A close look at Proverbs 31:16-24 tells you that she considers a field and buys it; from her earnings she plants a vineyards. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies belts to the tradesmen.
One upon a time, there was a young couple who were blessed with the birth of their first child. Because they loved this child so much, 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 could arrive at work by 10am and leave at 2pm, and she was paid as though she was working full time! She could keep nursing and she could be home every day in time for his nap. While the baby napped, she was able to 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 a wonderful conversation 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 the 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 checked along as effortless as in the story? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if women of today could keep their homes running perfectly, their children growing into hard-working young adults who never argued with their parents, their husbands happy and able to bring in an income with hardly extra effort at all? I wish it could be like this, especially for single mothers but the fact is, we can’t do it all or have it all. I have to admit 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 exceeds those from any other time in our history.
In the past, I know of a woman, my mother’s friend, when she was raising her first three children. She didn’t even have a car. Most families had just one car, that was for the husband to use to work, she didn’t have the health club commitment or weekly women’s meeting that we have in our life today. She took care of her family and loved every minute of it. Probably because she didn’t have other things pulling her apart in different directions.
Today, women are bombarded with opportunities and pressures to have career, 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 the roles of women 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.”
The scripture above encourages women to be sensible, pure workers at home, kind, and being subject to their own husbands that the word of God may not be dishonoured. I believe this concept of loving and dutiful to our families as a way of honouring God is the principle that flows through Proverbs 31.