John MacArthur isn't afraid to speak truth, even if it offends. This is why I love listening to him. I don't want a watered-down Word of God. Here is another sermon concerning women being keepers at home he taught on God's Pattern for Wives.
Now we get down to the nitty gritty. They (women) are to be workers at home. We've dealt with the attitudes of a woman, love toward husband, love toward children, wisdom and purity. Now, we turn to the very important issue, the sphere of her responsibility; workers at home, oikourgos, literally a house worker. This is the sphere of a woman's life. It is her domain. It is her kingdom. It is her realm. The word is derived from the word "house" and the word "work," a house worker.
It doesn't simply refer, by the way, to scrubbing floors and cleaning bathrooms and doing that. It simply connotes the idea that the home is the sphere of her labors, whatever they might be. It is not that a woman is to keep busy all the time at home. It doesn't mean that she can never go out the door. It doesn't mean that she's always to be doing menial tasks. But what it does mean is that the home is the sphere of her divine assignment.
She is the home keeper; taking care of her husband, providing for him and for the children all they need as they live in the home. Materially, she is to take the resources the husband brings home and translate them into a comfortable and blessed life for her children. She is to take the spiritual things that she knows and learns and to pass them on to her children. She is a keeper at home.
God's standard is for the wife and mother to work inside the home and not outside. For a mother to get a job outside the home in order to send her children even to a Christian school is to misunderstand her husband's role as a provider, as well as her own duty to the family. The good training her children receive in the Christian school may be counteracted by her lack of full commitment to the biblical standards for motherhood.
In addition to having less time to work at home and teach and care for her children, a wife working outside the home often has a boss to whom she is responsible for pleasing in the way she dresses and a lot of other matters, complicating the headship of her husband and compromising her own testimony. She is forced to submit to men other than her own husband, likely to become more independent, including financially in fragmenting the unity of the family. She is in danger of becoming enamored by the business world or whatever world she's in, and finding less and less satisfaction in her home responsibilities.
Many studies have shown that most children who grow up in homes where the mother works are less secure than in those where mother is always at home. I think that should be obvious. Her presence there, even when the child is in school, is an emotional anchor. Working mothers contribute so often to delinquency and a host of other problems that lead to the decline of the family.
It's not that mothers who stay at home are automatically or categorically more spiritual. Many mothers who have never worked outside of the home do very little in the home to strengthen their families: gossiping, watching ungodly and immoral soap operas and a host of other things can be as destructive as a working mother. But a woman's only opportunity to fulfill God's plan for her role as wife and mother is in the home.
Now, when children are grown, there is an opportunity for some kind of endeavor outside the home. Certainly, that option is viable; if it doesn't compromise her as a woman, it doesn't compromise the headship of her husband, it doesn't put her under undue temptation, it doesn't put her in an environment where she is going to be subject to the actions and the words of ungodly men. It may be that when the children are grown she can work part-time; she can even work full-time in an environment which is salutatory to her and which increases her godliness and strengthens her as a wife.
When a woman obviously still has children at home, her primary obligation is to them. If she has no children or they are grown, she has a responsibility to help teach the young women and share the insights and wisdom she's gained from her own walk with the Lord. She should invest her time when she's older and her children are grown not in working in the world, hopefully sometimes that may have to happen, but investing in younger women.
The focal point: she provides for her husband expressions of love and care. She provides the same for her children. She leads and guides and teaches her children so that they can become godly children. She is in the home, secure, and protected, and kept from the influence of evil men and potentially wicked relationships. She lodges strangers. She humbly washes saints' feet. She shows hospitality. She devotes herself to every good work and that's her domain.
In New Testament times, as in Old Testament times, a woman in a home had to grind flour, bake everything from scratch, launder, cook, nurse and care for children, make beds, spin, weave, keep house, and care for guests. And in the same time and with the full energy and commitment, devote herself to express her love to her husband, to her children and to God Himself. A tremendous assignment.
You say, "Why in the world does God want women to be so busy?" At the risk of sounding trite, it keeps them out of sin. Proverbs 7:11 gives a startling picture of a harlot. "She is boisterous and rebellious, and her feet do not remain at home." She doesn't find her home sufficiently fulfilling. She needs something else, and that leads her into sin.
To most of our society, this is all absolutely ridiculous stuff. And we get so engulfed in this kind of thinking because of the society around us that it may even seem a little strange to us, but this is the Word of God. Godly women are to be content at home, and to be content to love their children and love their husbands and serve their families in their homes and serve the Lord.
One of the most wonderful things that the church has ever experienced is the ministry of women. All of the tests and the studies and surveys indicate that about 60 percent of all church life is cared for by women. Evangelical churches are populated by women. They say 37 percent of evangelical churches are men. The church has always benefited by godly women who work in the home, and when they have time, they minster on behalf of the church. And as women abandon the home for the world, they also abandon the church.
That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.