In my mail I receive questions, but I usually answer them individually. Today I am posting a variety of them on my blog. If you are sensitive to the message of the Christian ladies working at homey things to make their families comfortable; if you tend to throw a fit every time you read about, (as one woman responded) "that Titus 2 stuff", please have an open mind, and a strong desire for Truth. If you have your mind made up already, then please click on one of the other weblogs on my blogroll on the left and go visit elsewhere.
Question 1: How am I supposed to get someone to support me so I can stay home?
The question makes the mutual support of husband and wife seem so cold and detached and money-oriented, as if it is all about what you are going to "get" from a husband. Instead, it is about a man and a woman who respect each other, respect God and His word enough to take each one's scriptural role in the marriage.
A woman should never think that by marrying someone she has a support system for life, and a man should never assume that marrying means someone will always cook and clean for him. That is a severely materialistic view of the Biblical relationship. Instead, a mutual belief in the scriptures as the final, authoritative word of God and from God motivates us to serve a higher King, Jesus Christ. As citizens of His kingdom, we want to do above and beyond our best. This applies to believers, of course. Those outside of Christ will not always find it natural to follow His last will and testament. We want to get as close to the New Testament model as we can, and imitate it. We find the roles of men and women in marriage relationships distinctly defined there. It states, and we believe, that it brings dishonor to the word of God, when men and women do not comply with it. Naturally, no one can force you to be at home, because it is the personal reading of the scriptures that will bring knowledge and conviction to your heart. To follow His will willingly is a greater advantage than doing it out of compulsion. Once you develop a conviction on the matter, nothing can stop you from doing it.
When a husband is the breadwinner and provider, the wife has a big responsibility to protect his earnings and see that the family guards that hard-earned money from going out the door as fast as it comes in. If the woman really is determined to live on her husbands's provision, she needs to view it as a precious gift earned by "the sweat of his brow" and not just "support."
A man who provides for his family makes a great sacrifice, often putting aside his own desires and time, in order to see that his wife doesn't have to leave the home and participate in the chase for career and money. He takes on the stress of it and protects his wife from the hardship. In return she ought of have a great amount of respect for him, when he goes away from home and works. She needs to watch her spending very carefully so that his work will have something to show for it, both in the comforts and improvement of his home life and in the saving and investment of his money. This does not mean the wife will never have any luxuries or enjoyment in life, it only means she must learn develop a big interest in guarding and guiding the home and making it a better place; a place that cared for.
When a lady adjusts her desires to her duties, her priorities change and focus on the task at hand. She will naturally want good tools to work with, from brooms and pots and pans to good quality sheets and towels. If she will delight herself in the orderliness and beauty of the home, she may find it not as confining as she imagined because home keeping will become an outlet for her and a pleasure and a hobby.
The so-called "one income" becomes sufficient for the home, giving credence to the old saying, "Two can live as cheaply as one." The wife learns how to "make do" in order to prevent extravagance.
Turning ordinary things into luxuries can alleviate the focus on money or "support." A handful of flowers picked fresh and put in a jar, clothes hung on the line instead of using the dryer, relaxing at home instead of going out, and in general creating an oasis of comfort in the house and yard, cuts down on expenses and helps make the work of both the husband and wife worthwhile.
Question 2: What am I supposed to do all day at home?
Never think that having a husband who provides for the family while you are in charge of the house, means that you will be lolling about all day doing little or nothing worthwhile, or going out with friends, or spending money. Being a homemaker and a helpmeet means you will be helping your husband make efficient use of his time so that he can be punctual at work. It means you will be looking after a lot of things in order to make it easier for him to work, (care of clothing, good food, looking after the bills and correspondence, keeping track of appointments, keeping an eye on the finances) and caring for the house enough that he doesn't have to worry about it.
This is not to imply that a man may never help with the housework, or a woman may never help with the support of the family. It only means they each understand and live their male and female scripturally appointed roles in the home. When a wife is sick or needs a little help, a man naturally will want to lend a hand and ease her burden of housework.
To help her husband, a woman may reduce expenses and learn to be innovative and creative in order to avoid spending money. When time permits she can make things for the home rather than buying ready-made, if she can do it with greater econonomy and quality. Many ladies also take in money for the eggs their chickens provide, and others have various sources of extra income. However, these must never put the wife under so much pressure to do "her equal share" in making money that she loses her motivation for keeping the home and it must not cause her to neglect her children. Her "share" is in reliable care of the home and her husband.
Question: Should all women stay home?
Answer: Titus 2 and Ist Timothy 5 were written to Christians. While the world at large may not be willing to follow it, we know for certain that those who have embraced the teachings of Christ will try with all their might to follow them. This is what makes a Christian "different from the world."
Because in the the body of Christ, (the church or ecclesia, congregation) women are supposed to be keepers at home, we try to emphasize that young ladies need to be careful not to ruin their opportunity to marry and be a homemaker. They need to know that if they have children before they marry, or if they accumulate huge debts due to student loans or other things, it may not be as easy to find a man who is willing to take on someone else's responsibilities or debts. It does happen, but a young women cannot bank on it. If she has children and debt, she will have to provide for them herself. Young women who do not want to go to work outside,the home and do not really want careers, need to be taught to be careful of their choices so they can make the path to that goal smoother.
Although there are 10 more questions in my files, this is all I can manage today.
Please leave comments if you have other answers that might be helpful.