Can Christian wives and mothers work outside the home?

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Q. My questions has to do with wives and mothers working outside the home. Several in my church feel that the Bible tells a wife and mother to be a keeper at home. A few of the sisters have small children and are really struggling with this.

I am well aware of some of the legalistic interpretations placed upon this passage. The Word says:

KJV:

Titus 2:5 "To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed."

NIV:

Titus 2:5 "to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no-one will malign the word of God."

NASB '95 edition:

Titus 2:5 "to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored."

The phrase "keepers at home," or "busy at home," or "workers at home," do not restrict in any way the duties of a mother to the "home" only. This phrase certainly requires a mother fulfill her obligations to her family. She is to be a "home maker" a "guardian" of the house, active in household duties.

The context of this instruction is quite important. Christian people certainly make some kind of impression on those who observe them in the world. Our religion may well be judged by the effect it has on the life and character of its possessor. Therefore, if the effect of the Christian religion is to make worse wives, it would not only not commend itself to those on the outside; but would actually result in their blaspheming the Word upon which the religion is based; for it is a well known fact that many people do not judge doctrine by the doctrine itself; instead, they make the character and conduct of its professors the test of the teaching.

Therefore, the whole of the teaching here is to remind the younger women to remember their Christian duty as they go about their various responsibilities, in order to provide the proper example to those who are outside the church.

To come to the conclusion, as some have, that this restricts a mothers responsibilities to the home, and the home alone, is to legislate where God has not legislated. It is legalism. In plain language, it is sinful.

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