Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Please, Daddy, Let Mamma Stay Home
This is a summary of one of the chapters by Gwendolyn Webb, in her book "Training Up a Child" written in 1977, concerning the responsibilities of the husband:
Husbands allow or insist that their wives work for such reasons as:
1. Their mother's worked and they think it is the normal thing to do.
2. They have set their standard of living too high. It has been said that it is not the high cost of living that drives women to work, but the cost of high living.
3. The couple has gotten themselves into debt.
4. The husband may want more things.
5. The wife may want more things.
6. He may think his wife has more time on her hands and is not accomplishing much at home (something that a husband needs to become more knowledgeable about in comparing the world's definition of accomplishment with the life time accomplishment of marriage, home and family).
7. His wife may have a college degree or other credentials and he doesn't want her to neglect her profession or "waste" her qualifications and her money earning ability.
No matter what the reason for the wife working, the husband should not encourage his wife to forsake her home in order to add another paycheck to the family income. God's principles remain the same, says the author, and it is still the God ordained responsibility of the husband to make the living for the family.
Mrs. Webb then relates the story of a little girl she knew who did not want to go home. She said she liked school but she did not like to go to an empty home. Her parents were both professionals--her mother a pediatrician and her father a nuerologist. The parents were usually away at conferences or trips. This little girl had a luxurious home in a nice neighborhood and lots of things, but the watchful care of a mother at home was the one thing that was missing.
Even if the couple has no children, there is much harm in the woman working outside the home. She loses a sense of herself and her role when she is out there competing. She is exhausted when she comes home and cannot give her best at home. She cannot give her best to the home when her time and loyalties are divided. No one can serve two masters for they will either hate the one or love the other.Now instead of getting the support and encouragement they need as homemakers, young women have to go online or read books.
I remember women talking over the fence when they hung their laundry. Though they were always busy, there was a pride in what they did and they had time for each other. Now the younger women want to go back to work from the sheer isolation and loneliness of the home during the day. It is even more trying if her husband is not supportive or resentful of her role at home. I am not afraid to say that it is most unmanly for a man to be jealous of his wife at home and to insist on her working. It reduces his own masculinity when he whines about the bills or has no pride in being the breadwinner.
We can restore our families and our neighborhoods when even one woman decides to stay home. Her presence is like a light showing a path in a dark place. Her attendance to the home full time shows the seriousness of that life.
I wrote an article here a few years ago showing the meaning of the light house. While the flashing light at the tip of the tower shows the location of the light house, the lower lights send a beam across the water so that the ships can be guided around the rocks and brought safely home to the shore. The woman at home may not be broadcasting her location, but her daily work is like the lower lights that actually provide the path to life for some "poor fainting, struggling seaman." Boys who grow up in homes where the mother is present will more likely want their wives to stay home, but they can have their beliefs altered by peers and higher education, so in order to change things, it requires much,much time, and much, much teaching.
For more information on the song "Let the Lower Lights Be Burning," go here http://www.tanbible.com/tol_sng/letthelowerlightsbeburning.htm