Friday, March 30, 2012

Should Christian women work outside the home?

This weekend marks the 1 year anniversary of starting my job. It is the first "real job" I've ever had. Mind you, I have worked part-time since I was young (I had a special working permit to work at a small import store at age 14).

Let me explain to you why I work. I have no children, as God has not blessed us (yet?) in that area yet. I will choose to stay home with my children when I have them, but for now I fulfill a different role. That role is aiding my husband in helping us get out of debt. The debt is mostly my fault. Before I was convicted of the importance of living debt free (and before I was married), I dug a nice deep black hole of debt for myself. Now, I feel it is my responsibilty, together with my husband, to dig us out. We put my entire salary toward debt repayment, and live off of my husband's salary. This will greatly decrease my husband's stress when he becomes the sole-provider of our home when I do become a stay-at-home mother (God willing!)

I feel that putting the burden of my debt completely on my husband's shoulders (although he would have accepted it without complaint) is unfair to him, and I am happy to be able to contribute in this way.

That said, I believe that serving at home is a wonderful thing, and ideal. Devotion to one's family is very admirable. I also don't deny that there are a lot of drawbacks to working full-time. For example, my home is never as clean as I want it to be. I can't stand that, and it is a constant struggle for me to keep up with my home and work. I can't imagine how difficult it would be to upkeep a home, work, and care for children, which is why I have no desire to spread myself so thin.

It can be difficult, though, to rectify my work situation with my faith, especially when many Christian women are judgemental towards me for being a working woman. I find this distressful, especially because of what Matthew 7:1-5 says:

"Judge not, that you be not judged. [...] Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye?"

Also, what is Christianity? It is wearing skirts, being submissive to one's husband, or being stay-at-home wives, mothers, and daughters? Don't get me wrong, those are all fruits of the spirit that many women develop as they grow in Christ, but to say that they are part of Christianity, to me, sounds like saying works is a key part in salvation. When we know that all it takes to be "washed clean" is to have our names in the book of life by accepting Christ's gift of redemption.

Revelation 20:12 and 15 says:
"And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. [...] Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire."

So the moral here is how can anyone, as a Christian, judge another Christian woman for working? Am I not saved? Is my name not in the book of life? Will I not spend eternity worshiping our father in heaven just like a Christian housewife does? This judgemental attitude makes me very sad, especially as the focus is taken off of Christ and salvation and put on works.

So please, don't judge me, and other Christian women like me for this type of choice. I am your sister in Christ no matter if I work or if I don't. No matter if I am at home or at work, I preserve my feminine identity and make choices based on the urgings of the Holy Spirit to allow me to grow in my spiritual journey. I believe works are important in the life of a Christian as far as expressing the inner transformation of accepting salvation, but I believe they are different for everyone. The Holy Spirit works in all of us differently, and I am happy that God has given me this opportunity to serve my family and help get us get out of the red financially.

2 comments:

  1. I counsel women to definitely try to stay home once they have children. I had to work full time until I had my second baby. It was very difficult. As an older woman I am commanded to train younger women to be keepers at home but I have to allow the Holy Spirit to convict each woman in what that means to them! I think what you are doing is admirable.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Insightful post. Though, Titus 2:5 doesn't have a condition based on whether a woman has children or not. Compare this to Proverbs 7:11 (She is loud and wayward; her feet do not stay at home). Adding the "unless" or "ifs" to Scripture verses can lead to very winding roads. Also, I wouldn't say that one believer admonishing another believer to do God's commanding is wrong. Believers are commanded to judge and disciple each other (1 Corinthians 5:12). Believers should admonish on another in love, this is what God commands.

    ReplyDelete

I love to fellowship with others and hear what they have to say. I would ask, however, that you be mindful of what you write and try to be uplifting and respectful. Thank you for sharing!