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Mommy Wars: Are Homemakers More Holy?

The Titus passage assumes women would be at home, because this was a place where nearly everything was done.

But women were certainly not excluded from entrepreneurial work or leaving their homes to do business. Lydia was a dealer in purple cloth (Acts 16:14). The Proverbs 31 woman “considers a field and buys it” and “plants a vineyard with her earnings” (v 16). She also trades (v 18), and makes and sells linen garments (v 24).

Furthermore, the clan or tribal familial set-up meant everyone raised the children—not just a solitary mom.

Entire extended families worked together to herd toddlers and thresh grain and bake bread and scrub clothing.

Our modern set-up of a mom alone at home with a brood of children, scrambling to get laundry done, make nutritious meals, keeping much larger houses clean, keeping a modern budget on one income and providing enough intellectual, emotional and spiritual stimulation for the children is quite a new idea in the history of humankind. It’s a bit of a raw deal, actually, and quite overwhelming and lonely for many of us.

So back to our original question: Is it God’s will for all mothers to be stay-at-home moms?

I don’t think you can say a blanket yes” from these passages of the Bible, since they don’t speak to a culture that could possibly understand what we mean by “stay-at-home mom.”

So there must be other questions we can ask. More helpful questions.

I’ll suggest some I contemplated when I first took a pregnancy test:

Will I be a better mom if I stay home or go to work? What will be better for my children?

Staying home is demanding. Working is demanding. There is no easy out.

I chose to stay home because I knew if I spent all day working, then had to come home and rush to get groceries bought, dinner on the table, laundry stuffed in the washer and find some kind of quality time to spend with my kids and husband, I would be so frazzled. I need less rush and more space in my life to feel less stressed. I need time to read and think and be alone, or my soul shrivels.

I also know I have a tendency to be a perfectionist in whatever I do. I cannot go to school and not make A’s. I cannot go to work and not throw myself into it fully until the work is done. I cannot have kids and not give them the best of myself—and my best for them would be impaired if I had no space to be still.

So, for my personality, staying home once I had kids was the way for me to be the best mom I could be.

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Aubry Smith is a freelance writer and a stay-at-home mom to her two sons. She and her husband live in North Carolina.