Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Royal Council :: Homemaker vs. Businesswoman

As I was browsing my inbox, one afternoon a few weeks ago, I noted with delight, that I had received and email from dear Bethany Ann. Upon opening it, I found that it contained a forwarded message which she had received concerning our blog.

     It was from a young woman who was seeking answers to some big questions :: Where exactly do we stand on being a Homemaker and a Help-meet, rather then a businesswoman. Why can't you lead others to the Lord and work at the same time? So many Christian woman are not homemakers, do we look down upon them? Why is it so important to persuade others to our point of view? 

~*~

     Well, after giving this some thought, we were inspired to make this our Royal Council question of the month. We pray that as you read the answers below, your convictions will be strengthened, and you will desire to be that home-maker, and help-meet that, we believe, your were designed to be.

Bethany Ann ::

     The topic of women staying at home and being homemakers instead of a business woman is hardly heard of anymore. Sadly, most women think that in order to "be someone important" and to have a "successful life" they must have a career and high-paying job so that they can buy anything they want and thus be happy. However from God's Biblical standpoint in order for women to truly be successful and someone important they need not go farther than there front door. I am not saying that women shouldn't minster and serve outside the home, however I am saying that joyfully serving inside the home, is what God has called each woman to do. He has created each one for that purpose.

     From the very beginning when God created Eve, we see in Genesis 2:18 that: The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” So women were created to be the males helper. So our "job" is to serve and love our husband, to be self-controlled and pure, and to be busy at home according to Titus 2:3-4: Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children.

     I have often been asked what I would like to do with my life and what I desire to be once I'm older. When I reply that I want to be a stay-at-home mom and a homemaker, people look at me like I'm crazy! They probably think that I am wasting my years away and they feel bad for me since I desire to take a role that they would not want to take themselves. The same thing goes with the "college question". People ask what things I would like to further study in college and when I tell them that instead of choosing to go to college, I desire to do online courses (if any at all) and use those years preparing for the years of marriage, motherhood and homemaking ahead. It makes since that people go to college to study and pursue things they need for their job. If you want to be a lawyer you study law. If you want to be a doctor then you study medicine. If you want to be a teacher you study how to teach children. So it's only common knowledge that since I desire to be a homemaker, wife and mother that I use those years to "pursue" and grow my knowledge of that subject for it is what I will use most. Since I desire to be a wife and mother I don't need a college degree for that role. However I do need to know how to cook and clean and take care of children so I must use my time "studying" this and growing my knowledge of it.

     "So why would you want to be at home all day and change a bunch of dirty diapers?" you may ask. Well despite what others may say, being a wife and mother is the most fulfilling and wonderful thing that a woman can do with her time. It not only teaches patience but also self-control, love, kindness, and it teaches to put others first in everything. It is humbling but rewarding. How do I know? I see it in my mother. She truly enjoys being at home with us children, and schooling us, and I can tell that she wouldn't want to be anywhere else than with us reading a good book or making a meal together. She has often told me that while you can hire a housekeeper to clean your home, she will not take care of it as you would. You can put your kids in day care and school but the teachers will not love them as you would because God had only given you that love for your own little ones.

     I have often thought of how it is the mother who truly transforms a house into a home. For what would our homes be without our mothers? They put so much care and attention to keeping it in good condition and this is what truly makes it a safe haven for us. I am so excited about the future and desire to allow the Lord to lead me in the way He chooses. For those of you who have also chosen this faith "against the flow" I want to encourage you to not give up! It can be discouraging when we seem to be the only one who is trying to follow the Lord's  instruction for life instead of the world's. But spend this time preparing!  Learn to cook, clean, sew, watch over children, care for others, make a house a home, grow a garden, take care of the sick, make things, etc so that you will be ready when that time comes when you will need them. 1 Corinthians 7:34 tells us that: An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. We need to use these years of youth preparing and growing closer to Christ because once we are married {if it is the Lord's will for us} then we won't have as much free time to study the Scriptures or hide verses in our hearts as we once did in the time of carefree daughterhood.

   In answer to the questions concerning homemaking that we received: Why can't you lead others to the Lord and work at the same time? While you can lead others to Christ through business work, our calling is in the home and we must put our family first. When women go off and have a job, there family is suffering. There is not longer someone to make the meals and thus they eat a frozen diner alone. There is no one to clean the house and keep everything in order so life gets hectic. So instead of trying to focus on serving outside the home let us focus on serving and leading our family to Christ inside the home.

So many Christian woman are not homemakers, do we look down upon them? Absolutely not. I purpose to never look down on anyone just because we don't have the same beliefs. God loves us all the same. While I am sad that these women do know the true joy of being in God's will and in the place they were designed for I try and be an example of what that true joy is like. We have all done things that are unworthy thus separating ourselves from God. In God's eyes each sin no matter it's "worldly value" {ex: murder is the worst sin but lying is not so bad and acceptable} it's all the same to God. Just one sin separates us from Him so I am as guilty as anyone else and thus should not compare myself with others.

May God bless you on this journey!
Love in Christ Jesus,
Bethany Ann

Johanna Rose ::

     This topic is one that I feel very strongly about, and yet, I find that I am often times in the minority. Often times, when I am around other young women, I find that their dreams and visions for the future are much, much different from mine.....
  • While their goal is to go across the country to a Christian collage, where they plan to get a degree, -- my goal is to do collage online, at home, and in addition, work on the skills that will be invaluable during my marriage, and will fit the purpose of making my house a home.
  • While their goal would be to get a job before marriage, -- my goal would be to help my father in any ways I can, so that I may perfect those skills which will be so perfect for the years of service to my Husband.
  • While they have a vision of being a successful businesswoman, and making a difference in this world, -- I have a vision of coming alongside my husband, and helping him in the ways he needs me most. {Proverbs 22:6}
  • And, while they have a vision of serving God wherever their work may be, -- I have a vision of serving God within my home -- the place He called me to be. 
Each of the above visions are stages in our life. They are stages which we all will face -- stages you will face. And that is why it is so important to have a clear vision of what your are going to be doing now. But, often times, I see that girls are confused as to the answers of these questions. So many times, it is hard to tell which way is best.

Luckily, there is one answer to that last question, which will always lead us in the way we should go :: Look unto the Scriptures, for God's purpose for our lives is always best. Let's look at each set of goals above individually, and see what the Word of God has to say....

I find that when I am with a group of friends, and the conversation topic is turned to "my future", one question tends to always come up "So where are you going to collage???" *sigh* I can not count how many times I have been asked this, and yet, my answer still remains unchanged. I believe that, while the extended education that young woman find at going to collage is by no means bad, I don't find it to be the most beneficial way to spend our time. There is so much that I must prepare for, and so much to be done before I am prepared to take on my one home, and become a wife and mother, why waste the most valuable years of my life on learning something that will never benefit my home?

One Sunday afternoon, when I was fellow-shipping with some dear friends of mine, a new-comer walked up, and started talking with us. Before long, we found that she was engaged to the young man she had arrived with, and was finishing up collage. That is when the question rose once again :: Where are you going to collage?? However, this time, the question wasn't directed towards me, but instead, a friend next to me. She explained her view on going to collage, and the question arose, "A lot of young woman are choosing to stay home, rather then go to collage, so that they may work on more important skills. But what are these skills???" This is where so many young woman fail to answer correctly. Often times, when we think of skills, we think of something materialistic, such as baking, sewing, cleaning, teaching, etc. And, although these are included in the list of skills that I hope to attain, they are by no means the most important skills. In 1 Corinthians 13, specifically verses 4-7, we see the list of 'skills' that are so very important to master before entering into marriage. Let us take these verses, and switch out every time it says the word 'Love' with your own name (fill in the blanks below with your name.) --

_____ suffers long and is kind; _____ does not envy;
_____ does not parade {herself}, _____ is not puffed up;
_____ does not behave rudely, does not seek {her} own,
_____ is not provoked, thinks no evil;
does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
_____ bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

You see, those years before marriage are the years in which we need to master those virtues mentioned above. For, these are the most valuable skills which we could ever hope to attain, because once we have applied them to our lives, joy will follow. And where there is joy, there will be true, everlasting happiness also.

These years before marriage is not only a time when we can master the above virtues, but it also is a precious time when we can grow closer to the Lord. In 1 Corinthians 7:34 it talks of how a married woman is concerned for her husband. This is so true. As I watch my own sweet mother preform her duties around the home, I can see that her main priority is to please her husband, and make things more sweet and enjoyable for him. She is fulfilling her roll as a help-meet and a homemaker. But it is so important that we use these years before marriage wisely. This season in our lives is the season in which we have the opportunity to get the know the Lord deeply. It is a time when we can truly focus entirely on Him.

Not only is this a time to find a strong relationship with your Heavenly Father, but I also count it as a wonderful opportunity to help my father, so as I may become equipped in helping my future husband with his work. This season in life is perfect training for the life that lies ahead of us. It is a time when we can learn to have a truly kind, and selfless spirit. It is a time when we can experience giving up some of our own pleasures, so that we may give more of our energies to our father. This time is invaluable. A spirit of servitude doesn't develop over night. It takes time -- it takes practice. What better time then now? So many young woman are set on getting a job, and beginning to 'make their way in the world', but I believe it is more important to focus on what lies ahead -- what is your main goal. 

And this ties in with the root question :: Why is it my goal to become a help-meet, and a homemaker rather then a businesswoman? Why do I believe that this is so important?

Because I believe that it is part of God's plan. And I know that God's plan is always the best. There are multiple verses in the scriptures that talk about how woman were created to be the helper to man. The very first woman, Eve, was created for just such a purpose. In Genesis 2:18 we can see that the Lord created Eve to be a helper for Adam. In Titus 2:5 it calls woman to be homemakers. We can clearly see through these verses, and many others, that we were designed for such a task.

     But then, the question arises :: Why can't I help my husband and work out side of the home?? 

This is one of the biggest questions, and the decision made here will effect everything. Sadly, I see many young woman have answered the above question with these two words :: you can. Unfortunately, for their households, this is false. Not only would working outside the home contradict the calling of being a homemaker, but it also would make it impossible to come alongside your husband in his work. We were not created to be the providers of the home. We were created to be the makers the home, and the helpers of the providers. When we begin to take it upon ourselves to provide, we can no longer help our spouse. But maybe more importantly then the reasons given above, would be this one -- we can't possibly be working outside the home, and working within it at the same time. In Proverbs 22:6 the Lord commands us to "train up our child in the way they should go..." I believe that bringing up your children in the faith, training your sons to be leaders, and your daughters to be pillars of support, is a far more important calling, then becoming the businesswoman that you were never created to be. For, your can't possibly do both.

I would like to close with just a few more additional thoughts :: 

While I believe becoming a Help-meet and a Homemaker is one of the most beautiful occupations a woman could fulfill, I certainly do not look down upon those who choose to do otherwise. Each and every one of us will have our own convictions about being a wife, mother, and help-meet. And while I believe that the above views and not only my own, but our founded on biblical principles, I understand and respect others views on this topic. I just pray that the above words would have inspired you to become the woman that I believe the Lord designed you to be! He has such a special purpose for each one of us.... greater then any of us can comprehend! All we must do is let Him work.

With Joy in Christ,
~Johanna Rose


Mrs. Becky Ward {Bethany Ann's Mother} ::
The Importance of Godly Wives and Mothers ::

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
{Titus 2:3-5}
  • It is important to God, and a mandate for Christian women.
  • We do not want to blaspheme (to call a liar or discredit) God's Word.
  • Husbands need Godly wives to love them deeply, care for their needs, and respect/submit to them as the leaders of their families. They need a home life that is a refuge from the stress and concerns of their work place.
  • Children need mothers who love them unconditionally and who are at home to care for them, teach them about God and His Word, and answer questions. They need mothers who delight in spending time with them, reading, cooking, gardening, playing and simply enjoying life with them.
  • Mothers at home can be a "gate keeper" for their children's hearts. We can monitor any negative influences and provide biblical/positive learning experiences to mold our children's character.
  • As we serve our families at home with our time and energy we are investing in our family rather than other pursuits. Our home life and family life will become a beautiful picture to the world of what the Lord meant for it to be. The gospel will be attractive to unbelievers as they see our love for one another.
  • We can teach our daughters to become keepers at home as they prepare for their future families. They can learn daily by working with their mothers.
  • We can leave a Godly heritage to our children and future generations.
  • We can provide hospitality to encourage/help young mothers, elderly neighbors or friends in times of need because we are home and have the time.
  • Each day can be an adventure and opportunity for ministry as we serve our families and neighbors in the name of Jesus Christ.
God bless you as you serve Him!
Becky Ward
~*~

Do you have a suggestion for future Royal Council topics? We would be so blessed if you sent your suggestions by way of our Contact page! Thank you! We pray that you were blessed by this month's Royal Council, and are left refreshed and newly-inspired to live for Jesus.

Abundant Blessings,
Bethany Ann & Johanna Rose

4 Words of Grace:

Hannah said...

This is such a great article!

I'm wondering where you find such great pictures?

Rebecca said...

This was a VERY thought provoking post. Thanks!
~Rebecca

Crystal said...

While i think you have good intentions...I think you are completely ignoring the proverbs 31 woman that God also describes in the Bible. She is a business woman as well as a homemaker as well as one who bring joy and honor to her husband and to God. Overall, as long honor is brought to God and you prayerfully seek His will for your life...you cannot say that the only way to fulfill God's role for each woman is to stay at home and be a home maker...it's just not that simple. Seeking first the peace and joy of your family and of God you can find that there are any number of paths a woman can go down and STILL be in the will of God for her life.
And that has nothing to do with being able to "buy anything you want to be happy".

Anonymous said...

Great job Bethany and Joanna!!!