Some people say that the woman's ability to stay at home while her husband is the sole provider, just doesn't add up.
I've heard several times of women who read the Bible's command for women to be keepers at home, guard the home, guide the home, and be wives and mothers, come to a heartfelt conviction that they could no longer go to work with the rest of the pack every day. In spite of the fact that things didn't "add up" financially, these women made the commitment and stuck to it, and guess what happened? Somehow, someway, they survived, and they kept their children. What I mean by keeping their children, is that their family is loyal and their children are well adjusted, faithful church members and faithful to the teachings of their parents and the Bible. They aren't troubled people.
Let's have a look at the financial question that many women face when trying to quit work, or avoid going to work. My counsel has always been: "Do what God says do, and let Him take care of the rest." Adding up every expense and then concluding that you can't survive without the mother going to work, leaves God out of the picture. If He, in his wisdom, decides what is best for you, how can we say, "But Lord, we won't make the car payment or the house payment, or have food and clothes?" While it is good to plan, sometimes we are guilty of looking too far ahead and trying to solve everything ourselves and leave God's hand out of it.
I know several women who have taken this advice to do what God says do, and let the rest fall into place. Today, none of them are living under a bridge. In fact, if you were to interview any poor displaced woman living from a bag or living under a bridge, you would discover that she didn't get there because she was sincerely obeying the scripture to take care of things at home, or because she quit work in order to take care of her husband and home school her children.
Sometimes things don't add up on paper, but when you step out in faith, letting God provide, you'll find that things fall into place. Just do what He says do, and watch what happens. I know several families that have found that they are actually better off without the wife's salary. Children are less sick or troubled, which cost less money. Food is less processed, which promotes better health, which costs less money. Mother at home means less wear and tear on vehicles, and even the possibility of having only one car and one repair expense. Believe it or not, you can live with one car, and I've done it for many years. I had grown so used to using my husband's car when he was not using it, that when I finally got another one for myself, it sat outside for days before I remembered I had one! I was waiting for him to get home so I could use his!
Being without a car means less expense for insurance, gas, repairs, parts, tires, and so forth, but it means also you'll accomplish more at home. The more you stay home, the less you'll spend and the more you find you can save, or discover more ways to make money.
But, back to the idea of leaping out on faith and staying home, even though it doesn't look like you'll "make it" financially. One of the keys to doing this is to be diligent once you are at home. You've got to run the place like you mean business. You can't go home just because you want to avoid responsibility. You've got to go home with a purpose: to make that place the best dwelling place you can imagine, for your husband and children. This is going to take some work, but it also brings a lot of pleasure, as your work will create beauty and order and a lovely atmosphere that makes all who enter say, "I LOVE coming here!" Once, after a day out doing essential shopping and errands with my children, we returned to our humble home out in a country area, and my youngest son kissed the floor. "I am so glad to be here!" he said. Instead of home being a source of stress, you will find out it is a place of comfort for everyone and they would rather be "in" than "out" of it.
There are some sacrifices you'll have to make, if you really are determined not to go to work. You may have to find a cheaper way to live, or you may have to figure out how to change your living situation. If you cancel subscriptions and newspapers, or cable television, you can avoid paying out several hundred dollars a year. All these things are pleasures but they aren't worth trading mother going back to work. There are sites all over the web that show women various hints on how they can come home, and "make it," but even without doing these things, I know without a doubt that it is possible for a woman to be in the role God wants her to be in, and survive, without losing everything. Even so, in my opinion, there is no possession worth keeping if a woman has to put her family in the care of others in order to go to work to save some object.
I know of women who work, put their children in daycare, and hire housekeepers to look after their homes. In just a few years I've seen the stress on these women age them to the point that they look older than I am, and I'm a grandmother. It isn't worth it. These women are not working so that their families will have good character or be better people; they are working to pay for something. Their wages are not high, and they are burning both ends of the candle.
The Bible clearly states that young women should marry, have children, and keep the house and home. Why would God tell us to do something and then make it impossible to do it? I've heard the argument that this sort of life worked "in Victorian times," but now it is not possible, because of the economy. The economy is a relative thing, and even a nebulous thing, because each person creates their own economy. Some people even prosper in hard economic times, because of their Biblical approach to economy. We must not be guided by the news reports about the economy. Your economy is your own, and it is up to you how you manage it. Sometimes you'll hear news reports that in order to survive, the average family must bring in a certain amount of income. If you pay any attention to that, you'll end up back at work. It isn't true that women could stay at home only in the past, but not these days. It used to be said that "two can live as cheaply as one," and it is still true, if the couple are sharing their possessions, rather than buying one thing for each person. The Bible principles worked, they say, in Victorian times, but they work today or in any age. They can be put into practice, no matter what the current economy is. If they worked in the past, they'll work for us, today.
If you really want to obey the Word, you've got to trust God to provide for you, but my motivation for obeying the command to stay home, is so that I might help my family develop the character and obedience that will gain them the heavenly reward, and that I myself will be in compliance with God's will. To complain that I do not have this or that, or have very little or no money, is to question His provision for me.
You may be thinking about quitting work, and trying to add up your household profit and loss sheet, but I'll tell you right now that it won't add up. If you are waiting for it to balance out, you'll never go home. Just go home and see if He will not open up the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing that cannot be contained. Do not go into homemaking expecting God to "pull his share of the load," however, but do it because it is the right thing to do. Forget about the rewards right now, and just do the right thing.