Mothers Working Outside The Home
I am not condemning all mothers of young children who work outside their homes. I well know that many have no choice. But when a mother is able to choose, and she chooses to devote herself to caring for her family, why would anyone want to make her feel as if she is not worth very much, is lazy, or is shirking her responsibilities?
Some have even called such women "freeloaders," have accused them of not carrying their own weight, or have said that caring for children is demeaning and a waste of intelligence and education. Nothing could be further from the truth!
Any woman, who has stayed at home and devoted herself to caring for the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual needs of one child or of several children, is doing a duty-a very taxing and exhausting duty at that-of inestimable value and far-reaching consequences. She uses both her education and her intelligence constantly! Hers is truly a labor of love. She should be encouraged and uplifted, not denigrated.
Accessibility Factor Of Caring Mothers
A mother knows her children and their needs in ways that no hired caregiver could possibly know them. She is there when they need her, not "by appointment only." She is obedient to the command that she be a keeper at home and that she is to love her children (Tit. 2:4–5).
Love involves so much more than just words or emotions (1 Cor. 13:1–8). The stay-at-home mother fulfills her responsibility to teach her children at all hours of the day (Deut. 6:6–9). One cannot teach children merely by saying something such as "All right, now we are going to sit down for fifteen minutes, and I am going to teach you." While there is certainly a place for "scheduled" teaching, I believe a mother's (or a father's, for that matter) most valuable teaching is that which she does moment by moment, while going about her daily routine of activities.
She teaches her children by her attitude, by the tone of her voice, by her patience (or lack of it), by the comments she makes, by the songs she sings, and by that to which she listens to on the radio or watches on TV, by her concern for others and the good deeds she does for them, and by her honesty (or the lack thereof [e.g., "Answer the door and tell whoever it is that Mother is not home!"]). Children can see through us; they know very well what is "most" important to us.
Foregoing The Material Things Of Life
The stay-at-home mother and her family must be willing to forego many of the material things they might otherwise have with her extra income, but the trade-off is well worth it. Sadly, sometimes even Christian husbands will try to push their wives into taking a job and leaving their children. Solomon said, "Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fatted ox and hatred with it" (Prov. 15:17 - RSV). Paul wrote to the Philippians, "I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content" (4:11). He wrote to Timothy, "Godliness with contentment is great gain," and warned that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil; we should not trust in riches (1 Tim. 6:6, 10–11, 17–19).
Sometimes I think it is easier to be content with less than it is with more. The sad truth is, the more we have, the more we want (Eccl. 1:8; Prov. 27:20). (In fact, we would all be better off if we did not have some of our possessions which take our attention away from spiritual things - or worse, plant evil thoughts and desires in our heads.) Could there be a relation between the material things - luxuries (now deemed "necessities") purchased with Mother's extra money and the fact that so many church members have their vision almost entirely focused on earthly, material, physical things-from sensual "worship" practices to questionable, worldly methods of reaching the "unchurched"?
We so easily forget that this world is not our home, and that we can take none of our possessions with us (Job 1:21; 1 Tim. 2:4; 6:7; Heb. 11:8–10). Only those treasures which are stored in Heaven will survive (Matt. 6:19–21).
My most prized physical treasures are my children and grandchildren, and I want them to go to Heaven more than I want anything else for them. Surely this is true of any sober-minded mother.