Women and the Workplace
Question: In Titus 2:4-5, the apostle counsels the older women in the church to teach "the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home. . . ." Do the words "keepers at home" mean that a woman should not work outside of the home?
Answer: When the apostle writes that the young women are to be "keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands," the reason he gives for this is "that the word of God be not blasphemed." The stability of the home and the appropriate maintenance of the God-given roles for husbands and wives says much about the Word of God. If there is a breakdown in the family, the Word of God is maligned. We certainly don’t want that.
Workplaces can be, in many situations, highly unspiritual. The high level of stress associated with the workplace, the demands placed on employees for extra hours and getting the job done, the unbiblical ways of dealing with this stress—alcohol, drugs, and companionship with the opposite sex—combine to produce a dangerous environment.
Moreover, what about the case of a working mother who has little children? There has never been a time in which societal forces are working in concert to destroy the family and to pervert the values of children. People today hunger for the new, the bizarre, and the different. The thinking today is that everything is OK. We can't turn our kids loose and expect the daycare workers and the "Nanny State" to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
In some cases, working outside of the home may be an absolute necessity for survival. However, it may be that some women work outside of the home because they have a very extravagant lifestyle. I don't believe that's a good reason for working outside of the home. Maybe they need to scale back a bit. Yet, of course, these are just observations, not commandments from the Scripture.
Question: The Bible assigns certain roles to certain people. First Timothy 5:8 says, "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." The man is supposed to be the provider.
Answer: That is certainly true. Proverbs 31, however, seems to suggest that the ideal woman can work outside of the home. "She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar" (vs., 14); "She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard" (vs. 16); "She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night" (vs. 18).