Posted by: biblestudyseattle | February 22, 2013

Should Christian wives work outside the home?

Fortunately the bible provides examples.  Proverbs 31 describes the ideal wife;  it also describes the bride of Christ.

A good wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant,
she brings her food from afar.                       Trading with merchants outside home.
15 She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and tasks for her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;                              Buys land outside the home.
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.   She does manual labor outside.
17 She girds her loins with strength
and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her hand to the poor,
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes herself coverings;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates,
when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them;
she delivers girdles to the merchant.                   She sells her work to merchants.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household,
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.

Another example is Ruth.  Ruth is another picture of the bride of Christ.  She wasn’t even an Israelite, she was a Moabitess, yet she is honored with an entire book of the Hebrews!  The word ruthless comes from her.  In Ruth 2:7 we read:

“She said, ‘Pray, let me glean and gather among the sheaves after the reapers.’ So she came, and she has continued from early morning until now, without resting even for a moment.”

Here she is doing manual labor in the fields all day with no rests, and she doesn’t even complain!  Granted, she isn’t yet married to Boaz, but do you think she wouldn’t continue to do any work Boaz required?  Would the bride of Christ refuse to work outside the home if Jesus so desired?  The key here is submission.  The reason Proverbs 31 says ‘A good wife who can find?’ is because most wives don’t want to submit to their husbands.  They want their husbands to submit to them!

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