Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Living the Dream

Those who have come home to make the home and family the center of their lives may find that it is not as easy as it seems.

There are many facets to the home. It isn't all about house keeping and it isn't all about home making. There are greater challenges than one can explain--all the way from how to get everything done in a day, to handling spur of the moment crises. However, home making cannot be measured by performance. The main ingredient in this job is the woman at home. Even if she is not really feeling well enough to keep house, her presence is needed and felt.

No one can quite explain it, but there is a completely different atmosphere in a home that has been lived in and guarded during the day compared to coming home to an empty house. The importance of the wife at home can not be minimized. Her presence gives the members of the home a feeling of assurance.

One thing that is important is for the wife to maintain her position at home without apology. She must exhibit confidence, even when she hears negative remarks. She should take pride in her house and in the people that she is helping. Sometimes, even the friends she loves and serves, will question what she is doing.

Rather than get into the politics of why she is a full time homemaker, she can show her reason for staying home by the things she does at home. It is a lengthy, involved thing to get tangled up with other people arguing about why she should or should not stay home. It is better to just get busy and do things that make the home a refuge from the world.

Do not worry about what other people are saying. You might even be attacked face to face with words that are very demeaning, and words that are dishonoring, from your own family and friends. However, you need to stand your ground if you really want to live the dream. Just live it, and refuse to argue about it. If you get embroiled in a debate about the home and family, you waste a lot of your energy and will not be able to focus on what really needs to be done. The safety of the children, the beauty and comforts of the home, and the wholesome meals, are a far better way to prove that what you are doing is right, than arguing about your right to stay home.

Looking around your house at the end of the day, there will be times when you will be filled with gratefulness for being able to be there. You may thank God that He not only enables the woman to be home, but commands it. It is not a choice but a duty, but duty becomes choice when the heart is convicted to do what is right. Although she can thank her husband for his care and protection, it is God who designed her to care for home and family.

No person "lets" a woman stay home. It is part of the divine order of things. It is part of the nature of women to care for the family and the home. It is a position appointed by God. No one "lets" a man work by the sweat of his brow, and be a provider and protector of his family. It is part of his right as a human being. It is part of his God-given make up as a man. To deny him the freedom to work and earn a living would be to deny him the very thing that makes a man a real man. To deny the woman the freedom to manage the home and the family, is to deny her natural womanhood. Although I do show appreciation for my husband's provision and for the work he does, I do not thank my husband for "letting" me stay home, because I would stay home whether he approved or not. The command to do so comes from a higher authority than him. No one has to ask permission to do their God-given duty.

Getting back to living the dream: There is no point in trying to prove your point with people. Save your breath and put your energies into making your home the kind of place that you imagine it was when most women stayed home. One thing that helps is a reward system. This is a way can pay yourself each week in some way, whether it be a fresh bouquet of flowers from the grocery store, or the luxury of a trip to your favorite fabric store.

There will be some men--our sons, brothers, fathers and husbands, who will need to be re-educated about why it is essential that women make the home their career, but they will only believe what they see. The rest is just a lot of talk. I believe that it takes a lot out of you to fight for your position in life. Instead of doing that, just do the things that you came home to do.

When I was little, mothers of the era would tell children who wanted to criticise, that if all they could find to do was criticise, there was plenty of work around that needed to be done. If they criticised, they would be put to work. Homemakers always have long, long lists of things that could be done. When someone challenges their role at home, they could get out this list and say, "I would be willing to debate this with you maybe at another time, but first, I could use your help getting some of these jobs finished."

In general, just being happy and content at home goes a long way to telling without words, why you need to be home. The atmosphere of your home will also be very revealing. Those who enter into it will know that there is something very different going on there. The way you care for your things, and the pride you take in your family, will be a greater testimony than a long discussion trying to prove you are right. I always say that if someone wants to argue with me about it, they will win the argument, because they are better at arguing than I am.

69 comments:

Isabella in the 21st Century said...

I'm reading "Bleak House" at the minute and this post reminds me of the character of Esther. She is a young woman and a gifted homemaker to her guardian and his niece and nephew. She is admired by everyone for her quiet good sense, her friendship and her way of making a house a home. When she is away they comment that it is not the same without her. She is remonstrated by other characters for not having a "mission" but she doesn't retaliate, she simply "shows" them her way of doing things. She is the heroine of the novel and this, and your post reminds me that, more often than not, in life "doing" and "showing" people what we do and why we do it is much, much better than telling them. This was a great reminder to me today. Thank you.

BarbaraLee said...

When I start to hear women working outside the home complaining my first ? is "Why don't you stay at home or couldn't you afford to stay home?" Their first remark is "No, we like our stuff to much." There you have it. Materials are more important to them. I'll respond to "Oh thats to bad. I'm sorting through stuff so we are not consumed with it. I like things simple." Some times it leads to more on the subject but alot of times it doesn't. Money can be a scary thing for us. This year I have read a book by Dave Rasmey that made alot of sense. Yes I read others that everyone has read but he went more into depth about the matter. All the books have helped me so I do suggest you read all of them but Rasmey get more into retirement ect. This important for some of us who are self-employed. But the point of it is if you watch the $$$$ you can be a one income family with lots of praying. We are part of the construction business, prefinishing millwork & painting. In this business the jobs are up and down. Everyone ask us how we do it. I tell them prayer. We can't let God out of our lives.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

Yes, Esther, in Bleak House is an amazing character. I sometimes think Dickens chose the names of his characters by the type of character they portray. Esther is more like the Biblical Esther.

Gina said...

Thank you so much for encouraging me today. I have been feeling quite discouraged lately in my role of homemaker/homeschooling Mom. My husband, family and friends are very positive about it so that's not it. I'm just plain bored. I have been trying to do some sort of creative thing each day. I'm also trying to make one area of my home prettier each week. I'm getting there slowly. Thanks for all you do.

Just Jana said...

I absoluetly love this post. I'm gonna save it and read it on my bad days. This is truly motivating. THANK YOU! I really seem to know JUST what to say to inspire!

Anonymous said...

Dearest lady Lydia,

I understand completely what you're saying. A dozen years ago when i was working and living alone interstate, in a city with no family, friends or connections, I'd leave my little house before the sun rose to do in two hours one way on buses what took 20 mins in a car (can't drive for reasons spelled out in previous comments) to work my soul out in a mindless job with mostly indifferent or even cruel folk that crushed the spirit and broke the heart only to return after the sun had set...there was no welcomeing home to go to (as my father and step mother felt it important I find somewhere in the real world, become independant and fend for myself more or les stating 'we think its time you go ' after les than twelve months of inconveniencing them since Mum's death had torn she my brother and I apart completely, he having been sent interstate to her family several months prior; they being only able to take one of us as they had children of their own). That little place was pretty yet sat so empty during those beautiful sunny winter's days - its soul barren and cold as I returned into emptiness night after night - no warmth to greet me, no kind words of another to comfort me, nothing but myself (before the arival of my new dog-guide after an eighteen month hiatus). Oh, what years were wasted - squandered as I trudged upon the treadmill! When circumstances changed and I relocated (quite a few houses and several jobs later) I finally 'came home' for the first time since Mum's passing in the form of an elderly couple who let their re-firbished downstairs flat out for pin money) - This little dwelling served for years as I rebuilt my heart and spirit, through God's matchless grace and His positioning of good folk into my sphere . To come home to the beautiful gardens, my kindly landlord who always took the time to converse about faith, the world around us, the universe, and his wife most definately the guardian of the home - God's choice of surrigate grandparents for me if you like (them both being good Christian folk; retired farmers all their lives from farming families who had pioneered the North of my state was a breath of fresh air. To enjoy the well-kept garden and fresh vegetables and lemons when the crop provided more than they could use - that home (even the little flat downstairs) had a soul. Now I can provide that spark in the home of my husband (also cold and unwelcoming when he used to come home from work all those years living alone (never having married before me); to be here happy to greet him when he arrives from the job, to catch up over supper (he's a late shift worker), to see he has decent dinners to take to work, to be there when the bosses get him down, its without price (and his health has benefited for it - nasty triglicerieds down to safe levels which they weren't at the time of our marriage, before the benefits could kick in. Being home allows me to be here when friends and family wish to call, to keep the dogs cool and safe during days like these when the thermomiter tops the old century farrenheight, to save the vegetables and herbs we're growing in our first patch, to feel safe and free from the ratrace that's starving families causing them to whither by degrees on the vine. My husband was just speaking this evening of one workmate whose family is on the post-modern treadmill and can't see it, can't change it and feel helpless even when the evidence is presented to them (all i can do is pray for them).

yes, homes have souls and returning to them is a balm for the heart - a primal deep, nourishing almost instinctive balm of God's design that lays anxiety and depression to rest and soothes the souls of homemaker, family and friends alike.

Blessings, and sincerest appologies for this extremely long Post - Lady Lydia, section it up if you wish, but this struck a chord deep, deep within me.

Mrs. E.
Australia.
PS: for Mel in newcastle, I am in south Western Sydney - you know the part that's always in the news (smile) not 'cause of me - (even bigger smile)

devildogwife said...

What truth is spoken here. It's all to easy to get caught up in "the debate" when actions often speak louder than words. Recently, I was hurt by another's words about my life, but instead of trying to debate, I took one look at my daughter and knew it was all worth it.

No matter what the world may say, there is so much strength and power that comes from following your true calling as a housewife and homemaker.

My husband takes comfort in knowing that things are taken care of at home while he's away (either at work or deployed). It allows him to perform his tasks to the best of his ability without having to worry about home.

Donna said...

Thank you Lady Lydia...I sure needed to hear these words today!

Di said...

Hi, I have been reading your blog for a while now, and it has been such an inspiration to me, that I am 'coming home' (read my blog if you like: www.workingmywayhome.blogspot.com). Thank you for all you write here, it is a blessing and an encouragement.

However, I do have a comment about one of your lines... "I would stay home whether he (husband)approved or not". I have to say that I would disagree with that. Yes, we have all been given our God-ordained roles, but we have also been put under different headships. The husband is the head of the wife, and God, the head of the husband (I know that God is head of the wife too!). As a wife, I submit to my husband, and he has come around to the idea that I should be at home as it is a biblical principle. However he still wants me to work part-time. He said that when I could show him where it says in the Bible that wives should not work at all outside the home, then I could stay home fulltime. Perhaps here I should mention that we do not have children yet. I am happy to submit to my husband, as that instruction is very clear from the Bible, and wait, praying, that he will be convicted about me being home full time. But until such time, I shall work part-time, and try to do it as joyfully as possible!

Anonymous said...

What a encouraging post! Im so glad for this blog... I have given myself three short "computer times" each day- they are "breaks" for me to sit a while between my household tasks. It gives me something to look forward to when Im doing a task that I might not enjoy. I know once Im done it, I can come and sit at the computer for a spell and read some blogs. And this blog is sooo encouraging. Im done by break now, so Im going to do some tasks I like now, and Im so motivated to make my home so pretty not just for my family but for me too!

Thanks,
Candy from Canada~

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

Di,

The comment that we have to show in the scriptures where it says a wife can NOT work outside the home, or the wife cannot be a beadwinner, or that anyone can NOT do something, is part of the new progressive philosophy that the "Everything and anything is okay as long as the Bible does not specifically forbid it."

I was raised in a home where we were taught to speak where the bible speaks and remain silent where the bible is silent.

The progressive movement speaks where the Bible is silent. In other words, when they want to do something, they look for a command forbidding it, and then if they can't find it, they go ahead and do it.

The Bible shows several ways of finding God's will, some of them being looking at the scriptures for examples, looking at the scriptures for commands, and looking at the scriptures for inference, to name a few.

Inference involves something that a saying, command or example "infers" or indicates.

If we want to do what we want to do, we can always find a way around it even though the scriptures point to a positive, better way, if we just say, "Well, the Bible does not say I can NOT do it."

Take for example, an older woman. She reads in Titus 2 that her role now shifts from being absorbed in her own homemaking, to helping the younger women succeed in marriage, home and family. She does not want to accept this, so she looks for a scripture to say "Thou shalt NOT" and of course there will not be such a verse. To justify being the provider because the scripture does not forbid it in so many words, is to overlook the positive instruction to "marry, bear children, and keep house," and to be "keepers at home." No negative scripture needs to be provided, because the positive eliminates that necessity of saying "Thou shalt not."

If I sent my son to the store for bread and milk, and gave him the money for it, I would not expect him to come home with a pile of cookies, ice cream, chips, and many other things he bought. If he did, I would be quite upset. He might say, "Well, Mother, you didn't say NOT to buy chips and ice cream and candy bars!" But the fact that I stated specifically that he should buy bread and milk, eliminates the "thou shalt nots."

When Noah was instructed to build the ark from acacia wood, God did not say "Don't use oak, and don't use maple, and don't use anything else," because the specific command to use acacia wood eliminated the other kinds of wood. The examples and inferences also eliminate the need to provide a bunch of thou shalt nots.

God knew in his wisdom that his instructions would cover all generations of all eras of time, in all situations. He knew the 20th century progressives would twist His word and try to get around it. But if he had provided all the "shalt nots" that they are looking for, the bible would be so volumnous it would be impossible to read.

When the instructions for young women were given, to marry, bear children and keep house, they did not include other instructions because God knows, and you and I know that if those kinds of instructions are carried out to their fullest, there is no need to seek outside employment. Even without children, there is plenty to do.

A wife who works and then comes home only when she has children, will suffer a great burden of suddenly being home having to care for the house and a child. She needs the inbetween time to adjust to the home and to figure out how to efficiently run it.

When my mother was young, all the women were home and no man worth his mettle would have dreampt of commanding a wife to work. It would have been beneath his dignity and he would have hung his his head in shame if he had insisted on her working. Other people looked down on such a thing too, since the man was the breadwinner, and it was considered unmanly to ask the wife to share in that burden. When she is a wife, if she works, she has a double burden. She must work and care for the house and be a wife. Being a wife alone takes enough energy. Many of the feminists are now paying a price in their health and their mental stability because of trying to be the man and the woman at the same time.

But as I said, a person can justify anything they do, by saying that the Bible does not specifically forbid it. We are finding churches now that say anything goes because they can't find a scripture that forbids it. So, instead of worship, we now have entertainment. After all, there is nowhere that it says, "THous shalt not entertain."

We have the same problem with modesty. Women are specifically told how to dress and behave modestly, but the progressives say, "Show me a scripture that says I can't wear a skirt above my knees and a blouse that exposes my chest."

Anonymous said...

It's always a pleasure reading a new article on this blog. I've been having a rough time lately; the job I thought I was done with came back and grabbed me again in the most vicious ways. I'm trying to get it cleared up before we go out-of-state next week. This comes as a welcome respite from my stupid "job."

In any event, I thought I'd share a quick little story which may apply here. People like to say we homemakers stagnate intellectually, but I've actually been getting more education than I realized. My husband just bought me a pressure-cooker, so I can do some canning, and I read the section in the Ball Blue Book about pressure canning. Last night, I actually got to explain to my husband (an engineer by education, so he did better at calculus and the sciences than I) the physics, biology, and chemistry of canning.

Kind of amusing, that.

Well, in any event, thank you for this uplifting article. Just the tone of this blog does me a world of good; you help me adjust my attitude.

Mrs. Bartlett

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

I had to break off my comments about "where the Bible doesn't say we CAN'T do something means that we can, etc." so I will continue here.

If a woman really relies on this reasoning, then she can use it in defence of her staying at home to manage it, by saying, "Show me in the scriptures a verse that forbids me from staying home."

Where God has already legislated, the husband as no right to rule. He is there as God's servant, appointed in a role to carry out His Will, part of that will being that he provide for his wife, and that she be a keeper at home.

A husband can not impose his will over God's will. He has to carry out God's will for himself and the wife, by providing the way for her to be home. There is no way around it. Husbands cannot say," I know the bible shows women as keepers at home, but I am the boss of this house and so my will should be done and I want my wife working."

If women submit where they should nto submit, there will be anarchy against God. We have seen it in the women's so called liberation movement where they chose a way that was over and beyond what God had already set forth in his will.

Now they end up with troubles galore because they put themselves in submission to other men. So if you really want to be home, and your husband does not want you to be, then you have to ask him where it says you cannot be home.

Young women need to be careful before they marry to insist that she will not be sent to work after marriage. If this was not made clear before marriage, then they will have to live with their choices.

Women have a powerful influence on men, and if they do not show proper caution when a man rules outside of where God has already laid a plan, they are aiding and abetting him in disobedience.

But aside from all that we are getting away from the article. Here I am embroiled in a defence of staying home, when that is the opposite of what I was suggesting. Instead of arguing about whether or not you should be home, just prove it, live it. Make your home beautiful. Use the colors and things that give you joy and your attitude will reflect it. One good book that I benefitted from was Terry Willets "Creating a Sentsational Home" where she used the 5 senses in creating her home.

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Sherman,

I just saw your comment about the regressives' "show-me" attitude after I'd already composed my first comment.

I just wanted to add that I've run into the same argument with: "Show me where in the Bible it says I can't smoke marijuana." Now, never mind that there are injunctions against intoxication; they want to be told where God specifically says they can't have their daily joint.

As for myself, I wouldn't give them the privilege of the name they use ("progressives"), because it appears that they wish to adopt frankly heathen practices. There's no progress involved in treating people disrespectfully, in behaving like drunks and savages, and all the other things associated with modern liberalism. This is why I call them "regressives": they want to abandon and abolish all the REAL progress we've made, everything that makes us civilized and shining.

Sorry for the hijack! I just feel very strongly about these types, I hope for good reason. No intent to offend you or make accusations against your husband, Di!

Mrs. Bartlett

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

Mrs. Bartlett, you are right: the same old dissenters who try to bring women down with their Marxist agenda, will call themselves pretty, cleaned-up names. Progressive is just a polite word for communist/marxist. It is not progressive when a man tells a woman to do his job of providing. It is savage, not civilized. It is unmanly, and anti-man. It is playing right into the hands of the feminists, who want to deny men jobs and give them to women.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

Just to reassure Di and other women: most men make comments like this. Men are not some special spiritual beings that automatically know wisdom, and truth.They have to learn, just like other human beings. Women need to gently live what is right and in doing so, they can show their husbands the truth. Rather than get involved in a theological argument with a husband,it is best to listen and go on drying the dishes, folding the clothes, setting the table, cooking, and getting things done. Most of the time the root problem is not the woman working, but a man's fear of bills.

Anonymous said...

I guess that would be "billofobia"

Anonymous said...

An excellent post! I love the blog and check in several times weekly.

For more ideas on how to enhance the home, read Edith Schaeffer's book The Hidden Art of Homemaking. It is very inspiring. I also wanted to pass along this reference title-- Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House by Cheryl Mendelson.

Thanks for the time you spend articulating these truths!

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

I will just remind the reader that Karl Marx, one of the founders of communism, imposed the working world on women. At that time, women stayed home. He stated in his writings that when a woman was at home she did not "contribute" to the world or to the home. She needed to get out and "use her talents" and be liberated from the home.From there was born the modern feminist movement. Marx was neglectful of his own wife and children, leaving them to fend for themselves. He liked the idea of government taking care of women and children,because he did not want to take care of his own wife and family.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

I actually have a story to tell about living your dream of being a wife and homemaker.

When we had little children we were invited to an Amway meeting. We heard some speakers who told how they became Diamonds in the business, and then were able to "bring the wife home"and get a tutor for the children or homeschool them.

I sat there thinking that at our pace, we would not become "diamonds" until the children were grown. We had too many other responsibilities in life to devote ourselves completely to become diamonds. I was not going to wait to be a diamond before I educated my children at home. I was not going to wait to be a diamond before I became a homemaker. I read in the Bible where it speaks about the role of women in the home, the church and society. I wanted to follow that model. I could not wait til I had money, because by then my years would have passed me by and I would have missed out on the dream. Amway supports people living their dreams. What it taught me was that you can't wait til you have a million, a thousand, or even a hundred, to be the wife, mother and homemaker you dream of. It is the kind of job that is so fleeting it will pass you by while you are waiting to get it. I stepped out on faith and did it and have not regretted it. The husband will take up the reins and do his duty and provide for his family. He will not let them down. The wife can come home because she wants to and because she wants to obey God. The children can be homeschooled. You can be a diamond right now. You can live the life of a diamond--the freedom from the rules, regulations and schedules of other people. You can have a domain of the home and be the boss of your own life before the money comes in. In doing so, you can actually create wealth by the way you live.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia.... "You can live the life of a diamond--the freedom from the rules, regulations and schedules of other people." This statement, I need to copy and paste around my home. Even though, I am home, the rules and regulations and schedules of the outside world sometimes secretly bothers me. I seem to believe that even though I am home, their schedules still are the ones to follow. Even though, I know it doesn't work for me and my household.
Very helpful article by the way. Right now, things around the home are tempting me to feel very nervous about not offering to go out to work. One time, a few years ago, my husband and I had an argument. All of a sudden he was complaining about my not working. It stunned me. He came around to not trouble me with it. But, this incident and some of the things that he had said at that time, kind of haunts me when things get stressful around here. It is as if I am letting him down because I refuse to work outside the home, guilt of being selfish. Yet, it has been my observation, that many, many times, (sorry to say) men are extremely selfish. And they get away with it! Of course, when you post articles like these, it is of great encouragement to me. Well, I am going to go get some very important work done.

Lindsey @ Enjoythejourney said...

all my friends who work say "we can't afford for me to quit" which we all know means we can't afford to give up our WANTS, we don't want a smaller house, we don't want just one car, and so on and so forth.

I would like to say as a housekeeper & wife, mom I'm immune to the wants, but I am not. Just recently I found myself pining away for a real vacation, you know, the kind you see advertised in travel magazines. But do I want to give up my role at home to get a fancy vacation once a year? Not in a million lifetimes. It isn't worth it.

Little Jenny Wren said...

I agree with your post and with Plain and Simple, doing and showing and really living the dream, really living the life we have imagined is so much more powerful than even the most well thought out argument. For those who want to be at home I think it really is the bills that men worry about most so a frugal attitude is your best friend. Lady Lydia mentioned once before about every cent that you spend when you don't need to is taking you one step closer to returning to work. You have to be responsible and realise that if this ,ie, being at home, is something you really want then you have to work at it.

Mel said...

I have to agree with Lydia, obeying God comes before obeying anyone else, including husbands and parents - even Christian husbands and parents!! Sometimes these people, can be more interested in serving their own agenda and no so much that of their wife/children and even worse - GOD!

Unfortunately, single mothers in Australia are not even given the option anymore - once their youngest child turns 6 or 7, they are expected to go out and get a job for 15 hours a week. Now 15 hours a week may not seem a lot, but it isn't that cut and dried! I have a friend who works 15 hours and she has to have her son cared for before school 3 days a week, she has meetings she is expected to go to of an evening where she has to drag her son along to, she has work to do at home for her job, plus she has her house work.

Since being on holiday's she has noticed a real improvement in her son's behaviour - mother being there is IMPORTANT, but once she is back at work, she just won't have the time she needs to give him - and she is aware of this, but she no longer has any choice - she simply HAS to work to survive.

We have palmed off child rearing and house work for so long that the powers that be no longer seem to recognise the importance of a woman at home - I recently lost around $40 per fortnight of my pension because my youngest child turned 5, the basic reasoning is that a 5 year old is going to school (even though the legal school age is 6) and so I would be putting in less parenting hours!! (and this even applies to me, even though I home educate!)

The world has gone made.

Mel - heartforhome@gmail.com

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

The scriptures specifically speak of the importance of a wife living with an unbelieving husband teaching him through her good conduct at home, rather than trying to prove to him through theological discussions that she is right. When you try to do that, the other person becomes more determined to do things his way, or to win. Therefore it has a bigger impact if the wife actually lives the life she believes in, so that he can see the effect it has.

Anonymous said...

A wife who works and then comes home only when she has children, will suffer a great burden of suddenly being home having to care for the house and a child. She needs the inbetween time to adjust to the home and to figure out how to efficiently run it.

This is where I made my mistake - I worked until the month before I gave birth to my first son. Then, after he was born, dealing with an unplanned C-section, I had to learn everything about keeping house the hard way, with a new baby to take care of. I wish someone would've encouraged me to stay home when I got married, but it never would've been accepted by my new husband's parents (with whom we were living at the time). Fifteen years later, I still haven't gotten the hang of it as well as I'd like... and it doesn't get easier with more children.

I will definitely encourage my daughters to find good men who will support and encourage them, so they can be the keepers of the home as I would like to have been.

Laurel said...

I just came upon this blog after spending much time at the LAF website. I can't begin to tell you how happy I am to find those of like mind. I married young and my wonderful husband and went on to have five great kids. I rarely worked during those years. Very occasionally for very short periods of time did I work. I always came home because I felt it was where God was leading me to. Even now when my youngest is 20 years old, I feel called to be at home. I ask myself, "You could go back to college and study anything my heart desires," or "We need to think about retirement now. Certainly could use a little extra income," why not "expand my experiences"? The world around me tugs and pulls in these directions. There are no other women around me who do not work. I am indeed an oddity! Even Christian women around me work. My sweet husband wants me to do whatever I want to do. He does enjoy the house being neat and tidy and for me being available for whatever comes up in the day, week or month. I love being at home--but unfortunately, I do feel the tug from the world that maybe I am missing out in life. I am so glad to have this blog and LAF to encourage me. God really does want me to be home! In the end I only want to please Him.

Pam said...

I also am currently reading Bleak House and am amazed at the wisdom that is there.

I want to be like Ester. I certainly do not like Mrs. Jellyby or Mrs. Pardiggle, thank you very much!

Wendy WaterBirde said...

Wow Lady Lydia,if this post doesnt go the heart of things then nothing will : ) If we start just battling we have turned it into a war of destruction rather than a building of the dream...kind of like the proverbial tearing down your house down rather than building it up. I am so moved by how beautifully and courageously you have expressed all this!

Anonymous said...

< I do not thank my husband for "letting" me stay home, because I would stay home whether he approved or not. The command to do so comes from a higher authority than him. No one has to ask permission to do their God-given duty. >

Ouch. That doesn't sound very submissive of you.
I've always stayed home, since being married over 20 years ago. But-I have struggled with it being a direct command in scipture.
Can you please show clearly where it says it's a God-given duty? That smacks of legalism to me. The Bible doesn't say straight out a woman must never work outside the home. You can be a keeper at home without having to be there 24/7.
I've kind of always thought that I am at home because I prefer to be there, not because God demands that I be.
Can you convince me of your viewpoint?

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

Yes, I can expound upon this more when I get some time. I'm very busy at the moment with 9 people in my home. Cooking, cleaning, laundry, children, etc. take up a most of my time. However in the meantime, please read this entire thread and not the post I wrote about those who are looking for a scripture to say what NOT to do.

Lydia

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

...and those who know the answers to these questions, please go ahead and post.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

I meant "note" with an "e" the post where I talked about the tendency to look for a "thou shalt not"

Anonymous said...

You know what Ladies, I think I am more than a little shocked at what I have read here today.

Why are you asking someone else to tell you whether something is commanded by God or not? Why are you asking where it is? How about you take being a Christian seriously and LOOK IT UP!

It IS specifically commanded to Woman to be at home. See Titus 2 verses 4 and 5. It specifically states "to be busy at home" in some translations and others state "to be keepers at home". Now, before you start trying to argue with me, how about YOU read the whole chapter. This is not even including the large amount of scriptures specifically telling Mothers to train their children, discipline their children and lead them toward God. Be helpmeets to their husbands and minister to them. How are you going to do this chasing a career outside the home. Or a "Ministry". Isn't it always a shame when the Pastor brings so many to Christ, but his own home is in turmoil? Aren't Women doing the same thing here. Looking to be in a ministry or career so that they can get approval from the world. All the while your children are doing drugs, drinking, watching porn and having sex afterschool in your own homes! Think this isn't true, listen in on a few conversations without them knowing and your hair will stand on end.
And these "Christian" homes are are being torn apart by divorce at a higher rate than non-Christians.

I am amazed at people who claim to believe that their very eternal soul rests on a certain faith, but haven't taken the time to crack open the Bible and actually find out what their faith is. How dare you argue with someone and acuse them of being legalistic when you don't have any idea what you are talking about. Lady Lydia at least is fighting the good fight and can go before God unashamed. She will have run the race set before her.

Can you say the same?

This is why no one has any reverence for Christians, especially Christian Women anymore. We look like the world, talk like the world and act like the world, but are hypocrits and think that if you go around saying you are a Christian that you have a free pass from hell and any consequences here on earth.

As for submission, when your husband tells you to do something against God. I SUGGEST YOU AGAIN READ YOUR BIBLE! God has clearly offered us the stories of Ester, Abagail and Sarah to explain how to handle these situation. And Paul covered this very well in Ephesians 5 verses 22-33.

This is what happens when people allow themselves to be spoon fed by "Christian" books and shows that make everything quick and easy to swallow. If they provide you with a few quotes to seem more holy than thou, even better. And the devil just laughs and laughs.

Your witness is susposed to be your life, not your mouth. You are susposed to be a light and a very well educated one at that. Aren't many of you raising children or have raised children? Yet you have no idea what the Bible says on these areas? God's word say "MY people perish for lack of knowledge" how many are going to be surprised when they get to hell?

No wonder the world not only has no reverence for us, but no fear of GOD. We Christians, show no fear of God by taking and chosing what we will follow in the Bible and then we say we don't think God meant it that way.
We are reaping what we have sown and it is terrible.

Miss Carrie

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

I will begin with the difference between a preference and a conviction.

There are some things that are not convictions, but rather, preferences.

A preference is like the different flavors of ice cream. You just prefer vanilla, for example. However, a preference can be changed when circumstances or pressures change.A preference can be changed when there are economic changes. A preference can be changed because there is no deep rooted value system involved in what you prefer. Some people prefer a certain color or a certain kind of car or a certain kind of music, but they can change these preferences over time if something they like better comes along.

A conviction is something that goes far deeper. It is based on a set of values and principles that are too strong to sway you to a different opinion or way of life. When you base your conviction on the principles of Life, you will not change them even though you are threatened, harrassed, impoverished, or made low in some way. The conviction is so great it outstands prestige or any gain of any kind.

We saw an example of this during the 80's when some parents decided to homeschool. Others jumped on the bandwagon because they saw other people doing it, but when the going got very rough and they felt pressure from the world, they abandoned it. Those who stuck by their convictions, persevered, and followed through, no matter what people were saying.

So the comment that staying home was a preference may be true to some people, but a conviction for others. Those who are just doing it because they like it better or prefer it, could change the way they live based on the weather, the circumstances, the financial or social pressures or even government interference. Those who base their feminine role as wife, mother and homemaker on a conviction, cannot be moved by other people's opinions or temptations to make life easier or to gain money. A conviction means that it is something you would die for if necessary.

I will continue with the other questions in another comment.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

The other question about proving the scriptural mandate for women to be keepers at home:

There are three areas where the Bible speaks:

By direct command :

(1Pe 3:1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
1Pe 3:2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. )


By example: (The women noted in the Bible, all the way from Eve to Mary, the mother of Jesus.


By inference. (When it is not commanded, but is inferred by the evidence and the events) This might include something like the widow who cooked for the prophet Elijah and offered him hospitality. Though it did not say specifically that she was a homemaker and a guide of the home, the fact that she could do this for Elijah shows that she was not tied down to the kind of jobs women are tied down to today.

Regarding direct command: One particular verse that is often over looked is I Timothy 5:14--that the younger women (the original Greek word is "women,") are to marry, bear children, and keep house, giving no occasion for the adversary to speak reproachfully. I suppose if those who do not believe in God found that the Christian women were living just like the non-believers,contrary to the Christian law they claim to believe, and are being out at night, partying, neglecting their husbands and children and houses, failing in their homemaking and their marriages, they would be derisive and despise Christianity.

One verse in Proverbs describes women "whose feet are not at home," (Pro 7:11 (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house: )

and the New Testament talks about those women who are idle, busybodies, wandering from house to house. Now while a huge portion of our neighborhood women are gone during the day and cannot wander from house to house with idle gossip, a great deal of that behaviour occurs in places of employment. Many women have stated on this very blog the relief they felt once they left the workplace with its fruitless, idle talk and meaningless prattle, to come home to intelligent people ;-) Women at home can have freedom from this time waster.

Women are to be in submission to their own husbands, not other people's husbands. Staying home puts you under your husband's authority and protection and gets you away from the oppression of the workplace.

Men are to work with their own hands, and if they do not work, they should not eat.

The command to be a provider for the family was given to Adam at the creation in Genesis 3, and it not given to the woman .

The New Testament of Christ states that if a man does not provide for his own, he is worse than an unbeliever. This was not addressed to the woman. (V1Ti 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

I hope this is enough proof, and there is a lot more, but it would take a lot of time.

I would like to take the comment a little further about my ability to be a woman without permission from my husband. Here is another example: He does not give me permission to wear a dress. I wear one because I want to, I am convicted that it is best for me, and God has already given me permission to dress in modest apparel and garments befitting a woman.

Anonymous said...

AMEN, AMEN and AMEN to Miss Carrie's comment! I couldnt agree more! So well said.

As for other comments about submission to your husband: Thats not applicable when your husband asks you to do something wrong, disgusting, immoral etc. In that case, our husbands can ask us to bring an additional partner in the bed with us, or ask us to lick the floor -whatever- you get the idea. That is not what God means about submitting to our husbands. Nor is it right if a husband asks or tells us to go to work outside the home. If he tells us to do that, he is for sure not reading his bible and you know that he needs to be educated here and you can not submit to this request, because it IS wrong. Plain and simple.

I think, that any man that tormets his wife to go work outside the home is just afraid of what the rest of the world thinks about it because its more common for women to work outside the home. In this case, he needs to be around people who understand the role of FULL TIME home keeper. Besides praying for your husband, reading the Bible with him, - get him around likeminded people, become friends with them and he will feel more comfortable and infact he will feel strongly about it. He's just scared right now.
If your struggling with this in your marriage- pray about it though, pray hard! And dont cease praying either. Because prayer changes things. God wants to honor your prayers when the prayers are with the right motives as staying home is. God wants that, so keep praying and have Faith and believe me, you will remember this comment because your prayers will work and God WILL answer.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

Ladies I don't want anyone to get the impression that they can stay home no matter what. My situation may have been much different than women today. My mother, grandmother, great grandmother,etc. were homemakers. It is easier when you've experienced it generationally or societally, like I have. The women of the 50's generally stayed home, although some of them would work out if they had hard times, but it was not done in the same spirit as it is sometimes done today. The attitude then was not one of rebellion or power.

My husband knew I was going to be a homemaker.His mother, grandmother, etc. were homemakers. He was a minister in a church and wanted to marry a homemaker.

It may be much different for women coming out of feminism and discovering that their heart is in the home. There will be different ways of negotiating that.

It is best not to cause an uproar at home over the decision to stay home, but to go quietly about your business and show by your conduct and attitude that it works and is desireable.

And to address the question about being home 24/7. Not even a full time homemaker is home that much. These days we have to be out just to keep our homes running, by buying our supplies, going to various places for repairs, parts, etc.

There are dentist appointments, trips to fabric stores, and lots of grocery shopping trips. One cannot be home 24/7 if they want to really be good homemakers, because you have to go out and bring in lots of stuff to keep the place going efficiently.

I am able to call my husband at work and give him a list of things I need and he does not mind stopping by various places that are still open and getting what I need. But even my own mother on the homestead enjoyed shopping and going places. Even the Victorian women were out and about, visiting the needy, helping others, checking up on each other, shopping, etc.

I think many people get a black and white impression of homemaking verses working outside the home. They figure that homemaking is isolation and working is freedom, but just the opposite is true.

Working ties you down during the most important hours of the day, whereas homemaking gives you access to everything during the day, and more flexibility.

I know it is hard for me to accommodate my working friends because the weekends are their only available time to have them over or to see them. During the week, when I don't have as much responsibility at home, would be better to see them, but they aren't available.

The homemaker has a lot more freedom, but a lot more responsibility, even without a car.

However, I don't think it is right to demand to stay home if you are not prepared to live your role.If you ran up debts when you were single, you should not expect your husband to pay them off, so you may have to work.

Being home makes you think you have so much more time, that it is easy to get overly obligated and get a lot of projects going, or to stay on your feet and forget to take a break. So actually, work is less responsibility when you have a lot of people doing other things and you only have to do one thing. Being home is a huge responsibility.

Barbara said...

Well said. I enjoyed your article, it was uplifting.

Anonymous said...

lovely post! So encouraging!

The biggest excuse that I have heard women using isn't that their husbands won't let them stay at home or even the excuse that they can't afford to live on one income! Listening closely, it is their HEART issue, they fear staying at home for years will get them in the position of not having something to fall back on if their husbands leave them, die on them, etc. That added "retirement" money is their security blanket! They don't want to give up their safety net! (very sad) If a men understood this, they would not see it as "helping to get ahead" but as a "trust factor not only in the husband but in God".

Anonymous said...

Dear Ladies,
I am just sharing feelings for this moment. We are having some difficult finanical times in our household. We are actuallyl quite frugal. This financial trouble is not a result of spending improperly, but, more of a matter of events and circumstances. My husband has been really burdened my all this. I know, in his heart, he really wants me to be home. This morning we found out some news. It ends ups our neighbors will be buying some of our land. (Forced to sell, due to a land encroachment) As soon as this information came to us, my husband seemed sooooo relieved. But, I feel so sad. I am not happy one bit, mostly due to how this land encroachment all came about. I feel bad for husband, because, my heart just doesn't appreciate this at all, while my husband sees this as an answer to prayer. He is thrilled, I am broken hearted!
We are not a high income family. My husband does provide for his family, but does not seek out a lot of money. He prays to the Lord to give us shelter, food and clothing. This is a good way for a Christian man to behave. It appears that the Lord has allowed my husband provision again to keep our home afloat. This seems to happen time and time again. It doesn't always mean that it will be the way I want it to be. I should be more greatful. I thank God that I can still be at home. As time passes, the land being chopped up a little bit, won't bother me so much. I need to remember what matters most!

Vanessa said...

The scriptures specifically speak of the importance of a wife living with an unbelieving husband teaching him through her good conduct at home

This spoke to me as I have been home now for a little over a month and my husband supports me 100%. He doesn't believe and is coming to understand and encourage my staying home! I was blessed when we visited with his parents over the Christmas period and he told them that I will not be working outside the home ever again.

I know that God is blessing me with this ministry and being a keeper of the home is a blessing to my husband.

There are days that I have been overwhelmed and this is partly to do with the fact that my husband is still on leave from work. Monday cannot come any sooner, so the both of us can return to work :)

Thanks again for a wonderful and very uplifting post.

Blessings.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

Ladies it seems to be going right back to one of the answers I gave concerning how much in the bible you could find that specifically forbade one thing or another. I shall explain it again, using the wife's role as homemaker as an example.

You can not find one scripture saying it is a sin for the wife to earn the living outside the home.

You can not find one single scripture saying it is a sin for her to have a career instead of being a homemaker

You can not find one single scripture saying it is wrong for her to leave her children in the care of others.

However, there are several ways in which the scriptures speak to us, three of them being:

by direct command
by example, and
by inference.

I repeat this because in the case of the question "Is it wrong for a woman to work outside the home instead of being a homemaker," there is no direct command not to, but there ARE direct commands for them to be home, guide the home, guard the home (see my above comments where I quote the verses), be keepers at home, to mind their own business, to train their own children, to teach other women to be good wives, mothers and keepers of the house, to marry, bear children and keep house.

So, just like the Jews of old times did not have to say, "Well, nothing in the commandments say I can NOT use a squirrel or a lion or a bear for a yearly sacrifice," they used only a lamb without blemish, because there was a specific command to use the lamb without blemish, unless they were too poor, and then they could use a dove. That one command eliminated the need to say they could NOT use a panther, a sea otter or a dog in the sacrifice.

Yet in our times, people are looking for a "thou shalt not" so that they can get away with what they are doing.

"You didn't tell me not to stop by my friends for three hours," says a teen daughter who was sent to the store to get some added ingredients for supper. Her mother was very disappointed and upset, because the girl did not do what was wise or timely.

No, she didn't tell her not to stop by her friends for 3 hours on her way to the store. No she did not say she could not watch a movie before she came home. No she did not tell her she absolutely could not talk to her friends. Having been a teenager once, I know the tendencies and the tricks that every youngster tries on a parent at least once.

If anyone is a legalist, it is the one who wants a direct "thou shalt not" to everything, or else they are going to do it, whether it is wise or not, whether it is timely or not, or whether it is actually the best thing to do, or not. That is a very legalistic way to live.

When someone wants to justify having their own way, they just say, "Find me a verse that says I cannot do this."

Of course, you won't find such a verse.But there are examples, also in the Bible of women caring for their own families at home.

Then there are "necessary inferences"--which means although it doesn't specifically say that a woman is at home, the inference is there. The Proverbs 31 woman was such an example. Although she made things to sell, she did not neglect her family and she gave the items to the merchant to sell for her. She did not sit in a shop all day, away from home. It did not say that she did NOT sit in a shop all day, but the list of her activities naturally leads you to realize she did not sit in a shop all day.

One could ask where in that account did it say she did not work outside the home or that she did not have a career. There is no where that it says she was not a career woman, but as I said previously, the statements that showed what she DID do, eliminate the necessity of saying anything else. God did not have to say "You can't do this and you can't do that," because he said you can stay home and look after the family and the house. If you do that, it eliminates the need to take on a career or work and push your schedule so tight that you can't concentrate on being a happy homemaker.

I sure hope I don't have to repeat this.

And here again, we are getting away from the point of the article, that being that instead of arguing theologically about why you should stay home, you ought to do a good job of it and try to make your family life good so that they will come to the right conclusion that the wife is needed in the home full time and that her working out is expensive, exhausting, and distracting.

You can ask yourself the simple question about timeliness, that I mentioned. Timeliness is similar to the word "betimes' which means "on time." You need to have meals on time, laundry on time, and be home with the children when they need you, not 18 years later when they are already grown. It is so backwards from what it once was. Now women work all their lives and retire as old women full of aches and pains and unable to enjoy their grandchildren. Instead, they ought to be home enjoying their younger years when they can be active with their children and enjoy their husbands and their homes.

Wisdom and timeliness are two things that have to be considered when deciding what is right or wrong, as well as the scriptural commands, examples and inferences.

If a woman wants all this theological "proof" she may be tempted to preach it to her husband, who will automatically get his back up, and then she will get no-where. Nature itself says that a woman is suited to her husband and the inner workings of the home. Even non-believers know that.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

Any time you cannot find a scripture that actually says something is a sin, or anytime you want to do something and are challenged to find a scripture that forbids it, there is one scripture that contains the whole:

James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

The challenge then, will be to determine what is good, and what is not. We know that the words that tell women to guide the home are not bad, but good.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ladies,

So many comments on this issue! Obviously, this subject strikes a nerve with many of us, for good or bad.

I agree with Mrs. Alexandria when she states that each situation will be different depending on the family circumstances. In some cases, it will depend on whether the husband and wife were even Christians at all when they first got married!

Oftentimes, couples who come to the Lord much later in their lives will still have to contend with the consequences from the sinful decisions made earlier in their marriage and that may mean the wife must work, at least sporadically. This is unfortunate, but God gives us the strength and the means to endure what we must. We all understand that this situation isn't the ideal. Maybe another family is learning something from observing your own hardship that is beneficial to them, unbeknownst to you!

Personally, I believe it is going to take several generations of effort before we see a widespread return to the Biblical family, what with the damage feminism has done to society. It sure didn't take long for feminism to turn our world upside-down!

To all the young couples and families: I encourage you to keep living out your roles as God's word teaches us. Thank you to Lady Lydia and Mrs. Alexandria for proclaiming and living the Biblical model for womanhood and setting a good example for your readers.

Kindest regards from Mrs. T.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

Very good point about the next generation. We won't be able to live entirely the way our great grandmothers did until we are able to teach women the truth about feminism and the home. I saw some quotes today that really were alarming: quotes from the designers of communism/marxism, saying that the only way they could achieve their goals was to break down the home, and the first thing to do was to "liberate" the women from the home so that they could let the state take care of their children,and so that they would be more interested in material gain and money than in the deep bonding in a family at home. They would not be home, the family would be fragmented, and they would come to regard family members as being just like other people and not special. Certainly staying at home makes a woman more attached, and more attentive to the details that make a strong family and home life. Every year hundreds of girls graduate from high schools and colleges where they have been indoctrinated to believe in feminism. It will take a long time before that can be over come.

Anonymous said...

WOW!!! What a lot of comments. This was a great article and I always enjoy reading here.

My comment is for the lady who brought up legalism. I think many people hide behind legalism. If something comes up that they don't want to do or don't agree with then is "legalism". I don't want to "fill in the blank" and if you say I should then that's legalistic. Well, by definition, saying something is legalistic means the one must do this or that to be saved. They must obey the Law to earn salvation. That's not what is happening here at all. Saying where a woman's place is, is not being legalistic. Saying a woman needs to stay home in order to be saved... That's legalism. I don't enjoy seeing everything being thrown into the legalism garbage can everytime someone disagrees with a point.
Mrs. Smith

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

The New Testament teaches the concept of principles, and when one lives by principles, they don't worry about every little rule to regulate their behavior. The woman at home is practicing love rather than a rule to stay home. Her principles of loyalty, duty, honor or purpose, motiviate her. She isn't being legalistic, although often the first response when a woman is challenged as to her reasons for being home is "Because the Bible says such and such." However she is not being legalistic, because all she is doing is pointing to her ultimate authority, another type of principle. If someone really wants to do what is right, they will do it no matter what the pressures and limitations are. God's word is very interesting in that He enables us to do His Will, by letting us see the possibilities and opportunities that would help us. I think if women really were desperate to be home and thought they would lose their soul or the souls of their children, they would come home. I still rely on James 4:17--whatever you know is good to do, if you do not do it, it is a sin. So for me, at least, I had reached a conviction both about home schooling and home making, that I could not neglect to do it whole heartedly, for it was good, and I knew it, and if I did not do it, it would have been a sin. Despite all the arguments, it is still better to find ways to live right and do right and let your light shine, than to argue theologically about your right to do it.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the marxist/communist plan to destroy the home, note in this list how many of the quotes were directed at changing the women's role in the home so that they could no longer influence husbands and children:

Women's Studies 101A, Winter Semester - Professor Rob Fedders
In this class, we will see how women have been sheep who have bought into the Marxist anti-society philosophy hook, line and sinker. Selfishly, women have believed that feminism was about women's rights and giving them greater equality. Shamefully, feminism hid this vile filth from society by manipulating academia, media & government.

"The first class opposition that appears in history coincides with the development of the antagonism between man and woman in monogamous marriage, and the first class oppression coincides with that of the female sex by the male." -- Frederick Engels, The Origins of the Family, Private Property and the State



"Destroy the family and you destroy society." -- V.I. Lenin



"The nuclear family must be destroyed, and people must find better ways of living together. ...Whatever its ultimate meaning, the break-up of families now is an objectively revolutionary process. ...Families have supported oppression by separating people into small, isolated units, unable to join together to fight for common interests." -- Linda Gordon, Function of the Family, WOMEN: A Journal of Liberation, Fall, 1969



"We can't destroy the inequities between men and women until we destroy marriage." -- Robin Morgan, Sisterhood is Powerful, 1970, p.537



"Marriage has existed for the benefit of men; and has been a legally sanctioned method of control over women... We must work to destroy it. The end of the institution of marriage is a necessary condition for the liberation of women. Therefore it is important for us to encourage women to leave their husbands and not to live individually with men." -- The Declaration of Feminism, November 1971



"No woman should be authorized to stay at home and raise her children. Society should be totally different. Women should not have that choice, precisely because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one." -- Simone de Beauvoir, "Sex, Society, and the Female Dilemma" Saturday Review, June 14, 1975, p.18



"Women, like men, should not have to bear children... The destruction of the biological family, never envisioned by Freud, will allow the emergence of new women and men, different from any people who have previously existed." -- Alison Jagger - Political Philosophies of Women's Liberation: Feminism and Philosophy (Totowa, NJ: Littlefield, Adams & Co. 1977)




"If even 10 percent of American women remain full-time homemakers, this will reinforce traditional views of what women ought to do and encourage other women to become full-time homemakers at least while their children are young... This means that no matter how any individual feminist might feel about childcare and housework, the movement as a whole [has] reasons to discourage full-time homemaking." -- Jane J. Mansbridge, Why We Lost the ERA, p.100






"The care of children ...is infinitely better left to the best trained practitioners of both sexes who have chosen it as a vocation... [This] would further undermine family structure while contributing to the freedom of women." -- Kate Millet, Sexual Politics 178-179




"In order to raise children with equality, we must take them away from families and communally raise them." -- Dr. Mary Jo Bane, feminist and assistant professor of education at Wellesley College and associate director of the school's Center for Research on Woman



"It takes a village to raise a child." -- Hillary Clinton



"Mmmm...Roasted Useful Idiot for Dinner!" -- Rob Fedders, No Ma'am Blog, 2007

Question: What are permanently unmarried women, whose illegitimate children have been taken from them to be raised by the state, good for anyway?

Answer: Work, Pay Taxes, Go Home, Feed Cats, Repeat until death.

Anonymous said...

Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene.
2 Timothy 2:14-17

Anonymous said...

Neither is there a verse that commands a man to send his wife to work, nor a verse that commands the woman to provide for the family, nor a verse that tells a man to command his wife to go to work.

Wendy WaterBirde said...

I have to disagree pretty strongly with some of a previous comment:

"Ladies I don't want anyone to get the impression that they can stay home no matter what. My situation may have been much different than women today (better role models and training before, less rebellion before, and more acceptance before)...

I don't think it is right to demand to stay home if you are not prepared to live your role.If you ran up debts when you were single, you should not expect your husband to pay them off, so you may have to work."

If a man has lacked the female nurturing he has needed it is quite natural for his partner, who is meant to nurture him after all, to help heal that lack from his past with her own nurturing. And if a woman has lacked the providence and protection she has needed, likewise it is quite natural for help with this providence and protection missing to come from her partner who is after all meant to provide for her and protect her. How horribly unfair I feel to set some sort of dividing line there--'well I'll only care for you for your new needs, if you have old needs (ie old debt etc) then its just tough.' I find that a rather deeply hurtful attitude from such an otherwise warm and caring site.

Many of those in my generation and circle were raised to believe they must go to top notch colleges and earn degrees to be worthy of anything and so were advised to take out student loans-- many of us didnt have the wisdom of others such as is found here to see that there are other ways of learning what we ~truly~ need to learn instead. And then after those college degrees were earned some of us found our bodies and/or hearts just breaking down in the working world (where we didnt belong anyway) and thought we had no choice but to buy some necessities on credit just to survive. Bills do happen when a woman is forced outside of headship for all practical purposes (many of us did not have provident fathers or even actually provident church communities). And I feel this wound of having been so outside of (human) headship/protection deserves help and healing, not the further wounding there of a "put yourself out there and work to pay your debts" sort of thing.

Its so easy to judge another when you have not been in their shoes. I feel that deciding which women are allowed true providence is as harmful as deciding which women are "allowed" to keep at home (stay at home mothers only, stay at home mothers and wives but no others, on and on dot dot dot). Who are we to say which women are "worthy" of getting their most basic human soul needs met? I feel keeping at home is just that sort of need for women, whatever one's status (single, married, debt free, in debt, etc). Some of us may have much to learn to meet our homekeeping role well enough, but the older should be teaching the younger there shouldnt they, actually helping them, not telling them to go out and work when they themselves were not forced to. That just doesnt feel right to me it truly feels hurtful. Yes, we are less equipped for our roles than most were in previous generations, but that does not change the fact that we are women and have the exact same need deep down to keep at home as past generations did.

I really hope this response was not too harsh, and I also truly meant no disrecpect by it. This all just really pushed a button I guess...

Melissa - WA said...

I love that I have a "safe" place that I can come and not have to defend my decision to be a stay at home wife. Thank you and may God bless you!

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the spirit of this blog. We may not know all the detail of what should be done in all details of life. But, in general terms, the Bible states for the woman to be a keeper of the home, loving her children her husband. Etc. If we are concerned about what God says, this will probably influence our choices. Along the way, we may blow it as well, for a variety of reasons. One of the goals of this blog appears to be to encourage women to be at home, to refute the evil opposition, and make known the benefits of being a keeper in the home.
This blesses me very much.

Anonymous said...

I read this blog regularly in spite of some of my views. There is definitely a place in society for stay-at-homes. When a new crop of kids come through my classroom door every September, within days I can tell who's got a SAHM and who doesn't. Most of them don't. As a result, they are lacking in basic manners and social skills, and are incredibly needy and clingy. When someone is at home all the time, everything just runs better and gets done in a more timely fashion (unlike our house, where everyone works, and we go from chaos to crisis on a regular basis).

A few questions about your perspective here continue to nag at me, however. What provision is being made for wives who become widows? What happens if they have no one to care for them when their husbands die? Wouldn't it be beneficial for women in general to have some profession or occupation to fall back on? I know that in the past you've said that the church should care for the widows and orphans, but that is just not realistic. In most cases, it doesn't happen.

It's not good enough to say, "Well, the church SHOULD." The church DOESN'T. (been there, done that, trust me: it doesn't).

Again, as I said: I enjoy this blog in spite of myself, and I have saved a few articles I especially liked. I like the various household tips and strategies it offers.

But widows and divorcees (who were divorced against their will) are not going to go away. Shakespeare said, "Women may fall when there is no strength in men." As usual, he was right.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

This subject of widows and divorcess has been covered many many times in previous articles. Even in Bible times there were such needsk, as it is a part of real life. We discussed over and over again the fact that the husband's retirement and insurance is the widow's, also, but as someone mentioned firmly: this generation of new parents needs to train their children to look after them in their time of need. One way they can do that is to invest and make provision for their own future needs, in case they have to assign their children to look after them.This way the children are not burdened with the extra cost, and interest gained during now and the time of need, will in itself be a great help.There are other investments such as houses and property that can give benefits later on. Then there is the old fashioned way of saving by not spending. The Bible states that widows are not to rely on church welfare if they have living children. Naturally it will be difficult in this generation to follow some of this, but we still are obligated to get as close to the ideal model as possible. In the meantime, show me some widows and divorcees that don't have anywhwere to go, that are bone thin and starving, that are that way because they stayed home and looked after their families. God always provides for those who do His will.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

Also I don't know who spread the idea that the church is obligated to provide for anyone. The collection that was taken was for two things: missionaries, and for helping other church members who had suffered in disaster--maybe a flood, a famine, etc. It was not church welfare as some people preach. Families are supposed to care for each other, not the church and not the state. The widows mentioned in the NT were to be cared for the church only under very strict circumstances.They had to have been faithful for years, having been teachers of the word, and also having no son, or relative to look after them. Instead of looking forward to how we are to be kept when we become a widow (or divorcee) we ought to do what we are supposed to be doing right this minute, and not worry so much about it.Not that we should spend every penny and party and live it up, but that if we live seriously and wisely, there will be provision for us. If we worry over much we will accept the world's solution that the only answer is a career. That in itself does not always work either, as companies go bust, and there are layoffs, and sometimes they don't get the benefits that they hoped for. Also there is nowhwere in the Bible that says unwed mothers or abandon wives ought to be given money or a living by the churches.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

The family culture of the Bible is such that women would desire to have a husband and a family. If provision is made through churches or government for unwed mothers and divorcees, or widows, then the motivation to get married and care for a man in return for his provision, will cease, as it has done in many societies.In the case of single mothers if they are very very young, they need to get themselves back under the protection and authority oftheir parents--especially the unwed mothers. This is a family problem, not a state problem or a church problem. More time needs to be spent teaching the new generation what to partake and what to avoid, in life. There will be some drop outs from this kind if schooling, but on the whole it is the best preventative medicine there is.

Anonymous said...

I am so blessed. My young husband (he's 22) just took on another part time job in addition to his full time job because he is low income and I am pregnant and we need to provide for the baby. He doesn't want me working, so he went out to get another job and now works no less than sixty hours a week.

Nobody here has mentioned a woman working from home as in a family business or something. I think that is ok as it would be part of homemaking. My dream that I am praying about is having a home business where all our children each have a skill. I do some writing for outside companies, but all from home as a home business. It doesn't take up a lot of my time. I believe that the Proverbs 31 woman had some kind of business on the side from home, the passage seems to indicate that. It indicates that she did some kind of paid work and I can't imagine it being outside of the home because of what the rest of the Bible says.

~ Katy-Anne

Anonymous said...

Dearest Lady Lydia and Annonimous teacher worried about solutions for tough times ,

This is indeed often a daunting prospect for folk new to the idea of Biblical and by extension family-based society. over the past 150 years, the extended family unit in much of Western Europe, the US, Canada, Australia etc has been entirely whittled away; thus leaving wives, mothers, widows singles etc without the natural support structures that protected them for aeons. Fear not though; as Lady Lydia discussed above and has so amply put forward in previous articles/comments upon the issue, there is a way back and there are means available even in this modern 'post family' era. It all comes down to prudent financial management. Now married, though I'm more fortunate than some in that I have a modest income from a timely redundancy, a portion of my husband's own super will pay out to me if he passes away (bearing in mind, there's 20 years separating us so plans for my innevitable widowhood are being set in motion even now. Additionally, the putting away of even a small portion of one's salary per fortnight - especially if the couple is young, will over time add up to a nice nest egg. Here in Australia, where mortgages have interest attached (was surprised to learn they apparently do not in the US), even the adjustment of paying fortnightly rather than monthly cuts the cost (and time) leaving more money for savings.Simple little things such as making meals for one's husband to take to work rather than buying saves a bucket. Same goes for lunchbox or baked items. The setting up and planting of a vegetable patch though simple at first whilst one is learning will actually save you money in the long run, especially if seedlings and seeds whose produce has not been rendered sterile are initially purchased, as seed-saving can be done for next year. If you're in a unit/apartment, even growing herbs and lettuce or a small tub of cherry tomatoes will help; better still if you have access to an alottment where you can plan more expansive ventures - I know of at least one family who grow a majority of their vegetable needs in suburbia - see Peter cundle's 'Patch from Scratch' to learn how you can do it on a self-improving rotational manner in your own garden - we've got our simple little bed in the front yard as we're in a tiny townhouse and there isn't room in the back (smile) Though I have only one garden bed for this purpose, I'm growing things in separate areas so I'll rotate within the one patch (for Aussies, just ask for this at ABC shops or Easy DVD). We've got herbs in the back and a dwarf lemon - and last year I was a brown thumb and universal plant killer! (smile)If you're in credit card debt, you'll slash your interest by consolodating into your home loan (but PLEASE PLEASE se an independant financial officer before actually doing anything!!!! The proverbs 31 woman example of home enterprise is an excellent one, but one may need to watch their step even here as it can railroad out of hand and grow all-consuming or, if not carefully chosen, lead to debt and heartache of its own. As one writer astutely observed, we're also looking at the need for complete generational change that those who espouse the feminist/marxist principles (also listed above in another comment) in the 'baby boomer' and 'gen x' demographics, may slowly lesson their grip. One Australian commentator has noted the current trend with families, faith and by extension the wider community must necessarily be a transient one for it cannot sustain a creative, productive, visionary civilisation for long and will burn itself out - the term ascedia (please excuse my spelling) which describes a lack of spirituality, reverence, contemplation and awe towards a higher order of life than mere humanity - as found in Christianity, for instance, leads to a death of the heart and innevitable death of society. Constant, ernest prayer by all folk from across the denominational spectrum for a return to Biblical principles of family and home is of equal importance to the changes we work in our own lives and, Biblically, anyone heard of Laodecia???? does its description sound familliar??? There's no quick fix to all of a sudden instantly return us to the pre comufem days that so many contributors to this blog lived in and remember; many irons in the fire are needed along with time and prayer. As I've stated before; a supertanker doesn't turn on a dime (smile). One more suggestion alluded to in a previous article here concerns one way of supplimenting one's income - that of taking on students or boarders - be partial and exercise descression with regards to their suitability; missionaries and student ministers would be appreciative of the type of home such ladies or even families as those upon this board could offer - no fear from both parties of carousing, roudiness or anti-social, anti-Christian behaviour. Also, for husbands, mortgage and even credit card insurance are a must! (especially before the credit card is eventually cut up and trashed). Also, family-oriented business if run properly without big debt etc may provide better security for both wives, sons and daughters - sadly, the above ajenda would love nothing more than the final demise of the flourishing small inter-generational family business. I know this is the 'by example' way of logic, but it's an idea; When my husband eventually leaves his current position, there's nothing to stop him staying involved in the industry in some capacity as an independant operator - yes, 'subbies' are usually paid terribly and treated as second class emplyees by firms who use them as they're cheaper etc, and firms can get around worker's insurance, leave 'em standing if they go bust etc but a 'family enterprise' doesn't necessarily exclude the wife, as long as her primary role of homemaker isn't compromised - Lady Lydia giving plenty of examples where families have owned shops, service stations, a little trade business (plumbing, sparkie, builder, brickie etc) where the wife will often take care of calls paperwork etc and a portion of their income can be put into investments in the event something happens. For instance, my husband's considering getting into 'val cargo' (valuable goods transit - money, payroles the airfreight way, as he's worked in the aviation industry for the better part of thirty years - val cargo gets the stuff out to the tarmac or between planes - one job can pay $80 but you're on call) or 'dangerous goods'. $500 for your initial licence, any protective wear needed (claim it back on tax), a modest vehicle and away you go (and I could even help him with this as long as it didn't take away from my main role. So, there are a multitude of solutions. One lady I knew at another church had a newspaper and leaflet round , enabling her to get the exercise and money to put away in case of emergencies.

If one's musically inclined, and has the required skill level, teaching piano, any instrument, singing etc from home has been an enjoyable revenue raiser for ladies young and old for centuries - you get to make a little money, impart the love of music/art/languages, whatever skill you've got whilst being a living witness for those young impressionable minds who pass your way; Teachers, tutoring (at least here in Aus) can also be a nice little income earner from home. If needed, even accreditation via correspondance and self paced is often available so it fits in around you, not you around it.

So there are many options to encourage the mind thinking about creative and very possible ways of dealing with being down on one's luck if times get tough. Even something such as Lady Lydia herself used to do - afternoon teas for paying customers - if you've got the space, why not go for it (smile) One summer ten years ago now (goodness! has it been that long??) , I used to bake for a beach-side cafe before they were taken over and got big; they put up with me the whole summer (and I was a mere learner then - very patient with me they were - it was fun but I think they ate my goods themselves rather than on-selling (smile) It was a lot of fun just the same.

If you're a knitter, spinner, quilter, embroiderer, country-crafty shops will sell a hand knitted cardigan or sweater for several hundreds - or you could sell them yourself either at markets or on line - have bought a lovely ironing board cover and several skirts from markets - beautiful.

Well, that's about it; if one gets to thinking, the possibilities open right up and you're not chained to the workerday treadmill breaking your back for the boss unable to be where you'd love to be - home.

Blessings,

Mrs. E.
Australia.

Wendy WaterBirde said...

Lady Lydia, I feel badly leaving two dissenting comments on this post now, I'm really not trying to be argumentative. But what was just said about excusing a church's responsiblity just chilled me to the bone. I do realize that being a pastor's wife you might be more often on the giving end of church help than recieving it, and perhaps that changes one's experience and perspective. But from where I stand I just can't even wrap my heart around what you have said.

As I understand it the church body IS a family. I'm trying to picture the early church watching its members suffering and not doing anything about it and it just doesnt mesh at all. We are told to lay hands on in laying, and also to actually bear one another's burdens. My understanding of this is that one is to bear what he is able, and what he is not able to bear should be helped. The body of the church IS also a family; and if this is not the case in an individual church then personally I wouldn't even consider it a true church.

Assuming that it's only a great disaster such as flood or famine that makes one's burden unbearable is just not always true. Injury happens, financial ruin happens, homelessness happens, incest happens, rape happens, abuses of all sorts happen. These may all truly need help bearing. Help bearing by the church family too, as one's personal family is not always present or able. That safety net there is just so essential--the poor will always be with us. I understand that to mean that we always need to have a safety net and always need to reach out, and I suspect we have those in need always with us exactly because we need to continue to help one another, that this is something our souls need. We are in God's hands of course, but we are also called to be God's hands for one another (bear one another's burdens). And I think its that way for a healing reason, even if we don't understand why.

I can't help but think about how Christ did not only help His little family. Nor did He just send folks back to their little families when they came to Him for help. He reached out first, He had impact, He took a caring responsibility and He healed. If someone is coming to the church for help it may be because their family will not or cannot help or is abusive. The church stepping in to truly aid the family to resolve their emotional or financial problems so they actually CAN help the member in need makes sense, assuming the family is a safe one. But to just send someone to their family for help if their family is harmful or won't help them and leave them all to flounder, that to me is the very opposite of Christianity.

Again, I'm truly not trying to be disrespectful or offend. If I'm missing something I'd love to change or deepen my understanding here...

Anonymous said...

I may be wrong, (not to discourage a woman from doing a home business, if she finds it works well for her husband and family life), but, I believe the Proverbs lady, may not have been 20, or 30...Maybe some ladies on this blog know better.
Katy-Anne you are blessed. Treasure your husband and prepare for your other little treasure.
Your comment just triggered a memory from my childhood. When I was a little girl, around 8 or 9 years old, I used to go sleep in my Mom's bed when it was still night. I don't remember what days I did this. But, the reason I did, was because my Father used to get up in the early hours of the morning...to deliver newspapers. I think it was around 4:00am in the morning. How I woke up. I don't know. I don't even remember my Father leaving in the mornings. I only remember sleeping with my Mom and knowing my Father had gotten this extra part time job.
All my childhood, I used to wonder how my Father got up at 6:00am in the morning to go to work. (I hated getting up at 7:30am to go to school!!!) How did he do it? I used to think. Well...... They don't do it so much anymore! I have seen woman who stay at home as "vintage." Well, men who feel the way Kate-Ann's young husband is expressing...well, these men are becoming vintage as well. So, Thank God for these men. And if you are so lucky to have a husband that wants you home and wants to provide for you and your children, DO all you can to make his return home as pleasant as possible. Reward this man. As much as you can. If you can.
After all, this is the man you married. You believed he was worthy of your acceptance of marriage.
The Bible says, for the older women to encourage the younger women. I am an older woman. I hope I have made a comment that encourages the younger women. I have written this before, but I will write it again. This blog is an encouragement to me. I would have loved to have the internet and this blog page when I was in my twenties.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

Wendy, there is nothing wrong with people who are in a church helping anyone materially if they choose, but people should not come to expect the church to support them. The church funds in the NT were used to send aid to those in need who were members of the church, and also for evangelism, but there is no example of churches providing a living for women other than widows of aged years who had no children to support them. If people want to help and support other people in a church, there is nothing wrong with that. If the church as a whole wants to give a sum to someone in need, there is nothing wrong with that. Long term church welfare was not necessary in former generations because women either had fathers or brothers or sons to provide for them. I don't think the church budget could stand the onslaught of people wanting support, if it were open to everyone. The only qualified people for the kind of support you are talking about were the aged widows. They had to be over the age of 60. Still, if churches want to help someone, there is no harm in it. The only problem is that we should not say that churches should support the unwed mother or the divorced woman, or give women the idea that they should expect support from churches.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

Mrs. E. I can't find any Biblical example, mandate, inference, etc. of the church financially providing a living, as would a husband, for an unwed mother, a young widow, or a divorced woman. In the Bible, the family was the major social structure, and everyone had some kind of familial authority. In other words if a woman's husband died, the husband's brother if available, would marry her and look after her, or else she would return to her parents house. We need to emulate this pattern. We need not argue about the function of the church. It is not a welfare society. Young women and young widows in the NT were commanded to marry again. (I Tim. 5:14). This served several purposes. It prevented them being a burden on people who were not their authorities. It gave them a suitable purpose in life. It kept order in the church. Today with welfare so prevalent, it is harder for moderns to understand the concept of God-given authorities caring for the unwed mother, the widow, the divorced woman--in other words, when the husband leaves, and fails to carry out his responsibility, the care of the wife would fall to first the father, and if he were not alive, maybe to a brother, and if he were not able, to a son. Today it is very difficult to understand this order, and many families are so estranged, it would be impossible. As some one so aptly said, it will take another generation to understand that. Women who live wildly and carelessly and end up with bad men or irresponsible husbands, and are later abandoned, or women who deliberately have children without husbands, should not then expect that the church should take care of them. It is the responsiblity of the parents and other authorities in their lives. This teaches parents to be very very careful in how they raise and teach their children, careful in the influences they allow in their lives, careful in developing their system of values. This is because the parent would fear that if they did not strictly teach these values, the child may come back home with with more problems. Using your family authorities as care givers is a long life lesson. On the other hand, if the single mother can rely on welfare, the lesson is not as quickly learned, and the next generation may repeat that behavior, because welfare will always be there to back them up. The families, on the other hand, though they would look after an erring daughter, would also teach and warn, and make the recipient aware of their responsiblity, as well as the cost of the burden. There is no scripture that commands the church to look after these single people. If this became a trend, the single men who were handicapped or without work might eventually get on the church welfare, as well as others who posed as church members, etc. I don't think there are any examples, commands, or inferences in the Bible for taking care of single women. I have had single women in my home at one time or another because I wanted to do it, but I did not take money from the church for it. Each christian should individuallly do what they can to help others, but the church as a whole is not required to put anyone on welfare.

Alicia said...

Dear Lady Lydia,
I have read your blog a few times, and having read this thread, I have a question for you. What do you say to people who live in places where it is truly almost impossoble to live on one income? I am a SAHW/M, but I have a dear friend who moved to New York City when her husband accepted a job as a Christian school principal. This job is very time-consuming (he would not be able to work a second job), but typically low paying and the housing there is outrageous. My sister lives just outside of Washington DC. With the lowest price housing in any safe neighborhood approaching $2000 a month and only low or modest incomes... Also there are several expensive medical conditions that make medical insurance a high priority. Should families not live anywhere near these cities unless they already have large single incomes? This does not seem to be a realistic answer when considering extended families living there, ministry work, etc. I feel a lack of answers, and would appreaciate your insight.

Wendy WaterBirde said...

Lady Lydia, I'm still having a hard time understanding that. If support can't be depended on but is only given if the church happens to feel like it, that doesnt feel like a real church family. I've heared it said many times that churches could not handle the onslaught of needs today. But i still think that's a poor excuse, since if it was felt as an actual duty instead then I suspect solutions would be found somehow, even collaboratively and in creative ways if neccessary.

The ideal of a more Godly marriage and family for individuals is far more difficult today too, and so in most places we are told its "impossible" now (its just not realistic, you simply need two income nowadays, dot dot dot). And yet others, like this blog for instance, do not buy that the ideal version of the individual type family is impossible when most say otherwise. Likewise, I don't buy that the ideal version of the church family is impossible either or that we are excused from trying to reach the ideal. How has 'bear one another's burdens' turned into 'bear one anothers burdens only if you feel like it'?

Nowhere in the Bible does it say a woman forced into battling her way in the public workforce to be the provider is harmful. But the spirit of such is there--keepers at home is referred to, the harm of feet not often at home is mentioned, developing a meek and quiet spirit (which requires peacefulness) is referred to, and Eve (in contrast to Adam) was not given the work curse. So we feel a thread there, we infer from this.

I'd do the same for the church. Those in the church body were being addressed when it spoke about bearing one another's burdens, it didnt say to just bear within one's family. And the spirit of the early churches, from what i understand, was one of truly reaching out, in stark contrast to the detachment and lack of compassion that had evolved in the Old Testament churches which was later despised. So I feel these things too can be inferred from. I feel the ideal of 'bearing one another's burdens' in a church family is no more an impossible dream as the ideal of headship and keeping at home in the individual family...

Wendy WaterBirde said...

PS I too feel the help usually comes from certain church members feeling someone's problem tugging at their heart and they step in, at their own expense. I think more often than not that was probably how things were in the early churches too, and how they probably should be, it is more personal and direct that way. But there still I feel has to be a safety net if there is a need that is being ignored, if family or an individual church member has not stepped up to the plate then the church proper should. Bearing one another's burdens has to happen somehow...

Mel said...

I think, that regardless of your marital status, age etc, if there is a genuine need in the congregation then there is a responsibility to meet that need. There is a verse that says it is pointless saying to someone hungry - oh, I hope you find some food mate, good luck with that - but instead we should reach out and give that person some food. Yes, obviously it is speaking regarding an individual helping out - but again, the church is supposed to be "one body".

I get quite cranky when I hear of all these churches just having thousands sitting around waiting for a roof to need repairs or new carpet and pews to go in when there are genuinely struggling people in the congregation - if that doesn't smack of ridiculousness then I don't know what does! So whilst I agree with Lydia in that the church is specifically admonished to provide ongoing care for widows in specific circumstances, I don't think that exempts the church from occassionally dipping into the roof fund to meet a genuine need.

Re: welfare, whilst I think it certainly has it's place, I know that here, in Aus, if it wasn't so easily accessible there would be fewer women "choosing" to become single mother's or being so quick to leave a marriage for silly reasons. Whilst, at the end of the day, we all must take personal responsibility for our choices, I must admit, I wouldn't have made some of the choices I did, if the current welfare system were not in place. I certainly am not about to chuck it in, put my kids in school and go out to work, but it would have been much better if things were different. Hindsight is a great thing - but often it comes a little too late, and then what?

Anonymous said...

Dearest lady Lydia and Readers,,

The dilemmas brought to the fore wen discussing the way forward for women young and old traditionally and Biblically speaking especially in situations where hardship comes about), can be challenging for we born into the post family, welfare state era to invisage.

concepts ranging from practical yet compassionate solutions; where the responsibilities lie; where to begin; when to take the initiative; how to effectively carry out a Biblical blueprint for these times; what is the role of church and that of the individual how to in effect put back together a community in which not only Biblical standards for the genders have been largely abandoned by Western Christendom but the very model of Biblical family itself has been eroded into a unit which cannot render support to members in hardship - or where indeed 'the buck stops', can be daunting. Little short of a revolution within Christian society focusing upon the repair of the Western extended Christian family, multi-generational small enterprise and an embrace of the distinct roles for men and women is sorely needed - one household at a time; focusing upon ideas of Biblical stewardship (Several excellent articles upon LAF by Mrs. Chancey shedding light upon this often controvercial area).

In mhy previous comment, i attempted to in some detail, set forth how historically women (and by extension their families) have coped in times of difficulty, the embrace of non 'comufem' notions of income creation and so forth that in effect lessen the need for a welfare-state type of regime. Mel's comments upon this area, from her own personal experience also add weight to the notion of Biblical stewardship extending to example-setting and the loving yet integrity-filled gidance in the area of moral standards within a healthy family - making rash or rebellious behaviour by the youth less inviting as there are actual consequences and ramifications to such behaviours (so often lessened in the modern world. Yes, tragically abuse, violation, violence and other reprehensible actions are visited upon even the most innocent of young ladies. The Biblical model in these cases, I believe, is for the family to close ranks and lovingly protect the mistreated party and in cases where the immediate family itself is the cause of such abuse, for safe haven to be offered by the extended family (hence the immense benefit of the extended family and kinship group). Yes, such occurances are tragic, immensley awkward to face and often very confronting, but they do happen, even in model homes and communities. The traditional notion of God Parents in Anglican, Catholic and Orthadox culture is also for provision to be made if a child or young person is flung into hardshhip - the role of god Parent traditionally being a solomn and very real undertaking, not just a formality as it can be viewed today.

I think comments to my previous offerings upon this sensitive topic were mixed up with those of another writer when a response was given. Let us grow and move together through hard as well as easy ground, supporting, educating and uplifting one another focusing always upon what jesus would do or say, as His is the standard we're all called to follow.

blessings,

Mrs. e.
Australia.

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