In these days of the Women’s Liberation and Equal Rights movements there is probably no occupation more looked down upon by the world as that of the housewife. Even the adjectives usually placed before the name of the occupation — common, ordinary, “plain old,” tell of its importance to many today. In magazines especially meant for the women of today’s world, there is hardly an issue that passes by that has no story of what one woman has done to make her common, ordinary life as a “plain old” housewife more meaningful. Even the advertisements boast in loud print — “You’ve come a long way, Baby.” Nowadays there is really no woman who has to lose out in the job market because she hasn’t the intelligence to enter college. The day of the vocational school is here, and with it comes the offer to earn a high salary with more specialized and less difficult education. Women are encouraged more and more to pursue a career and climb the “ladder of success” right along with their male peers, and even in some cases to fight them to the very end in order to obtain equal status with equal pay. And those who have made it to the top in business, medicine, and a host of other fields almost pity the women “stuck at home with a bunch of bawling kids.”
Sometimes it almost seems as though we, too, go along with the feelings of the world toward this seemingly humble and unimportant occupation. Girls it seems are no longer praised for the virtues of the Christian mother, but are scanned for talents in the direction of the business world. In fact, an intelligent girl who decides to marry and raise a family instead of pursuing a career first and then working her family around it is almost considered foolish at times. Even women who are married and have children already seem to think that they are not useful enough in the position they have and seek outside interests. Those who have no small children at home anymore are persuaded to take jobs to “keep busy.” Sometimes it really does seem that we, too, look down upon one of the most rewarding and blessed positions a woman could possibly gain.
The Bible speaks in many ways of the blessedness of being a God-fearing wife and mother. Even Solomon, a man with many, many wives realized the worth of a virtuous woman, when he wrote the words of Proverbs 31: “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies . . . . Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.” Seldom today would a woman who finds her fulfillment in the keeping of a household hear words– of praise such as these, but now as never before, she deserves words such as these.
It is still true that God has given some women positions of a different nature in the church. Not all have been called to be wives and mothers, just as many women have not been called to become teachers and workers in other varying occupations. But when God calls women to be housewives, and mothers, who labor in the home, they must not be discouraged in this calling, as if it were a disgraceful occupation, and the “dead end” of the career girl’s life, but rather encouraged to seek their fulfillment in the ways of the God-fearing woman who finds her usefulness in the raising of the Covenant seed and her business in the work of the Church.