Journey from the Office to the Home

I will never forget my first semester in the Women’s Studies program at Southwestern. I decided to tackle the hardest class first…Biblical Theology of Womanhood. I remember sitting in class and hearing the professor teach on the roles of women, and I thought I had stepped back in time. This teaching was not what I was expecting. Every Tuesday and Thursday I would sit through the class furious about what the professor taught. She actually told us that the highest calling of women was to be a wife and/or mother. At that time I was not married, so I wondered how that fit into my life. I was at seminary to learn how to do ministry not learn how to be a good wife! Yet, through the class God showed me that I was a feminist and didn’t even know it. Every day I praise God for that Biblical Theology of Womanhood class, for, through it, God began to work on my hardened heart to bring me to a place of submission before Him.

So how did I go from resenting the idea of being a wife and homemaker to actually loving the calling that God has given me? It has definitely been a journey.

I had the privilege of growing up during an era when options for education and careers for women are endless. But this world also brings with it an attack on the home and motherhood.  Much of this attack was birthed in 1963 when Betty Friedan published her famous book, The Feminine Mystique. In this book she pointed out the discontent women experienced through being a wife and a mother. Throughout her work she sought to give a definition and name to this discontent, and she called it “the feminine mystique.” She was one of the first people to encourage women to seek options for fulfillment outside the home. What resulted was a tidal wave of women stepping outside the norm of raising children and keeping a home.

Sadly, the “liberated” women began to look down upon other women who actually wanted to fulfill God’s design for their role as a wife and a mother. As a result, the Feminist Movement was born, and life has been forever changed.

This tension between the home and the office is what many women feel when they first hold that precious gift from God. Much of that tension exists because of the nurturing spirit God gave women. A woman does not have to be a mother to understand and experience the “motherly instinct.” Therefore, God gave women encouragement and instruction about His plan and desire. In Titus 2:3-5, Paul urges the older women “to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled” (HCSB).

There are two things I want to point out about this passage. The first is the word, “love,” in verse 4.  The idea of love portrayed here is a love based on sacrifice and not on the spouse’s or child’s merit.[1] It is difficult (but not impossible) to understand sacrificial love until one has had a child. They need you all the time and at the most difficult of times (i.e. in the middle of the night). The other point comes from the phrase, “working at home.” The Greek word literally means, “watching or keeping the home.”[2] This is a great responsibility and assignment that has been given to women. The idea of being a guard or keeper of one’s home is a huge task. Mothers should be careful to guard what comes in and out of her home. She can guard what her children watch on TV, what they listen to on their iPod, and what they read on the internet. When I saw that God respects and esteems women to such a degree as to bestow upon them this great task, I was honored. I was encouraged to discover that being a homemaker is so much more than mopping floors, washing clothes, and cleaning toilets.

Mothers have been given the incredible responsibility to protect their children from the lusts and passions of the world. You can’t tell me that is not a high and holy calling!

This journey from the office to the home does not always come easily for many women. It can be a shock to one’s daily routine and conditioned American mindset, especially if she has been in the working world for many years. God knows and He understands this struggle. But He is also faithful to cultivate and nurture the desire to serve Him through serving one’s children. The service might look different from sitting behind a computer, teaching lessons, or interacting with adults all day. But it is a serving that brings great joy and fulfillment as she submits her heart to God and allows Him to produce within her a desire for her home.

So, are you contemplating a move from the office to the home? My prayer is that you would seriously spend some time seeking our Father’s heart. The journey is so worth it!

 


[1] John MacArthur, Titus, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1996), 83.

[2] BibleSoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary, (BibleSoft and International Translators, Inc: Copyright, 1994).

One thought on “Journey from the Office to the Home”

  1. Melissa Midkiff says:

    I also took a class on Biblical Womanhood this semester. What an eye opener! I really didn”t know that I had so many feminist inspired views. I had long since made the move from office to home after boy #2 because I was miserable. Now it all makes sense, home is where I belong. Caring for my 3 boys and serving as a helpmate to my husband. But that Proverbs 31 woman still gets on my nerves! 🙂