Controversy Over the Obvious?…It’s Best For Women to Stay Home With Their Children

A good follow-up, I think, from my recent post that received so much commentary.

It’s this that I just cannot get past…that we (as a whole) get literally angry over the blaring, obvious fact that families need mothers…that it’s good for a nation to think this way. Some of you are mad just because I said that.

It’s this excerpt from the excellent article linked below, that resonates with me. Not debating over “when and if and how” and “it’s not fair”, but acknowledging what is good for us and our families, which will facilitate a movement toward making that more possible for more women.  And when we are about what is good for all of us rather than what “I want”, it’s just makes sense.

“The mentality which honors women more for their work outside the home than for their work within the family must be overcome. This requires that men should truly esteem and love women with total respect for their personal dignity, and that society should create and develop conditions favoring work in the home…” John Paul II

Hear me: it’s not an attempt to “make women feel bad” who, for some reason, just are not able to be home. It’s about a collective agreement that would cause the whole of us to do what we can to support a woman home whose family needs her. Because this is what happens…if our mentality is off-base (“it doesn’t matter–there is no change in the climate of home whether mom is there or not”, etc.), then there’s a break down of  truth that hinders mothers from even being able to do their jobs. Churches and families (the first line of defense during a financial crisis)  cease to consider their need to help and encourage mothers to be home. “Go get a job like everyone else” is the default response. But not the right one. We destroy ourselves (collectively) when we don’t promote the truth, which in turn, causes us to behave wrongly.

Do yourself a favor and read all of  Controversy over the obvious? New Cardinal says it’s best for women to stay home with their children



154 Responses to “Controversy Over the Obvious?…It’s Best For Women to Stay Home With Their Children”

  1. Kate S. says:

    No one likes being told that what they’re doing isn’t the best, even when it is true. It’s is convicting for some, stressful for others, and depressing for even more. But true is true. I am blessed to be able to stay at home with my children, but I admit that I am lacking in many areas. Granted, I am in the final weeks of a pregnancy that’s been difficult, but there is more I want to do with my children. I know career moms who are more involved with their children than I am!

  2. jill hamilton says:

    I admire a woman who has chosen to stay at home. I am a teacher and work very hard. I miss my 2 girls everyday. They have a wonderful sitter down the road from our house. We would not be able to have our basic necessities if I didn’t work. I am glad it works out for some. I pray for my family daily that they get what they need. We raise our girls in a Christian environment and hope God sees us through.

    • Keri says:

      Jill,

      I just want to tell you that your post was a Blessing and yes..The Lord can and will see you through raising your children!! Blessings to you today.

  3. Amy says:

    That quote from the article really spoke to me. I think it hits on one of the major issues that comes up when we speak of stay at home wives and mothers. So often this gets framed as a debate among women or as the much-maligned “mommy wars.” However, it’s not just a women’s issue; it’s an entire family issue. As a result of modern feminist thinking, men are growing up with the idea that work inside the home is not of value and that there’s something wrong with women who don’t work outside the home. And that thinking has been leading us into a society where home and family lose their value. There have always been women who have found themselves in situations where they have to work outside the home, but it’s only in recent times that women in large numbers have been pressured to work whether the family needed it financially or not.

  4. Rebecca Fulcher says:

    I completely agree. I have to work outside the home right now and I see a major difference in my children when we are all at home together on the weekends, and during the week when we only see each other for 2 hours before bed time! Our kids need us and it is sad that so many are willing to give up so much in their kids lives just to pursue what they want for themselves. It is sad that we are in a society where they want the mothers out of the home not raising their children or fullfilling their purpose. It is sad that society and feminism have made it where it is almost impossible for a mother in a lower or even middle income family to be able to stay with her children and still have food on the table. This is not to make anyone feel bad, like I said, I myself have to work outside of the home right now; but it is awful that so many don’t have a choice anymore; because of decisions that were made for us years ago by someone who we don’t even know.

    • Word Warrior says:

      I *so* appreciate hearing a woman (you, in this case ;-) ) who works outside the home say, “It’s not ideal” instead of defending herself. That’s the spirit I’m talking about. Not a perfect society, but one with an accurate “starting point”, so that we can move in the right direction, at least.

      • Tiffany says:

        I agree with Rebecca also! I work outside the home 3 days a week and those days are CRAZY! Kids are moody and irritable, as well as mom and dad. The days I am home wiht the children things seem to be so much better. 2 years ago when I started reading this blog I thought I would be a full time working outside the home mom forever! But slowly we have made changes and we are getting closer and closer to me staying home full time. Praise God!

  5. Keri says:

    That was a good and interesting article.I think for the mom’s who do have to work outside the home..for whatever circumstance and I do believe that sometimes they are there..the key is…Putting your family first and foremost when you are with them.You can continue to train them and love them with help from the Lord.You might have to put other things on hold for a while..like helping in the church so much or helping with extra projects that your work may want you to volunteer…if you can get out of it.Ideally..it is really good for woman to stay home with their children.Not every husband is supportive of this.Love him,forgive him when needed and pray lots.
    I think that we as mom’s in the church really need to let others see that is a joy to be home..(and let’s be honest-it has it’s moments)but don’t jobs also have their moments..lol.
    One of the mindsets I see in the church now with younger moms(Kelly-maybe this can be a seperate post)is that they are only going to have just a couple of kids and give them everything they need or want and I’ll go back to work to help.It won’t be hard because they will only have a couple of kids..after all..this economy!!We hardly have any babies in our nursery!! We are the second largest family in our church and we only have six kids.The largest family has seven.This from a church of around 400.So what can we do as mom’s who do stay home?We can encourage the moms who are there and help them when needed.We can share how we save money and make it as a mom who is able to stay home.We can raise our kids so they can see that it does make a difference.If we are stay at home moms and our kids are completely out of control..well..they are going to think we are crazy and doing a terrible job.My single daughter watches some of the mom’s with younger children and believe me she really learns from their example(positive)and talks to me about it.They are an encouragement to her.
    Years ago a really good friend of mine called me a “Career Mom”..I got to thinking about that and realized that I think every mom should be a Career Mom regardless if you stayed home or worked.I have known successful moms who have raised Godly kids who had to work outside the home but they said NO to all the other stuff that could have been in their lives and gave their time to their kids after the job.Their kids worked together while the mom was at work and helped each other.Team Work!! I think there is a Big difference between the mom who has to go back to work for whatever reason and the Mom who chooses to go back to work because she doesn’t want to be at home.Hope you all have a Great Day!! It is unusually cool here in S.W.Florida today and we are loving it!

  6. Laura says:

    A thought I have had is ‘when did this mindset begin?’ I have heard many comment on the bad effects of the Industrial Revolution on the family. I have wondered if, when society was largely agrarian, and parents and children interacted every day, and worked together, if seeing this relational family life is what the women thrived on. Then, say after some men left the farms to work away in factories, because they could earn more money, the wives began to be embittered because they were no longer in that constant relational living with their families as a whole. I know for myself, if my hubby isn’t going to be there for supper, (or many suppers!), due to work, I find it harder to stand up and cook a nice meal for just me and the children. What I am trying to say is as the women were embittered after many men left the home farms, perhaps they(the women) were then ripe to receive the empty feminist message. Perhaps that generation didn’t leave the home, but their resentment and bitterness would have rubbed off on the next generation, leaving more and more daughters growing up with less intent to stay home. Especially when a father/husband can’t protect what he isn’t with. He can’t protect his wife and children if he is gone from her! And the woman feels that and feels less cherished.

  7. Queen of Carrots says:

    Why mothers? Aren’t fathers important in the lives of their children, too? Aren’t fathers commanded to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord? If they can do this while doing paid work outside of the home (not as second-best or compromise, but simply as what they choose to do under God’s guidance)–why can’t mothers? Or why shouldn’t a couple choose for mother to work some so that father can spend more time with the kids? What children need are parents.

    • Word Warrior says:

      Queen (love that name ;-) )

      I agree with you that fathers have pulled way too far from the home. I often say that the reason so many moms feel overwhelmed (besides not having support of mothers, sisters, aunts and cousins as they once did), is that it wasn’t intended they do this job by themselves, which is what it sometimes feels like.

      However, going back to the clearly defined roles in Scripture with the “dominion mandate” as its foundation, we see that a man’s primary mission was providing sustenance for his family while the woman’s primary mission was “toward her husband”, helping him fulfill their JOINT mission of raising children and “tending” their domain. Ideally, I certainly think men and women and children should work together in this mission, even on a practical level. That’s why I’m such a huge proponent of entrepreneurial pursuits.

      But if someone is required to leave home for the family’s provision, it is most clearly the husband’s responsibility. We know this from explicit teaching/examples in God’s word, as well as the very obvious way nature teaches us…i.e. by design, only a woman can feed her baby which requires her to be its primary nurturer, no questions asked, until we goofed things up with our man-made solutions ;-)

      So yes, I think it would be good to see a return to having husbands and fathers more physically involved in the family rearing. But no, contrary to a feminists’ viewpoint, they are not “equally equipped for the task”.

      • Jennifer says:

        Mmm, I don’t know if they’re not equally equipped; just not the same way. Nice to hear this, though, since some people I know think men are literally superior in everything, including more important in raising their children.

      • Where is the dominion mandate given to men primarily? In Genesis 1 it’s clearly joint. Genesis 2 does refer to the woman as a helper; but that does not indicate a limit on the scope of her role, since the root word is frequently used to refer to God’s help of us (see, e.g. Genesis 49:25). Even if you can find many descriptions of men having a more public role than women (and I don’t actually see that many), that does not prove a mandate. Biblical *descriptions* are not *prescriptions*. (There’s a lot of immorality described, too!)

        • Word Warrior says:

          To address your semantics (“helper”) question…”When He helps His people, He retains His glorious deity but (amazingly!) steps into the servant role, under us, to lift us up. He is the God who emptied Himself and came down to our level—below us, to the level of slavery—to help us supremely at the Cross. Therefore, the fact that the Old Testament portrays God as our Helper proves only that the helper role is a glorious one, worthy even of the Almighty. This Biblical fact does not prove that the concept of helper excludes subordination. Subordination is entailed in the very nature of a helping role.” From Male-Female Equality

          Yes, they are BOTH clearly given dominion, fulfilled only as each carries out his and her role. How do we know they have distinct roles? First, and I already mentioned it, nature tells us. Secondly, Scripture tells us in several places, specifically, that the role of woman is her primarily her home, husband and children.

          If those two are not enough, we cannot be convinced ;-)

          • I am quite willing to be convinced by both God and nature; I just think we need to be very careful because we tend to read both through the lens of our own culture (or counter-cultural reaction!) and experiences. What makes sense for one family as the best way to keep the home and provide for it may not make sense for another family. And there simply are not explicit, for-all-time Biblical mandates on the topic.

            • Jennifer says:

              Exactly, and subordination is most certainly not inherent in a helper role; it’s partnership, assistance, as God called Himself the ezer of Israel. Christ served His people, but He was never subordinate to them.

          • LVH says:

            Isn’t the role of the man, primarily his wife and children also? Yet, he is not regulated to the home. The home is the base for everyone in the family. Yes, it is where children are raised and taught. However, the father and mother both share the task of raising children; not the mother has 90% and the father has 10%.

            Mothers may be more in tune with the parenting qualities of raising children; nurture, love, tenderness ect. However, these qualities should and need to be encouraged in men as well. It doesn’t mean that women are meant to be home full-time.

            Paul writes in scripture that it is better for men and women not to be married and wants them to be spared from the troubles from marriage. We know that he wrote that in a time period where he believed that the end was near. Likewise, when he wrote that women should be at home, he wrote it specifically in regards to a time period where women did not have nearly the amount of presence, freedom, and protection in the working world that we have today.

            There is no doubt that women and men must make the home and their family first. However, I just don’t see good biblical support for your position that women must primarily be stay-at-home mothers. Even if we take your breastfeeding example into account, that would maybe be for a year to a year and a half.

            Women and men both have beautiful qualities that make both sexes equally desirable in the working world; not just primarily women. The choice to work is a personal one between husbands and wives.

            • Word Warrior says:

              “she looks well to the ways of her household”…(with details of what this means.) Proverbs 31: something

              “No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the saints, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.” 1 Tim 5:10 (Hardly possible if she has a full time job outside the home)

              There’s little need for debate since you are reinterpreting Scripture and even assuming meaning to fit your point of view (Titus 2). While I certainly agree that “raising children is given to both men and women”, yet it can’t be assumed that since someone has to leave to make provision (if that’s the case) it should necessarily be both of them to “keep things fair”. I think either leaving home for large amounts of time is not ideal; but there’s no question that a man’s first priority is provision while a woman’s first priority is guarding home.

              • LVH says:

                “No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the saints, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.”

                A female nurse can show hospitality, wash feet and bodies of dozens of patients, help those who are in trouble, and help treat the sick–all of which are good deeds. A female nurse can also have a family of her own, be faithful to her husband and raise children.

                A female midwife can do all of the above, and a female lawyer, and a female physician and a female politician.

                In the example of the proverbs woman, she does leave her household and we honestly have no idea how much time she spends in the fields or at the marketplace selling her goods. She also had human servants that aided her in her housework and how many families in the US have those? Plus women did not have nearly the opportunities or presence in the workforce that they do today, so naturally scripture is going to lean towards what happened according to the time period.

                “There’s little need for debate since you are reinterpreting Scripture and even assuming meaning to fit your point of view.”

                Perhaps there is no need for debate because we both have different interpretations of Scripture. I do believe that God allows both men and women to be in the workforce and contribute to the economy and to society in a outside-the-home career. You disagree, and that’s fine. :-D

                • Word Warrior says:

                  The proverbs woman doesn’t go to the marketplace to sell her goods. She wholesales “to merchants”. We have servants that aid us too (dishwasher, refrigerator, etc., though I forget how this is relevant to our conversation ;-) )

                  The rest I will agree to disagree with you on. Even if you feel you are able to rationalize away the wisdom of Scripture, the evidence is overwhelming, even with honest secularist and feminists, that a woman cannot effectively take care of two full time jobs. I’m not out to “oppose” women or say they can’t do this or that or prove their not capable, wonderful additions to a particular field or even say they can NEVER work outside the home. That is not my point, or the point of this article. It is GOOD for a woman to devote herself full time to raising, teaching, training children and doing the myriads of tasks to help her husband. It is GOOD. For her, for her family and for all of us. That’s the forest among the trees.

                • Brittany says:

                  LVH,

                  People do not get paid to do good deeds. That is not what a good deed is. A good deed is done without the expectation of monetary gain. The children likely would have been right beside the wife helping in the fields as they not too long ago did, and as Word Warrior explains, the woman sold her goods to merchants. :)

                  • LVH says:

                    Interesting take on what a good deed is.

                    Note for the future: Police Officers, people in the military, firefighters, doctors and nurses do not do good deeds because they get paid. I should probably head on over to my neighbor’s house. Her husband is deployed overseas, establishing local schools for the people of Afghanistan. He’s getting paid so he must not be doing a good deed. :-D

                    • Brittany says:

                      Then according to your logic? People get paid to do good deeds.

                      Then my husband also does good deeds when he goes to work because he fixes peoples homes, and the mailman does good deeds because he brings us our mail, and the girl at the checkout line at the store does good deeds because she helps us get checked out, and the guy at the autoshop does good deeds because he fixes our vehicles. These are paid jobs. A good deed is done without expectation of monetary gain. You cannot take certain jobs and put them in a group under the title of good deeds. On the other hand a good deed might be taking a casserole to an elderly or sick neighbor or helping a friend build a house without expecting anything in return.

    • Carolina says:

      Read Genesis 3. To whom did God say: You will earn the bread with the sweat of your brow? To Adam or to Eve? To whom did he say she would bear the children in pain?
      From the very beginning in history God is presenting 2 different roles. Fathers are VERY necessary in children rearing, but God says they are to be the primary bread bringers.

      • Jennifer says:

        I don’t recall God using the term “earn your bread”. Back then the only work to be done was physically hard, so of course the man did it while the child-bearing woman watched the children. To say now that women must only bear children and refrain from, say, a job at a desk or computer engineering would be silly. This doesn’t mean a man isn’t caretaker of his family, simply not that they have to be the only ones working.

      • LVH says:

        Galatians 3:28 says “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

        So the mandate from Genesis is no longer.

        • Word Warrior says:

          This verse doesn’t remotely negate the mandate from Genesis. This verse explains that no one is kept from coming to Christ based on status, gender, etc. To suggest otherwise is a gross misinterpretation.

          • LVH says:

            That is your interpretation, Kelly. :-)

            The point was that we don’t need to follow the Old Testament laws or regulations to gain salvation. Everyone can get it. All men don’t have to sweat by their brow to work and all women don’t necessarily have to have childbirth pains anymore either (Thank-you epidural!).

    • Rachel says:

      Personally, I think the choice of who takes point in raising the kids and keeping the home is between husband and wife. If a woman feels strongly called to the workplace, and her husband feels called to the homemaking role, I think that can work too. However, I think it is very important that children be raised primarily by their parents–not in daycare or by nannies!

      That said, when women are polled about whether they would prefer to work fulltime, divide their time between work and home, or be home fulltime, the overwhelming majority fall into the latter two camps, with more women preferring the role of fulltime homemaker to the role of fulltime breadwinner. Therefore, I think it’s safe to assume that homemakers are going to be female when we are speaking in general terms.

      • Word Warrior says:

        Rachel,

        One problem with something you said…”If a woman feels strongly called to the workplace”…

        Since I’m talking to Christian women here, primarily, we have to go back to the question, “Is it about what *I* want (i.e. “feel strongly called to”), or does Scripture prescribe what my primary role as a mother and wife is? I believe that particularly if a woman has a husband and children, the Bible gives some clear directives about her focus being her home. Therefore, to “feel strongly called” away from that home is to disregard any guidance from Scripture. Such a statement works great from a humanistic perspective (and even then, it’s only the statement that works great…there are still usually real problems with this role-reversal) where the Bible is irrelevant, but if we’re talking from a Christian standpoint, we do have direction and so it does matter.

        • Rachel says:

          When I wrote that I was concerned that my intent was not clear. I was trying very deliberately not to write of personal wants, because I was not thinking about personal wants.

          Occasionally and infrequently, God leads people to unusual situations that do not match traditional ideals. Sometimes that involves couples (together–not individually)going down an unorthodox path–and the Bible speaks to that. I am not speaking of subverting the role of men as leaders of their households.

          I don’t personally have experience with this, since I am a housewife, but I do have experience with God leading my family in highly unanticipated directions that truly “surpass all understanding.”

          Again, thank you for your post.

  8. Thanks for always blogging from your heart, Kelly. These blogs on motherhood have been so good. I love what the Cardinal said! I’m sure he has been berated for it since they turned the comment off on the post. We have fallen so so far. I am attacked all the time for taking a stand for motherhood and being at home. I wish women knew what a valuable and fulfilling job it is to be at home caring for little ones and for a home. God made us and wired us to do this awesome ministry. If only we would start reading His word and listening to His voice and not the voices of the feminist society.

  9. Jennifer says:

    His comments were very good indeed; he did not condemn women working, but kindly and wisely pointed out their worth at home. People better leave him be.

  10. If anyone wants to read the encyclical (letter) that is quoted by the Cardinal in the article, here is a link. http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_jp-ii_exh_19811122_familiaris-consortio_en.html
    It is SOOOO inspiring!

    This is another great one on the Dignity of Women: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_15081988_mulieris-dignitatem_en.html

    Blessings,
    Bethany

  11. Hey Kelly! I really appreciate your stance for the truth,even when it is hard. As you know I used to work outside the home, and when we (through God, of course) made it work for me to come home and raise my kids, we realized there is not much support for this choice. I am not one needing or looking for a pat on the back, but it’s hard when one receives discouragement, rather than encouragement. I recently had an “older woman” in my family tell me that “I needed to get a job”! So, I am empowered by these posts! Thank you! Love you!
    Julie

  12. Charity says:

    I think it’s hard for people to admit that it’s best for women to be home, because in most cases it means that things would need to change. Or at least, once the “best” is admitted/realized then the thought of change to reach the “best” scenario, makes people uncomfortable. Uncomfortable because what’s the point of being home in an empty house? Then there begins the thought of where is it best for the children to be. Perhaps we should go so far as to say it is best for families to be home. Just my two cents…

  13. 6 arrows says:

    Thank you for your boldness, Kelly. This post, and especially the link you gave in your comment to Queen of Carrots, gave me some additional food for thought relating to things I’d been thinking about after your “Why I’m Not Teaching My Children to Follow Their Dreams” post, but did not express.

    I may be back with more… ;-)

  14. Rachel says:

    So true. And I loved the cardinal’s comments.

    The other thing is that a woman exiting the workforce to care for her home, marriage, and children is also making her former position available for a breadwinner. If more women stayed at home, the unemployment rate wouldn’t be nearly as bad–especially since women currently have an easier time finding work than men.

  15. Carolina says:

    We whould have never got to this point in society where a mother with young children really has to go to work outside the home in leave her children with someone else. We should never have gotten there.
    There are many reasons. One of them is obvious: husbands do not make enough money and thus 2 salaries are necessary. Yes, but why do men not earn enough? In many cases is because there are not enough good jobs available there because… many women who should be home raising their children are taking those jobs!
    Unemployment among men was rare before the feministis decided we were nobody if we “just” stay home.
    Other reasons why women have to work outside the home: they are single mothers. Unless they are widowed, they are outside of God´s design for families. To whome did God give the command “be fruitful and multiply”? To a married couple. And divorce was not in God´s hear either.
    The farer away we go from God´s design, the more problems we will have.

    • Sue M. says:

      Carolina, you wrote:

      “In many cases is because there are not enough good jobs available there because… many women who should be home raising their children are taking those jobs!”

      I understand where you are coming from but with all due respect, isn’t it more complicated than that? For example, men hold an extremely high percentage of jobs in the skilled trades (plumber, carpenter, electrician, etc.). Every woman in these trades could quit tomorrow, but it still wouldn’t open up many more positions for men.

      And there are occupations, usually those requiring a college degree, such as accounting and computer science, where women are approaching holding half of the jobs? If they all quit, would there be enough trained men to fill the vacancies?

      Then there’s the opposite side of the coin — jobs traditionally held by women — elementary school teachers, nurses, beauticians, secretaries/administrative assistants? If all these women quit their jobs most men wouldn’t have the training/education to qualify for them … and there wouldn’t be enough men to fill them anyway.

      Actually, I’ve read that in at least parts of the country employers have decent-paying manufacturing jobs available for people who are trained to do them. Our local community college is willing to put programs for any employer who needs trained employees (for a fee, of course). Or men can consider retraining (or young guys can consider a career) in a field that pays well and is in demand, like nursing.

      I hope I didn’t hit a raw nerve, Carolina; it wasn’t my intent. I agree with you that we should have a society where one parent (which will usually be the mother) can stay home with their young children, and it is ideal, especially with younger children. I differ with you that women should be full-time SAHMs. I wouldn’t want anyone but my husband and I and the Lord to make that decision for us and I would never say that someone else must do so.

      Pax,

      Sue

      • Laura says:

        If you really look at what nurses do, you are not going to find many men who want to do that. I mean really look at what they do on a day-to-day basis. That is why mostly women have always been nurses. Same with other traditionally female jobs, they aren’t something they would interest men or something they would generally excel at.

        How many men want to wipe poop and help people to toilet? That is the job of a CNA. And it is one of the most in-demand jobs right now, and there is a reason it is 95% female…

        • Jennifer says:

          Laura, more and more men are taking nursing jobs, and thank God; many men would not be comfortable with a woman helping them with extremely private matters.

        • Barb says:

          My husband has been a nurse for 30 years and I actually take offense at your comments including “…not many men would want to do that…” Nursing is a very noble career choice, regardless of your gender.

          • Sue M. says:

            Barb,

            You are absolutely correct. Nursing is a valuable, necessary, and often underappreciated profession for both women and men. Hats off to your husband. I’m sure both his male and female patients appreciate him, but for certain situations, his male patients really appreciate him.

      • Jennifer says:

        What you say is true, Sue, but there IS a surplus of women working who would probably be better at home with their kids. Things would even out to a better degree if women with more than two kids simply chose to take care of them exclusively or more often.

        • Sue M. says:

          I see your point, Jennifer, and realize that many moms who work outside the home long to be SAHMs and could probably swing it if they pinched their pennies. Or as a pastor said at a wedding I attended, hold off on having children for a few years and save all of the wife’s income during this time. By the time the children come along, the couple will be used to living on hubby’s income, have a nice nest egg to boot, and have a real choice as to whether mom stays at home full-time, works part-time, chooses to start a home business, or whatever.

          On the other hand, there are many jobs that could be refashioned with part-time hours, flextime, or the opportunity to work from home, but not enough employers will even try these accommodations.

      • Carolina says:

        Sue, I did not say that women have to be full time SAHM. My point was simple: In developed countries there simply aren’t enough jobs available for everybody who wants to have one.
        That did not happen when mothers of young children quitted jobs to tend to them. As long as married women with young children go to work full time there will not be anough jobs for everybody. That is why some men do not make enough to be the sole providers for their families. So women work and there we are again. No solution.
        I have been working out of my home till I lost that job 3 yrs. ago. I am the first one who wants to contribute economically to my family.

        • Sue M. says:

          Carolina,

          I apologize if I misunderstood you when you said that not all women with children had to be SAHM’s.

          But I gently question your assumption that there will never be enough good jobs for men as long as there are so many mothers in the work force.

          I’m not an economist, but unemployment has been a problem for many, many, men and women for the last few years and in some occupations it has hit men especially hard. But before this “Great Recession” was having too moms in the workforce a problem for men in securing good jobs?

    • Brittany says:

      Personally, I really tire of hearing that the husband does not make enough money and that 2 salaries are necessary. This is such an overstated thing today. In most cases this is said not because the husband is not making enough money to support the family with the necessities but because they want the necessities plus some. My husband earns $15,000 a year in construction and we have three children. I am able to take this money and pay everything we need to pay. We have a 3 bedroom home, 2 vehicles, and 10 acres of land… all paid for. I think some people are unwilling to shop at thrift stores, buy used vehicles, live in smaller homes with smaller bedrooms, eat at home, and be patient when it comes to getting things they want or need. Our children have nice clothes and so do we and we usually pay a dollar or less per item and they are like brand new. I think it is perfectly reasonable that families can live well off one income and that children need thier mothers now more than ever. Kids are so out of control these days, being left to their own devices in many cases for long periods of time. Parents pay someone else to do their job of raising their kids. The youth of America has been on a downhill spiral since the moms left the home and parents started worrying more about keeping up with the Joneses than what is really important.

      • Charity says:

        Wow! I think you are spot on! Very wisely and boldly spoken.

      • Word Warrior says:

        Brittany,

        You have nailed a great truth and one I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. As Americans, we have gotten so far from a healthy state of living with our expectations of luxury, etc. I’ve been personally convicted, reading the book, Radical, of my own life, and we live very, very frugally. I agree that in most cases I think two incomes are necessary to support a lifestyle, not a family.

        • Brittany says:

          Right! There is always an exception but many many people could reduce spending and live well on one income.

      • LVH says:

        Using your personal experience or anecdotal evidence as the primary way to support an argument is in poor taste.

        • 6 arrows says:

          LVH, there’s a lot of commentary all over this page describing personal experience and anecdotal evidence, not just in Brittany’s comment. I don’t see a problem with that as long as we understand that human experience doesn’t trump scriptural truth, which I believe Brittany and most if not all of the Christian women here understand.

          Speaking of the commentary here (everyone’s) and pondering my own thoughts, some questions came to mind that I would like to ask here. How about we ladies look to the scriptures right now? (This is an invitation to everyone here, not just LVH.)

          Let me preface my remarks by saying that the questions I ask are *only* questions and not statements disguised as questions. They are not meant to be a commentary on anyone’s prior choices, stated or unstated.

          I’ll focus on just one area of scripture at this time: Titus 2:3-5.

          3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;

          4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

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

          Here are my questions (and I’m asking myself, too): Do I understand the full import of the words “that the word of God be not blasphemed”? Why does God use such a strong word (blasphemed) in this passage for those who are not in compliance? Is it possible for me as a Christian to blaspheme the word in my conduct on the parts of this passage that I may think are a matter of personal preference? If so, how? Am I clear on what I must do or not do to avoid blaspheming the word of God in the area of being a “keeper at home” or any other part?

          I looked up the word “blaspheme” in Webster’s 1828 dictionary. I would encourage everyone to study that word carefully; look it up and the related words you find in the definition (and synonyms for those words, too). Very thought-provoking! Here is some of what I found in my study:

          BLASPHEME. [The first syllable is the same as in 'blame', 'blasme', denoting injury; to hurt, that is, to strike. The last syllable is 'to speak'.]

          1. To speak of the Supreme Being in terms of impious irreverence; to revile or speak reproachfully of God, or the Holy Spirit.

          2. To speak evil of; to utter abuse or calumny against.

          3. To arrogate the prerogatives of God. (Arrogate means to assume, demand or challenge more than is proper; to make undue claims, from vanity or false pretensions to right or merit.)

          BLASPHEMY.

          1. An indignity offered to God; contemptuous.

          2. That which derogates from the prerogatives of God; derogatory to the honor of God.

          I don’t know about all of you, but I find a lot of these words to be very strong. And God used a powerful word like “blaspheme” in this context for a reason. This is serious business if we are blaspheming the word of God. I am challenged to deeply examine what God is telling me about “that the word of God be not blasphemed”.

          • LVH says:

            Hi 6 Arrows :-)

            I believe that if a person is willing to make blanket statements like “In most cases this is said not because the husband is not making enough money to support the family with the necessities but because they want the necessities plus some”, than it should be backed up with solid evidence.

            Personal anecdotes can have a purpose but hers did not. She tries to equate her situation as something that everyone or most people can do. Her response shows a distinct lack of knowledge regarding unemployment and poverty that is very real and present here in the U.S. She says that she believes that families can live off one income and lists that she has a house, 2 cars and 10 acres of land. She should be sharing her financial secrets to the 40 million Americans who are living in poverty! I’m sure they would love the luxury of having all that she has.

            Her attitude is one shared by many Americans who are out of touch with reality and rather simplify issues by saying that if people shopped at thrift stores, and bought smaller houses, things would be so much better than spending the energy to really research the complexities of why, yes, thousands of people need two, three, even four sources of income to put food on the table or to get decent healthcare.

            • 6 arrows says:

              Hi, LVH. Thanks for your reply :-)

              You’ve brought up a lot of interesting points here that I’d like to elaborate on sometime, but life is quite busy around our house right now (four birthdays and a major home reorganization project in a 3-week time span ;-) ), so I’ll just say thanks for the conversation, and I hope to converse with you again in the future, LVH!

              Blessings to you :-)

            • Brittany says:

              LVH,

              I have done lots of research to come to the conclusions that I am stating. I research my Bible, history, and modern life on a regular basis because I enjoy it. The evidence is all around us.

              My “house” is a single wide 16 x 70 trailer home that has one added bedroom which was recently added. Our 2 vehicles are an old truck my husband uses for work and farm and has done minor repairs on over the years. Our other vehicle is a used older model van. The previous van we owned until half the paint had come off and it could no longer be repaired for less than it’s value. We made it a priority to pay off our home, vehicles, and land because it is the financially responsible thing to do. The government would consider my husband’s $15,000 a year for a family of five to be far below the poverty level. We don’t worry about what other’s have (envy) and we are satisfied with the necessities (food and raiment). Our children’s needs are provided for and other things can only come when there is the money. My children have plenty of fun, soul nourishing things to do but they acquired these things over time and they care for their things. My husband was unemployed for a full year last year due to the economy. We only survived because of the savings we had laid aside because we are willing to live below our means for financial security. Unemployment, poverty… we are living it… happily. My husband has not had work for the past 2 weeks but work will be picking up soon. It is very reasonable that a family can live on one income, if they put luxuries at the bottom of their priority list and can enjoy a simple life. They must have patience to acquire things. We had one vehicle for a long time. I hung clothes on the line while pregnant and sang while I did it. We did not have a tv. We use our land to produce our food. I still have and wear clothes (tops) that I have had for 15 years. Needs are not things like tv, trendy clothes and shoes, cell phones for kids, new everything when the older item has nothing wrong with it, such as sheets, furniture, pots, dishes, cars, etc. This is all just common sense. People want lots of things that are not needs and if it is important to them to be home with their kids or their husbands and to be homemakers then they can find a way. It is very fulfilling. If someone told me that I could have a million dollars a year if I would leave the home for 2 hours a day, 5 days a week and leave my kids with a sitter and go do some simple, even easy job I would still say NO THANK YOU. Money and things are not my priority. My husband, kids, and home are. I would not want to be rich. People want instant gratification and it can be hard to not buy that nice new item like Suzy down the street. If Jesus was your neighbor, what do you think his home would be like? Would he have a lot of luxury items? Would his kids have every latest gizmo? Would he be dressed in fancy clothes? I think not, don’t you? But why… because what I am saying is proven throughout the Bible. Each verse builds on another… the roadmap to happy simple living is taught throughout the Bible. Envy, greed, covetousness.. all these lead to a desire for more than we need. The nation has become eroded by such prevailing sins.

              13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

              The wide gate is the popular road.

              • LVH says:

                I”m glad things worked out for your husband and for many others. All of the sacrifices that you listed can often make a difference for some families. And honestly, having a three bedroom home, two cars and 10 acres of land can be quite the luxury. ;-) I mean, you didn’t have to have a three bedroom home. Why not an apartment? And why two cars?

                Anyways, you are again using personal examples to support your position. This is a huge red flag to me because using personal anecdotes or saying “the evidence is all around us” is not evidence or research. It’s showing me that you don’t understand or fully grasp the reality of poverty that exists in America; where affordable housing is out of reach for thousands, where people can’t afford transportation to get to their jobs, where people cannot afford healthcare or their pre-existing conditions bar them from many plans, where thousands of kids go hungry on the weekend or cannot have the “luxury” of three meals a day, where people go without unemployment for so long that their savings are completely drained and can’t make their rent or mortgage payments.

                Again, I’m glad that things worked out for your family and for others who “make it work” at your husband’s type of income. I just think that intelligent discussion or opinions should be based on facts and research.

                Here are some of my sources:

                http://www.endhomelessness.org/
                http://money.cnn.com/news/specials/poverty/
                http://povertyinamerica.mit.edu/
                http://www.usccb.org/about/catholic-campaign-for-human-development/povertyusa/

                Since you’re keen on personal examples:
                http://americanpoverty.org/

                An interesting game regarding poverty:
                http://playspent.org/

                • Shawnele says:

                  Hi LVH,

                  I am a Native American and, prior to choosing to stay home to nurture my children and care for my home and family on a more personal level, I ran a poverty-alleviation non-profit on our local reservation. Suffice it to say that I am very familiar with poverty in America. I not only dedicated many years to helping to alleviate it via my career, but my husband and I still prioritize that in our giving. If using one’s personal experience or anecdotal evidence is in “poor taste” (while it might not be incredibly persuasive, I fail to see where it is in poor taste), then so too would be taking extreme cases (as illustrated at the American Poverty website, etc..) and the issue of homelessness and using those to attempt to undermine the Biblical directive for women to be keepers of their homes. Invoking the example of homelessness in an attempt to prove that not all women can be homemakers is paramount to invoking singleness as an example that not all women can submit to the leadership of their husbands.

                  Abject poverty and homelessness are very real issues that I believe the American church is called to address. However, those are outlying situations that really can’t be used to discuss the issue of whether or not the church, and we within it, need to stand up and advocate for what God says is His plan for families. Because there are, sadly, families who cannot achieve that goal at the present time is not an excuse to throw out the plan – or an excuse for advocating against God’s plan. The fact that sin is in this world and that Satan would like to destroy each of our families as well as God’s plan is just all the more reason for the church to strive to help one another achieve what God has set before us as a beautiful thing.

                  The truth is that many, many families could live on far less than they do. Many of the women here, myself included, are examples of how it IS possible if you’re willing to sacrifice the “American Dream” and embrace God’s Plan. (Yes, yes…it’s not possible for all women to quit work and stay home with their children…but it is quite possible for many.)

                  • Word Warrior says:

                    “Because there are, sadly, families who cannot achieve that goal at the present time is not an excuse to throw out the plan – or an excuse for advocating against God’s plan.”

                    Well said, Shawnele. I, too, find it intriguing that those who would oppose the “obvious best thing” default to all the reasons why it can’t happen, when in fact, it can for so many with some determined changes. And the overruling point I’ve tried to make here for years: If we don’t think it’s important, as a community/church/nation, we won’t work together, as Christ has called us, to bear one another’s burdens and make it possible for more, even if it’s just in our verbal encouragement.

                  • LVH says:

                    Thank-you Shawnee for your reply! I do enjoy the discussion.

                    I wrote a long reply to Brittany and hopefully it will be posted by Kelly very soon. :-) So please refer to my response to her.

                    Very briefly, I don’t believe that a wife is regulate only to the caring of the home. I don’t follow your interpretation of the Bible. I believe women and men must both make homes and families their priorities; but that women can be called into the workforce in many different professions.

                    Again, please see my comment to Brittany when Kelly posts it. It has two sources that I believe to be very biblical and scholarly. :-)

                    Take Care
                    LVH

                • Keri says:

                  I really think hearing all the “personal examples” of how families make it today really do help.Now..obviously..these are not straight out of the Bible but they do show examples of how families can put their families first by being with them and meeting their needs.I have enjoyed reading them.

                • Brittany says:

                  Since you keep demeaning my circumstances and asking why I need the things I do I will tell you. I have three bedrooms because I do not personally believe that boys and girls should share a bedroom and my boys share a room and my daughter has a bedroom. The new bedroom addition is right next to hers so that we can hear her and keep a close eye on her. We have two vehicles because my husband needs to get to work and I need to take my daughter to therapy and to a city far away for her checkups and MRI scans. She is a 7 year old brain cancer survivor. It is far less expensive for us to grow our own food in the long run (and it is better for my daughter and our family) than to purchase food at the store and that is why we need the land. Furthermore, some of this land will be given to our 2 boys when they grow up and they intend to grow their own food as well. My daughter will probably never leave the house. An apartment would cause me to have to pay rent forever which is far less financially sound than paying payments to actually own the home and land it sits on. We have worked hard for what we have and many people could have it too. I agree that many people have lost thier jobs in this economy but there are also many people who sit back and collect their government checks. The government housing in my town and all the others I have visited are overun with people selling and using drugs. They live in the project housing and drive souped up older model cars so they can get by on the requirement as to vehicle value allowed to continue to receive the government money. I have a close friend whose job it is to visit and help needy people and she sees government housing full of luxury items and people wearing gold chains on their necks who claim they can’y feed their kids. A lot of people in so-called poverty are like this but not all. Some people really are in trouble. Some people really need a job. If it is a couple then the husband needs to be out seeking work whenever he can.

                  In the 1930′s a young lady could get a job as a school teacher and if she got married, she was expected to quit her job because it was common practice. Young unmarried ladies or widows could also be nurses. Back before that, people did not even need school teachers because mothers stayed home and children were taught at home. The home could not possibly be run without her, otherwise the laundry would not get done, the food would not get cooked, the house would not get cleaned because there would be nobody there to do it. Caring for the needs of the family and the home was a full time job. Modern convenience has helped in the cause to remove mothers from the home and split up families. The majority (you can look it up if you want) of men worked right there at the farm, the woman worked there too often right alongside them, and at thier sides were the children. Factories came along and the men left the home. Feminism came along and the women left the home. Public school took the children from the home. Now the family is everywhere but home together.

                  As I said we need our land to produce our own food and our goal is to produce enough that there will be no need to buy more than the basics that cannot be produced right here. We set our goals about what we wanted and what would be financially sound and we have chipped away at that goal ever since. We paid our home off 2 years ago. We paid our van off 9 months ago. We paid the truck off 5 years ago. We were able to do this because we bought used vehicles so we could pay them off as quickly as possible. We became the proud owners of our land 1 year ago. This has been the work of years not months. Now with no home, vehicle, or land payment, we have the ability to survive on less and the $15,000 goes much further than it used to and we have been able to begin developing livestock areas, gardens, etc.

                  You seem to not like to hear the truth about women and men’s roles as put forth in the Bible. I just have to say that I humbly disagree with you on this according to what I have read.

                  • Jennifer says:

                    Modern appliances, thank goodness, keep women from having to be home 24/7 to get things done. Allowing them further into the workforce was a good thing; feminism, trying to push them all into the workforce full time, was not.

                    • LVH says:

                      I agree Jennifer. With many movements, there are going to be cons. The feminism of the 60′s, I believe, went too far. So now we have what we call “mommy wars” between SAHMs and WMs.

                      It is my observation that in societies that have taken longer and more carefully with fighting for women rights have been able to positively balance the choice to stay-at-home or to work.

                  • 6 arrows says:

                    Thank you for your comments on this page, Brittany; I have appreciated each one of them.

                    I will pray for your daughter. I’m thankful for the Lord’s healing touch in her life. She is blessed to have a dedicated mom like you.

                    God’s blessings to you and yours, Brittany.

                    • Brittany says:

                      Thank you 6 arrows. Your prayers are so very much appreciated. :) Our little girl is such a blessing everyday. She can always find something positive to say and she is always so happy. I too, have gained a lot of insight from your comments.

              • Sue M. says:

                Brittany,

                You and your husband have done a great job of providing well for your family on a limited budget. I doubt that very few people would have the discipline to do what you’ve done.

                But I have a question; if you feel if it’s too personal to answer, I understand. Given your family income and size, you would likely qualify for food stamps and probably Medicaid (unless your husband receives health insurance through his job). Collecting these benefits (which you pay taxes for) could help your family a lot. Do you and your husband have strong convictions about not receiving these benefits?

      • Carolina says:

        amen!
        My husband is a blue collard and we do have enough for all our bills.
        being home, you save money: less taxes, less gas, less in clothing, less in eating outside, more time to bake, no cleaning lady… Going to work is expensive too!

      • LVH says:

        Hi Brittany :-) I’m going to respond to you in a list format since I’m in a bit of a rush.

        1.) I want to first say that I’m very sorry to hear about your daughter and I wish you and your family my best wishes. I truly do.

        2.) I did not mean to demean your family and I’m sorry if it came off that way. However, since you went down the road of criticizing/questioning other families and their choices, I think its fair that it opens your family to criticism as well.

        The truth is that humans have very fundamental and basic needs for survival: oxygen, food, water and shelter. I could further argue that clothing and basic healthcare should be added to that list. And of course the argument for Christians is that Jesus is needed for spiritual survival as well. The point is that everything else on top of that can be considered a want or luxury.

        You pointed out that people don’t need TV’s or new cellphones or new dishes or furniture. I agree with you! We’re on the same page with that. Yet, I’m also saying that you and your family have also made choices that aren’t necessarily basic needs as well. Having a single family home is not a need, it is a want. Having dishes,forks, knives, spoons, cabinets, sofas, tables, chairs, phones, desks, computers and internet are all wants as well. Having three bedrooms is a want and not a need (Why not one or two bedrooms separated by curtains?). Having ten acres of land is still a want and not a need. What about 9 or 8 or 7 acres?. Luxury can be subjective for different people.

        My four-year-old daughter does not need to be in swim lessons or piano lessons or have a basketball hoop or a bicycle. I don’t need a four bedroom home or a Kitchen-Aid mixer or a camera. I want all of these things because it is important to my husband and I to provide these things for our family. Yes, we want this lifestyle for our family. Personally, I think ten acres is very luxurious and huge compared to my very modest (.5 acre) backyard, but it does not matter what I think. You are choosing what you believe is best for your family and I am doing the same for mine. You are choosing wants and yet criticizing others whose wants do not match the “simple” lifestyle that you have. I’m glad you’re living happily with the lifestyle that you have. Truly, I am! Do you see the issue here? We have to be careful at pointing out other people’s choices because honestly we all could be living in one room thatch huts and foraging for our food.

        The problem I’m trying to point out is that there are millions of people, here in the U.S., that cannot provide the very basic needs for their families. I again say that I agree that many people can make some serious cutbacks,but, yes, many have to rely on two, three, even four sources of income just to put food on the table. Poverty and homelessness in this country are complex issues and are not going to be solved by simply saying people need to “cut back” or by implying that if your family can do it so can everyone else. Please see my comment that contained my sources.

        3.) You’re half-right about my biblical stance. It’s not that I don’t believe the truth of Scripture. I do not believe **your** interpretation of the Bible regarding the role of men and women. I wrote a long comment earlier regarding what I consider to be strong scriptural support for my position, but Kelly never posted it. So I will try to briefly say four things:

        a.) I do not believe the helper role that is mentioned in Genesis is regulated only to the woman. I believe it is a mutual help between the man and the woman. They are partners and that God never intended for the man to have dominion or rule over the woman. She is not subordinate (in position) to the man.

        b.) I believe men and women are equally subject to each other.

        c.) I believe men and women both have their primary role in placing their home and family first.

        d.) I believe women can be mothers and be called or led into the working world; doctors, nurses, lawyers, politicians, midwives, engineers, ect ect.

        I personally believe these two letters are the most biblical and scholarly and serve support for my position:

        http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20040731_collaboration_en.html

        http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_15081988_mulieris-dignitatem_en.html

        Again, it’s not that I don’t believe what the Bible has to say about the roles of men and women, I don’t believe your interpretation. :-)

        Take Care :-)
        LVH

        • Keri says:

          LVH,

          In reading Brittany’s comments,I basically took it as she was trying to show how a family CAN make it on one income!
          So..because you felt that you were being critiqued for the way you live..you are going to nail her with criticism?WE LIVE IN AMERICA!!
          Can we Thank God for that everyday..and yes..I know that there are people here living in poverty..What defines Poverty??If we all lived in a third world country..$15,000 bucks would be a fortune and I think it’s FANTASTIC that she and her family have been able to live on 10 acres,grow their own food and have everything payed off. I am going to be very honest here and say that not for a moment do I believe that there are “MILLIONS” of people here in this country that cannot even provide the basic needs for their families. We as Americans have allowed ourselves to become so very dependent on the government that it is crazy.Do you know that the majority of kids in school down here provide free breakfast and lunch for all kids.I am not saying that there are not times in a family’s life where they might need help at times but we should not expect this and people do!And yes..I do know what’s going on in the world.Why would we want to criticise someone for owning acreage that they paid for,cars paid for..etc..this just gets ridiculous!!I don’t personaly know Brittany and her family but when I saw what you wrote to her..I just had to respond to this and Tell her..God Bless her and her family!!

          • LVH says:

            Hi Keri! :-)

            I responded to Brittany because I disagreed with her and I have listed my reasons why. I have said to her at least three times how happy I am for her that she lives the lifestyle that she desires and is able to provide for her family. Her example shows that people can make it on that income if they want that lifestyle. Her example cannot and should not be used to blanket or generalize of how everyone or even most can do what she does. That’s illogical.

            What defines poverty and why millions of Americans do not have access to basic needs? Please read the sources that I have listed and please provide research and sources that makes you believe that it is not a huge issue here in America. I find your opinion rather ignorant but I’m willing to read your sources. :-)

            • Keri says:

              I have read the articles and to be honest. wasn’t that impressed with them or the sources..nothing personal on you here.I honestly don’t have time to try to counter them with other articles.I have been called far worse than ignorant in my lifetime..lol.Have a good weekend!

            • Brittany says:

              LVH,

              Don’t you see how you are contradicting yourself? You keep pointing out that you think I live in luxury on a single income that is far below the poverty level and yet you claim people below the poverty level cannot provide for their families. If you think I am living in luxury, then where lies the issue?

              A family can live well on one income. If your husband makes less, then you must learn to live the best way you can with that income. That is what I have done. We did not start out with 3 bedrooms or 2 cars or 10 acres, that is the culmination of saving and putting our families needs first. I am not saying that having things is bad, I am saying it is if you can’t afford it and you use that as an excuse to leave your children and your home. People should not claim to not be able to provide while living luxuriously. I did not do that. I said that we can and do provide. Anything, no matter what your definition of luxury is, should come after the basic needs are met, not before. If it is important to a woman who believes she should stay home with her children and take care of them and nurture and guide them then she can make it work. She really can. I want women to know that and not feel bad if they can’t buy swimming lessons or ipods for their children, it is far more important to be there. That is what the children will remember, the time spent together, not what was bought for them.

              The quotes from the Bible that you have used to support your stance have been taken out of context. They were not refering to man and wife, as Kelly said.

          • LVH says:

            Hey Keri,

            I went ahead and pulled some data for you. This data deals with food:

            “In 2010, 48.8 million Americans lived in food insecure* households, 32.6 million adults and 16.2 million children.
            In 2010, 14.5 percent of households (17.2 million households) were food insecure.
            In 2010, 5.4 percent of households (6.4 million households) experienced very low food security**.”

            Source: http://feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/hunger-facts/hunger-and-poverty-statistics.aspx

            *Low food security means “Reports of reduced quality, variety, or desirability of diet. Little or no indication of reduced food intake.”

            **Very low food security means “Reports of multiple indications of disrupted eating patterns and reduced food intake”

            Source: http://www.ers.usda.gov/Briefing/FoodSecurity/labels.htm#labels

            You say you don’t believe that there are millions who cannot provide basic needs for their family. Please show me your sources. :-D

            • Jennifer says:

              LVH, please do not use a baiting tone.

              • LVH says:

                I apologize for my tone. It is hard sometimes to express accurately when on a computer. :-)

                My point was that intelligent discussion should require evidence to support one’s position. She didn’t believe that millions go without having their basic needs met. I’ve posted at least 5-6 resources that prove otherwise. She instead decided to hold on her position without providing any sources or support for her opinion. :-)

                • Keri says:

                  Wow….lol.I suppose the only evidence you want is based on lots of articles you pulled off the internet? Can we not look around us and see what’s really going on here and think for ourselves! I guess that doesn’t count.

            • Shawnele says:

              Hi LVH,
              As previously mentioned, I worked in the poverty-alleviation field and talking about “food insecurity” is right up my alley.

              You wrote, “*Low food security means “Reports of reduced quality, variety, or desirability of diet. Little or no indication of reduced food intake.””

              Let me translate – because I have been there – in the poverty-alleviation field and in my home – “I want X for dinner and we have to have beans again.”

              When we say there are 48 million people who “suffer” from food insecurity what we are really saying is that the general American attitude of instant gratification for what I want right now is biting us in the rear end. In many countries this ridiculous idea of my food not being desirable is laughable.

              It’s when you get to “very low food security” that you’re talking about people experiencing an actual need. So, in 2010 5.4% of households experienced such low food security that food intake dropped. That same year the CDC reported that 35.7% of adults and 17% of children were obese. Which brings us back to the original point…

              The idea that most American homes require a 2-income family to survive is not true. More Americans are suffering from obesity than lack of food – that tells me that poverty is not the main factor in why we say we “need” 2-income families. Do most American homes require a 2-income family to live the lifestyle that they would like, apparently. But that’s not the point of the conversation.

              Too many preachers and authors are afraid to teach God’s truth – getting back to Kelly’s blog post – because they buy into this nonsense that a 2-income family isn’t feasible today in America. IT IS feasible for most 2 parent families.

              You have mentioned Brittany’s apparent preferred lifestyle a couple of times. I doubt that Brittany prefers to live in an old single-wide mobile over living in a nice new house. What Brittany prefers, it would seem (sorry if I’m putting words in your mouth, Brittany), is to seek to fulfill God’s directive as found in Titus 2. She prefers to observe it rather than to ignore it or excuse it away. SO…I guess what I’m saying is that when we’re talking about lifestyle choices it really isn’t about “choosing” new clothes over Goodwill clothes for some of us. For many of us it’s choosing to observe a literal understanding of God’s expressed will for wives and mothers over what the world offers. The “lifestyle” is one of obeying God – not choosing to live in poverty. If one has to do the latter to fulfill the former, than some of us are okay with that.

              Okay, I’m going to go back and address your comment before this one.

              • LVH says:

                “I want X for dinner and we have to have beans again.”

                When we talk about food and nutrition, having beans every night is not healthy or ideal at all. As humans, we need a variety of foods to meet our nutritional needs. Poor eating habits is one of top causes of obesity. Since you have worked with the impoverished, I’m sure you know about the rising rate of (key) vitamin deficiencies. I’m also sure you know that a poor diet has short-term and long-term health consequences.

                All of this is why low food security is also an issue–people can afford to buy fifty-cent boxes of Mac & Cheese or twenty-five-cent packets of Ramen, but find it hard to buy food that would adequately meet their family’s nutritional needs. Many need proper nutrition education, but many others do need more income to have healthier diets. Again, a problem that is a bit more complex than we’d like.

                Americans may never experience the starvation that the third-world does, but we do have millions that do not and cannot meet the nutritional needs that their bodies require.

                • Shawnele says:

                  <>

                  None of this has anything to do with the topic. My original comment illustrated that producing evidence of homelessness and poverty in America was a “straw man” set up to attempt to illustrate that 1-income families are rare due to poverty and homelessness. That is simply untrue. Now we’re on some bunny trail about nutrition. The fact of the matter is that the Standard American Diet (acronym “SAD” – which I just love) is poor and “enjoyed” by those in every income level in this country.

                  Do I think that it’s better for a woman to work than for her children to be deprived nutritionally? Of course. Is that the topic of this post? No. Is it necessary for most women to work so that their children can have a healthy diet in America? No way.

            • Keri says:

              LVH,

              Here are my observations.I live in S.W.Florida.We have a very large population of Spanish persons and Black persons.When we go to Walmart..we are the minority.No..I’m not prejudice..I love them all and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else right now.I have actually had people tell me they wouldn’t want to live here because of so many spanish and black people.Ridiculous..I know.About 20 minutes from me is a town that has a very large migrant population.These people work hard to provide for their families and they do it happily.Many of the men come to this country to “provide” for their families back home because let’s face it..This is America!!..Best Country in the World!!I know their is poverty..I have seen it.I’m not sharing some government survey with you because there are just way to many.You don’t really hear the news or articles sharing that one of the Main reasons for these problems is because of the “Breakdown of the Family”.Let’s face it..Drugs..Alcohol..Abuse..Divorce..and the list can go on and on..hence..Breakdown of the family!I am a compassionate person and a Christian.My family and I live in an area where there are many diverse incomes and all kinds of people.I see a large group of people whom many would consider poor..providing for their family decently! I am sure there are many that I do not see.A very close friend of mine is a public school teacher and tells me stories about many of her students needs.It breaks my heart.I’m just going to be honest here and tell you..that the majority of them are from the breakdown of the family.The things I mentioned earlier.One of the churches in their area even sends food to the school so the kids can take backpacks home on the weekend so they will have food.I guess what I’m trying to say here that in our country..There are so many places to go for help when you need it.There is medicaid..foodstamps..and there are many who truly do need this help but there are many who will take advantage of it.I have seen it!There are also those who will not seek help because they don’t want people to know what the real problem is.I have seen this also.
              As Christians..we really do have a responsibility to help those in need around us and most Christians I know do this.I am not blinded by the needs in this country but what I do know is that there really is no need for those in this country who really do have needs to not seek out the help they might need in the time they need it.Blessings today!

              • LVH says:

                Hi Keri! :-)

                First, are you the same Keri from before? Just wanted to make sure I’m addressing the right person.Second, I had a really hard time following your response but I will try to address your comment.

                I’m not sure what news agencies you are talking about, but there has been plenty of research and reports that have shown the negative effects of the break-down of a family and unwanted single parenthood. The information is out there. Again, I’m not sure where you were going with that. :-)

                Again, poverty is a complex issue. We cannot and should not point our fingers to place blame on one single cause because there are variety of causes. Therefore, we need a variety of solutions to meet people’s needs. Sometimes that will mean food stamps so people can eat, sometimes that will mean medicaid so people can receive healthcare, or maybe unemployment money so they can meet other needs. This is also why poverty research is so very important.

                However, the first thing we need to do as Americans is to face the facts and the reality that poverty is an issue here. It is not something that is regulated to the third-world. It may look different, but it is still poverty. When we, as a society, make statements that are nonfactual, generalized or based on stereotypes, we continue a destructive cycle that ignores the problem instead of finding real solutions.

                • LVH says:

                  Hello LVH,

                  Yep..it’s me..and I am sorry you couldn’t follow what I was trying to say in my last post.I’ll try to make it clear here and then I’m pretty much done with this.I won’t repeat what I said before but I will say that I do agree with you that poverty is a complex issue and I honestly do believe that most of us know it exists.I think..and sorry I don’t have the “statistics” to back it up..that the solution to poverty can be found in Christianity..Sounds like a pat answer I know but it’s really not.Christians helping others and the Church helping others.This means not only physical needs but spiritual needs as well.You know..all those things that can maybe help someone who is having marraige troubles..financial troubles..emotional troubles and on and on.Why???BECAUSE the ONLY thing that is going to help people is to have a Relationship with Jesus Christ.Yep..Salvation through Jesus Christ!! Then our lives to make sense.Thank God there are so many Christians in this world who reach out to those who need it!! Well..I’m done..Do you know him?John 3:16..

        • Shawnele says:

          When it comes to God’s will, does it really matter what we “believe?” I think what is paramount is what God says.

          <>

          God never intended for man to have dominion or rule over the woman?
          “Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” Genesis 3:16b
          “and to be subject to their husbands” Titus 2:5c
          “22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” Ephesians 5
          “Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting for those who belong to the Lord.” Colossians 3:18

          <>

          While we know from Ephesians 5:21 that all Christians are to “submit to one another,” the fact that nowhere in Scripture is man told to submit to his wife while the opposite is true throughout Scripture would certainly be evidence that husband and wives are not “equally” subject to one another. Christian employers and employees are also subject to the call to “submit to one another” as found in Ephesians 5:21 but no one would argue that that means that they are equally subject to one another when it comes to how their roles play out. Each has his role and neither role makes them lesser in Christ.

          <>

          I agree.

          <>

          I think the question is whether or not a woman can fulfill her God-given role while pursuing a career. It depends on the situation: the stage of life a woman is in, the profession, etc… I think the point is whether or not we are putting the Lord and His expressed will first. The bottom line is that God does have an expressed will for women: “love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.” If one can manage that and a profession, then I can’t see anything in Scripture to indicate otherwise. However, we cannot water down Scripture to suit our preferences. I have been a working married mother, a working single mother, and a stay-at-home married mother. It is certainly harder to fulfill each of those requirements listed in Titus 2 when your mind, heart and body are hired out 8 hours a day.

          • Shawnele says:

            Sorry – didn’t mean for that whole thing to be bolded. I guess it happened when I copied your points from earlier!

            • LVH says:

              Shawnele,

              I appreciate your scripture references, I truly do and I have read the defenses a few times mentioned in this thread and a previous thread.

              However, I really don’t think you read the two sources that I have posted for why I believe what I do. Please go back and thoroughly read the sources that I have posted. Both sources are based on scripture and I personally think are very biblical and scholarly. Please read the defenses given why scripture calls for men and women to help each other and be mutually subject to each other. I will then be willing to discuss further. Thanks! :-)

              • Shawnele says:

                Hi LVH,

                I don’t know how to write this without potentially being offensive – but please know this is said with a heart to encourage iron-sharpening. I tried to read your articles, but they seemed to be a waste of time. They do not accurately handle the Word of Truth. (For example, outright opposition to Scripture is promoted: “even the rightful opposition of women to what is expressed in the biblical words “He shall rule over you” (Gen 3:16)…”) Paul’s statement to Timothy about a time coming when men would gather to themselves teachers to teach what they wanted to hear came to mind. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

                The Word of God could not be more plain that God intends wives to submit to their husbands. One is welcome to overlook that and try to make it say something it doesn’t say – but they do it to their own peril – no matter how “scholarly” their defiance might sound.

                As far as your offer to discuss this further, I truly appreciate the offer – but we don’t approach it with the same perspective on God’s Word. I do not put the writings of men on the same level as the Bible and so we will not be able to come to a mutually edifying conclusion. I will encourage you – as I am reminding myself at the same time – to avoid “worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge” – which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith. Grace be with you.” (1 Timothy 6:20-21)

                • LVH says:

                  That’s okay if you do not feel convicted to further discuss it.

                  I do have to point out that even if the Bible is the word of God, human beings are the ones who interpret what it says. You can say all you want that the word of God is “simple” and “plainly” written for everyone to see but thousands of years and many sects later, we still have theological differences. Man is fallible. So, naturally, you’re going to find people who read passages and come to slightly or even very different conclusions. You and many others hold to an interpretation of scripture that is different from mine.

                  As far as the resources I posted, they explain pretty thoroughly why women were never meant to have men “rule” over them but was a consequence of original sin; but that’s getting off-topic. The sources were very scriptural in basis, but do not support your point-of-view so I can see why its hard to really read past of what one believes or wants to hear. You know what I mean? :-) Since the article that Kelly posted in her original post was by a Catholic, I thought it was appropriate to put things into perspective of what the Catholic Church teaches. Hope that helps!

                  I also hope that everyone can come to a better understanding of scripture. :-)

          • Jennifer says:

            Husbands and wives are not employee and employer, but one flesh; very different.

        • LVH – I’m going to go ahead and assume you are Catholic (since you posted encyclical links from the vatican site). I’m Catholic, too! But, I have to disagree with some of your 4 points.

          a.) Scripture and Tradition have born out that HUSBANDS have a role of leadership and authority in their home. If you meant that women are not subordinate to men, then I think we are all agreed here. But, if you meant that wives are not to be subMISSIVE to their husbands, then that is against Scripture and against the teaching of the Catholic Church.

          b.) Scripture does maintain that we are all subject to one another as unto Christ as brothers and sisters in Him, so right on there! But again, wives are called to submit to and obey their husbands “in all things.”

          c.) I believe men and women both have their primary role in placing their home and family first. RIGHT ON!!!! But again, in Mulieris Dignitatem and Familiaris Consortio, JPII maintains that women (and mothers, in particular) are particularly and uniquely equipped and called to this role, especially regarding the education and nurture of children.

          d.) I believe women can be mothers and be called or led into the working world. I agree but with serious caveats. The Church clearly states that a mother’s primary role MUST be the care of her husband, home and children. Some women are able to maintain another vocation without letting these other priorities slide, but it is RARE, so much rarer than we think!! And the “calling” ought to be one from God, not whim, as is so often the case. Perhaps we are already in agreement here? It’s hard to tell from some of your comments.

          Anyway, just thought I’d point out those few things. I’ve really enjoyed reading your comments. It seems like you are very passionate about this topic. Kelly is a great encouragement and so inspirational on this subject! I’m so glad you’ve found her site.

          Your Sister in Christ,
          Bethany

          • LVH says:

            Hey Bethany! :-)

            I have to be brief because I think have taken this post down too many bunny trails. ;-)

            Pope John Paul II wrote that Scripture teaches us that men and women are to mutually help each other and that there is a mutual subjection on both the husband and wife, to each other. The difference between what the he teaches and what has been expressed here is the role of mothers.

            Pope John Paul II teaches (through the use of Scripture) that women and men both have their first priority in the home. You’re right that we both agree. However, he describes how women have been marginalized to the edge of society many times because they were women and mothers, instead of being respected for all their worth.

            A woman must be respected, loved and supported inside the home. She must also be respected and able to participate in the world of work and society. The late pope touched upon this quite a few times during his office. Historically, women have been barred from voting, universities, employment, education, leadership, military and so on.

            In his Letter to Women the late Pope writes:

            “As far as personal rights are concerned, there is an urgent need to achieve real equality in every area: equal pay for equal work, protection for working mothers, fairness in career advancements, equality of spouses with regard to family rights and the recognition of everything that is part of the rights and duties of citizens in a democratic State.
            This is a matter of justice but also of necessity. Women will increasingly play a part in the solution of the serious problems of the future: leisure time, the quality of life, migration, social services, euthanasia, drugs, health care, the ecology, etc. In all these areas a greater presence of women in society will prove most valuable, for it will help to manifest the contradictions present when society is organized solely according to the criteria of efficiency and productivity, and it will force systems to be redesigned in a way which favours the pro- cesses of humanization which mark the “civilization of love”.”

            There is no mention of the “rarity” of mothers in the workforce or even a discussion of the majority of women being in the workforce. Rather he argues for what I call an ebb and flow in the needs and dynamics of the family. A mother will naturally spend more time when her child is very young and the Pope argues that society recognizes this and does not discriminate a woman against this. However, as the husband and wife determine what is best for their family, the woman can be called outside the home to actively take part in the many disciplines and areas of work; doctors, nurses, scientists, mathematicians, leaders, and such. Thus she may not be discriminated in the world of work because she is a mother.

            In conclusion, I have pointed out in this thread and a previous thread that I do not fully agree with Kelly’s interpretation and/or theology regarding the role of woman. I believe John Paul’s biblical exegesis on the matter accurately reflects my position that mothers can be called outside the home and not because of extenuating circumstances; husband is disabled or single parenthood..ect.

            Hope this helps a bit. Take Care :-)

        • Brittany says:

          LVH,

          The point is not: What is luxury? The point I was trying to make by sharing my situation is that we live well with what is considered a poverty level income. If our family can have a 3 bedroom home, 2 vehicles, and 10 acres on a so-called poverty income level then why can’t others? It has been important to me to be home with my children and to take care of my husband and home because I believe it is what the Bible tells me to do but also because I feel it is important. People living in poverty or homelessness may not have a job at all but that is not what we are talking about. You said that people cannot provide food on one income and I disagree. If the husband had a job then he would be able to provide food, clothing, and shelter if they are willing to live within their means. A garden can be grown all for the cost of some seeds and food can be grown in very small spaces. You have to be willing to do for yourself. Nobody has to eat beans every night but they are just not willing to go the extra mile. So many in this country are just looking for a handout. The poverty level is a amount of money based on family size and if a person does not make that amount, then they are below the poverty level. I know many people who live below this number for their family and they are making it just fine. The original point I made was that it is said that people cannot live on one income and I don’t agree. This is not a valid argument for why woman cannot stay at home and take care of the family and home duties. I believe the Bible tells a woman to do this and you say you don’t, so we disagree on the original intent of the post.

          To the other ladies: Thank you ladies for your responses, many of you have made some very valid points in support of my stance and I appreciate the support. :)

          • LVH says:

            The difference between you and I is that you use personal examples to support your opinion which I find to be intellectually dishonest.

            I have provided many sources of information, secular and religious that show how difficult it is for thousands of families to meet their basic needs on one and two incomes.

            While I’m sure you have the best intentions, I cannot continue a discussion with someone who cannot support their opinion outside of their particular situation. Thank-you :-)

            • Brittany says:

              Difficult is not impossible. The Bible does not say to obey the word unless it gets difficult.

              If you want proof of others doing it just Google “single income family” , “families surviving on one income”, or even “how to live frugally on one income”. I’m sorry but I don’t have the time to look it up and post them all, because there are so many.

              Further reading could include the books “Created to be a Help Meet”, “The Simple Living Guide”, “Living More with Less”, “Your Money or Your Life”, “The Good Life: Helen and Scott Nearing’s Sixty Years of Self-Sufficient Living”, “You Can Afford to Stay Home With Your Kids: A Step-By-Step Guide to Converting Your Family From Two Incomes to One”, “Shattering the Two-Income Myth: Dailey Secrets for Living Well on One Income”, “Domestic Revolutions”, “My Hearts at Home: Becoming the Intentional Mom Your Family Needs”, “Biblical Womanhood in the Home”, “Keepers at Home”, and “Praise Her in the Gates: The Calling of Christian Motherhood”, “The Unsettling of America”, “One-Income Household: How to Do a Lot with a Little”, “Half-Price Living: Secrets to Living Well on One Income”, “Live Better on Less: The Stay-at-Home Mom’s Guide to Thriving on One Income” and finally “Dancing With the One You Love: Living Out Submission in the Real World”.

              • Keri says:

                Brittany,

                I wouldn’t fret anymore about all of this.It appears that LVH just wants to argue.Using your own example is not intellectual dishonesty or whatever he says.Blessings to you!

            • Jane says:

              Intellectually dishonest?

              Actually, I find Brittany’s personal example to be inspiring, encouraging and an awesome testimony of the love, care and provision that the Lord has given to her family. As a child of God, trusting Him to meet your needs when you obey His Word is a wonderful, faith-building experience. My one-income family has lived it, too.

              • LVH says:

                Yes, intellectually dishonest. Saying that everyone can live on one income and then using her personal example as “proof” is intellectually dishonest.

                She shows an ignorance to the very real fact that there are thousands of families who cannot provide for their family on one income, and many times two incomes. There are families who have to choose whether to pay a bill or eat a meal. There are families who go without any healthcare, forgoing treatment when sick or ill, so that they can put food on the table or pay for gas to get to work. They are not making it on one income.

                I choose not to live in denial and ignorance to the very present needs of those around us. :-)

                • Word Warrior says:

                  LVH…perhaps in all in the people we believe…

                  “According to the government’s own survey data, in 2005, the average household defined as poor by the government lived in a house or apartment equipped with air conditioning and cable TV. The family had a car (a third of the poor have two or more cars). For entertainment, the household had two color televisions, a DVD player, and a VCR….

                  The home of the average poor family was in good repair and not overcrowded. In fact, the typical poor American had more living space than the average European. (Note: That’s average European, not poor European.) The average poor family was able to obtain medical care when needed. When asked, most poor families stated they had had sufficient funds during the past year to meet all essential needs.
                  By its own report, the family was not hungry. The average intake of protein, vitamins, and minerals by poor children is indistinguishable from children in the upper middle class and, in most cases, is well above recommended norms.”

                  Most, it said. So by the government’s own admission, yes, MOST families, even poor ones, can survive (and be “richer” than those in many other countries) on one income. Giving examples of the “extremely poor” is also “intellectually dishonest” since they are a tiny percentage of the American population.

                    • LVH says:

                      I think my earlier comment was lost.

                      The Heritage Foundation’s report has been blasted and discredited far and wide. It was a complete joke, but thanks for the laugh. ;-) I mean no disrespect.

                      This source touches upon why the report was wrong and faulty:

                      http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/08/heritage_poor.html

                      Quote from the article:

                      “A family could sell all their household basics: refrigerator, microwave, stove, television–the lot…and still only pay about two and half month’s rent…that’s as long as they don’t mind having nowhere to store perishable food, building a campfire to cook their food, and telling their employer they have no way to be contacted.”

                      I have plenty more sources that discredit the Heritage Foundation.

                    • 6 arrows says:

                      Kelly,

                      This is a response to LVH’s comment just below, Apr. 30, 2012 at 8:11 pm. For some reason, I don’t see a reply button below her post.

                      LVH, you criticize those who don’t provide “sources”, and then when someone does (in this case, Kelly), well…those reports have been “blasted and discredited far and wide.”

                      How convenient.

                      It certainly would be refreshing if you would spend as much time addressing spiritual poverty as outlined in the Bible as you do material poverty.

                      Spiritual poverty and the destructive choices that frequently result from that condition cause a great deal of suffering, and yes, even material poverty can result from those choices. And no, I’m not saying true material poverty is always caused by poor choices.

                      But the worst thing about spiritual poverty is not the earthly suffering that it can cause, but the ETERNAL consequences that come after a life lived apart from Christ. There is no greater poverty issue than spiritual impoverishment.

                      I certainly hope that you feel that spiritual poverty is indeed a greater concern than earthly poverty (however one defines that), and, if so, that the level of concern you have for the former over the latter would be reflected in the number of words you use to address that which is more important to you.

                      Blessings.

                    • 6 arrows says:

                      Oops, my first sentence should have said, “This is a response to LVH’s comment just ABOVE…”!

                    • 6 arrows says:

                      Also, LVH’s comment to which I was responding was at *8:41* pm on April 30, not 8:11. This is what happens when posting after one’s bedtime ;-)

                      Have a nice day, all!

                  • Keri says:

                    Thankyou Kelly!!!

                  • LVH says:

                    I meant to also say that I never said people could not make it on one income or that even a majority cannot make it on one income. I said that there were thousands who could not. Not everyone can. Brittany implied that everyone could. If I misunderstood, and she meant that most, but not all, than I apologize for the misunderstanding.

                    I fail to see how I was being intellectually dishonest?

                • Word Warrior says:

                  Perhaps the most important thing to consider in this yo-yo, slightly off-topic conversation is that God (who loves us His children infinitely more than we can imagine) only promises us food and clothing…not even shelter. Jesus himself warned that those who desired to follow Him might have to give up even a place to lay their heads. Hard as that is for us (me) to swallow, that is the reality. Jesus was homeless and it didn’t hinder his mission here.

                  • AmyG says:

                    Wow! I would just want to interject we can find “studies” “sources” and “articles” to support almost any subject we wish. These are potentially falliable sources, however there is only 1 true and infalliable source and that is God’s word. If you start at a point of needing others commentary on the word rather than the word itself you are setting up a faulty starting point. I fear that when we try to “justify” why God didn’t really mean this or that we are treading in dangerous territory. Thank you Kelly for holding true to scripture and basing first and foremost your posts on God’s word. Blessings to you and your sweet family:)

                    • LVH says:

                      Christians believe the word of God is infallible, but they themselves are fallible. The Bible is not a straight forward book that is read from cover to cover. Different interpretations of the Bible are a result of our fallible nature.

                      I’m assuming you believe in the Holy Trinity? This is not mentioned outright in Scripture but conveyed in different passages. Most likely, this doctrine was taught to you.

                      So yes, I would argue that we need teachers of the faith who are willing to devote themselves completely to the study of the word and impart teachings and commentary to the faithful. As parents, we don’t hand over a Bible to our 6 year old and have him figure things out for himself; we teach the word to him.

                      This is why when I read passages like Titus 2, it’s important for me to seek a wise teacher who can help explain the meaning of the passage in relation to the whole Bible, history and the norms and culture of that time.

                    • AmyG says:

                      I would agree that we need teachers but I would argue that the first person we as women should look to is your husband if married, or father if single. If the leadership in the home is in God’s word daily, is striving daily for Holiness, than I have to believe God will equip him with His spirit and discernment of the scripture to lead his family. That is why it is imperative we are in line with the order of how God designed men and women and how it is the husband/father’s command to be priest, prophet, provider and protector of his wife and family. Not that we cannot look to other wise teachers but as you stated yourself we are all falliable, including those wise teachers. In the end God is sovereign and He is not surprised or alarmed by any steps we take in and out of His will. My post above was mostly just to point out that statistics can be distorted to fit whatever mold is needed and that instead of looking to try to justify something by the latest studies/statistics it would be wiser to try to justify our actions in accordance to God’s word. I understand if you don’t prescribe to this but it doesn’t necessarily mean it is not truth just because you can find man made facts, to in your opinion, challenge it. It is hard to convey tone over a keyboard but my comments are meant in the spirit of love and from a place of compassion because I have walked in the path of leaning on the latest info out there and found myself in a very miserable place. Praise God that He didn’t leave me there! I hope you will take my comments from that standpoint:)

                    • Jennifer says:

                      You just lost me, Amy. There’s no reason to assume your husband is more reliable than you, or that your father’s more reliable than your mother.

                    • Jennifer says:

                      “how it is the husband/father’s command to be priest, prophet, provider and protector of his wife and family”

                      God Almighty. No such idolatrous command is given.

                    • AmyG says:

                      Not sure if I am replying in the right place but this is in response to Jennifer’s question/comment…I don’t think I indicated that the father was more reliable than the mother. What I intended to convey was that if there was scripture or doctrine I was unsure of my husband if married or father if single would be the one I would go to first. I never indicated that a woman was not capable of searching scripture herself, my response was based upon LVH’s comment that she needed commentary from other’s because the Bible was not straightforwarded. My stance would be if I needed clarification I would consult with my husband first and if he could not answer my concerns I feel confident he would be take the necessary time and study to find those answers. My husband and I have lengthy theological discussions and it is a 2 way conversation….there is much encouragement and growth when as a family you are seeking God’s word together.

                      As for the comment of priest, prophet, provider, protector….here is where I think gives a good representation of that:

                      Ephesians 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
                      I don’t think it is a stretch to get the idea of priest, prophet, provider and protector from that verse??
                      I am not real familiar with The Message Version of the Bible but it’s translation of this verse gives a more “modern” view possibly…..

                      Ephesians 22-24Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands.

                      25-28Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage.

                      I hope that makes it a little more clear what my intent was in my comments.

                    • Jennifer says:

                      Thank you for your clarifications, Amy. But yes, I think it’s greatly a stretch to call the husband such weighty things. I believe head means a source of life, protection, and likewise the wife cherishes her husband by showing complete regard and respect to him; leadership is actually not discussed much, though the wife is told to lead her husband by example if he needs it. The picture to me is far more mutual than the husband in offices that Christ fulfills.

                    • AmyG says:

                      Jennifer, possibly our definitions of “priest and prophet” are different. My reference would be to the husband being the spiritual leader in the home, or maybe you could use the word teacher. Provider and protector are pretty explanatory. Anyway, I guess there are somethings we will have to agree to disagree on. I am blessed to have a Godly husband who leads our family. I have never felt “less than” by letting him be the spiritual leader and I am okay if that isn’t considered the “norm” by wordly standards.

      • Cathy says:

        I am having trouble suspending my disbelief as to your salary, and owning things outright. Please tell me how you were even able to qualify for a house on that salary…unless you paid cash for it. And, if you did, how in the world were you able to save that much on your husband’s salary? In the Bay Area, where I live, construction jobs (which used to be plentiful) pay quite well. I am a frugal shopper, and know how to stretch a buck, but there is no way that we could live on that kind of salary. Did you inherit the house, or money? Not trying to pry, but you built a case on these stats, so I don’t consider my questions to be untoward. I can understand living on your salary if you have no mortgage, car payment, etc., but how do you own a house on that salary? Did you work outside the home before kids? BTW, we also buy used cars…not much from the thrift stores, because, honestly, buying retail at places like Old Navy are actually less expensive than thrift stores most times, and we spend wisely.
        Please help me understand…perhaps you can write a best-seller and explain it! : )

        • Brittany says:

          Cathy,

          Hi. I really don’t see how to explain my situation to you without a long drawn out summary of my entire married life and the choices we have made. However, I will try to answer your specific questions.

          We have been married for 16 years and we have worked toward the goal of owning our home, land, and vehicles as a top financial priority. I have never worked outside the home and we have never had any sort of inheritance. We have worked for what we have, to establish the needs of life. I would not even say it has been sacrificing because we have lived rich lives, but we realise it does not take a lot of money to have fun and feed and cloth our kids. A big thing has been patience to wait to purchase items for the best deal and realizing what we really need and what our kids really need. We live in a small southern town and my husband works for a roofing and repair company. We paid a $1500 down payment on our trailer and paid about $250 a month on it until it was paid for. Our first van was $4000 and we had it paid off by the time when we bought and began payments on the truck which was $2,000. Then, we traded the old van with the peeling paint in, since it was beginning to have a lot of expensive mechanical problems, for a little bit newer model which we have recently paid off ($5,000). My husband does not own the company he works for but is just an employee and rain and rarely snow, holidays (nobody wants roofers banging around on the roof while they are celebrating holidays unless it is an emergency), and other issues prevent working many days. You can’t do certain work on days that are too hot (shingles will stick to your shoes and get ruined) or too cold days either (shingles will shatter, hot tar won’t stay workable). Due to all the missed days of working and times when no work is available (they are not the only roofing and repair guys in our small town) then it averages out to $15,000 a year for us. I know from my childhood that some areas of the country have a higher cost of living but pay is usually higher there as well. If not, then I would not choose to live in such an area. That would be a good starting point. Then, what are the property taxes like, they vary greatly from place to place. Choosing the location of the home is a big financial decision. I have never seen shirts at Old Navy for 50 cents or pants for a dollar, which is what I pay for like new clothes at the thrift, sometimes even Old Navy and sometimes still with the tags on. Shopping out of season at retail stores helps or at the end of a season, long sleeve shirts/heaters/thick comforters/etc. are cheap in spring/summer to be saved for the cold months and vice versa, in the fall/winter you can find great deals on clothes/grills/garden items/cotton sheets/etc. for next summer as they clear out and reduce prices to get ready for new stock. There are many more things to do but I will leave it here for now. I think I have answered all of your questions. It is not really about how we do it. It is about what is important to us and that makes it easy to do. We do what we believe that the Lord commands and trust in Him that our needs will be met if we abide by His word.

          The Bible and it’s teachings have been at the forefront for how we have made decisions. This one has been a major verse to remind us how to live and to keep us on the right track.

          Matt 6:24 says,
          “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”

          Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines mammon as the following:

          MAM’MON, n. Riches; wealth; or the god of riches.

          or a mammonist as:

          MAM’MONIST, n. A person devoted to the acquisition of wealth; one whose affections are placed supremely on riches; a worldling.

          I hope this helps.

          Blessings,
          Brittany

          • 6 arrows says:

            Hi Brittany,

            I know your above comment was directed to Cathy, and I won’t attempt to speak for her, but I did want to address a couple things you said in this comment. Just speaking from my perspective ;-)

            First, I really appreciate the many examples you’ve given of how families can live frugally. You have many good tips on how to live out a frugal lifestyle. I want to submit, though, other ways to look at our lifestyle decisions (and specifically how they impact where we choose to live) that take into consideration more than just the financial angle.

            The section of your comment I’m mainly responding to is this: “I know from my childhood that some areas of the country have a higher cost of living but pay is usually higher there as well. If not, then I would not choose to live in such an area. That would be a good starting point. Then, what are the property taxes like, they vary greatly from place to place. Choosing the location of the home is a big financial decision.”

            Regarding the “higher cost of living but pay is usually higher there as well” part of your comment, in general that may be so, but is not necessarily true everywhere (and I’m glad you didn’t claim that it was). I live in a high-property-tax state, in fact about 4 times higher than a neighboring state that has very similar wage rates. We don’t like it that way, and we are frugal-minded, but there are other reasons we choose to stay where we are, even though it’s difficult to live here on one income with many children (or WAS more difficult before our two oldest children were old enough to contribute to the family income). And while I agree with you that choosing the location of the home is a big financial decision, there are some very important reasons that one might decide to live in a certain area despite high cost of living/comparatively low wage rate problems.

            For us, one reason we stay here is because we have much better homeschool freedom that is not nearly so restrictive as we learned the neighboring states had when we began homeschooling. It is important to us to be in an area where the state doesn’t have intrusive regulations into how we prepare our children for adulthood. It coincides nicely with our philosophy that parents, and not the state, are in the best position to determine what is right for their children.

            And yes, there are other states that would qualify as being “hands-off” states regarding governmental restrictions into homeschooling, and which probably have a lower cost of living than our state, but it would require us to move far from extended family.

            To my husband and me, relationships take priority over finances. We choose to stay in the region where we are because our aging parents (both sets) are within an hour of where we are now. For all the ways they ministered to us in our growing-up years, we want to give back to them, and being relatively nearby is the best way for us to be available to them in their time of need.

            I’ll also say, though this doesn’t apply to our family, that sometimes people live in a certain geographical area for health reasons. Certain weather conditions can improve or worsen various health problems. What if there’s a family history of skin cancer, or arthritis made worse by being in a damp climate, or whatever? The point I’m trying to make…and using way too many words to do it ;-) is that there are many reasons that a family may find it necessary to be in an area where two incomes are a virtual necessity in order to provide for a family’s true needs.

            So while you may decide that you wouldn’t live in an area like that, Brittany, others may find very compelling reasons to choose to live in a more expensive area, especially when one’s roots run deep in that area (to be available to serve loved ones in the family) or when a Christian woman’s husband wants to reside in a certain place, and the woman wants to honor her husband’s decision in that.

            Sorry this comment got so long. I certainly agree with much you’ve said here on this thread, Brittany. I just wanted to come at the choosing-where-to-live perspective from another angle.

            Blessings :-)

            • Brittany says:

              I wrote a long reply and lost it. Thank you for your comment 6 arrows. I do not mean everyone has to move but property taxes can vary greatly from county to county. Ours is half of what the county next to ours is.

              That’s why I said it is not about “how we do it”, your way to make it work may be different. There are so many ways to cut expenses so that a wife can follow the command for a wife to care for her husband, children, and home if she believes that is what He commands and I do(verses working outside the home). It’s about what we believe and if we believe that it is what He commands then we have to trust in Him that if we follow his commands that He will not let us fall.

              Matthew 19-20

              19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?

              20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

              Matthew 18:2-3

              2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,

              3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

              We must have faith, obey His commands, and put our trust in Him. So many times has he come to the rescue right when we needed it.

              Blessings,
              Brittany

              • 6 arrows says:

                And thank you for your reply, also, Brittany. I loved your last paragraph: “We must have faith, obey His commands, and put our trust in Him. So many times has he come to the rescue right when we needed it.” I couldn’t agree more. How great we have a God that we can wholly rely on everywhere we go and in all that we do.

                Blessings to you today.

  16. Keri says:

    When my husband and I first married,I worked outside the home until our first child(who is now 28..lol)came along.When she was 10 months old I went back to work while my mom watched her.I felt like this was the next best person to watch her besides me.I still cried everyday.Five months later when the opportunity came..my mom was thinking of moving-I quit.I have had little part time jobs over the years to help with finances but have not had to do this again for quite a while.We lived in a townhouse for 14 yrs. with five kids and learned to live within our means.I think it’s easier when you start out this way and don’t get caught up in the BIG HOUSE and all the stuff that goes with it in the beginning of marraige. This is a great time to downsize..especially down here in Florida where houses are selling for great prices.Try to live as debt free as possible.After we sold the townhouse(I was pregant with 6th baby)we rented for 3 yrs. before we built a house.It is possible to live on one income.I drove my poor husband crazy trying to get out of that townhouse.We almost made the mistake of building another home in a very fancy neighborhood but we stopped it right before building.Sometimes we learn from our mistakes..lol.and did we learn!!We have four grown children now and two that we are still homeschooling so the thing for me now is to really stay focused(and some days it’s hard)on continuing on in teaching them and training them.I know that sometimes because of circumstances that moms do have to work but I also know that if there is any way to downsize and live a little more debt free it really helps.I know that when we were in the townhouse squashed in together my kids actually got along better!! As soon as they all started getting there own rooms and more things..the bickering began and it was a big shock for me and took some time to get back on track.When the economy went down here in SW.Fl. and my husband resigned from his job as a partner in a construction business,we actually started thinking about me going back to work.He works for himself now and I haven’t had to do this yet.Because we live pretty much deft free with the exception of our house payment..we have been okay.It also helps that my husband and oldest daughter are fantastic bargain and sale shoppers!.lol.
    So for you moms who are trying to figure out if it works to downsize and stay home..it can!! Blessings to you all today and we are finally having a winter here in Florida!!

  17. Carolina says:

    There is also something very obvious here: the mother is the only one who has something that is utterly important for babies: breast milk. Of course, we can fill a bottle with formula, but that is not the way God intended for infants to be fed. We can also wean our children after a few months, but breast milk was designed to go a long way and the benefits of prolonged lactation are obvious. And yes, we can use the breast pumpe. This machine is a wonderful thing sometimes and has helped many mothers, but it is not quite the same either: ask a baby what she would rather have: a piece of plastic or her mother’s soft skin?
    God designed things to be a certain way. The closer we stick to it, the less problems we will have.
    So, a mother who wants to follow this God-given design is going to have a certain number of years of being baby-bound.

    • LVH says:

      I this may be one of many great reasons why the U.S should move towards a mentality and culture that allows for a longer duration of paid maternity leave. See my earlier comment to Kelly regarding certain countries like Sweden. :-)

      • Tiffany says:

        I am opposed to the government paying for maternity leave as I don’t believe that is the role or responsibility of the government (we are in debt enough as it is!). That would mean the employers would need to pay for the materntiy leave. But that would mean that all salaries would decrease. So, while it sounds nice, I certainly don’t think it is the employer’s responsibility to do so.

        • Shawnele says:

          Absolutely. The idea should not be to shift the expense of caring for children onto others, but to make the changes in our own lives to value our children and prioritize them over luxuries.

          • Brittany says:

            I agree Shawnele. Maternity leave is just one of the ways we unfairly pay for other peoples children. We pay for public school, school lunch programs, school officials salaries, bus drivers, cafeteria workers… and my children don’t even attend public school. I teach them at home.

          • LVH says:

            I guess we’ll have to disagree. I think when we have a culture that understands and supports mothers and fathers who need to spend time with their children then policies should reflect that.

            I’m very comfortable with paying a higher tax rate so that mothers and fathers can spend more time with their children and then easily return to the workforce. I’m also more than happy to pay a much higher tax rate so that every single person, man, woman, and especially child can receive healthcare. I realize that may not be a popular position on this site. ;-)

            I’ll be glad to post sources & data that shows that companies that provide a better work/life benefit have much better production and retention of employees. :-)

            • Jennifer says:

              Here we go, universal healthcare. LVH, the simple fact is that far too many people who don’t need healthcare still take advantage of it, and this country is going bankrupt as it is. The last thing we need is higher taxes and more money spent.

  18. LVH says:

    Brittany,

    No No. :-) What I was trying to point out is that just because people are paid does not mean that they cannot do good deeds. A good deed is essentially an act of kindness or assistance on the willing part of the benefactor. Why does it matter if someone gets paid for it or not?

    There are many men who make the conscious choice to join the military and the reserves–who protect our nation and its borders. When I think about my neighbor who is overseas, away from his family, helping to build a school for children, I believe he is doing a good deed. When I think about doctors and nurses who spend so much time trying to save the lives of their patients, I believe those are good deeds. When I think about police officers and firefighters who put their lives on the line to save others, I believe they are performing good deeds. All these people made the conscious choice to go into the line of work that they did. They didn’t have to.

    So yes, just because my neighbor or my local firefighter is getting paid, does not mean they do not perform good deeds.

    If someone is forced or coerced into doing something than no it is not considered a good deed.

    • Brittany says:

      I stand by my comments from before. If we get paid for good deeds, as you say, then you can essentially say that everybody goes out to work to perform good deeds. When my husband does a roof, he is then doing a good deed because he is helping people and he always tries to do a very good job for people. Doctors and nurses, firefighters, etc. are doing good *things* at thier job but so are a lot of other people… teacher, defense attorney, road crews, electric company employees. People do good things at thier jobs but that is not the same thing as what I am talking about in reference to good deeds. A good deed is something done without expectation of monetary gain such as the examples I gave you before. Now if your oversees friend was deployed and chose to work on the school during his unpaid off time then that would be a good deed. He is employed by America (I assume) and has been told that the U.S. wishes for the soldiers to help with the school and he is doing his job. I am not saying that doing his job does not result in good *things*. Many jobs that people do result in having done a good *thing* because many jobs perform a service for others. We are talking about good deeds and there is a difference, at least to me.

      • Jane says:

        Quite true. A good deed, scripturally speaking, is done with no expectation of reward or recognition. Only God sees our motives and heart regarding our “good works”.

  19. Miranda says:

    Well said, Kelly.

    Truthfully, I don’t think its that hard to look around and see how important a mothers role is. Dads are also important but in a very different way. If I look at all the women I know, you can tell the families that the mother is at home or the mother is working.

    Im sure that this is not the case in every family but I think its the exception not the rule.

  20. LVH says:

    Hi 6 arrows :-)

    As you can see, I love discussion on many different topics and I love the way Kelly describes that comments should be in the spirit of “iron sharpening iron.” Please take anything I say in this post or any other post within that frame of mind. I want to make clear, again, that I mean no ill intent or harm when I express my position or disagreement with Brittany, Keri, Kelly or others on this site.

    I believe intelligent discussion requires a great deal of discernment and introspection with all parties that are involved. Likewise, a good discussion will naturally have people state their positions. In the nature of discussion, different topics will have different requirements. This is why when certain positions are stated, often the burden of proof lies with the person who takes that position.

    The issues of poverty, homelessness, economic justice, and health-care are all topics that I am passionate about and love to discuss. Therefore, when people continue to spread common stereotypes and misinformation, I feel inclined to respond.

    Kelly’s original post was about a Catholic cardinal who believed it was best for women to stay-at-home. This eventually launched into a discussion about how dual incomes are not needed and that people can survive on one income. It is my position that not all people are able to survive on one income;in fact thousands do not.

    There are many common stereotypes surrounding the issue of poverty: poor people are lazy, poor people just want handouts, if they just cut down or give up X then Y would happen, how can someone be poor if they own XYZ and so on. Here, in this thread, people have affirmed the stereotypes by giving their personal, biased examples. “I’m able to live on such and such income, and still able to provide for my family’s needs, so should everyone else.” This is what I mean by intellectual dishonesty; when someone casts aside their responsibility to think critically, avoid personal bias and provide evidence for their position.

    You’re correct in that I asked for people to provide sources for their position. And when sources are posted, they must be analyzed for the level or amount of “proof” that they bring to the discussion. In our modern age, anyone can take numbers, statistics or charts, and mash them into a “report” or “study.” That is why discernment is critical. Kelly is more than welcome to analyze any of the sources that I have posted. The source that she posted has been largely discredited for many reasons—the basic premise being that ownership of property does not dissociate from the reality that there are people who often cannot pay for their basic needs. A television, refrigerator, microwave, cell phone, and coffee-maker are all usually one time purchases. These purchases can also happen in a variety of ways: bought before economic hardship, given as a gift or donation, acquired second-hand, or came with the rental property. The need for food, shelter, and I can argue healthcare, are all on-going needs that need to be met. So if a person is struggling to pay for food, they should sell their refrigerator; which will buy their family two weeks of food? Then a person is without a refrigerator to store their perishable food? The Heritage Foundation’s report had very faulty logic and misleading information.

    Sources:
    http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/08/heritage_poor.html
    http://newsroom.blogs.cnn.com/2011/08/11/poverty-in-america-if-poor-people-own-luxury-items-are-they-really-poor/
    http://www.povertyinsights.org/2011/08/09/how-many-poor-people-in-america-heritage-foundation-says-darn-few/
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-kennedy-shriver/let-them-eat-dvds_b_910862.html

    Poverty Myth resources:
    http://www.worldvisionusprograms.org/us_poverty_myths.php
    http://www.catholiccharitiesusa.org/document.doc?id=2920

    Spiritual poverty? I briefly mentioned that Christians need Jesus for survival, in the spiritual sense. For Christians, spiritual poverty is worse than material poverty.

    • 6 arrows says:

      Hi LVH,

      I don’t have a lot of time, so, while I would like to engage in further dialogue with you, I’ll just comment one more time and then bring our conversation to a close ;-)

      I want to state that, though there are a number of issues on which we differ, I do agree with this statement of yours: “In our modern age, anyone can take numbers, statistics or charts, and mash them into a “report” or “study.” That is why discernment is critical.”

      I totally agree, especially on the discernment part. But where does true discernment come from? I believe wisdom (biblical wisdom) and discernment go hand in hand.

      Proverbs 2:6-9.
      6 For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
      7 He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.
      8 He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints.
      9 Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.

      Another applicable passage on discernment is, I think, this one:

      And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2.

      So how do we use discernment when one earthly source of information says one thing and another source says something else, or even when several sources we consult all say the same thing? We look to the sole Source of Truth, the Word of God, as not only our starting point, but also as our guide for all of life. If we’re not thoroughly immersed in the Word, we can be swayed by all sorts of ideologies that don’t align with biblical truth.

      I want to point out with all due respect toward you, LVH, that several of the sources you posted do not operate from a biblical perspective (CNN and Huffington Post to name the two with which I am most familiar), and I would be very careful about heavily relying on information from sources that have no interest in discerning biblical truth.

      And yes, I know that you posted other sources, as well, which are not secular in nature. However, as AmyG said above, the Word of God is our only true and infallible source on which we as Christians can rely. All other writings and communication can be skewed, and must be filtered through the lens of scripture. Which is why I think biblical discernment is so important, both for the communicators and the receivers of a message.

      Thank you for the conversation, LVH. And I agree with you, also, on how great it is that Kelly welcomes comments in the spirit of “iron sharpening iron”. I hope that I have done that respectfully.

      Blessings :-)

  21. Brittany says:

    We could go back and forth on this forever. I feel that poverty or any other excuse given to justify going against what the Bible clearly states is not a reason to not obey the word of God.

    I believe that the Bible plainly shows a perfect plan for husband’s and wive’s roles mandated by the word via Genesis, Proverbs, and Titus. Therefore, income has nothing to do with it. Circumstances do not justify sin. This is a very common practice today, Examples: I lied to her because it was hard to tell the truth, I divorced my husband because he wasted money, I stole from that rich guy because I needed some money badly and he had plenty, I killed that man because he slept with my wife, I aborted my baby because the father left me, I hit her because she insulted me.

    No matter what worldy accepted reason we may do things, no matter if people say “but he deservered it!”, it does not justify sin. The Bible and it’s teachings do not change because we can think of a way to so-called “justify” the sin we commited. So, if I believe that the Bible teaches me to stay home with my children, be my husband’s help meet because the woman was created for man to be his help meet, and be a keeper AT home, then I will do this no matter how difficult the circumstances.

    Woman have not been in the workplace for very long. Thousands of years passed before this occured. For thousands of years women accepted their roles in the home. “Modern” preachers and “modern” doctrines have tried to change the teachings of the word to suite “modern” ideals. Modern feel-good christianity has tried to change the interpretations of the word to keep people comfortable in the changing ways of the majority who want to do what they want to do. Support for modern ways has led to children being molested by baby sitters, teachers, and others, gangs, lock key children, teen pregnancy, and so much more harm that would had never occured under the watchful eye of the mother. It has led to the family moving further and further apart. It has led to an ever rising divorce rate when the Bible tells us the marriage contract can only be broken if a spouse commits adultery and people are divorcing for so many other reasons. God acknowledges one reason for divorce, whether a person holds a paper in their hands given to them by a human being saying that they are divorced does not mean that God acknowledges it.

    Because women want or feel they need to work does not mean that God agrees because in his word he teaches otherwise. The Bible does not teach to obey His word only if it is easy to do so. People who don’t like or want to obey what the Bible teaches say things like the Bible does not apply to today or the culture was different then. The Bible never teaches that we may alter the commands of God to adapt to our views/wants/needs.

    • LVH says:

      I’m glad that you’re living the life that you believe God has called you to. Your interpretation of the Bible does not match mine and that is why I posted what I believe. Religion, Christianity, will always have different beliefs and doctrines and theology amongst its members. It’s unfortunate.

      However, there is nothing modern about people using scripture to justify their positions. Yes, people use scripture, in this day and age, to support a variety of views.

      However, we have to remember that scripture was used to support practices in the past that most Christians do not adhere to today like slavery. Christians have used scripture to support their position that interracial marriage was wrong. Christians have used the Bible to defend segregation and discrimination (Exod. 21:20-21,Matt. 24:45-46). Christians have used the bible to defend murder and discrimination of homosexuals, Jews, and the handicapped. Christian missionaries have gone to “foreign” lands and have forced communities to convert; all under the guise of the Bible. Christians have used scripture to defend the forced taking of infants from unwed mothers. These are all practices that the “modern” world strives to overcome or already has.

      You use passages from the Bible to defend your position that a mothers role is to stay-at-home, but you’re not alone. Passages from the Bible have been used to justify discrimination against women in the areas of: voting, property rights, rape within marriage, abuse, and divorce.

      So, yes, I will believe in the so-called “modern” understanding of the Bible; knowing that there has been a shameful history of the Bible to justify evil.

      :-)

      • Brittany says:

        What exactly is evil about a mother loving her children and wanting to be with them and teach them, loving her husband and wanting to do things to make him happy and support him, and caring for her home so that it will be a pleasant place for them all?

        The Bible does not “support” slavery, it says that it is an abomination but if a person is a slave then they should obey their master. Quite different. Though Jesus’s crucifiction was wrong, did he fight back? Slaves of that time were not slaves because of race and were not taken from their country and brought over there by force, that is two different things. Slaves became slaves to pay off debt or due to Egypt’s enslavement of many for their luxurious lifestyles and they did not fight but God fought for them. The Matt. verse refers to a servant, not a slave. The Bible says that murder is a sin, therefore people who kill homosexuals are sinning. The Bible does say that homosexuality is detestible (leviticus 18-20). Murder of Jews and handicapped is not allowed or supported in the Bible, clearly.

        Do you think there was not abused wives, raped wives, and divorce in those days and yet the Bible tells us that adultery is the only acceptible reason for divorce (Malachi 2:16, Matt. 19:6, Matt. 5:32, Matt. 19:9)? Read your Beatitudes also. Your extreme examples do not support your position. It is not descrimination or abuse for a woman to be proud to fulfill her God given role.

  22. LVH says:

    My point was that the Bible is used to justify many different positions and views.

    Of course, slavery is evil. We know that, today. Yet, people have used Bible passages saying that it is very clear that the Bible condoned slavery.Of course, we know that killing of homosexuals is evil, but people have used Bible passages to support their positions.

    “If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives.” (Leviticus 20:13)

    It’s very “clear” that homosexuals should be killed. It’s written right there in the Bible. Yet, most Christians believe that Christ’s death nullified the laws of the Old Testament.

    Why didn’t Jesus or Paul speak outright against slavery, instead of saying that slaves needed to obey their masters? Was it because it was a practice of that time, and they had no real purpose to change the social practices immediately?

    I have nothing against SAHMs and will continue to support that choice. However, I agree with John Paul II’s biblical exegesis that Paul speaks in a language that was in relation to that culture and time period (he also stated that it was better not to marry). Yes, I believe that women and men need to make their homes a priority, but I do not believe that Titus 2 (and other passages mentioned) is meant to be applied the way it is suggested here, in this blog.

    :-)

    • Jane says:

      Jesus didn’t speak out against slavery because he did not come to enforce social justice. He came to free people from a different kind of slavery (to sin). Not to mention that many “slaves” in that period of time actually sold themselves into servanthood to pay off debts. They were not stolen and forced into slavery.

      If you want to be more sure of a proper interpretation of scripture, I suggest you study it for yourself, if you are interested in learning the truth. You said earlier that people are fallible when it comes to interpretation of scripture, and I agree. Well, the pope is just as fallible as any other human being/Bible teacher when it comes to scriptural interpretation. Here’s a helpful link, free download:

      http://www.theword.net

  23. LVH says:

    Thank-you Jane! :-)

    I have read it and have come to the same conclusions as Pope John II. :-) He explains it much better, so that’s why I linked to him. My interpretation and reading of the Bible is different than Brittany and Kelly. :-)

    Have a nice evening! :-)

    • Jane says:

      I’m not sure what you read, but the link I gave was for doing a word-by-word, verse by verse, study of the scripture in question, or any other scripture for that matter. It would take quite a bit of time. If you still interpret scripture the same way as you have said you do, after detailed study, then there is really nothing more to say. After my study of it in this way, it is plain to see that Kelly and Brittany’s interpretation is much more accurate.

      I hope you would continue to investigate scripture for yourself in this way and come to know the truth someday.

  24. LVH says:

    Thank-you Jennifer!

    I have spent quite a long time studying both sides of the issue and continue to believe and accept the Catholic Church’s interpretation. I stand by and agree that women have so much to offer inside the home and wthin society
    and work. I’m glad to follow the calling to be a nurse, and to use my “feminine genius” in the world of healthcare.

    I also accept that people have different interpretations and see it in a different light.
    I wish you well and hope everyone draws closer to the truth.

  25. LVH says:

    Sorry, I meant Jane :-)

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