Have you ever tried to make a piece of toast in the mircrowave? Try putting a piece of bread in the microwave and turn it on high for about 30 seconds. Chances are, you are not going to get a golden brown piece of toast. What about frying an egg in the toaster? How well do you think that would work? It’s pretty obvious that toasters aren’t made to fry eggs. We understand that various appliances have unique functions; not all have the same purpose. However, when it comes to understanding and accepting that God has created different roles for men and women, the concept suddenly becomes difficult to a lot of people. Granted, the make-up of men and women is a lot more complicated than your average appliance, but the truth is: God has indeed designed men and women differently and in keeping with that, he has given each a particular area of work in which they are to focus their energies.
In order to be a successful mother,
we must UNDERSTAND our role.
“Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled” Titus 2:3-5.
Feminism has made a valiant effort to destroy the distinctions between men and women, as well as to undermine those who choose to respect God’s Word on the matter and work within the framework of their particular role. Unfortunately, the church has not gone unaffected. A few weeks ago I met a lady at a worship service and we began visiting about my daughter’s upcoming wedding. She asked how Julia met her then soon-to-be husband and then proceeded to relate how her husband’s nephew had met his wife. She commented that the nephew’s wife had gone to school and had earned her Master’s degree. She then made the statement “Now all she does is take care of her children.” The implication was clear: this woman wasn’t living up to her full potential because she wasn’t working in the profession for which she had been educated.
God, the Master Designer, created man and woman with unique abilities which enable them to carry out their particular role, and when both are living out God’s purpose in their lives, they compliment one another in a beautiful way. Man’s purpose is to work to provide for the physical needs of his family and to lead his family spiritually. Woman’s purpose is to be a helpmeet to her husband (Genesis 2:18), to be a worker at home (Titus 2:5), and to do her part to train another generation of men and women to be faithful servants of God. When one tries to fulfill the purpose of the other, things don’t turn out so well. The home is the foundation upon which a society stands or falls, and it has been proven time and time again, when men and women abandon their God-given roles, deterioration of that society follows.
Let’s give some thought to the mixed messages we often send to our daughters. On one hand, we teach them, at least in theory, that when they get married and have kids, they should work at home and care for their family. On the other hand, as soon as they graduate from high school, we press them to choose a secular career, more often than not go into thousands of dollars of debt for desired career, and leave home to accomplish it. Time and time again my daughters have received, at the very least, a raised eyebrow and a few facial expressions indicating disapproval and disappointment when they’ve responded to people’s interrogations about their future with “I plan to continue working at home in order to prepare myself to be a wife and mother.” Can we not see a problem here when young women are scorned for making such a decision? Choosing to take this path is not equivalent to foregoing education. Going through a “system” of institutionalized education, costing tens of thousands of dollars, is not the only way to increase one’s knowledge.
I would like to challenge each of us to put as much energy into being a successful help-meet and mother as one would put into being a doctor or lawyer or teacher. If you are not yet married, dedicate your time and energy to preparing yourself for that high calling, and hold your head up high, in spite of any criticism you might face because of your decision. If you are a mother, refresh your zeal, renew your dedication to serve your family with gladness. Spend some time self-evaluating how you are training your daughter to accomplish the work God has set for her to do.
Embrace the work God has designed especially for you,
instead of simply enduring it.
By Joy Jensen
Joy and her husband George live and serve as missionaries in Iringa, Tanzania, East Africa. They have four children, and a much-loved son-in-law. You can follow her adventures (and find many wonderful posts) at her blog.