The Ways of a Wise Woman’s Household
Welcome to Week Fourteen: “The Ways of Her Household”
This is week fourteen of sixteen. I was concerned about publishing a study on Easter weekend. But God is SO good! When I saw the topic, it was perfect! Jesus went to the cross so we could be reconciled to the Father. What better week to talk about reconciliation?
We are working through the workbook, A Wise Woman Builds Her House by Erin Thiele. If you missed the former weeks, you can start over with week one, A Wise Woman Builds Her House…On a Rock by clicking here. I hold a copyright release to reprint the book for you here, but you don’t. Therefore, the copying of this material in any form is illegal. I encourage you to buy the workbook. I have worked through it several times over the years. Every time that I do I find that there are new things that we need to work through. I also tend to write prayers in my book. I encourage you to do the same. Journal your thoughts, write prayers, even write confessions. The next time you work through it, you’ll be encouraged at how far you’ve come and how God answers prayers.
Remember that each week’s post is a week’s worth of study. I give it to you all at once for those who choose to work on it all over a weekend and ruminate over the information throughout the week.
As a reminder, this study is for WOMEN ONLY. Just as I encourage women to NOT study what a man should be doing once they marry so they don’t start judging their husband, I am asking the men to give us the same leeway. I am following the dictates of the Bible in Titus 2 for “the older women to teach the younger women to love their husbands and their children.” Thank you for understanding.
The Ways of Her Household
She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
Many women are finding themselves with double the work, double the responsibilities, and double the stress. We are expected to care for our homes, our husbands’ needs, and our children’s needs along with providing for our families. We do this whether we are sick, pregnant or have just had a baby. We are expected to dress our children, get breakfast down them in haste, figure out what to feed them for lunch, and get ourselves ready. We drop our babies in the arms of another as they cry, and, many times, we cry ourselves to work. Our life is nothing but a rush and a blur. What happened? How did things get so hard for us? Most of our mothers got us off to school and had time to play bridge.
Many Christian women use the example of the Proverbs woman to justify their working outside the home. They seem to like the independence and freedom from the mundane task of a homemaker. Some people believe that the Proverbs woman works away from her home. Did God intend a wife to work away from her home? Was she away from her children as most of the working wives are today? Was she under the authority of her own husband and therefore under the Lord?
We must be careful in teaching about the Proverbs woman; we must not add to His Words nor take any away. We must look at all the Scriptures that refer to women, wives, and especially mothers before making such an important decision to continue to work away from our home. We also must look at our fruits! It is my goal to help you to renew your mind. By searching His Word for our answer, we can form “His” opinion, apply it to our lives and then share it with other women. My heart’s desire is that you will be set free from the bondage of working outside your home so that you will be free to minister to the needs of your husband, your children, other (younger) women, the poor and the widows. “. . . and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).
Your Own Husbands
Your own husbands
We should not be under another man’s or woman’s authority. “Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as unto the Lord” (Eph. 5:22). “. . . you wives be submissive to your own husbands . . .” (1 Pet. 3:1). “Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord” (Col. 3:18). “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make a helper suitable for him” (Gen. 2:18).
Workers at home
Women “. . . be sensible, pure, workers at home . . .” (Titus 2:5). The harlot, we are told, “. . . is boisterous and rebellious; her feet do not remain at home” (Prov. 7:11).
Divide the spoil
In this Scripture we are told of just one of the rewards of our remaining at home. “And she who remains at home will divide the spoil” (Ps. 68:12). Those of us who stay at home are able to take advantage of yard sales and thrift stores for incredible buys (dividing the spoil). Isn’t it such a shame how much money mothers are spending on their clothing for work? And what about their children’s clothes that are outgrown before they even look worn? As a working wife, many times you not only miss out on these savings but cannot even shop the sales because time is not available. Also, those who stay at home are able to cook meals from scratch and do away with a lot of the expensive prepared foods. They also have time to make use of discount food sources like day-old bakeries. Yes, staying at home is a way of saving money and of being good stewards of the Lord’s money.
When you sit in your house
It’s important to learn God’s laws and understand how they work. They are similar to the law of gravity. Following the law of gravity and God’s laws will protect us. Here is one of God’s law: “And you shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up” (Deut. 6:7). In other words, we are to spend all day long teaching our children. When we are running around half crazy with all we are expected to do, how can we have time to even sit down with our children in our own houses?
“Quality time” contradicts this Scripture. We have seen the fruits of our children’s behavior when we must leave them on their own or give them over to the care of someone else. No one has the same love and invested interest in the emotional, spiritual and intellectual growth of our children as we do. When we work, we cannot possibly be expected to give the same time and attention to our children. We know that no one can take our place when it comes to love, sacrifice, and patience with our children. When we are deceived or made to violate Scriptural principles relating to mothers, we are left to deal with the bad fruits. Our bad fruits are rebellious and demanding children who are now seen everywhere!
Helper suitable for him
Women’s Liberation’s whole basis has been to encourage women to try to copy men’s role in society. They have tried to “blur” our differences and make us unhappy in our “God-given,” specially created roles. “Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him’” (Gen. 2:18). They pushed us to get out and work, leaving behind our children, our homes and our husbands.
But God created the baby within her womb and gave that baby his food from her breasts. God gave her the patience and the capacity to nurture. This is the foundation of the love that the family is dependent upon. However, when we started to “blur” our roles, it had a devastating effect on our children, our homes, our families, our nation, and our entire society. But the most forgotten, the most overlooked effect is the devastating effect this has had on women.
“Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself shall not stand” (Matt. 12:25). A tactic of the enemy is to divide in order to conquer. By dividing the home through the wife working outside the home, the enemy has conquered the following:
When their mother is gone, children will look to peers for guidance and for approval, hence peer pressure.
When their mother is working away from the home and then too busy in the evenings to spend time with her daughters, girls look to a boyfriend for reassurance during their hormonal and body changes.
When mothers began to work outside the home, they began to have their “own life.” Just like their husbands, they had their jobs and their friends at work. Even some of our own mothers are now “back at work” (or working for the first time).
So often when the wife has a job, a division occurs within the husband/wife relationship. Their interests are now divided, which results in infidelity or apathy. This division weakens the marriage, which eventually ends in divorce.
My hand made me this wealth
The husband and wife are also divided on what and when to buy, because they each have “their own money.” “Otherwise, you may say in your heart, ‘My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.’ But you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth . . .” (Deut. 8:17-18). When a wife is bringing in part of the income, we witness major damage in their marriage. It creates independence between the husband and wife. Business Week magazine looked at divorce from a financial standpoint. Their study showed that “when a woman can provide for herself, she no longer needs to be married.” What they failed to note was that quite often the husband becomes dissatisfied with the wife’s lack of attention. He searches for that attention, usually at his place of work, and then the wife is faced with adultery.
Troubles his own house
“He that is greedy of gain will trouble his own house” (Prov. 15:27). Many husbands encourage their wives to help out by going back to work, never realizing the ill effects this decision will have on their entire family. It will undermine his authority and will have devastating effects on his marriage, and especially on his children.
Weary yourself to gain wealth
With more money, instead of financially “getting ahead,” we usually increase our spending, and, in most instances, we are in a worse financial situation than before we went out to work. Proverbs 23:4 says, “Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, cease from your consideration of it. When you set your eyes on it, it is gone. For wealth certainly makes itself wings, like an eagle that flies toward the heavens.” Why don’t we believe God’s Word? “And my God shall supply all your needs, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19). His ways are perfect. You can trust Him! If you are weary from being a workingwoman, then cry out to Him and Him alone. Don’t run to your husband about it. (See lesson 5, “Won Without a Word.”)
A house divided against itself falls
Workingwomen are expected to divide their affections and their priorities. “But He knew their thoughts, and said to them, ‘Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and a house divided against itself falls’” (Luke 11:17). When women are employed, they must fulfill and respond to all their bosses’ needs and desires just to keep their jobs. They begin to display toward their bosses attitudes and characteristics of an ideal wife! They are often asked to give away their time with their family by working late, coming in early or working weekends. They begin to show gratitude that should only be given to their husbands. When their bosses pay them a compliment on their appearance or on their work, they are thrilled. Their bosses may take them out to lunch or give them a bonus or gifts. Is it any wonder that many wives now leave their husbands and run away with their boss or co-worker? It’s not just the husband leaving with his secretary or co-worker anymore!
No one can serve two masters
Workingwomen find themselves in two competing worlds. Each world has a different set of demands and rewards. Scripture tells us that we cannot serve two masters; no one can. “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other or he will hold to one and despise the other” (Matt. 6:24). And isn’t that exactly what happens? We begin to follow one and then we begin to hate the other. A wife either loves work and her family and home become an irritation, or she hates work because she’d rather be at home.
Leave the presence of a fool
When women work outside the home, they begin to suffer many destructive pressures. Working with others, especially non-Christians, takes its toll on us spiritually. Though many feel they are the “light” in their place of work, most never really make a difference. The Scriptures tell us, “Leave the presence of a fool or you will not discern words of knowledge” (Prov. 14:7). And “Do not be deceived: bad company corrupts good morals” (1 Cor. 15:33). If your place of work is causing you to compromise your beliefs, it will eventually corrupt you.
Do not associate with a gossip
We women have many common weaknesses; one is gossiping. A common pastime of women in the workplace is gossip. We can’t help it. A co-worker has a problem with her husband, so we cut him down together. She has, or you have, trouble with that new manager, so you murmur and complain all day, every day. Proverbs 20:19 says, “He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, therefore do not associate with a gossip.”
The ways of her household
When we work we begin to neglect important home responsibilities. “She looks well to the ways of her household . . .” (Prov. 31:27). We are not able to do the things that we would do if we had time, such as baking, sewing, keeping our houses clean and in order, and training our children. Even meal preparation time is cut to a minimum. “The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Ladies, Satan is a thief; he is stealing the abundant life God has for you! Even your husband’s needs are put on the back burner. So many times he has to fend for himself when it comes to meals or having his clothes clean and pressed. Ladies, there are women at your husband’s place of work who are looking for neglected husbands!
When we work, we cannot be at the door to greet our husband because we are picking up the children from day care, running errands and grocery shopping. Many men that find it’s a lot like living as a bachelor without the benefits of peace and quiet. Could this have something to do with men choosing to have their own apartments rather than staying home?
But each one is tempted
When the husband realizes that his wife’s listening ear is gone, as his wife hurries around in the evening to get ready for the next day, temptation is at the door. Since men don’t confide in other men, they find that “listening, sympathetic ear” with another woman. “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death” (James 1:14-15). Yes, death—death of a marriage.
Then when her husband announces that he is leaving, she is the first to say “good riddance” or “don’t let the door hit you on the way out.” All too soon she finds herself sitting in a small, dumpy apartment with a welfare check and food stamps. It all began with her just “bringing in a little extra income.”
Cause to stumble
“It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should cause one of these little ones to stumble” (Luke 17:2). Is your working setting a bad example for other women? Is there someone who has seen the wonderful life that you exhibit and she has decided to return to work because it works so well for you? Or is she trying to stay at home but her husband thinks she is a “bump on a log” because your husband tells her husband how much money you bring in?
Marriage bed be undefiled
If you are working while your children are in school, you may not be home for your children after school. Many women think that the “right time” to go to work (or go back to school) is when their children are in school. So many children are “latchkey” kids spending hours in front of the television watching immoral shows. Don’t leave them in that place of temptation. Shocking studies reveal that the parents’ own bed is the site of most premarital sex while the parents are both out working. Consider Hebrews 13:4: “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”
To eat the bread of painful labors
Article after article is written to give women tips to get their husbands to help around the house, since women are helping with the income. Everyone expects them to do “their share” of the household chores. Studies have confirmed what we women already know: they rarely help out.
Women are killing themselves doing “it all.” Ladies, God tells us “having it all” is vanity. “It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors; for He gives to His beloved even in his sleep” (Ps. 127:2).
It is gone
A wife working is financially unwise. Many mothers feel they must work outside the home in order to make ends meet. She earns more, but then ends up spending more. Instead of reducing the expenses by wise buying or doing some of the work herself, she must settle on higher prices. “Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, Cease from your consideration of it. When you set your eyes on it, it is gone. For wealth certainly makes itself wings, like an eagle that flies toward the heavens” (Prov. 23:4). If you wonder where this extra money is going, here are just a few women who have shared their experiences of working and spending:
“The food I buy is usually already or partially prepared, fast food or restaurant food for the speed and convenience. I am too tired to cook and I feel I deserve a break.”
“I don’t shop where and how I used to. The clothes I buy are now at retail prices instead of shopping the sales, going to yard sales and thrift shops, or sewing them myself. I find I don’t keep the family’s clothes in good condition (mended and pressed) like I used to. Instead, I give them away and buy new.”
“I find that I need a lot more clothes per person. The extra clothes are needed for my children and my husband since I can’t get to the laundry as often as I used to. I also need a lot more nice clothes for myself that I never needed before I began working.”
“Now that I am working, we thought we could afford a good Christian education for our children. I used to teach our children myself at home; now I don’t have that option.”
“We used to have only one car. I used to complain and thought I would gain so much freedom. We now have a second car with the added payments, insurance, maintenance, and extra gas. We really haven’t gotten ahead at all. Now besides working to pay for the car, my husband has me running around doing all the things for him that he used to do for me!”
“We thought we were making more until it came to tax time. We found that more money is paid out in federal, Social Security, and state income tax because we are now in a higher tax bracket.”
“By the time I pay out the money for our one daughter’s after-school care and the day-care bill, I figure I make about a half of minimum wage.”
Teaching what is good
If you are an older woman who works outside the home, you have no free time to fulfill the commandment given to older women to teach the younger women. In Titus 2:3-5 it says, “Older women . . . teaching what is good, 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, that the Word of God may not be dishonored.” Of course we know that the example of a wife who works outside the home speaks volumes. Many older women really don’t need the money; they just don’t know what to do with their time or they feel they are going stir crazy having their retired husband around all the time. Here are some suggestions:
Instead of spending time at a job, why not help the young, inexperienced mother? She often is not being helped by her own mother. She needs good godly counsel and direction in caring for and disciplining her children properly. You will also be available to be with your own daughter or daughter-in-law during or after the birth of your grandchildren.
If you remain in your home, you are available to open your home for hospitality, for spiritual guidance, or as a “haven” for younger women who are experiencing a difficult day.
So many older women are sharing the world’s philosophies on marriage and child rearing. You will be rendered totally ineffective in regard to spiritual guidance since you have surrounded yourself with the foolish talk and ideas of the world.
Older women, we have a vital influence in godly wisdom, but it will be lost if you choose the world’s ways rather than God’s way. “Older women . . . teach what is good!” (Titus 2:3).
Won without a word
But what if a husband tells his wife that she must work? First of all, realize that it is your husband’s place to save the day. He is to be the savior of the body. “For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body” (Eph. 5:23). Many times we women are the ones who suggest going back to work, having a home business, or cutting back. Just be quiet! “In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the Word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior” (1 Pet. 3:1-2). Sit still, be quiet and pray. Then let your husband do what he feels should be done. Respect him by being silent and agreeing with his suggestions. (See lesson 5, “Won Without a Word.”)
I sought the Lord
But what if your husband tells you to go to work, or what if you suggested you go back to work by mistake, or what if you husband has left you? “I sought the Lord, and He answered me, And delivered me from all my fears. They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed” (Ps. 34:4-5). As you seek the Lord in your distress, you will have the added blessing of looking radiant!
Also, I stumbled on a real surprise. Larry Burkett wrote a book entitled Women Leaving the Workplace. The testimonies are awesome! They will show you the faithfulness of God on the wife’s behalf. Skip the financial steps Mr. Burkett gives you to return home or to stay home. Stick to the testimonies because they will inspire you to trust God totally and not rely on the “works of the flesh.” The point you will see is to obey your husband and pray! God will give you the desires of your heart to remain or to return home. Pray that the Lord will give you favor with your husband, just as He did with Daniel when he would not compromise by eating the king’s food. Recently I prayed for a woman who was told she would never have children; however, God had the last word and she conceived. She and her husband had always lived on a double income so their families continued to try to make her reconsider attempting to be a stay-at-home mom. Desperate, she got this book but was DISCOURAGED beyond words as Larry emphasized the need for “planning” and “putting funds away ahead of time”! I told her to STOP reading what he wrote and read the testimonies. Encouraged in her faith, they had their baby, she is staying at home and they are living better than when they had two incomes! This is God rewarding those who trust HIM, not in themselves or in a second paycheck!
Stella* came to the fellowship with a great dilemma. Her husband who had left her was now requesting that she go back to work. Stella’s daughters had just entered high school and she had always planned to stay at home with them during this crucial time in their lives.
That night we all prayed fervently for the Lord to deliver her. We also counseled her to submit to her husband and get a resume together. The next week she shared that no matter how hard she looked, she was unable to even get an interview (even with her incredible experience and references). For weeks we continued to pray for her deliverance. Stella’s husband was drawing closer to her as she exhibited her submission to his request. He had started to weaken in his desire to have her work. He then told her that he would be returning home to her and the girls within the next few months!
However, one night when I entered our room the women were in fervent prayer again. Upon joining in, I was shocked at what I heard. Stella and the other women were praying differently. They were praying that she would get a job at some prestigious law firm that she had interviewed with that morning! I confronted Stella and the group, but they were adamant that this was the Lord’s direction.
Stella did get her prestigious job. She has been working downtown with a new hairstyle and fabulous clothing. It’s been almost seven years since her husband told her he was coming home. And if that wasn’t sad enough, one of her daughters found herself in trouble during her senior year and the other daughter got mixed up with a much older divorced man the following year.
Bobbie* was trusting the Lord for her marriage and trying to learn to be a submissive wife, even though her husband was living with another woman. One night her husband told her that he was going to have to sell her car to help out with some of his debts. He promised that he would get her something else to drive. (The car had been a gift from Bobbie’s mother, was in great condition and was paid for.) In subjection, Bobbie put a sign in the car’s window with the phone number. However, she prayed like crazy for the car “not to sell!” Every week her husband was amazed that no one even called to inquire about the car. He then decided to put the price on the sign and lowered it every week. Nevertheless, there were no nibbles. Then one evening he proclaimed how totally incredible it was that no one wanted this nice car. He told Bobbie that he had made other arrangements and told her to take the sign down from the window.
Bobbie still has the car that the Lord protected. It is now fifteen years old and her mechanic said it has many, many more miles to go. She said that she keeps it because it reminds her of God’s faithfulness!
Thus Sarah obeyed Abraham
“For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands. Thus Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear” (1 Pet. 3:5-6). If your husband is adamant about more income, follow the steps below.
First, second and third, you must pray, pray and keep on praying! Ask God to change your husband’s heart, provide the money you need and help you to reduce your bills. Debt is really the problem, so pray to get out of debt.
If your husband still insists on your working, pray for a way to bring in money without having to leave your home. Ask your husband how much more money needs to come in in order to meet the bills. Some women have been able to increase their family income without leaving the home, without putting their children in day care and without resisting their husbands’ authority. Again, ask God for wisdom and for direction. He will guide you and support you for your conviction to be obedient to your husband and to obey His Word to be “keepers at home.” [See notes at end]
He may strongly support
Most importantly, have your heart steadfast on remaining at home. “For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the whole earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His . . .” (2 Chron. 16:9).
Don’t take other children in as a “day-care” for other “working women” to supplement your income! You are encouraging other women to remain in the workplace with all the destructions that will befall their families. Also, they will feel secure knowing their children are in the care of a “good Christian woman.” Don’t be deceived into thinking that “well, if they have to work, her children deserve Christian child care.” Read the book Who Will Rock the Cradle? (See our Suggested Reading on page 177.) If a woman inquires about your watching her children while she works, help her out on a temporary basis as you encourage her to stay home.
Turns him back
Take an opportunity each day to share with one working woman the destruction of her working outside the home, especially if she has small children. “My brethren, if any among you strays from the Truth, and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death, and will cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:19-20). Remind her that a child needs his own mother; anything else is a counterfeit! Remember, Satan is the author of the counterfeit. He is a thief! Don’t set yourself up as a counterfeit mother.
Quietness with it
So many women who have daycares in their homes have sacrificed the needs of their own children and families. Their children pick up so many destructive influences and infectious diseases. The tranquility of their homes is most definitely destroyed. “Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it than a house full of feasting with strife” (Prov. 17:1).
Surely the biggest reason for women having to work is that we are a society in debt. Rather than waiting for the things that we want, we buy on credit. Instead of living within our means, we live above our means. Romans 13:8 says to “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.”
Getting out of debt
We must pray and work with God to get out of debt. This must be our heart’s (and our prayers’) desire. If your husband is not behind it, you begin. Stop charging and make sure each purchase is absolutely necessary. See if you can fix or fix-up what you feel you must replace. The key is to wait! Also, don’t forget to pray that your husband’s heart will be turned to getting and staying out of debt. Unless we get a hold of this, we women will be (or have already been) “forced” to work. “The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly” (John 10:10). This is Satan’s plan, to steal your children (to daycare), to divide your home (two careers) and to ultimately destroy your family (divorce).
But he overspends
Many women blame their husbands for his overspending. And often this is true. But that is not our problem; it’s the Lord’s because we are not over our husbands. “But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ” (1 Cor. 11:3). Be quiet (win him without a word) about his spending. Give him the respect God commands. “In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the Word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior” (1 Pet. 3:1). Also, you must make sure the log is not in your eye. Are you overspending, too?
Shari* got hold of the concept of getting out of debt and no longer charging from a Bill Gothard seminar. However, she was not the spender in the family. Her husband, who had left her, was the one who overspent. Nevertheless, Shari wanted to do what she could and leave her husband in the hands of the Lord. She claimed the verse in First Corinthians 7:14, “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife . . .”
When she needed some new underwear for one of her sons and a haircut for herself, she approached her husband. He told her to go ahead and put it on the charge card since things were “a bit tight.” Gently she told him that “come to think about it, I really could wait for a haircut and it would be simple to mend the underwear.” Puzzled, he asked her to explain why she wouldn’t just charge them. She respectfully told her husband about the seminar’s teachings and her desire not to put her husband into any more financial debt. He told her that it was really “okay,” but it was up to her.
Shari took this opportunity to give her husband all of her charge cards (a leap of faith for her). But God blessed Shari for her faithfulness and now their family is back together and working together toward getting completely out of debt. Her husband did tell her that, when she wouldn’t buy underwear or cut her hair because of her convictions about not using credit cards any more, he was sure that she had really gone off the deep end! Praise the Lord that Shari’s husband has also taken the plunge!
As women we must begin first to be content and live within the means and provisions that our husbands can comfortably provide. “Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am” (Phil. 4:11). “And if we have food and covering, with these we shall be content” (1 Tim. 6:8). By remaining content, we can help our husbands fulfill the following verse: “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Tim. 5:8).
We women need to have faith that God will provide for our needs. (And so often our wants too!) If we can just wait! “Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD” (Ps. 27:14).
Love of money
Dr. McGee once said that it wasn’t money that was evil, but the “love” of money. “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith, and pierced themselves with many a pang” (1 Tim. 6:10). “Let your character be free from the love of money, being content with what you have . . .” (Heb. 13:5). The biggest pitfalls when you have the “love of money” are:
Getting deeper into debt
Once a wife begins working, rather than getting out of debt, the couple will likely get into deeper debt. You buy more and raise your standard of living. “Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, cease from your consideration of it. When you set your eyes on it, it is gone. For wealth certainly makes itself wings, like an eagle that flies toward the heavens” (Prov. 23:4).
Many men, who later fell into immorality with someone at work, had expressed a desire to leave their jobs or positions, but felt stuck because of debt. “Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body” (1 Cor. 6:18). At Restore Ministries we see that most men who fall into adultery do so at their place of work. They may not have the spiritual strength to “flee” when their families are depending on them for their paychecks. Joseph did have the spiritual strength; let us pray for our husbands to have the same. “And she caught him by his garment, saying, ‘Lie with me!’ And he left his garment in her hand and fled, and went outside” (Gen. 39:12).
One way to break the spending mode is to de-junk your house. Read the book Clutter’s Last Stand about de-junking your life by Don Aslett. As you begin to see a lot of your possessions as junk, you stop buying unneeded purchases. It worked for me!
But the LORD weighs the motives
Pray for your husband to be able and willing to support your family. One of the reasons why your husband is not fully supporting your family may be because you handle the finances. A man is ripped of his manliness when his wife pays the bills. Men are unaware of how much is coming in and how much is going out. If he is in charge, he may be motivated to work harder to earn more or to cut back on his and your spending.
Many women feel very uncomfortable when their husbands control the finances. It’s too much submission for their liking. Most women don’t want their husbands to even know how much money they spend or what they spend money on. They would rather “control” the money. This is a big mistake. We may say we handle the finances because we are better with numbers, have more time, or are more responsible, but Proverbs 16:2 says “All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, But the LORD weighs the motives.” We need to be under our husband’s authority in everything! “But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything” (Eph. 5:24). Trust the Word and try this method of your husband controlling the finances and checkbook. See if you don’t have a better worker and more responsible man for you to love and respect.
Debbie* and Nancy* went through school together. They got married only a week apart from each other. However, they had two totally different concepts about who should control the finances. Both of the women’s husbands were quite irresponsible with money. Debbie decided that if they were ever to get ahead, she would have to take charge. Nancy, on the other hand, had seen the destruction that had occurred in her family growing up when her mother held the checkbook and paid the bills. So she knew God must have a different plan.
These ladies have each been married for eighteen years. Debbie has worked throughout their marriage and they still live in the same condo they bought just after they got married. Once, when it was Debbie’s birthday, Nancy asked Debbie’s husband what he was going to get her for her birthday. Embarrassed, he stated that he had no way of getting her anything. He said that if he asked her for some more money, she would ask “what for?”; then she would say she didn’t need anything, and the subject would be dropped. Her husband did have a good heart, though. He ended up going to the grocery store where she worked as a checker and brought a bouquet of flowers to her aisle; he said this was the only way he could surprise her.
Nancy knows that she took the right road. Her husband has been the sole provider for several years now and they have a large home with land for themselves and their children. The added bonus to applying this Biblical principle, even though she didn’t know it was a Biblical principle, was that she is one blessed woman! She has a lot of beautiful jewelry, a closet full of gorgeous clothes and even a full-length mink coat. She says that she never would buy any of these things for herself, but her husband insists! She also says that she has never had one day of worrying or a sleepless night over a lack of finances, even though things had at times been tight.
Maybe you don’t want jewelry or a mink coat, but I’m sure you all would appreciate a husband who shows you how much he cherishes you and takes on the burdens of your life!
Servant of all
Many women feel that they are not utilizing their “God-given talents” if they stay in the home to care for their husband and children. But that is not Christ’s message. “And sitting down, He called the twelve and said to them, ‘If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all, and servant of all’” (Mark 9:35). Jesus spoke those words to the apostles as they tried to compete to see who was the greatest. Jesus also said of Himself “I came not to be served but to serve” (Matt. 20:28). Jesus could have been anything He wanted and yet He “chose” to serve. You too have many talents. Will you choose to follow Christ in servanthood? Certainly there is no better place to be a servant than as a wife and mother, when we consider God’s Word. He says we are “Great”!
Let us all pray Psalms 37:4-9 out loud. Psalm 37:4: “Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it. And He will bring forth your righteousness as the light . . . Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way . . . Do not fret, it leads only to evildoing . . . But those who wait for the LORD, they will inherit the land.”
May God return and keep Christian women at home!
To obey God’s command to be workers at home and to teach this to younger women
“Based on what I have learned from God’s Word, I commit to praying to remain or return home. I will be a helper to my own husband. I will teach and train my own children. I will appreciate the home God has given me and take good care of it. I will share the Truth with other working women and pray for their return home.”
Be very careful of multilevel marketing concepts, especially ones that tell you about great amounts of money for very little work. “A man with an evil eye hastens after wealth, and does not know that want will come upon him” (Prov. 28:22). Many groups tell you it’s just getting people signed up, but Proverbs 13:11 says, “Wealth obtained by fraud dwindles, but the one who gathers by labor increases it.” The most distressing thing about multilevel marketing is the way these marketing advisors have you exploit your friendships. Just a couple of nights ago I got a phone call from a man when I didn’t even know. He said he had met our family at a home school meeting years ago. He began to praise my children, going on for several minutes, and me. Then I found out the real reason for his call: he had a business that was looking for superior individuals like my husband and myself. This has happened dozens of times before. “There is nothing reliable in what they say; their inward part is destruction itself; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue” (Ps. 5:9). [See note at end]
- Please, write down the verses from this lesson on your 3×5 cards.
- Ladies, turn your heart towards home! “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Luke12:34). My heart’s desire is to see Christian women free from needing to make money so they will be available to minister to their husbands, children, other (younger) women, the poor and the widows. (See Proverbs 31 and Titus 2.)
- Share this information with one other woman who is currently working and seems weary. Write her name on this line.
Turn My Life Around
Jan* was a “working woman” out from under her husband’s authority, doing her own thing. She had her own successful business and was known throughout the community. Yet her world was falling apart. She and her husband Joe* couldn’t be in the same room together without fighting, which amounted to only three hours a week because of his 60-70 hours a week job. Then one day, Jan repented and asked God to turn her life around. At that point, she and Joe were only staying together for the children. God tested her heart and her obedience by asking her to stop a “major account.” Jan wrestled as to whether this idea was “from God” and finally obeyed. Four months later they were “miraculously” relieved of a $25,000 debt. Her next test was whether she would home school her children. She told us she knew she should have been (she told us the Lord had showed her several times earlier). She said honestly, “I confess I really wanted to be deceived.” Notwithstanding, she again obeyed. Just last month her husband quit his job to join her and to run “their” (not her) business. They are together now, she says, “24 hours a day – and loving it!”
*Update: It has been eight years since this testimony was shared with me. I am delighted to tell you that that this couple is doing extremely well in their business and their marriage. God is faithful!
When Joan’s* husband left her, she began her own business. She became resourceful, tutoring in reading at day-care centers. When Joan was tutoring, she could make as much working only eight hours a month as she could work 40 hours a week at minimum wage. Also she didn’t have to pay for childcare, extra clothes, more prepared meals or fast food. And she was only away from her children two hours a week (two would nap and two would read during the hour she was gone).
Joan had no degree or training. She had merely taught her own children to read. This shows God’s goodness to give each person, who prays and believes, the desires of her heart. Is the desire of your heart to be a keeper of your home, to love and care for your husband and children?
*Update: This woman’s husband returned home and has been the sole breadwinner for over three years.
Francis* and Lynn* baked their favorite recipes during the week and took them around their area to those who were having yard sales. Their husbands had requested each of them to return to work. They “sold out” every Saturday morning and were more than able to provide the dollar amount each husband had requested!
If God has given you a talent for baking, sewing, or the like, you can discipline yourself to bring in money and still be a keeper of the home. Do your ways please the Lord? Are your desires also His desires? Or are you ignoring the Scriptures that tell a woman to stay home? His ways are perfect!
*Update: Lynn’s husband moved to the top of his company so she has been able to have more babies and home school her older children, which was her heart’s desire. Francis’ life has taken a discouraging turn, but that is another testimony.
Sheila* expressed her desire to have more children, home school and not have to work. She told her neighbor (an older Titus woman) that her husband didn’t take work too seriously so she also brought home a paycheck. This older woman encouraged her to “pray” for her heart’s desire. There came an almost immediate change as God began to work in her behalf. She became pregnant despite her birth control! (We learned in lesson 12 that God opens and closes the womb!) Her doctor told her to quit work immediately because of some complications. (Oh, the blessings of our trials and tribulations!) But the greatest blessing came when her husband became a hard worker! Praise the Lord! Holding her new baby with her (now well-behaved) children in tow, she radiated the love of the Lord and true fulfillment
* These are not their real names. “An excellent wife is a crown of her husband, but she who shames him is as rottenness in his bones.” Prov. 12:4.
Let your Maker be your Boss and let Him lead you. You never know, you may stumble into a real niche that can become your family’s business and get your husband out of the workplace too.
This workbook was first copywritten in 1996. Since this was her personal workbook written for her daughters, it was written prior to 1996. [In fact, Restore Ministries International was started in 1991, according to her site.] The Internet was a just a baby. Most people hadn’t heard of the Internet or, if they did, didn’t have a home computer yet in 1996. Amazon didn’t even announce themselves to the public until October 1995. The world was a very different place at the time this was written. Although people ordered product to be delivered to their homes, it was usually through a catalog and by mail or over the phone. I’m not saying God’s Word should be interpreted differently, just the world was different at the3 time this was written.
Today MANY people order online every day. Just look at how many box stores have gone out of business. Listen to conversations around you, “I got it online at…” All I’m saying is the way we buy things have changed and so has the way things are sold. The Proverbs 31 woman doesn’t need to trade, buy or sell via personal meetings with merchants, go to merchant ships, etc. The Proverbs 31 Woman was enterprising. She was industrious. I will never hold anything against the godly woman who sews for a living or bakes for a living (I earned good money selling bakery at a time I needed it most). I’m saying all this as today a wife could earn a good living from home with her computer in just a few hours a week. In fact, couples are leaving the work world and working together from home every day. This is life in 2017.
I have an opportunity such as that I can offer you. You swap where you shop, tell your friends to swap where they shop – instead of their normal internet vendors – and you get a commission instead of the internet company. I know Erin spoke against MLMs above, but today a trustworthy MLM is a way many couples are setting their financial futures together. You can order from that big internet provider and give them and their affiliates the commission, or you can order from a company your friend introduced you to knowing your friend is getting the commission. You’re still going to order. It’s just who gets the commission. Other couples are blogging together and earning a good income.
My caution would be to make sure your house and family are taken care of and only devote the time you can without sacrificing those things. Your first responsibility is to be a helpmeet to your husband. The second is to your household and family. Your relationship with God is interwoven through these relationships. Yes, your heart is for God first, but that doesn’t mean your house falls apart while you run around doing things “for God.” God has, in His wisdom, given us direction on how to order our priorities, our life, and our days.
Doing work from home also doesn’t mean it’s a way to support an insatiable need to shop, buy expensive cosmetics, clothing, cars or the like. When we put those things above pleasing our husbands or obeying God’s order we are in idolatry. If you’re not content with your home, do like Paul: learn to be content in whatever circumstances you find yourself in.
If you’re interested in learning about the “Swap Where You Shop” opportunity, and it fits your schedule and your husband approves, please see my post from earlier this week that discusses it. Alternately, you can use the contact form below and contact me directly.
I have been a working mother, a working wife and a stay at home wife and mother. I can tell you from experience that when I worked outside the home my head and heart was not home. I was constantly conflicted and torn. And all those things Erin says about “my money” and “your money” and the expenses, they are all TRUE. I experienced them firsthand. Most the years that I worked outside the home I had someone cleaning my home because I just couldn’t. My husband and I drifted apart because my head was filled with work (I was an accountant). He wanted the money, but he also wanted the scratch meals, and the house cleaned and the home sewed clothes and all that, too. He bought into the lie that women are superwomen and could do it all. I couldn’t.
I thought there was something wrong with me so I asked the ladies at work and the women talked about room after room they closed off because it was so cluttered they couldn’t even move in it any longer. They talked about stopping at the store to buy ready-made meals instead of cooking and then falling asleep shortly after dinner with dishes piled in the sinks. Some bought clothes because they didn’t have time to wash the clothes they owned. Doesn’t all that sound silly? Does it sound like a plan God would have for us? I think not. I didn’t know at that time I could pray to God to speak to my husband. I just obeyed my husband and went to work because he said I had to. Thankfully it was for a short period due to his place of business closing and a need. But the damage to our marriage was permanent. I don’t want that for you. Please ladies, hear my cry, I don’t want that for you.
May God bless you as you take this to the Lord in prayer.