A close look at Proverbs 31:16-24 tells you that the virtuous woman considers a field and buys it, from her earnings she plants a vineyard, she makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies belts to the tradesmen.
Once upon a time, there was a young couple who was blessed with a child, whom they loved so much. Because of this great love, they wished that the wife could stay home and raise the child, but the bills still needed to be paid. So the wife went out and found the perfect job. She would arrive at work by 10 am and leave at 2 pm, and she was paid as though she worked full time. Therefore, she was able to nurse her baby and be at home every day in time for his nap. While the baby napped, she would cook a delicious meal, wash and iron the clothes, clean the house, and still have time to get herself beautiful before her husband came home. After playing with their child together, they would tuck him into bed and then have wonderful conversations over the excellent candle-lit dinner she had prepared in their clean and well-organized home.
So how did you like this story? Well, ‘story’ is an accurate word because it is a fairy tale. Real-life does not look like this as I think we would all agree. Wouldn’t it be great if everything just went along effortlessly as in the story? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if women today could keep their homes running perfectly, raise their children into hard-working young adults who never argued with their parents, make their husbands happy, and were able to bring in an income without any extra effort? I wish it could be so, especially for single mothers, but the fact is, we cannot do it all nor have it all. I have to admit that addressing the topic of women working is a challenge. Women are pulled in so many directions in today’s world. The expectations placed on women today far exceed those from any other time in history.
I knew a woman, my mother’s friend, who when she was raising her first three children did not even have a car. Most families had just one car and it was for the husband to drive to work. She also did not have the health club commitment or weekly women’s meeting that we have today. She took care of her family and loved every minute of it, probably because she did not have other things pulling her apart in different directions.
Today, women are bombarded with opportunities and pressures to have careers, to be ‘somebody’. But whenever the world tells me to do something that is when I need to open God’s word and see what it has to say about women’s role in the workplace and in the home. Titus 2:5 (NIV) says, “to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” This scripture encourages women to be sensible, pure workers at home, kind, and subject to their husbands so that the word of God will not be dishonoured. I believe this concept of loving and being dutiful to our families is the way to honour God’s principle that flows through Proverbs 31.