Families are under tremendous pressure today from many quarters. Because the institution of the home was created by God, we can logically expect Satan to oppose and frustrate its success however he can. Satan is well aware that strong, stable homes are the progenitors of strong, stable children who will leave their home to reproduce the same vital faith in Christ and godly character in which they were trained. Such soldiers of the cross do not just accidentally appear on the scene. They are the normal, expected fruit of godly, well-ordered families where each family member has been obedient to his or her God-given responsibilities.
I have met numerous gray-headed folks who have been agonizing over their wayward children. Some have asked prayer for a son who is incarcerated for his crimes, others have children who are on their second, third, or fourth marriage. Most are not a regular part of a fundamental, separatist church. Parents weep bitter tears as they see their rebellious sons and daughters spurn their faith in Christ and accept the shallow, sensual values of the age in which we live. Their agony is exacerbated when grandchildren are born for they know they will be a worse child of hell than their parents as they quickly adopt the hedonistic, rebellious, self-centered lifestyle of their mother and father.
Almost everyone of these broken-hearted parents has related to me that they made serious mistakes in parenting and if they had it to do over, they would radically alter how they raised their families.
What Would Be Different?
Recognizing the relatively short time a child is in the home, they would have put stress on teaching obedience, self-control, personal responsibility, and character training. They would have taught them to work and would have diligently used the rod and reproof during the whole process of child training. They would have chosen their children's friends and scrupulously kept them away from wrong influences, both in terms of other youngsters and activities. Because they love them, they would have purged their house of every television set. They would have insisted on regular family altar, Bible reading, prayer, and faithful church attendance. They would not have allowed wrong music or clothing, nor would they have allowed their children to participate in other "fads" that were popular.
Because all of the above takes a full-time parent, these same grieving parents are often heard to say in their evaluation of what went wrong in their home, ... "and we would have kept Mom at home."
Single Parent Homes
Because of the tragedy of divorce, multitudes of homes are now single-parent families. Obviously, that parent must work to support her injured little flock and has no choice but to place her children in the care of others while she is away on the job. This frustrating situation defies easy solutions except in those cases where reconciliation is still possible between the estranged parents.
Two Parent Homes
But what of the homes where both parents are still married, but both partners, because of the pressure of installment debt, materialistic lifestyle, "keeping up with the Joneses," and other factors have gone into the labor market. In such cases, the child or children either become "latch-key children" or are placed in the custody and care of a hireling to care for them who in most cases cannot and will not have the dedication to the task of parenting that the child's natural mother would have had.
The Latch-Key Child
Consider the national tragedy and disgrace of the "latch-key child". They come home from school, turn the key in the door and enter into an empty house. Oh, there may be a dog, cat, or parakeet within, but these are pitiful substitutes for a mother greeting her child.
I may be sitting and reading in our living room and hear one of my boys come in the house after a prolonged absence. After a few moments of greeting and conversation with me, what is the first question that little lad will ask? Yes, "where is Mom?"; "where is my mother?"; "I want to see my mother," is the natural cry of any youngster after any absence from home for school, play, etc.
But for millions of forlorn, dejected little hearts, they need not ask that question, because they know Mom is down at the office or factory, sometimes on shifts where interaction between her and her babies is very limited indeed.
Problems Involved In Leaving Home
It is not accidental or coincidental that a godly woman is "chaste" (Titus 2:5). Look at the next item she is to be taught by a godly older woman, to be a "keeper at home" (Titus 2:5). Leaving the relative security and safety of a home exposes a woman to all manner of temptations, hurtful lusts and snares in the office, plant, factory, or other work place. Many married women have had their heads and hearts turned by the deceitful flatteries of an adulterous man in her work situation. As she compares her husband to the attractive and sensitive man who keeps calling attention to her on the job, her loyalties and marriage vows are put under stress, and many married women succumb to adultery in their hearts or in actual deed.
Tension is Produced
A woman cast into a breadwinning role also is under temptation to exercise the prerogatives of being a provider; making decisions and taking leadership in the home. Whereas God intended for a wife to be dependent on her husband for provision of the family's needs, many modern women have no such dependence. Many earn as much or even more than their husbands. Those situations again place stress on marriages and culminate in conflict over how family resources are to be spent, decision making, and leadership.
Frustrations of the Working Mother
Because most women have a natural "nesting" drive deep within their breast, being in the work place is a constant source of frustration for her. She knows her children need their mother full-time. She knows she cannot do justice to a marriage, house and children as a homemaker and to a job at the same time. How can she clean and make her house beautiful when she is too tired to do these things after her 40 hours a week in the work place? How can she effectively kiss away little tears, care for a fevered brow, bandage a scraped knee, give spiritual counsel, character training, and consistent, timely discipline when she only sees her children in small segments of time allowed by her job? How can she cook, sew, clean, and plan for her family when she is down at the office and caught in rush hour traffic? How can she properly respond to her husband and meet his needs when she is overly tired, tense, frustrated over her situation and even resentful?
The Demands of a Homemaker
When Paul wrote the phrase "keeper at home" in Titus 2:5, it came from two words: "home" and "work." The godly woman is not only home where she belongs and desires to be, she is working! She is not stretched out on the sofa watching soaps and popping chocolates into her mouth. There will not be cobwebs in her house that are life-threatening, dust balls as big as rodents, green hairy stuff growing in her refrigerator, or piles of unwashed clothing, dishes, and unmended clothes like Mt. Everest! Being a wife, mother, and homemaker is a full-time, creative, demanding, fulfilling and tiring job.
Count the Cost!
Mom, what have you gained even if you obtain nice clothes, an expensive car, beautiful house, material possessions, prestige, notoriety, and even authority on the job while your children are strangers to you. How can you enjoy the "good life" when your presence at home would have prevented all the wrong friends your children now refuse to relinquish. How can you have peace within when a mother's supervision would have prevented experimentation with drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and even immorality? Position, authority, salary, fringe benefits and a host of other job-related "blessings" pale in significance if your marriage is in serious trouble and there seem to be barriers between you and your husband because of tight schedules, rare intimate communication, and because your fulfillment has come from outside your home.
Small wonder many children and young people forge such strong loyalties to peers even though they are an adverse influence on them. In the absence of a full-time mother, a child will naturally seek guidance, companionship and fulfillment from another source. Loyalties that should have been cemented with his parents and family are instead farmed out to evil-charactered peers readily provided by a Satanically dominated world.
Mom, your husband needs you, another woman should not be meeting his needs. Your children need you, not a surrogate hireling. You cannot be replaced by another. God has called you to be a "keeper at home," not to stunt your creativity or imprison you in an unfulfilling, demeaning role, but because you have been called to the high and noble office of a homemaker; a responsibility with unmeasureable rewards, heavy demands, great fulfillment, and inestimable blessing for you, your husband, and your children.
From a tract published by Hephzibah House, 508 School St., Winona Lake, IN 46590