Abdicating fathers, working mothers, and children raised in litters...

Under this post appears the following comment from Drew, a PCA pastor. Click through to the second page for my responses. (I've made some significant additions since first posting it.)

(TB)

* * *

Drew writes: So I'm new to this blog and confused. What is the problem with positive job prospects for women? And competition for men? Is it unbiblical for women to work? For men to share in staying at home and raising children? Aren't jobs outside of the home the result of a post-industrial revolution economy? Does the Bible really address this topic directly? If it does, isn't the woman in Proverbs 31 at least sharing in shouldering the household's economic burden? Doesn't it look like she is working outside the home?

Bottom line, how do we know that YOU haven't just adopted the unbiblical attitude towards gender roles that developed during the course of the 1800s, and that what we are experiencing in the workplace today is actually one positive aspect of our contemporary culture? [not everything is doom and gloom after all...just a lot of things]

I'm not trying to poke your eyes, these are honest questions offered in the spirit of furthering the conversation...

>>So I'm new to this blog...

Welcome.

>>and confused...

It's unusual for anyone today to oppose the demon of feminism, especially on the basis that it is always a rebellion against God's Creation Order of Adam first, then Eve. So yes, in our wicked day, many of the posts on this blog will seem foolish. But persevere; God is true though all men are liars.

>>What is the problem with positive job prospects for women?

Positive job prospects for woman are great as long as they do not come at the expense of the family wage. We don't want to trade the family wage for both father and mother having to work away from their children, requiring them to place their little ones under others' authority in flocks rather than onesies and twosies (as God ordained them to be under their own natural sovereigns). Some wag observed that if God wanted children to be raised in day care, he would have had mothers give birth to litters.

>>And competition for men?

The issue isn't competition for men; you'll find almost all masculine men love competition. The issue, rather, is competition with the family wage whereby we trade in one specialist (the father) working hard at his roofing and getting a family wage so he alone can support one generalist (the mother) working hard at feeding, guarding, cleaning, and introducing their children to the world for something infinitely less--namely, both father and mother working at two specialties so they can afford to pay someone unrelated to them to feed, guard, clean, and introduce gaggles, herds, and litters of children (including their own) to the world.

>>Is it unbiblical for women to work?

Although I've known a number of lazy men, I don't think I've ever known a woman of working age who didn't work. So I'm not sure what alternative there is to women working that makes you ask this question? Are you poking fun at me?

Maybe what you meant to ask is whether it's unbiblical for women to work outside the home?

If so, my answer is that the world is filled with women who don't want to have to give themselves to the ceaseless and hidden and often unappreciated work of the home and thus have left the home for the fairer and cleaner and prouder and public and sexy and highly-remunerated world of work outside the home. Any mother perfectly understands this choice made by most women today. It's like the choice of the Marine grunt who's offered the chance to become a chaplain, leaving bloodshed behind for ceremonies in air conditioned chapels. But of course, some grunts would decline the offer, thinking it dishonorable to leave their brothers in arms behind while they live lives of ease.

We're not talking about single women, here. Nor married women whose husbands have died or are disabled. Such tragedies happen and it's honorable for such mothers to take the place of their husbands in providing for their children. Nor are we talking about wives and mothers who run the schools their children attend or buy and sell real estate to supplement their husband's wages.

But all things being equal, godly wives who are mothers or grandmothers will always make the home their first priority, recognizing that the betrayal of the home for high heels, suits, nice cars, career security, exotic vacations, and sexy business trips is neither sanctifying nor does it stabilize marriages, homes, and children.

Also, keep in mind that Titus 2:5 commands that older women teach younger women to be "keepers at home" or "domestic" or "workers at home." So this command of God must always be renewed to each generation of women.

>>For men to share in staying at home and raising children?

All the men I've known share in staying home and raising children. Or, I should say, most of the men I've known--admittedly there have been a few who are alley cats and spend their nights and weekends looking for strange flesh or off playing with the boys.

But maybe what you meant to ask is whether women should focus on the home in a way distinct from men? If so, yes. See the Scripture command above found in Titus 2:5.

>>Aren't jobs outside of the home the result of a post-industrial revolution economy?

Many aspects of work and family life today are the result of this and that social change, to be sure, but the bifurcation of the responsibilities primarily borne by the male or the female sex has always been the natural outworking of God's creation--most particularly physique and body parts like the womb and breasts. It's no shame to embrace one's sexuality and to work hard to build one's entire life on it. This pleases God Who, Himself, made us man and woman.

>>Does the Bible really address this topic directly?

Yes, see above. Also, read the Bible--the myriad specific commands concerning the meaning and purpose of sex that are everywhere in its pages.

>>...isn't the woman in Proverbs 31 at least sharing in shouldering the household's economic burden?

Yes, who would think differently? Every wife and mother I know shares at least equally with her husband the burden of the financial needs of their household.

>>Doesn't it look like she is working outside the home?

Of course the Proverbs 31 woman worked outside the home. In fact, unless she's paralyzed, I can't imagine any wife or mother not working outside the home. The question is priorities--not physical location.

>>Bottom line, how do we know that YOU haven't just adopted the unbiblical attitude towards gender roles that developed during the course of the 1800s...

Women devoting themselves to bearing and raising children, and keeping a household, is a universal in the life of man and it's the natural result of God's Creation Order, His commands, and His gift to man and woman of certain body parts.

>>...not everything is doom and gloom after all...

You're right. Biblical husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters--in other words, Biblical sexuality--is beautiful and blessed and glorious.

>>...these are honest questions offered in the spirit of furthering the conversation...

As pastors, my brother and I write here to teach God's Word and Truth--not to have a conversation about it. Thank you for your questions.

Under His Word,

Tim Bayly

Comments

A blog is by nature a conversation piece, not an opportunity to speak ex cathedra. I think you may have a genre confusion...

...At any rate, the Word of God does not say the things that you are saying. The things you are saying are your INTERPRETATION of the Word of God, and, brother, your interpretation is quite fallible.

You are entitled to your interpretation, just as the weaker brother in Romans 14:2 has a conscience that only entitles him to eat vegetables.

But Titus 2:5 cannot bear the weight that you want it to. Since when does "be busy at home" necessarily mean "only be busy at home?"

Do you really believe that the Bible CLEARLY teaches that the responsibility to financially support the family MUST belong to the man and not the woman? Where????

If you could point to any confession or creed which holds up your interpretation as that of the church I would consider changing my tune.

Until then I will continue to believe that your interpretation is pretty sketchy.

You should also be sure to inform your readers that your views are not universally held by PCA pastors, not this one anyway.

Dear Drew,

Our views on these issues are known by our sessions, people and prebyteries. Are yours? Have you made your session aware of your belief expressed here, that there is no Biblical justification for calling on fathers, rather than mothers, to support their families financially? And your congregation, your senior pastor, your presbytery?

Sincerely in Christ,

David

Dear Drew,

Across history, no church father, whether Roman Catholic or Protestant, would deny the father's calling to provide and protect and the mother's calling to childbearing and the home. Husbands love their wives and children by providing for and protecting them while wives submit to their husbands and bear and raise children--this is the ho-hum stuff of Christian godliness.

"A widow is to be put on the list only if she is not less than sixty years old, having been the wife of one man, having a reputation for good works; and if she has brought up children, if she has shown hospitality to strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has assisted those in distress, and if she has devoted herself to every good work. But refuse to put younger widows on the list, for when they feel sensual desires in disregard of Christ, they want to get married, thus incurring condemnation, because they have set aside their previous pledge. At the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention. Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach; for some have already turned aside to follow Satan" (1Timothy 5:9-15).

On which John Calvin comments:

"Paul does not here condemn barrenness, but the daintiness of mothers, who, by refusing to endure the weariness of bringing up their children, sufficiently shew that they will be very unkind to strangers. And at the same time he holds out this as an honorable reward to godly matrons, who have not spared themselves, that they, in their turn, shall be received into the bosom of the Church in their old age... Nothing is more becoming in women than keeping the house; and hence, among the ancients, a tortoise was the image of a good and respectable mother of a family. But there are many who are diseased with the opposite vice. Nothing delights them more than the liberty of running from one place to another, and especially when, being freed from the burden of a family, they have nothing to do at home" (Calvin on 1Timothy 5:9 &ff.).

And again, Calvin comments on Titus 2:4:

"In short, (the Apostle Paul) wishes women to be restrained, by conjugal love and affection for their children, from giving themselves up to licentious attachments, he wishes them to rule their own house in a sober and orderly manner, forbids them to wander about in public places, bids them be chaste, and at the same time modest, so as to be subject to the dominion of their husbands; for those who excel in other virtues sometimes take occasion from them to act haughtily, so as to be disobedient to their husbands" (Calvin on Titus 2:4).

>>Since when does "be busy at home" necessarily mean "only be busy at home?"

You aren't reading what I've written, Drew. I clearly commended women working outside the home, indicating it's not a question of location so much as her priorities. God's Word commands woman to "be domestic." It doesn't command her never to leave her house.

And yes, of course she will help with the financial needs of the home. I said that already in my earlier response.

If you believe that it's contrary to the Word of God for men to provide for and protect their wives and children, and women to bear and raise children, being domestic, you should resign your office and go into a line of work where your repudiation of Biblical sexuality will not lead Christ's little ones astray.

Sincerely,

Tim Bayly

I was puzzled about how speaking the known words of God qualifies as attempting Popery/ex cathedra myself, and how exactly working outside the home in the corporate ladder qualifies as "keepers at home," or parallels Proverbs 31--unless, regarding the latter, we can assume that Mrs. Solomon, or Solomon's mother, or whoever it was was making trips out of country to sell the belts and such that she made.

Knowing the difficulty of travel in that day, I'm having trouble going there. I'm thinking that I'm finding limits to how much wiggle room the Scriptures grants us.

Like this post

It is painful that this issue even needs to be brought up by those who love the Lord.

This is sort of related issue, but how should young girls be raised and educated, to be a good worker or to be a good wife? I know of many families who are thrilled that their daughters are excelling in education. One is in grade school, but is headed for big things, like being a vet. Another is at the Air Force Academy. Both would have to give up their careers if they were to care for their homes, but they aren't trained for that nor is there modeling in the home. Neither is/was raised to encourage wifeliness (is that a word?). And I get the feeling that sons are being raised with a narrowness too. Hard to explain, but most are being funneled into higher ed when maybe they shouldn't be there.

By the way, I am a PCA pastor and I embrace and endorse the views of the Bayly brothers in this post, believing them to be the only reasonable interpretation of the many plain-as-the-nose-on-your-face passages in the Bible which deal with woman, wife, mother, home, children, and yes, even Deborah.

BTW, and along the same lines, when I read the piece about little girls being selected for murder in the womb in India, I told my (PCA) congregation that I am afraid this shocks Americans for all the wrong reasons. While we ought to love every baby because he or she is made in God's image, the reason American families get indignant with cultures like India is because we are "enlightened" enough to know that you can raise a girl to be a man. In other words, we love the girl but hate womanhood. We embrace the female easily but only because we know she doesn't have to be a woman.

"We embrace the female easily but only because we know she doesn't have to be a woman."

Excellent observation!

Thank you David and Tim

"We embrace the female easily but only because we know she doesn't have to be a woman."

Boy, did you hit the nail on the head. Here's an extreme example from the front page of today's Drudge report.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2004685/Chaz-Bono-readjusts-pit-stop-petrol-station.html

Also note the female military general's picture on another Drudge story (you'd never guess it was a woman if the article didn't tell you).

So much perversion can be traced to the evil caused by feminism on the part of women and abdication on the part of men. God help us!

Blessings,
Nancy

very helpful and excellent post, thankyou.

Tim,

I appreciate so much of what you said! More people need to take a stand for what it really means for women to be women. Thank you!

In your post and comments, perhaps you mean this and it just didn't come across this way, but when you say you applaud women for working outside the home in what capacity are you speaking?

I'd like to see a distinction made between working apart from the location of the home, while only working under her husband's authority and being a career woman. Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:22 or Colossians 3:18 that a woman is to submit to her own husband. This meaning she could not work in any context in which she is under the authority of another man. I see this as the difference between running a home based business whether it be something like Mary Kay or a blog or Pampered Chef as opposed to something like working at a Wal-Mart, teaching at a school, or working at a doctor's office or any other place which would put her under the authority of any man not her husband. Even the Proverbs 31 woman saw a field, bought it, worked it and sold the goods from it, but it was all while under the authority of her own husband.

Karen:

I'm not trying to answer your question in any way, but when you say, '...working at a doctor's office or any place which would put her under the authority of a man not her husband's, would you consider that type of work differently if the teacher's principal, the Wal-Mart's retail worker's supervisor, or the doctor the medical assistant worked for was a woman? These days, ISTM, that you are talking about a woman working in a very traditionally male field, it is just as likely that a woman would under a woman's authority than a man's.

--Sue

Oops, I meant to say. "...ISTM, that unless, you are talking about a woman working in a very..."

Sue,

I think you would find that in almost any traditional job where the woman is required to work under someone else's authority, somewhere in that authority structure you will find men to whom she will be required to answer. This could be at Wal-Mart, somewhere up the food chain, she would have to answer to a man. At a doctor's office, more than likely she would have to answer to a man in some capacity. In a school, somewhere in that she would have to answer in some form or fashion to a man even if it is not her immediate boss. God intended for us women to keep our homes and work as our own husband's completer -- to further his job, not another man's job or business i.e. A woman working at Wal-Mart is furthering Sam Walton's business -- not her own husbands.

It's not at all popular even, or should I say especially, among evangelicals, but it doesn't make it any less Biblical.

Karen,

Do I understand you to say that my wife isn't functioning "under my authority" if she works for my fellow elder - the pediatrician - as his employee? Or, if she keeps books for the local accountant? Or if she teaches children at the local Christian school? Even if I've asked her to?

All of these vocations are off-limits to the Christian woman because she is has, in effect, a subordinate (lesser) authority to mine to which she ALSO submits, but never at the expense of mine? For example, if my doctor-friend asked her to come to work on Saturday, she could respectfully decline, if she/we decided that she shouldn't work. Or, if the accountant asks her to "cook the books" and she/we say, "No?" Or, if the Christian school asks her to teach the kids that the universe is billions of years old? In each case, her authority and mine clearly trumps her employers'.

Sounds like more of the Doug Phillips' nonsense that turns family into a little Christianized harem for the benefit of the ol' man.

>Sounds like more of the Doug Phillips' nonsense that turns family into a little Christianized harem for the benefit of the ol' man.

Which in turn sounds like a man who's afraid to accept the repsonsiblity which is placed on his shoulders. Remember, you can give away your God given authority but not your God given responsibility.

I have wrestled with the idea of there even being ANY grounds for a woman to spend significant working or (church) ministry time outside of her family duties and I just can't make it work and here's partly why: there's too much work at home to be done to allow for it. There are exceptions, no doubt, but if you are married and have at least one child, not to mention several, there is always a need for your presence. When they are young there is training and discipline, teaching of the academic sort, cleaning and feeding and caring and loving and enjoying and all the other myriad things that go along with raising a child. When they are older, as young people, there is still all of the above (minus cleaning them, assuming they clean and groom themselves), more teaching and guiding, much more conversation and instruction toward adulthood, and all the needful joys of fellowship and engagement that young people need as they learn mature ways of interacting with others. When they become "adults", in the social sense (that magical age of 18), the mothering role increases further, especially with the young women, in continued training for their future families and homes, navigating through friendships, spiritual maturity, how to best serve those around them, the proper role of outside work for pay as a single young woman, encouraging fellowship and service in the local church and community, entertaining, and on and on. I'm not saying that I am indispensible or that I NEED to be the 24/7 mother presence in my children's lives--I just know that when too much of my time is spent on other things, even good things, home stuff and the people there begin to fray at the edges and I can see the effects of my absence, whether absent in body or spirit.

There are seasons, projects, times of outside-of-the-home busyness that come and go and we always prepare to engage knowing discomfort is a part of it, but it cannot be a way of life if we, as mothers, are going to be able to consistently and effectively teach and train our children in the ways of the Lord. Our gadgets and efficiency should give us more time to do our real work better, and not to carve out a place for other temporal things like pay jobs, excessive "ministry" (church work that can't be done with your family), hobbies, and other time eaters.

In addition, one of the greater dangers is that the heart of a woman is directly connected to those she serves, whether that be the folks at the office, the manager she reports to, or the ministry leader that she helps out, especially if she cares at all about the people her job affects, and especially if she is getting lots of accolades from those for whom she works. Once you have become another man's (or woman's or business's or ministry's) "helpmeet", there is very little motivation or energy left to give to the one whom you were initially designed for: your husband.

Please correct my misunderstandings here! This has been on my short list for a long time. I don't know if it's all the interest in a female president the last few years, or seeing the older generation let go of mothering/grandmothering/homemaking and me realizing that it was never a biblical conviction as much as it was one more family tradition, or maybe it's all the young girls growing up, going to college, marrying, and trying to figure out STILL how to do it all. Is it really that hard just to suck it up and give up the workplace and/or heavy volunteer ministry for a short span of time in order to avoid the risk of neglecting such clear responsibilities to our husband and children? And I haven't even touched on the areas that I constantly neglect: that of the the widows, the poor and needy around me, my parents, mother-in-law, grandparents, and reaching out to the lost neighbors next door. Who has TIME to work with all of this?!?

I would be grateful for any comments toward a fuller understanding of how this might play out according to God's Word.

Sandy

"Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:22 or Colossians 3:18 that a woman is to submit to her own husband. This meaning she could not work in any context in which she is under the authority of another man."

Dear Karen,

You are reading into the text too far. This is not what the text means. Paul is not addressing wives who are submitting to other people's husbands instead of their own. He is simply saying to "be subject to your husbands." The word "own" doesn't change that meaning. If your "Biblical" understanding of whether or not a woman should work for another man who is not her husband comes from these Scriptures, your argument falls apart.

Additionally, what you are implying is that women should only be taught or be led by their own husbands because ONLY THEY have authority over their wives.
This implies that women who are married are not to submit to elders, pastors, and deacons (who are not their husbands) because they are not the head of the wife. Your view, applied consistently, doesn't hold up.

You probably agree (I hope) that a wife should submit to the church leaders. Maybe you don't.

What if her husband is not a Christian? Should she still submit to her husband? The Biblical answer is yes, as long as it is godly and he is not leading her into sin. There is nothing wrong with "answering" (submitting) to another male authority. The Bible is not saying that she must never work for or submit to anyone else other than her husband. I don't know where you could find such a thing is Scripture.

I found this quote on another website that seems to express your view:

"Notice the Bible says, 'their own husbands.' A woman is under no obligation whatsoever to submit to ANY MAN except her husband. There is nothing in the Bible which teaches that a woman is to submit to her pastor or any other man besides her husband. Some foolish women have been brainwashed into believing that they were supposed to submit to their pastor more than their own husband, this is sinful. You obey your own husband, no one else! There are plenty of religious men out there who will take advantage of weak-minded women. You and your husband are ONE in God's eyes, don't ever forget that. Let your strength be your love and loyalty to your husband."

So, in summary, neither the church authorities or the civil authorities matter according to this and your perspective, only the husband can have authority over the wife.

But God has ordained all authority, of which the husband in marriage is only one part.

I am not a prophet nor a son of a prophet, but I predict that sooner or later Pastor Drew will have to face a contingent of his congregation who will clamor for female ordination and, upon his objections with citations of scriptural references, will declare--

"... the Word of God does not say the things that you are saying. The things you are saying are your INTERPRETATION of the Word of God, and, brother, your interpretation is quite fallible.

You are entitled to your interpretation, just as the weaker brother in Romans 14:2 has a conscience that only entitles him to eat vegetables.

But cannot bear the weight that you want it to..."

Pastor Drew's pupils are not above their teacher.

Dear Karen,

Philip has done a good job responding as I would have. Every man or woman who has ever lived has been under multiple authorities and has had to work out competing claims of jurisdiction. The Lord's Supper doesn't come to a wife from her husband's hand, but from the hands of the pastor and elders. Similarly, the authority of a child's father and mother isn't subverted when that child receives an order from a policeman to pull over, and he obeys that order. Judges and presidents are disciplined by elders who are subject to the state authority of the one they are disciplining. And so on.

There may be good and even necessary reasons why some wives choose not to work in an hourly or salaried position where they are under the authority of men or women not their husbands, but those reasons do not include the necessity of authority being monolithic.

Love,

>> The things you are saying are your INTERPRETATION of the Word of God, and, brother, your interpretation is quite fallible.

Surely we wouldn't speak this way in general, right?

Are there no truths that we must hold fast to, and command and teach, and speak and exhort and reprove with all authority, letting no one disregard us? That though someone may say, "The things you are saying are your INTERPRETATION of the Word of God, and, brother, your interpretation is quite fallible" they would be wrong?

Pastor Drew must be arguing that about the subject of this post in particular, the Holy Spirit hasn't been specific and *on that basis* we cannot be dogmatic.

Otherwise, how could any man faithfully guard the good deposit? How could he even know what the deposit is, or what "good" is?

How could there be any such thing as a faithful pastor?

>>But Titus 2:5 cannot bear the weight that you want it to.

A reply to Drew on exegetical basis:

1) Titus 2:5
As has already been mentioned, this verse gives women a special emphasis on domesticity that is not given to a man. As a previous commentator has pointed out, how can wives fulfil being ‘busy at home’ (NIV ’84) or ‘workers at home' (NASB/ESV) if they are career women who are mostly away from home? This is an instruction given to the woman in distinction from the man.

That one verse alone is enough, and the implications for the man's role are clear. But there is more.

2) Proverbs 31
This sets forth as a model the home-orientated wife, a hard-working woman who cares for the needs of her home. She ‘rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household’ (vs15), she ensures her household are clothed (vs 21-22), she ‘looks well to the ways of her household’ (vs27). To be sure she is also engaged in work outside the home (such as buying a field - vs16) but it is work for the benefit of the home and is not at the expense of keeping her home. There is a diligent homeward focus for the Proverbs 31 woman that contrasts with the ‘wayward’ woman whose ‘feet do not stay at home’ (Prov 7:11). This ties in well with Titus 2:5.

3) 1Timothy 2:15:
‘Yet she will be saved through childbearing – if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.’ This verse highlights the importance of women being faithful to their role of motherhood (childbearing is here a synecdoche for the broader role of having children and raising them – see p297 in Kostenberger’s article here: http://www.cbmw.org/images/articles_pdf/kostenberger_andreas/ascertainingwomensroles.pdf
Thus the division of labour is a matter of necessity. If women are faithful in childbearing and child-raising then necessarily they will primarily work at home and the man will have to take primary responsibility to provide.

4) 1 Timothy 5:14:
‘So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households…’. This also reveals the Apostle’s expected distinct call to wives – childrearing and managing the home.

5) 1 Timothy 5:10
A widow is commended ‘…if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality…’. This again reveals part of the Apostle’s view of a wife’s role, and it obviously has implications for working outside the home.

6) Exodus 21:10:
‘If he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, or her marital rights.’ As Kostenberger comments on p30 of ‘God Marriage and Family’: ‘According to this passage, the husband’s obligations toward his wife… are delineated as involving the provision of food, clothing, and marital rights respectively.’ As Ruth 1:9 says: ‘The Lord grant that you may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband!’

7) Headship in Ephesians 5 and Colossians 2.
A natural out-working of the husband’s headship requires that he take primary responsibility to provide for his family. This is the pattern described in Ephesians 5, where husbands as the head are to ‘nourish’ their wives (which indicates a distinct posture of the man toward the woman – one of providing for her) ‘as Christ does the church’. This is repeated in Colossians 2:19: ‘…holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together…’

8) Note the curse in Gen 3, it reveals role differentiation between husband and wife even back then.

The man is cursed in his going out to work: ‘cursed is the ground because of you… thorns and thistles is shall bring forth for you… by the sweat of your face you shall eat bread…’ (Gen 3:17-19).
Conversely, the woman is cursed in her role as child-bearer and mother: ‘I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children’ (Gen 3:16).

The curse thus reveals existing divisions of labour.

Note also the order in Genesis 2:15, at first: ‘The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.’ Then later Eve is brought along as a ‘helper suitable for him’ in his already existing calling to work and keep the land, not vica versa. This pattern concords well with the man bearing primary work load outside the home, with his wife assisting him to fulfil his calling. The converse appears to strain this pattern.

Conclusion

Should the ‘weaker vessel’ provide for the stronger? Should the ‘head’ of the home depend on his wife to provide for the family? Even pagan men feel emasculated at this pattern. Proverbs 12:4 says: ‘An excellent wife is the crown of her husband’ not ‘an excellent husband is the crown of his wife’. The shows the patriocentrism that exists in the biblical marriage pattern. I think a natural outworking of this is that most men would feel that is subverted if they are stay-at-home dads while the wife goes out to provide the family.

As Kostenberger says: ‘where many are seeking to ‘liberate’ women from all encumbrances of family responsibilities in order to unleash them on a quest for self-fulfillment apart from such functions… it is precisely by participating in her role pertaining to the family that women fulfil their central calling.’ (p109 GMF).

also a few more:

9) 1Timothy 5:3-16. As Grudem notes on these verses (p44 EFBT): ‘widows, not widowers, are to be supported by the church.’

10) Isaiah 4:1: ‘And seven women shall take hold of one man in that day, saying, “We will eat our own bread and wear our own clothes, only let us be called by your name; take away our reproach.” Grudem notes the ‘shame at the tragic undoing of the normal order’ (p44 EFBT).

11) Deuteronomy 10:18: ‘He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing.’ Note that those without fathers and husbands are singled out as ones in need, as Piper notes: ‘when the natural protector and provider is not there God steps in to take his place for the orphan and widow.’ (What’s The Difference, p86-87). (Note also Jeremiah 31:32: ‘…my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord.’ Piper asks: ‘“How was he their husband?” The context suggests that he was their husband in giving them protection at the sea and the provision in the wilderness.’ (What’s The Difference, p87).

I read in the New York Times today of a short essay by a manager in a construction field who did a stint in China. His wife remained in the USA because her job couldn't be done from China, and the man was pleased that he could make trips back home to visit her. And with that my heart was grieved because there was nothing right with this picture.

Meanwhile, Al Gore has come out with a new position on climate change, that we need to reduce world population, and the best way to do that is through educating women. My spin on that is that the more education a woman has, the more she doesn't need a man in her life, which leads to fewer children. New evil, same as the old evil.

Some food for thought about women working outside the home: "And his daughter was Sheerah, who BUILT lower and upper Beth-horon, and Uzzen-sheerah." 1 Chronicles 7:24 

From Acts Chapter 8:

Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert. So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.”

There's more, but at no point during the encounter does Philip ever command the eunuch to quit his job working under the authority of a woman. Therefore, there is no biblical basis for saying women cannot be in positions of authority over men in a workplace.

Dear Veronica,

Taking care of our own responsibilities does not endorse the sins of those above us. God gives examples of this type of thing through John the Baptist:

And some tax collectors also came to be baptized, and they said to [John the Baptist], "Teacher, what shall we do?" And he said to them, "Collect no more than what you have been ordered to." - Luke 3:12-13

The ancient Roman tax system was not just, yet the God-fearing tax collectors' duty was to do right in their place, not leave the system.

Similarly with the soldiers:

Some soldiers were questioning him, saying, "And what about us, what shall we do?" And he said to them, "Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely, and be content with your wages." - Luke 3:14

Surely the Roman army wasn't a bastion of righteousness, yet it was not the soldiers' duty to leave the army, but to do right in their place.

In the same way, a man who works under a woman is not faced with a dilemma where he must either quit or be endorsing wrong decisions by his superior. His duty is simply to perform his work faithfully and in the fear of God.

Logically, if a woman is sinning by having authority over a man, the man is equally sinning by submitting to her authority (assuming voluntary employment where he has a choice in the matter). 

Dear Veronica,

Are you willing to interact with the Scriptures I have cited just above?

Imagine how this would fly: "In the same way, a man who worships under a woman pastor is not faced with a dilemma where he must either quit his church or be endorsing a woman pastor. His duty is simply to worship faithfully and in the fear of God."

Kevin,
I think there is a difference between the wrong choices made by people out in the world who are ignorant of God's commands or at least make no claim to be following them, and rebellion against God's Word by those who should be our fathers in the faith in the church.

If there is not a difference, wouldn't it also be our duty to move out of a city when a woman mayor is elected, or out of the country when a woman president or prime minister is elected or a queen accedes to the throne? I think the situation is analogous to 1 Cor 5:9-10.

Love,

Add new comment