This post is Ken's view on being a "keeper at home."
The biblical validity of a wife working or not working outside the home seems quite clear from the scriptures when a family has children at home. Generally, this should be clear for the vast majority of Christian wives and is only not clear for wives before they have children and after the children are grown.
There is no greater treasure to God than the raising of the next generation of godly believers. This great responsibility falls on the shoulders of both parents, but moms are most naturally equipped to raise the children, and God has asked that wives be "keepers at home." Until Christians begin to realize this great calling placed on mothers, we will never get Christian mothers back in their homes full-time. Beyond this, staying at home much of the day to be with the children and working to hide God's Word in their hearts.
Think about it for a moment with me and I am sure you will see that far too many families are instilling television, video games, kid's sports, daycare and other activities, but the idea of actually raising the next generation of the children of God is somewhat missing, except perhaps for the once a week Sunday School class. Certainly children learn a lot by watching and listening to their parents, but how many Christian parents can truthfully say that they are fulfilling Deuteronomy 11:19?
“You shall teach (God’s precepts) to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
This is one of the most vital verses in the entire Bible that cannot be violated and expect God’s blessings upon the next generation of the children of God. I see it as almost impossible to keep this precept if a mother with children is regularly away from her children and home.
Don’t misunderstand that I am okay with women working outside the home if they so choose, because I am not responsible for how others live their lives before God. If a working mom tells me she has to work, or that God is okay with her working, then that is a matter for her own conscience before God. What Lori is doing is appealing to the conscience of Christian women and asking them to think and pray about what is truly most important to God, what will please Him most, and what will be a mother’s greatest treasures later in this life and the life to come.
Some believe that by the way Lori and I teach certain of God’s principles that we are being legalistic and judgmental, and that is far from the truth. It pains us to watch so many Christian families be lied to by the world that somehow a working Mom can have it all. Somehow she can raise the next generation of the children of God and work full-time. We see this like Russian Roulette. Is it possible to work outside the home and raise godly children? You bet, and it has been proven that it can be done by some pretty talented women who can both juggle it all, and carry the heavy burdens placed upon their shoulders. And are there not far too many failures and still born baby Christians in families where moms worked? Where their children go off to college and the workforce and the roots planted by their parents are too shallow to withstand the hurricane force winds of the world beckoning these precious gifts from God to come join the harlot that rides the beast. Wealth, fame, ego, materialism, sex, and everything the world has to offer becomes a shimmering hook that some of our Christian children survive, but far too many show an aborted heart of a seed that sprang up, but could not survive.
No, we are not fatalist who believe that somehow God has his children all locked up forever before they were born. We do accept God’s election, but we do not fully understand how God’s predestination fits with our human responsibility as Christian parents. Besides, it is a moot point. For is not the Christian life trying to please God in everything? If this is true, what pleases God most, in most families, is to have mom at home raising her children to love Jesus, and to be deeply rooted in Christ before they leave home. This is a huge and noble responsibility not given to the few, but the many Christian wives and mothers. Let’s take it seriously.
If you are called to be the exception, so be it. Do what the Lord is calling you to do, and if your conscience does not condemn you, neither do we. But please allow us and others to inform your conscience so that you may make the right decisions to please the Lord in all you do, especially in raising the next generation for God. It is the truth that will set you free, and so long as Christian parents do not know the truth of their huge calling and responsibility to raise God’s children, they will act in blindness and not in the light of God’s Word. Tell us that you have prayerfully sought the Lord for a decision to work outside the home, and that you have carefully thought through your primary responsibility as wife and mother and believe you can achieve it all without missing out on God’s greatest blessings. If God is telling you that you are an exception to His general will on this matter, then we will cheer you on to whatever you feel the Lord is calling you to do, yet all the while reminding Christians everywhere of their first calling to create and build the family of God, not personal wealth, ego and happiness.
As I loaded my precious little grandchildren into the car last night, and went from window to window teasing them with a smile, just to see them laugh and grin from ear to ear with their Papa, their mother said to me, “Aren’t they just so precious?” I agreed and ask, “Would you rather be working full time right now?” A great big smile came across her face as she acknowledged that no work could ever fulfill the joy and happiness that being full-time with her babies brings her. Smart, talented, hard worker, straight “A” student who could have been at the top of any career she would have chosen, and she was perhaps headed that way, until God gave her a honeymoon baby who has been the greatest joy in all our lives the last four years. Sure it’s tough, especially when the second baby comes along and soon a third, but who do you want raising the next generation of godly children if it is not the smartest, brightest and best? Don’t think for an instant that a stay-at-home mom is in any way inferior to a man, or that her role is in any way less noble. In our minds, it is more noble and more God pleasing than almost any career for a man or woman. It is the essence of why marriage exists, to raise godly offspring.
Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth.