Women working outside the home...

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Margie Kritzer, Apr 26, 2002.

  1. Margie Kritzer

    Margie Kritzer
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    I have posted this topic here in this forum in order to invite the opinions of BOTH men and women. It has taken a royal beating in the women's forum for yet another time, and I believe that there are women who would like to say and hear more of a balanced discussion.

    Working women are under attack on the pretense that SOME working women work for selfish reasons. I don't believe it is our place to judge. It has also been stated that this is not a Godly plan for a marriage. While I contend that materialism is a problem in some families, I do NOT feel that SAHM's are justified to criticize career women. I posted a poll to draw out the many opinions and positions of various women in order to allow all sides to be represented fairly and without debate.

    The results can only be viewed after voting, but I'll share that more than half the women who chose to respond were involved in a vocation...where else do they post? Perhaps a better question is WHEN COULD they post? I feel a great responsibility to bridge the gap between the SAHM's (of which I am not) and the working mothers.

    Finally, I'd like to encourage the men to reply. After all, we Christian women ultimately submit to you. (1 Timothy 2:11)
     
  2. scooby

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    I can only imagine the responses this post will get. Personally, it is the view of the church I attend (Independent Baptist) and my view as well that women in the workplace are in a lot of instances a necessary evil. Now, before people jump down my throat for saying that, let me clarify. It would be best if women could be stay at home mothers, tending to all matters of the house and caring for the children. As a public school teacher on the high school level, I can show you countless examples of what happens when there is no mother at home to raise and nurture their children like only a mother can. Statistics support me in terms of the divorce rate/single parent households and the effect on our children. Now, I know that some men out there will say, "Wait a minute, a father can do just as good a job raising a child." I agree on that partially. But there is something about a mother's love and presence that no man can replace. Getting back to your question, I believe that women should get an education, even if they do not have a future interest in being in the workforce (and trust me, being a good housewife is just as hard as most jobs out there). Is it okay for women to work? I believe it is okay in some instances, but if a woman seeks to work purely for her own gain (greed, need for fame, etc.), then she should not consider having a family. I can't emphasize that enough. A woman's role in the home is so vital. I realize that in some families a woman has no choice but to help out and get a job. I believe that God understands that. Please keep in mind though that a woman in the workplace has to be careful, just like a man, or even more careful. Certainly working in good environment and somewhere that is acceptable to Christ are givens. That means no waitressing at bars, etc. Modest dress in the workplace is a most, but that should be a 24/7 thing (except when in the privacy of your own home). I think that a woman should be prepared to deal with advances given by men, which is more likely to happen than the other way around. I guess in all of my rambling I can honestly say that if it is a necessity, then work in a honorable job and be a good testimony for others. My mother worked in a fashion (cleaning houses for folks in town), but she only did this when all of her children were older. She will tell you that she never would have considered having a child and going straight back to work. I don't know if anything I have said anything that is of value to you, but I think that you will find most Independent Baptists probably think along these lines. I said MOST (disclaimer for those who love to argue). Have a great day.

    [ April 26, 2002, 09:40 AM: Message edited by: scooby ]
     
  3. Molly

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    Hi,Margie.

    I can only share what God has done in my life and why I do what I do. God has given me a love for His Word and a heart to want to honor Him,first and foremost. I see it very clearly expressed in scripture that the priorities of a woman is to be her husband,her children,and her home...those are to be the heartbeat of who she is...everything God gives her is to be used for those priorites of the homelife. Think about the time it takes to care for your husband after a long day of work,they intelligent converstaion you should be able to provide,your alertness to him and his needs....and of course,how much time should be used for caring for your children? I see that as a 24 hour thing...esp in teaching them. I have felt very convicted about this in our home...although we have a family worship time and we go through books of the Bible(mainly Proverbs),my husband and I both see how the time in a day is sooo short when they are in school. We have recently began praying about homeschooling,because we know from God's Word that we have to be the main teachers and influence in our children's lives. Homeschooling is not for everyone and I am not saying that. It is a personal thing that God has brought us to and is guiding us towards...Also,think about the time it takes to keep a home organized,clean,meals prepared,etc. Also,we are to care for the needy and help those in need. That shows christian hospitality. I feel God wants all of those things to be very important to women. It should be their very purpose in life. Now,can one do this and still work outside the home? That is the question...maybe working part time...that might work,working full time,I don't see how. I know I could not,and everything would be stressful and I probably would not do the important things with the right heart attitude. My children and husband would suffer as a result.

    I said all this to say,*I* am not doing anything great! This is not about me,it is about honoring God first in my life and respecting His will for me,as a woman. He has done this in me,I do not take credit for it.

    I never want to judge someone for their life choices,but I do want to encourage and exhort women to walk in God's ways. I can't explain the peace of knowing that I am in God's providential plan for our family. There is great peace in simple obedience even though we may not understand or see the big picture of why or how. We do know that God has purposes greater than what we can see. I feel at peace with God because I know He is doing this work in me and He is fulfilling His purposes. I just want to honor Him in all things. [​IMG]
     
  4. donnA

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    I haven't really joined in on this topic very much. But I am a stay home mom. Which doesn't seem to amke a lot of sense now that the kids are grown, but my husband perfers it that way. He likes to be able to take care of me. He wants to be the provider for us, it is the way he was raised. His mom never worked, except on the farm helping out his dad. Which is all I've ever done. (he doesn't work on a farm anymore). I believe the perfect situation would be for all motheres to be able to stay home with their children. But it's so hard to just live today, even without the extras, that in some families, some areas of the coutry, that is impossible. I know we have done without a lot, scrimped and saved in order for me to be at home. It's gotten better the last couple of years.So if finacially the family has to have two incomes just to live, then I see nothing wrong with it. Of course the preference would be for the mother to be at home. I never trusted anyone to raise my children for me.
     
  5. Sularis

    Sularis
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    Well since I just gave a lesson on marriage and the roles of men and women - I'll just touch on what we covered

    The Biblical guidelines for the women is to first take care of family, then house, then if there's time to go into the marketplace and sell and buy.

    ------------------------------------------------
    However it is the nature of a relationship that the couple discuss the division of duties before marriage. Perhaps the wife may be cursed with a husband like me - who doesnt expect that clean a house; but expects strong family commitment - ie no working until child goes to school - and by school I mean Grade 1 - Then the wife would be free to find a job and do whatever she wants - As long the house is reasonably clean there is a pathway to walk in each room; and that both parents can spend at LEAST a few hours a night with the kids.
    ------------------------------------------------

    Its simply a matter of adhering to the Biblical model with an agreement between the two spouses.
     
  6. Molly

    Molly
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    Sularis,

    If the mother works when the childen go to school,where do they go after school,like if she works until 5 or so? Do they get to participate in music,dance,or sports as after school activities?
     
  7. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    I want to add here that Margie has received criticism in the past for not doing ENOUGH with her potetntial. She was a straight A student in high school. She would have been the salutitorian of her class but as our senior year drew to a close she was so shy about making an address to the assembly that she threw a physics test in order to bring down her grade ranking to third place.

    She could have done anything she wanted and done it quite well. The path she chose was to go into teaching. I can tell you from personal observation that she has a gift in this area. Kids jump through hoops for her. This year her homeroom class is composed of underprivileged students who came into her class bitter and apathetic but it was Margie that gave them motivation, patience and praise. If it had been me in her place, I would have had no hope for them and just given up right from the starting gate.

    It's interesting that it is only on this board that she receives any criticism for working at all. In other areas of her life, people will ask, "why are you ONLY teaching?"

    So I find it rather interesting that others may say that it's God's plan for her to stay home with our daughter but seem to never address the point of Matthew 25: 14 - 30, the parable of the talents. Remember what becomes of the servant who buried their talent?
    [ April 26, 2002, 12:52 PM: Message edited by: Clint Kritzer ]
     
  8. Molly

    Molly
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    Oh,Clint,

    I think you missing the point! I mean,God wants to use us in our homes before anywhere else. Those things are very true about a lot of stay at home mothers,they could've been this,or could've been that,but the truth of the matter is that God wants to use women in their homes,first. I also was a very good student,graduated from college with honors and was an elem teacher,who also helped under privileged children. I felt I made a big difference in the lives of other children...but God wanted to use my gifts and talents for the family he gave me. He wanted me to make a big difference with what he gave me responsiblity over,MY children. He drew me to His word and there I found what I was to do.

    I think it is very sweet that you love and support your wife so much! I'm not saying you are totally wrong here...I'm just saying that God can and will use us in our homes,that is where he has placed women. As the head of your family,I would like to encourage you to really seek out what is best for your family. My husband wanted me to stay home--he guided me in that decision. I think Godly men should encourage this in the families.

    Noone is attacking your wife. She works and that is you guys' choice,but others have a right to voice why they feel so strongly in a different direction.
     
  9. Lorelei

    Lorelei
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    My daughter spent 5 1/2 weeks in NICU after she was born. Then she went through open heart surgery and spent another 10 days in the hospital. I thank God every day for some of the nurses who left their children at home and cared for my daughter in a way that I could not. 12 hour shifts at times, but my daughter was in good hands.

    If those women had stayed home, who would have given my daughter that care?

    If you believe as strongly as you do, would you deny your child care because that woman should be home with her own children?

    These women were nice enough to nurture and nurse my child as well as thier own. Teachers do the same thing. They "sacrifice" time with their children to help others. They don't "abandon" them. There is a huge difference.

    Like Clint said, would God want them to bury those talents? I think not!

    Just something to think about.

    ~Lorelei
     
  10. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    I'll add further for clarification, this home stays clean (Not from my efforts!), the meals are hot, hearty, and punctual (again, not from any efforts on my part), and every other "wifely duty" is seen to as well.

    Working outside of this house in no way hampers Margie's efforts in her domestic roles here.
     
  11. Molly

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    I even know of some churches that give financially in a case of a single mom situation,where her husband left,to allow her to be home when the children are little.

    And,about the nurses....I believe there is a time in a woman's life,when she can work outside the home.....maybe when the children are older or in school,if the scheduling allows. I have a very good friend that has children in school and she works part time as a nurse,2 days a week during school hours only(7am until-3pm) The flexibilty of some schedules allows for part time work. I also know a pharmacist who is a woman that works 2 days a week,I know a dental hygenist...the list goes on and on...but,they choose not to work full time,they feel their families would not get the attention they should.

    So,they are some creative measures to take to help with income and still be home when needed. they is nothing wrong with working if the other priorites are taken care of...my question was,how does time allow for the important stuff,when a mother of a small child(before school age) works full time?
     
  12. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    It is exactly these types of statements that led Margie to post this topic in this forum. There is an implication that we have NOT considered God in our marriage nor in our roles.

    You say that your position is your opinion, and yes, you do have a right to say so. However, I fail to see the justification in implying that we have NOT sought God's instruction in our lives.
     
  13. redwhitenblue

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    Margie, Thank you so much for your thoughts on this issue. My husband and I are struggling financially so much, he suffers greatly from depression and is attempting to be self employed and it's not easy. I am currently looking for a full time job with benifits to help out and either my child will stay with daddy or come with me. In the fall he will go to school half a day then once again either with daddy or he'll come be with me at the daycare.

    I fully agree with you though, not every working wife/mother is working for selfish reasons, in fact I would say 95% of them are in it because they need to be.

    karen
     
  14. Lorelei

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    With all of the working mothers who are nurses, and are working 12 hour shifts and many hours a week, we would be in poor shape if they were to suddenly quit or cut back thier hours. There is a nursing shortage as it is (which is why the long shifts and wierd schedules) and without those who are now working there would be even fewer nurses to go around.

    I understand what you are saying, but you can't take your own standards and apply them to everyone. You believe it's ok if this, or if that. God says when it is ok, not anyone else. God said that women were to be keepers of their home, yes. However, I don't see any references where he said that those keepers had to stay home all the time in order to keep it.

    Do you really think that in Bible times mommys spent hours playing with little Johnny and doing fun projects with him? They took care of little Johnny alright, but they also had to gather and make the food. (The loaf of bread didn't come from the grocery store). They didn't have washers and dryers and electric stoves, or vacuums or anything mechanical to help them "keep that home" neat. I bet you that women who work outside the home today have just as much time (if not more) then mothers back in those days. It is the conveniences that made it easy for us to keep our home and do other things too.

    ~Lorelei
     
  15. Rev. Joshua

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    I think there are several key points in the discussion of this issue:

    1. Those that argue that the Bible offers a clear social model for gender roles ignore the fact that it also offers a clear social model for slavery (often in the same passages - i.e. Titus). The example of Jesus is one of radical inclusion of women (For example: Mary in the position of a disciple - despite Martha's insistence that Mary should have been doing her womanly duty). The vast preoponderance of contemporary biblical scholarship recognizes that Paul's instructions on the role of women belong in a particular cultural context; and that the ministry and teachings of Jesus take priority over those instructions.

    2. Some women are absolutely not cut out to be stay-at-home parents or homemakers of any sort. Regardless of how easy it is to make generalizeations about people based on their sex, they don't hold up for everyone. Many of those women clearly hear God's guidance to use their gifts in the work force - and the work force is the better for it.

    3. Many of the problems that arise from full-time, working women are not a result of broadening the understanding of the woman's role but are instead a result of failing to broaden our understanding of the man's role. Both spouses need to recognize that the have responsibilities to the their children, to each other, for their home, to their communities, and (finally and of least importance) to their careers. God has created a tremendously diverse population, with an equally diverse collection of marriages. It is up to each couple to find how to meet all of those responsibilities according to their unique gifts and calling.

    4. This forum represents a very tiny, almost miniscule, subsection of Christianity and the population at large. Even the unanimous condemnation of the people on this board should not be equated with a consensus among Christians.

    5. Why exactly would God give a woman the skills to become a surgeon, give her peace and assurance during her time in undergrad. and medical school that she's exactly where God wants her, and then expect her to stay at home with her children (particularly if there are other excellent options for child care).

    6. In many traditional rural communities (particularly medieval ones), the husbands and wives both worked full time while older relatives cared for the children.

    7. Many couples are choosing not to have children. Why shouldn't both of them work if they want to?

    Joshua

    P.S. Margie, I've seen the website with your students' artwork. I would hate to see them deprived of your skills and your personal interest in their lives.
     
  16. Momto3JD

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    Okay this nursing thing is getting to me. Yes we need nurses and we need good nurses but at 45 or 50 a nurse desn't have children at home or before marriage or non Christians that don't submit themselves to the Word of God and live for themselves. It is crazy to say we need to neglect our children and have them grow with who knows who raising them!

    I have a dear friend in my church. Her daughter "has to work" and do you know that her, her daughter, and grandson are at the doctors right now because the mother doesn't want to break her daughter's heart by telling her the reason her 4 month old son cries every night from the moment he gets home is because he misses her! She watches him 40 hours a week and he thinks she is the mom and Kelly loves her son to death. She doesn't see the error in her ways. My babies went to church nursery for a couple hours on Sunday mornings and let me tell you they cried. They knew I was their mommy!!!

    Saved4Life- I am so sorry that you can't trust your husband to provide for you. I don't know what it would be like to fear my husband leaving me. I am truely sorry you are in that situation. Did you know it would be this way before you had children? I can honestly say if I had to work I wouldn't have children.
     
  17. Rev. Joshua

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    Lorelei, this is exactly my point with # 6. The concept of a stay-at-home parent is an invention of the middle class. At no other time in history has anyone of any sex (outside of the nobility) had the luxury of not working.

    Joshua
     
  18. Molly

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    Clint,I'm sorry my comments bother you so much. I never mean to offend anyone. I think mothers who have to work or work because they want to feel guilty in this area and take offense to anybody saying what is best...it is justification for their actions and I can not agree or sympathize with those reasonings...

    Maybe my city is unusual,but some of the most educ and intelligent women are stay at home moms,(attorneys,past teachers,med profession,etc)maybe not for my reasons,because I'm sure not all of them are christains,but they stay home because they think it is best for their children. They would be great out there working,but they are respected more because of their willingness to stay home. Just because someone is educ and smart does not mean they should leave their children with someone who is less smart than them,because we need the smart people out there working...that does not make any sense to me. The children need their mommy.
    Now, for saved4life and other exceptions,I'm sorry about your situations...moms with unbelieving husbands really should submit to your husbands leadership,hopefully win him to the Lord with your quiet and gentle spirit,single moms are another exception....I can not imagine how hard that would be. I realize there are exceptions,so please understand I am not judging you for those things. I will pray for you,though! That God would give you everything in Him to get through it. Hang in there!
    ;)
     
  19. Molly

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    Joshua, :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

    Stay at home mothers are working very diligently.
     
  20. Rev. Joshua

    Rev. Joshua
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    Molly,

    I've been a stay-at-home Dad for almost four years. No one knows better than me how hard stay-at-home parents work.

    Nevertheless, it's a luxury, and one that didn't exist until recently for anyone except the nobility.

    Joshua
     

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