Saturday, August 09, 2008

Home for a Reason

My great grandmothers were all full time homemakers and so was my mother and my husband's mother (and his grandmothers). No one in their day would have had the audacity to suggest that they get out and earn a living or make money: it just was not done. I have stated here, before, that no man who was really a man, would have sent his wife to work, and if his wife offerred to go to work, even in hard times, most men would have hung their head in shame. They would not have been able to look anyone in the eye.

Even people who did not know the about the New Testament teachings on the subject, knew that it went against nature and all common sense, toforce the woman to take on the burden of "bringing home the bacon" or being the breadwinner. A man knew he was to work "by the sweat of his brow" to provide for his family. It was considered a national shame when a man neglected his duty to be the provider and the protector of his family. Being the family provider and a protector of women and children, made him more of a man. Not doing it made him weak and wimpy. Now of course, I am speaking here of able-bodied men, not those who have broken backs or no legs or those who have severe handicaps. In general, if a man's back was not broken and he had two legs, there was no excuse for him not working. In hard times where jobs were not available, real men found ways to keep busy and they were quite innovative about creating an income.

At the same time, women had a huge respect for the family coffers. Those who really valued their marriages and their homes, did not want to waste away their husband's hard-earned money, and guarded it more carefully than many women do, today. Those who lived in those times can attest to the fact that the reason our parents and grandparents ended up with a new car or a new and improved house, was not because the wife went to work, but because the wife guarded the home and the family bank account, to make this possible. There were a few, as there always have been throughout history, who tore down their own security by unneccessary expenses, but in general, there was a mood to save, to make do, to make it yourself, or do without.

If women were not married, they often worked for awhile at simple jobs, but it was more for the opportunity to meet a man to marry, than for the glory of the job itself. Getting married and being with one man was a step up from working for an employer. This was the world I was born into and the world I grew up in.

You would think that after 40 years of homemaking, and after knowing of my mother and grandmother before me, the reason for my staying home full time, would be well understood. However, this is the new age of ignorance, it seems, and after all this time, I am finally getting the remarks like, "You need to get out and DO something," or "How can you afford (whatever it is) when you don't earn any money?" and "What if something happens to your husband?"

Truly, these remarks are aimed at just about any woman who takes up the lifetime task of guarding and guiding her family and the home. I gave up trying to give long explanations about it because I discovered that they are not as interested in how I manage it without taking on employment outside the home, as they are interested in pushing me out there to join the workforce with everyone else. They hope to scare me into submission to this concept.

Somehow, the shame of sending the wife to work, has been removed from the hearts of many men. It is the reason we are in this trouble.

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