Wives and mothers going against the wind...

(Tim, w/thanks to Mary Lee) Being a wife and mother has always meant years of thanklessness, followed by more years of babysitting grandchildren and warily anticipating a husband's retirement. Lately, it's also meant suffering the disdain of other women--even sisters in Christ--who have chosen, themselves, to have their primary orientation outside the home.

Fathers and husbands can't be too careful inoculating their daughters and wives against the envy, bitterness, and fear attendant to such vulnerabilities. Praise, love, a little G. K. Chesterton read aloud every now and then, and gifts of gratitude will go a long way to defend the weaker sex against the enemies within. And occasionally, we'll find others coming alongside to help with the work.

I'm so proud and grateful to the Lord for the women of Church of the Good Shepherd, this blog, and my own family who serve the Lord faithfully, not resenting the call of God upon their lives. Remember, it's our Lord's promise that, in the Kingdom of Heaven, the last shall be first and the first, last.

Comments

Beautiful. Thank you Mary Lee for suggesting it.

The unsigned masterpiece by the often unpaid worker (who works for love of the work and for love of the God who has enabled him to do it) is the quotidian product of all traditional cultures.

Homemaking, mothering, and pursuing the life of a godly wife might very well be last remaining vestige of traditional, vocational living we have in the 21st century. No wonder Tim admires Titus 2 women so.

I read this at work and almost cried with joy that this is what our Father wants mothers to be to their families and children. What a great foundation. Yay God!

Suzi

Are you serious? Please point me in the direction where God declares that the only work of women is to take care of a family. Additionally, I don't remember God ever referring to females as the weaker sex, I only remember that both male and female were created in his image. His image is never weak or faltering. Your claims are unfounded and weak, not the female gender.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by the "weaker sex" because the paragraph is talking in the context of emotional and spiritual issues, not physical ones. Also when you say "who serve the Lord faithfully, not resenting the call of God upon their lives." are you implying that a woman cannot serve God or follow His call outside of the home?

thanks for clarifying,

Ju Blaine

Zach,

Please read carefully, no one said that "God declares that the only work of women is to take care of a family." Nevertheless, if you are curious about whether the Bible suggests that the home is the normal place for where women would work, read Titus 2:1-5, and note that older women are to teach younger women to be homemakers, among other things.

As for women being the "weaker sex", this is a reference to 1st Peter 3:7:

"Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered."

It is disappointing to me that your education has left you without such basic teachings. Feel free to come to my office (Mills 374) if you have more questions.

Zach and Ju--

I Peter 3:7

Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

Titus 2:3-5

The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

Well said, gracious host. I daily find opportunities to encourage my sweet wife in this, and (alas!) it's not necessarily because I'm trying--they just come up.

(and Zach....you're reading into the text...what you claim is simply not said)

Ju,

I don't quite understand what restriction you are trying to apply to the "weaker vessel" passage, or how it pertains to Tim's post.

You also ask if Tim is "implying that a woman cannot serve God or follow His call outside of the home?" This is silly. This post was clearly intended to encourage women in the noble, unseen, and thankless work of the home, not for the purpose of establishing exactly what sort of work is permissible for a woman.

I also welcome you to come to my office if you want to discuss these things further.

I sort of feel bad for these clearly-overmatched Covenant College students who think they're making earth-shattering counter"arguments" but are only embarrassing themsleves.

Thank you, Professor Wilson, for your comments.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by the "weaker sex" because the paragraph is talking in the context of emotional and spiritual issues, not physical ones.

Ju -- are you implying women are emotionally and spiritually weak? Are you trying to assert that women are as physically strong as men?

Thanks for clarifying,

Michael

*themselves

It seems that I always make a heinous misspelling or grammatical error while poking fun at others' intellectual shortcomings on the internet. There's a lesson in there somewhere.

There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about what Paul means when he calls women the weaker vessel. 1 Peter 1:7 is addressed specifically to husbands and he is commanding them to bear the heavier spiritual and emotional burden. Just as not all men are taller and stronger than all women--but most are--so all men are not naturally stronger in spiritual and emotional matters than all women. That is why Paul has to command them to buck up and bear the heavier burden.

I don't think as many egalitarians and feminists would take offense at this text if they understand what Paul is getting at (in this particular text, there are plenty of others that are offensive in their true understanding.)

I can't think of when I've heard many women, feminist or not, complaining about their husbands taking on too many of life's burdens for them. Mostly, they are complaining that about the opposite.

Trying to explain to someone about the differences in the sexes who refuses to see is like sitting at the foot of the grand canyon next to someone who doesn't see anything spectacular. There's not a whole lot you can say to add to what's right in front of your face.

This is what I feel like I'm up against when someone acts incredulous at a statement like "women are the weaker vessel." I feel like I'm trying to explain to an alien from outer space what earthlings are like, someone who's never met humans before.

"You see the women tend to be drawn to the softer, more refined things of life. Their heart strings tug more readily at the cry of a tiny child, they like to make the house smell nice with candles and flowers, they like to lie on the grass and stare at the clouds with a toddler, and give each one a name."

"The men love their children too but they want to provide for and protect their children. They are not as sensitive with little scraped knees, but at the same time they are not as easily alarmed, are more steady and stable emotionally. Therefore, they carry the stronger load for the family."

"But, but, but..." says the feminist, "I once knew a husband who tenderly bandaged his kid's knee while the wife scorned him...and, and, and I once knew a woman who never cared a bit for flowers or lace or anything pretty but her husband was an interior decorator..." The exceptions are what prove the rule. Otherwise, why would we pause and go, something is really messed up there.

If you turn a blind eye to the beauty and wonder of the complexity of how God has created the sexes, there's just not a whole lot anyone can say. The truth is so plain.

Leslie,

I know what you mean and I agree. The generalizations break down sometimes but that doesn't take away from the general truth.

However the crucial point is this, men and women are ordained to take these roles so, regardless of who's weaker, God will make our work in our roles effective if we confess and obey. Our obedience to God is based on His word, not who we think is stronger.

Too many men and women do this sad dance, or even headlong dive into disobedience and lack of faith. The woman will say, "I had to take care of things because my husband wasn't leading my family" the husband will say, "I couldn't lead my family because my wife is smarter than I am anyway." It's incredible to me how many times I can have this conversation with the couples I know who do this. Then you also get the men who appear to be leading their families but they defer to their wife on everything - it's not just asking for help from the greatest of biblical helpers, wife, but a man asking permission, approval because they're afraid to make a decision on their own.

In my experience women who claim that women are not necessarily weaker than men have been let down by the men in their life and men who claim the same are men who are somehow afraid to lead or similarly let down.

It all comes down to one thing. Do we trust that our Heavenly Father has created man and women to do what He's commanded? Or when we as men fail, do we give over leadership to our wives because they seem to do it better anyway, and/or do women take over the reigns at the slightest bit of trouble and then justify their behavior as being necessary for the good of her family. After all, who's family is it anyway? It belongs to neither husband or wife.

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