A few weeks ago, in my Bible study group, we were discussing the chapter called "Lies About Priorities" in Nancy Leigh DeMoss' Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free. We had much discussion about that third lie regarding the value of having a career versus being "just" a wife and mother. Obviously, the truth is that there is more value in God's heart toward women fulfilling our roles at home as wives and mothers. That truth is really indisputable.
At the end of that night, one young lady spoke up. She was actually there for the first time, had not read any of the book yet, and sat silent through all of our conversation. She had not been through the foundational chapters where we discussed aligning our hearts with the Lord's and asking Him to "give us the desires of our hearts" (Psalm 37:4). This verse does not mean He will give us what we want, but He will give us the want for what He wants.
We had wrestled through those principles as a group already, and she had not been there to lay down that foundation with us. We had already talked about Mary's willingness not just to carry the Child of God, but her willingness to be stoned to death or, at minimum, shunned by all, for carrying a child out of wedlock.
"And Mary said, 'Behold, I am the servant of the Lord;
let it be to me according to your word.'" Luke 1:38
We had also talked about how Jesus Himself said (I paraphrase), "I do NOT want to do this!! Please, don't make me do this!! But...not what I want, Father...I'll do what YOU want me to do."
"My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me.
Yet I want your will to be done, not mine." Matthew 26:39 NLT
This young lady told us all that, for the first time since moving to Alabama from "up north", she was having culture shock. Her shock was not due to any southern accents she was hearing, but because we were talking about valuing home and family above pursuing a career. We knew that this book would be different to many, and this lie alone was a complete shock to her.
Her comment, though, rattled me in a huge way.
Her response was, "Well, it doesn't say we CAN'T have a job."
If we look at it the way she was looking at it, let the truth be told that she was right. The Word does not say that women "shall not" work jobs.
I could see the faces of the women in our group turning ghostly white. At first, some of the ladies began to defend the truth that we had all just studied and taken to heart. They were trying to make the point that we weren't talking about what we have the "right" to do, but what God has actually called us to do, which revolves around home and family.
But really, how does one defend against that "heartitude" on a Biblical matter? You simply cannot.
Unfortunately, this gal did not return to our group. She may not have even picked up the book to read for herself. All I can really do is pray that she does read it and learn the truths that we were learning.
Since that night, I have felt burdened for my group, and for women everywhere, who have likely heard (or even said) the same statement. Even Nancy Leigh DeMoss says in the chapter, "This is not to suggest that it is necessarily wrong for a wife and mother to have a job outside her home--unless that job in any way competes with or diminishes her effectiveness in fulfilling her primary calling at home."
I do not disagree completely, but that is a loophole. Much like telling our teens to abstain from sex, but giving them the loophole that God doesn't say they "can't" snuggle under the covers in the nude together. That's true, just like the earlier statement about women working outside of their homes.
"...be keepers at home..." Titus 2:5
We have been members of our church for eight years now, and in those eight years, I've heard my pastor give a message encouraging purity at least once a year. In that message, he tells a story from when he was a youth minister. He shares about youth group boys calling him on the phone saying something like, "Pastor, I'm with my girl now...I'm struggling...how far exactly is 'too far'???" My pastor says that his reply was always, "You've already crossed it!"
For eight years, I rolled my eyes at that story, because he wasn't there with these teens. He didn't know what they had done or not done at that point. It seemed silly to tell them they had crossed a line without knowing how far they'd gone.
But after hearing the young woman's statement, I finally understood my pastor meant by his reply to the teens! She was, in essence, "How far away from home can I get and still be a 'homemaker'?" And I'd have to tell her that she was already too far away!
Not because it is necessarily sin to go get that job, like Ms. DeMoss wrote, but because she was looking for a loophole in God's Word for her to still be able to do what she wanted. That is crossing a line in itself--because it is the "heartitude" of non-surrender, of holding onto our wants, and not laying down of self. And our heart is what the Lord sees.
This burden was so great to me that I had to tell my group that we could not continue our study if we were applying the truths from this book on either end of a spectrum. On one end, someone can apply truth in a legalistic manner (like I used to do), just doing it because "the Bible says" and never knowing the Lord.
On the other end is no rules at all, but really close to that end is the loophole part of the spectrum. This is where someone reads God's desire for him or her (such as the example of God's desire for purity), and sets man-made boundaries instead of pursuing purity with ALL of our "heart, soul, strength, and mind" (Luke 10:27).
The same goes for a woman pursuing the calling of God! Why would anyone WANT to find a loophole?
Instead of running from the "line", we are teetering on the edge, asking how far we can get outside of God's perfect will for us, without it actually being "sin".
So, yes, it's true that God has not said women "can't" have a job. But He hasn't commanded you to have one, either, ladies. And I have never been more exhausted than when I was running after more than He has given me to do. We want to run the race He has set before us. We want to run that race to win. That means, we stay in our lane as we make our way to the finish line.
Let's be about our Father's business for women.
Let's do only what only we can do.
Let's align our heart, our soul, our strength, and our minds with Him.
Let's stop looking for loopholes out of doing His will.
My prayer today:
Lord, You are our God, and we love you! We praise You! Father, we confess that we have too often put our wants above Your wants for us. We know that You desire for us to align our hearts with Yours. Thank You for telling us in Your Word exactly what Your will is for us as women following after Christ. Thank you that we do not have to follow the pattern of this world! Thank you that You are busy completing the work You have begun in us! I pray for every woman around the world who is struggling regarding this issue. I pray first for her husband, that he take on the responsibility of leading and providing for his family. I pray also that she be willing to set aside all desires that do not line up with Your heart for us. Help us to run far away from the line, from the loophole, and to seek after Your will in every area of our lives! In Jesus' name I pray! Amen!
As much as I dislike having to include fine print with this post, I feel I must. There are certainly women reading this whose husband has insisted that she leave her post as "keeper at home" and work outside of her home. Please know that you are doing the right thing if he is insisting on it. I know your heart is for home, and you are to submit to him "as unto the Lord". I did not write this to shame anyone, but especially not the woman who truly wants to be at home because she sees the truth in God's Word and wants what He wants for her.
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