Question

Please respond. I’m planning to get married to a very wonderful woman in November. We’re planning to buy a house together soon. I would like to know the roles of working women fit into the Bible’s teaching. Another word, is it biblical for women to work and earn money? Or her roles are just to stay home raise the children, support her husband? Please include some verses so I can reference them. 

Answer

The Bible does not say to a woman “shall not work outside the home”. (Prov. 31: 10-31) gives an example of a woman that handled both being a “homemaker” and a “business woman”. So it is possible, but is it easy? Can all women do it? Should all woman do it? Is she less of a person if she does not do both? Will she regret later in life that she put more emphasis in her “career” than in being a mother and a wife? If she is “successful” in her “career”, but fails in “guiding the home” (1 Tim. 5:14), will it be worth it? If she is “successful” in her “career” and is lost eternally, will it be worth it?

If she “works”, what kind of a job will it be? Will it cause her to compromise her faith? Will she be tempted to be unfaithful in order to climb the corporate ladder? Will she be more interested in being a “career woman” than in being a Christian? The time will come when she will have to make a decision whether to leave her children to another’s care (day care, etc.) or to leave her career.

Lydia was “a seller of purple”. (Acts 15:14) There is no indication that Paul required her to stop after she became a Christian (v. 15). Just as in 1 Corinthians 7 Paul said there are certain situation (“the present distress” v. 26), when it was better for a Christian to be single, there are situations when it is better for a woman not to work.

The same question should be answered by both the husband and the wife. Whatever career both chooses, will their secular jobs interfere with their responsibilities of being a Christian? Will it interfere in time needed to study and worship? Will it place them in compromising situations? Will it interfere in their responsibilities of husband and wife and of being a parent?

The wife is to be a “help meet” for the husband. Anything that would hinder that relationship should be considered thoroughly. The husband is the “head of the wife” (Eph. 5:23-25). It would be good to talk these things over, but the final decision should be the man’s. He must decide and will bear the responsibility. His decision should be based on love for the wife and love for God.

By Danny Stanford

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