What does the Bible say about working mothers? Should they be climbing the corporate ladder or staying home raising children?
In today’s equal opportunity world, where does the role of a working mother fall on God’s scale? How does the bible weigh in on this topic?
If you roll the clock back 50 years, we see culture clearly defining a mother’s role as being at home taking care of the kids, cooking and cleaning, while the dad goes to work and brings home the paycheck. Today, those lines have been blurred and, depending on the survey you read, between 60%-70% of mothers in the U.S. work outside the home while their children are in the home.
More and more, mothers are delegating their children to live-in nannies, day care facilities, and in-laws. Is this what God had in mind when he created motherhood? Here are a couple of thoughts that might help you work through this very relevant and debated topic.
1. Recognize Motherhood is a Divine Role
Psalm 139:13 – For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
The psalmist reflects on God’s divine plan to grow and build humanity through a mother’s womb. In other words, God gave women a divine role to procreate and fulfill His plan by having children (read my blog post, A Boy Named Sue). When you consider that the overall survival of humanity is contingent on women giving birth to children, it is pretty profound. No other job, career, or role in life will have this kind of impact or legacy.
So when culture tries to minimize the value and role of a mother by simply calling them “homemakers”, it’s important to remember that moms have a global impact that goes well beyond the limits of a home.
2. Keep First Things First…. Your Children!
When you read through the book of Proverbs, you will come across a very extensive description of a noble wife and mother. You will also quickly notice that she is also a businesswoman.
Proverbs 31:15 – She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. 16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
It is important to note that Scripture does not prohibit mothers from working outside the home. But it also important to note that the Bible assumes mothers are at home raising their children. In other words, if a mother is going to work outside the home, it is in addition to her raising her children, not replacing it.
If you take time to read Proverbs 31:10-28, you will see that scripture defines a godly mother as being someone who puts her children first and embraces her divine role as a mother before engaging in any outside employment endeavors. This keeps first things first, which are children.
Moms have the most important job on the planet that will leave a legacy for generations to come! To delegate this God-given role to others in order to simply bring in extra income or fulfill a career passion is to underestimate the value and importance of motherhood. If this is the case, it would be better not to have children, than to give them 2nd place.
What do you think? Please share your comments and insight on this topic.
Disclaimer: I recognize there are many extenuating circumstances that can play into this discussion (e.g. single moms, family tragedy, struggling economy, etc.), but in order to limit our discussion to a blog, I am simply addressing the topic in general.
Please include others in this dialog by sharing on the media links below.