Titus2Talk: Workers at Home – Part 1

home2Welcome to our first post in our mini series on the topic of being workers at home as God has beautifully created for the woman’s primary domain. I am so thankful for the array of ladies that have graciously stepped forward to share their thoughts and wisdom on this topic, and I pray you would glean much from their wisdom and insight. I have basically given each of the ladies five questions of which we will address one by one over the next few days. We also have further testimonies from women who have chosen to stay at home to raise their families and how the Lord provided through the thick in thin, which we will share at the end.

Titus 2:4-5 states, “These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.”

1. So what does God’s Word have to say to wives and mother about working at home?

I would like to begin by sharing a few thoughts from Carolyn Mahaney’s book, Feminine Appeal:

“First, the obvious conclusion we can draw from the Titus 2 command – to be “working at home” – is that the principle place of work for wives and mothers is at home. Also in 1 Timothy Paul counseled the younger widows to marry, bear children, and manage their households (1 Tim. 5:14). Then we have the noble woman in Proverbs 31: Home was her sphere of work. Scripture is clear that men are responsible to be providers for the home (1 Tim. 5:8), while women are responsible to be the caretakers of the home. Now the Bible does not say that wives and mothers are never allowed to work outside the four walls of their houses; nor does it preclude them from receiving wages for work. Scripture provides examples of godly women who worked in other settings and earned extra income, but never to the neglect of their families and homesWorking at home must always remain a contain and ongoing priority in our lives.”

Here are a few thoughts from our panel:

Marliss (mother of 4, working a part time job from her home): The NKJV of the Bible translates that particular phrase as “homemakers.”  However, I prefer “workers at home” because it seems to incorporate a greater meaning than just making a home.  Working at home not is not only making a pleasant place for the family to live, but also finding better ways to do things, from nutrition to finances.  In this day and age, it can also mean helping our husbands provide for the family, if necessary.

Michele (mother of 1 with another on the way, writing on the side at Frugal Granola): Titus 2 encourages me to provide a nourishing, uplifting atmosphere for my family. I know from experience, that if I am rushing to a job or filling my time with frivolous activities, my family is often neglected.

Scarlett (homeschooling mother of seven children): I believe the meaning behind workers at home as described in Titus 2 is for women to be happy working in our homes.

Michelle F (homeschooling mother of eight children): I have not given this a lot of study time but my opinion is this is literal. We are to be busy in the home. We are to do everything  we can to build up and guard our homes making it a place of safety, a refuge for our husbands and children, and a lighthouse to everyone else. Proverbs 14:1 “a wise woman builds her house”. Proverbs 24:3-4 “By wisdom a house is built”. It is important that we build our homes on the Lord Jesus Christ and His wisdom. It is wisdom we want for ourselves and wisdom we want to impart to our children. We should want to “keep our homes” as a spiritual empire so that the wisdom and aroma of Christ can radiate throughout our homes and penetrate all who enter the home. We must remember sound doctrine is so important. It is the foundation upon which everything in our lives is built. Right thinking (Godly thinking) without right living (Godly living) leads to weak homes with weak believers.

The Greek word for keeper means “stayer at home.” This is a word with a militant meaning like guards keeping watch over a city. We are to do everything we can do to guard our homes especially spiritually. I believe because of the fall our hearts are easily drawn away from the home. Even good things can be to blame for this. Things like church, bible studies, meeting practical needs of others, outside the home. These are all good but if they continually pull you away from home leaving it open, unguarded, they are unprofitable and possibly part of the tearing down. God has given women very clear instructions that their strategic and primary position of influence and assistance is to their husbands and children. Remember “there is a season for every activity under the heavens”. The love of God must be her guide.

Stay tuned for part 2…

Upcoming questions for this series include: Why do you believe it is important to be a worker at home and what benefits/rewards has it provided for you? What are your thoughts on earning income from home and do you have any creative ideas for doing so? Do you have any advice for women whose husband’s have lost their jobs? Do you have any resource recommendations on this topic or that might be helpful in providing ideas on earning income from home?

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

17 Responses to Titus2Talk: Workers at Home – Part 1

  1. Tory December 31, 2009 at 6:09 am #

    Thank you for this article. I am about to read the others. This came at a good time. I’m 26 weeks pregnant and I work and so does my husband. When we first found out I was expecting I knew I wanted to go back to work. Lately I’ve been confused on if that is truly what I want and need. I really like Marliss’s response. She is a working mother but shows that her fist job is the home. I feel now that as long as I can work and not feel like my home is neglected that continuing to work may be the path for us. I was wondering if women could make great workers inside and outside of the home.

  2. Marlo February 19, 2009 at 1:51 pm #

    I just discovered your blog through a sister in Christ on facebook. It’s wonderful. Subscribing so I can keep up on the latest :) God bless!

  3. Jen January 14, 2009 at 10:35 pm #

    Thank you so much to the people who have replied to my situation here. I feel some relief reading your opinions that the necessity for income doesn’t have to compromise my family and home as priority. I am currently making preparations to take a child in for day care, and praying for a family to need me. Even if I just make a few hundred dollars a month it will help. My husband and I have been talking about it and he wants me to find something from home too and it doesn’t have to be much, just enough to help cover my share of the debt.

  4. Organizing MOmmy (Jena) January 14, 2009 at 5:24 pm #

    I am so thankful that I’ve been able to be a keeper at home for all 18 years of our marriage (in May), but my heart goes out to those who have REAL financial problems. It’s almost incredulous when I tell people that we’ve been on one income the whole time. I will say that there seem to be more opportunities than ever for someone to get an income from home. I would research this thoroughly before leaving home. If you have to leave home for $ and your husband is telling you to go, you need to obey him. I would work hard and pray for at home earning opportunities.

    Also, I will say this. As my children have grown into their teens and young adults, more of my time is out of the home (mostly with them) since their changing needs and interests are expanding beyond the borders of the home. I would consider this to be a natural, healthy progression. Just my 2cents.

  5. Natalie C. January 14, 2009 at 1:18 pm #

    I am blessed to be a stay at home mother of three, 4 and under, with one on the way. The Lord has alwasy provided for us and blessed us beyond our imaginations! :) I wanted to recommend what I have been able to do to bring in some income for our family and also bless our community. I have been certified to be a Natural Birth Instructor (with the Bradley method) and it only requires one night a week to teach classes and some at home paper work during the week. I would recommend looking into something like that because I have seen it as a real positive thing to bless and connect with my community. It is something my husband and I really believe in, having had 3 beautiful homebirths. Although I teach women birthing in the hospital as well of course. It costs a bit to become certified, but your first series of teaching usually pays the cost of the classes. Hope this helps some of you in your pursuit of blessing your family, others and living more naturally as well.

  6. Carey January 14, 2009 at 11:55 am #

    This topic as one of many to do with family and help meets is very dear to my heart. I love reading up on it, and there is vast amounts of information on it. Where most of the information comes from for me is the Bible and then I further this with well respected authors and discussions with peers, and friends. I believe I am too be at home and keep it in order and running efficiently. Not perfect, but to the best of MY (no one else’s) abilities. I love being at home and can not imagine doing anything else. I though for finances have had to work, so for years I have had a dayhome to help us achieve both goals. This year I am helping a working mom with her groceries and after school once a week take her kids to activities. Each family needs to do what they believe is right and what makes day to day living financially manageable. For us and especially me it is to be at home. I look forward to more posts and comments.

  7. Jen January 13, 2009 at 10:37 pm #

    Thank you all for your insight! I have a problem that I’m hoping someone here will kindly help me with.

    I wholeheartedly believe and embrace the call to be a keeper of the home. My husband isn’t exactly on the same page. His dad was always after his mom to work and even though he’s not like that…well, here’s our situation.

    I did not grow up in a Christian home (Catholic, but it was more of a “it’s what we do” kind of thing). I learned about salvation and accepted Christ at a friends leading when I was 16, but there were no Bible-believing churches in my area and this friend was a pen-pal, so I was a new believer without a lot of support. I didn’t understand God’s plan for women at that time, and was pushed very hard by every adult in my life to go to college and have a career. I never considered NOT going to college, the question was never “if” but “where”. I was not 18 yet and even though my parents pretty much made me go to college, neither of them did and they didn’t know much about the financial side of it, and at that time they were both caught up in their divorce so I didn’t get much help. In college I started to grow in my relationship with the Lord and I really began getting a sense of God’s plan for women, but I was already stuck in school and in debt. (Being so young, I didn’t realize how the student loans would be so crippling to my future…you sit down in the financial aid office, someone pushes some buttons and tells you the amount you can have…sign on the line and you’re done). When I wanted to get married, my family wasn’t supportive at first and only approved as long as I finished college. We were married three years before I eventually graduated. I was so unhappy in college, even though I’m intelligent and enjoy learning. I just thought it was what I had to do.

    Then I became a mother, and everything in my heart fights against the idea of leaving home for any reason. How could I leave my babies to work at some job that would make me unhappy and take me out of my home?

    We are doing just fine on my husband’s salary, but he says I have to work to pay for my share of student loan debt. (about $60,000, ugh, that makes me sick!). We are fortunate not to have many other debts (and the ones we have are small, and we’re focusing our efforts to eliminate them), and we tithe and give faithfully, but our financial situation is crippled by this student loan debt, on which we pay $1,000 a month-more than our rent and car payment combined! My husband tells me often that it’s not fair for him to have to take on my debt and that I need to work. Ideally, I’d make enough money to pay it all.

    Ladies, this breaks my heart. I am very frugal and make sure we can live within our current means, and we have a happy, contented life. I have no desire to leave my home to work and I haven’t been able to find anything that will let me make some money from home, though I’m hoping to be able to care for another child when Bethany is a little older.

    I hate this debt…it’s not what I wanted for my life and it’s such a horrible price to pay for something I didn’t even enjoy or benefit from. I’m not a career woman, nor will I ever be. And I feel that as long as I’m managing our home and finances and raising our children, I’m doing my part to contribute for my family, and my husband works to provide for us, and that should include our combined debt. We know better now and are saving as much money as we can to get rid of our debts, but in the meantime I am so sad every time he tells me that he wants me to find a job. :( I don’t get it…most men want their wives to be able to stay at home with the kids, right?

    I didn’t mean to write a book here but I know that this is a place of like-minded women and I am really struggling, and just hoping that someone can help me muddle through this…

    • Carey January 14, 2009 at 12:00 pm #

      Oh I so feel for you. Finances are a big weight and burden for alot of families. My husband would love for me not to work and just be a stay at home mom for our family, but we have needed me to work. So I started a day home
      15 years ago and this gave me the best of both worlds. I had one till last June where I then found a women who needed me just to grocery shop, take kids to some activities 1x a week and if the kids are sick take them home. This has been my dream job. It does help here our kids are the same age and in some of the same activities, God did bless me with this job. Keep looking around your area for some odds and ends to do and yes start looking for other children to look after. Most in my home were a lovely addition and my children loved it. It is tough at times but nothing is perfect, nor should it be. I wish you luck and keep your heart with God and pray……

    • MommyAmy January 14, 2009 at 12:49 pm #

      Jen~ I remember having a lot of similar feelings after I graduated from college knowing that I wanted to be a SAHM and having student loan debt. The only thing that really saved me from working was that I only had $15,000 in debt, I had a job out of college making decent money, and a hubby who paid our bills so I was able to put all my earnings into my debt.

      Maybe for you at this stage of life working is what you will need to do. But make a plan. Talk to your husband, make sure you are both on the same page. Plan to work, but put ALL your earnings towards your college debt. And once that debt is paid then plan to return home. Don’t get into the habit of relying on your income in order to get by.

      For many families out there it’s just not feasible for only 1 parent to work. I have a dear friend who works full time as her church secretary. Her family would not make it if she didn’t have her job, and she is very thankful that she’s able to do something that is also a ministry. What she is doing IS taking care of her home, and that’s how it is for a lot of people. There is no shame in doing what is best for your family, and it sounds to me like what is best for your family is getting a job and paying off that debt. Once the debt is paid THEN you can focus on building up your home. There is a season for work, and it sounds like you’re in it.

  8. Alison January 13, 2009 at 3:01 pm #

    I really like the thoughts that are being put forth here. It’s a good discussion of Biblical relevance in our day-to-day lives. I think women have been blessed with a nature that suits us to the hospitality of our homes, but I do not feel women are to be restricted to that (not that I think that’s what’s being said here). I often struggle in thinking of how this passage (and the others mentioned) pertains to women who are married, but do not have children (either are not able to have them, or have not had them yet, or choose not to have any), as well as single women. How do they fit into this so-called “mould”?

    • Lindsay January 13, 2009 at 9:46 pm #

      In regards to single women and others in different seasons of life, I love how Carolyn Mahaney puts it: “I can understand how easy it would be to make school or the workplace the priority in your life. Yet the call to make the home a priority extends to all women, no matter your season of life. Even now you can discover ways to make your residence a home, cultivate the domestic arts, and prayerfully consider how to use your home for outreach and care to others.”

      This shows me that no matter your season, whether single, your children or grown, or before having children, is that the home is still designed to be your first priority. It can be used for the furtherance of the gospel of Christ if it is wisely managed and prepared to be used by the Master. Whether or not children are in the picture, your home is your primary domain to protect, prepare and steward!

  9. MommyAmy January 13, 2009 at 2:58 pm #

    I’m a college graduate, and I had a lucrative career before my twin daughters were born. But my husband and I agreed before we were married that once we had children we would make them our full priority and that included me staying home with them.

    As a result of that decision we only have ever lived within his paycheck. This meant buying a smaller house, rarely going on vacations, etc. Any money that I made went into savings or was treated as “fun money”. This has been the basis of all our financial decisions and as a result we pretty much never argue about finances.

    My parents strongly questioned my decision to give up my career. They really wanted me to continue with my education and go to graduate school. They thought that my place was in the workforce. It has taken YEARS to convince them otherwise.

    All that to say, I made a very solid decision long before we had kids that I wanted to be there for them. I wanted to be the mom who was home with snacks ready when my kids came home from school. I wanted to be the mom who made fresh bread and dinner every night. I wanted to be the mom who hosted dinner parties and Bible studies. And I know that desire is of God and that it is my highest and best purpose.

    Thank you for choosing to post this series, I look forward to reading future editions. :)

  10. Jessica January 13, 2009 at 9:00 am #

    Michelle F’s response reminded me that my role at home is greater than making my home comfortable, functional, a refuge and inviting for those who enter, but more importantly a spiritual guard (so to speak) of my home.

    When you think of that it sure takes the world’s view of a woman at home (or what can be the world’s view) and adds a greater depth and purpose. I am an essential part in the spiritual well-being of my family.

    I’m definitely looking forward to the rest of this series!

  11. Debbie January 13, 2009 at 8:38 am #

    This really speaks to me – all of the women involved in the posts and the comments here. Thank you for sharing this – it speaks to the deep recesses of my heart and I need this.

  12. Robin January 13, 2009 at 6:36 am #

    Caring for our homes, those who are living in it and the actual home itself, is a very high calling and full of adventure. Yes, it can be mundane and tiring if you focus on that, but with the Lord’s help and guidance and His joy it is the most exciting and fulfilling life ever. I used to work outside the home full-time when my daughters were young. My husband and I did not know the Lord when we were first married and did not see the importance of me being at home. After the Lord saved us, He began showing us the importance of me being at home. I then came out of the 9-5 work world and became a homemaker. My husband tells people all the time that after salvation, it was one of the most life-changing experiences for us. After being home now for the past 13 years, I cannot think of one “sacrifice” that I have made that I would ever trade back for working full time out of our home. The Lord’s ways are perfect and true!

  13. judy January 13, 2009 at 5:41 am #

    Lindsay, Thanks so much for this post and series. I so needed refreshment today, My sister-in-law and I have another blog which is busy defending the absolute Truth of God’s word and it has left me weary and drained.

    This was a gulp of ‘living water’. I love the healthy pattern of mentoring and discipleship that Titus 2 provides for younger and older women. The women who walk ahead of me in life and their faith provide pearls of wisdom in my life.

    I think both the Titus 2 woman, the Proverbs 31 woman (and I would add Ruth) show us women whose priorities reflects God’s order. All else falls into place as long as the “order” is preciously discerned.

    During the last couple of months I am looking at my time much differently. Managing takes time — so if it takes an hour to menu plan, scour the grocery adds, clip coupons, make food from scratch, eliminate wastefull spending and I therefore, save the family budget $15. Then I just made $15 an hour! Far better than minimum wage.

    And that IS my job, as a worker at home. Thank you so much, again! Great post, great thoughts from the contributors!

  14. Melonie (Momma & More) January 13, 2009 at 3:43 am #

    WOW – these are some fantastic responses. I think this part stands out to me the most, from Michelle F.:

    “These are all good but if they con­tin­u­ally pull you away from home leav­ing it open, unguarded, they are unprof­itable and pos­si­bly part of the tear­ing down. God has given women very clear instruc­tions that their strate­gic and pri­mary posi­tion of influ­ence and assis­tance is to their hus­bands and chil­dren. Remem­ber “there is a season for every activ­ity under the heavens”.”

    SO well said!