I believe that a major reason that the ideal family nucleus has declined is because, due to various conditions, women allow others to raise their children. It is understandable that single mothers need to work because so many fathers have largely abandoned their familial and parental duties, which includes financial provisions.
This article, though, is to ask and answer the question, “Is it GOD’s ideal for married women with children to work outside the home?” I believe not. God designed the family structure for men to be loving husbands and fathers who provide for the family finances while the loving wives and mothers handle the bulk of the household duties. I do not support, when it is not necessary, that our Lord is pleased with latch-key youth, and youth who are sent to day care while their mothers work outside the home.
In scripture, I do not recollect any passages that encourage mothers to relinquish their child care responsibilities to others. For a period during my youth, my mom did not work outside the home. I am 54 years old and am still deeply moved by the memory of my mom coming to my elementary school class on a snowy day to bring me soup. My mom was the only mother to come to the class with such a love motion. Even now as I write about it, tears well up in my eyes.
So many kids misbehave because they are hurt, angry, and afraid. They are afraid of life, and its varied challenges. So often, they lack enough quality time with their parents. Many of them do not feel sufficiently loved and valued. Frequently, youth are not adequately disciplined. The best parenting cannot be done on the fly in rushed and harried states of mind. Mothers who work outside the home can be so preoccupied that they cannot ideally tend to the manifold needs of their children. In our present society, the stress levels of youth are off the charts. Unfortunately, they fend for themselves too often.
We live in a societal environment now where it is vital that mothers rethink their choices to work outside of the home. Of course, for some mothers to quit jobs is not an option. But there are large numbers of mothers who can quit their jobs to sacrifice for the well being of their children, and the overall health of the home atmosphere.
Recently, I heard a Christian wife and mother testify that the Lord told her to quit her job to become a full time wife and mother. She was not at all eager to do so. It would mean the loss of more than 50% of the household income. The Lord impressed upon her the urgency of His request. She obeyed. One thing led to another. Her husband expressed that he did not believe that they could remain in their present home with the reduction in income. He told her that he would give her four months to prove that they could remain. If she could not prove it by then they would move. Well, she did what was necessary…proved it, and they remained. It was critical to the Lord that she stay home with her child. She and her husband made the financial sacrifices to get it done. Praise the Lord!
Children develop, and flourish best when they are parented full time by loving and righteous mothers – their own mothers, and their own loving and righteous fathers who provide financially, and contribute in other essential ways. That is the ideal of GOD – our Divine Creator.
Of course, the ideal is not always possible, our Lord can certainly compensate for what is not possible. He knows who the mothers are who cannot reasonably be at home, and who the mothers are who can.
Note: Family circumstances caused by divorce, remarriages, abandonment and other actions bring another dynamic to the mix. This article is not about that component.
Sandra Renee Hicks
P.O. Box 1210
Washington, DC 20013
November 16, 2009
Revised June 23, 2010