7 Husband, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving the honor to the wife, as to weaker vessel. and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prays may not be hindered.

    “But it does not fit into our society.” it will not. it will never will. If there is no Godly character like the one described in those verse of course there will be not passed to your daughter to your granddaughter. and i am speaking for men and women, because both have a specific role The Israelites failed terrible.. because.. they did not listen to instruction… Passing the statues and commandments that God told them to pass down from generation to generation that they might not forget.

    I am trying to say that. we cannot say does if it apply to us today. Because if we say that.. we’re only left with God is just a loving God. and 20 pages of the bible. And like Paul was saying. just because it happened hundreds of years ago and it happened to the Israelites, it happened for a reason that today. June 28,2016 is as real as if we’re watching the men of Korah swallowed up by the earth or the fire of God consuming two hundred and fifty men who were offering incense.

    And many would thing I just holding my own way thoughts because that they way I look at it or think like that. but read what God is trying to get across. read what Paul is writing to these churches. Read who God is searching for in revelation.

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    1. Thanks for clarifying! I think I get what you’re saying now. I agree every word of the Bible applies to us today. The question is not “does it apply?” but “*how* does it apply?” God intends for the Bible to apply to us in a certain way. And for some things, it looks differently now than it did a few centuries ago or will a few centuries in the future. We should apply it all. But if we apply it wrongly, we’re in just as much trouble! Hope that helps to clarify a slight difference in thinking between you and I – at least, as far as I can gather in written comments, haha!

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  21. I’m not going to bother reading through every comment on here so I’m sure what I’m going to say has already been said but I’m going to say it anyway 😀
    Bible examples of women working-
    Ruth worked in the field with the maidens (typically a reference to single girls) ….widowed or single women could work outside the home to help earn food for their families.
    The Proverbs 31 woman had multiple enterprises but they were ALL tasks that she could complete from home while maintaining her family as her top priority ….married women with families can work from home as long as they are prioritizing their families’ needs.
    Thank you for a thorough evaluation of this passage!

    Liked by 1 person

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