(Now, more than ever, as a teacher instead of a student, I appreciate the school-year calendar with it’s built-in Christmas break… which leaves me time for blogging while my holiday cookies are cooling!)
A long while ago, back in September, there was a short-lived discussion of the “Titus 2 woman.” Though I can’t promise much, I thought I’d finally post my reply to one commenter in hopes of reviving that discussion.
In the comments below, someone asked:
“Speaking of the old housewife vs. college girl controversy (which probably a lot of us think shouldn’t be either/or), I have a question for you college girls here:
I just finished reading a Christian book on the Titus 2 woman. An entire chapter was dedicated to the author’s opinions on women in the work place (they shouldn’t work outside the home in her opinion).
Her main argument lies in Titus 2’s admonish that women be “keepers at the home.”
I’ve loved the dialogue and intelligent discussions on this blog; I’m hoping you may address this argument if you haven’t already.
Obviously God’s Word is always true, so how would you respond to her application?”
Since I am in the present position of working outside the home as a young Christian wife, I’ll attempt to answer this question. However, let me say that I only speak for my husband’s and my own beliefs here; I cannot presume to speak for anyone else.
First, I believe this is the main section of Titus she is referring to:
“…and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.” Titus 2:4-5, ESV
“…so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.” Titus 2:4-5, NASB
“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.” Titus 2:4-5, KJV
What does it mean to be “keepers at home”? Obviously, it does not mean that a woman can never leave the house. It does mean, however, that a woman’s primary responsiblity should be her family and home. That said, I do not see why this prohibits a woman from working outside the home if her husband believes this is the right course of action for their present situation. I think God gives each family wisdom to decide what is right for themselves in this area, and sometimes, a wife can be obedient to her husband by working away from the home.
I teach high school. At school, I am still subject to my own husband. Everything I do and say reflects on our family and affects him. He knows that I know that he is my first priority. Therfore, if something needs to be taken care of for our home that day, I will either get up early or stay up late to get it done. Sometimes, I am able to make calls after school before businesses close, and I usually have time to run at least one errand before he gets home. Before I began teaching and before I went to graduate school, I was still “working outside the home.” For three years my husband and I worked with a ministry called Apartment Life where we planned events and provided community services for the people who live in our apartment complex. For me, it was at least 15 hours of volunteer time every week, and on top of that I had a stint as an office receptionist for a missions organization two days a week. Of course, my apartment has not always been perfectly kept duing the past three years (whose has?), but if anything ever got in the way of me “keeping our home” then we dropped something. First, I dropped the receptionist position to go to graduate school. Currently, we work with Apartment Life only in an unoffical capacity, as mentors to the new team that has replaced us at our apartment complex.
For now, my husband and I feel that in order to be good stewards of what we have been given, I may work as a schoolteacher. Thankfully, I was provided with a debt-free college education through scholarships and my parents’ generosity. However, my husband was not. Therefore, we are attempting to pay off our debt in order that we might better provide for our family if God sees fit to bless us with children. If (hopefully, when) He does, then I would refrain from working outside the home while the children are growing up, since my primary responsiblity is caring for my family, and with young children, I believe it would be very difficult to do if I were still teaching. However, some people may have family living nearby that can care for their children while they work and feel that is the best option. We do not; therefore, I plan to be a stay-at-home mom. And, like so many who are either contributers or readers of this blog, I will be proud of it!
A good friend of mine– my college roommate, in fact– recently had her first child. While most of her time is spent at home, she continues to add to her husband’s income by tutoring and acting as a nanny 2-3 days a week, and in addition, assists her father with his accounting. I admire her as a balanced model of a faithful Titus 2 wife and mother. By getting to know many of you through this and other blogs, I see you all as examples to follow and know that I still have much to learn. Thanks for all of your contributions.
So, would anyone else like to share their insights of what it means to be a “keeper of the home” with a college education?