By Elizabeth Prata
It used to be that when I posted a discernment essay critiquing a teacher and showing through scripture that he or she was false, I’d receive a lot of heat, insults, and anger. Still do – a bit. But nowadays, it’s the posts about women’s roles (being at home as submissive wife/mom as the career) that generate anger, rejection of verses, curses and name calling.
Far from wanting to push back in similar anger, I just sadly look at their handles (many are crass), bios, (usually proud of a rebellion), or profile photo (many are immodest), yet these angry women claim to be Christian. My sorrow for them increases.
Since my conversion, a verse that always stood out starkly to me was Matthew 7:21-23, “Lord, Lord, didn’t we…?” I’ve researched it often. Greek for many here is “polýs (“much in number”) emphasizes the quantity involved; signifies ‘many, numerous’– i.e. great in amount.”
Hypocrisy and false belief is a heavy possibility for us all. Disobedience increases the likelihood of both.
Gill’s Exposition says of the Matthew 7:21-23 verse, “The word is repeated to show their importunity, sense of danger, the confusion they will be in, the wretched disappointment they will have; and therefore speak as persons amazed and confounded, having expected they would have been the first persons that should be admitted into heaven.”
I’ve heard in sermons that the number of the rejected will be astoundingly great. Their shock at learning the truth of their false belief will be unveiled before all. But it will be too late. This is a sobering truth- worthy of restraint and contemplation when dealing with a woman who may be on a path toward that side of the gulf.
How many professing Christian women will say ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we make a wonderful career out of ministry? Didn’t we help many people? Didn’t we teach Bible to thousands? Didn’t we bring in a good income from my job? Splitting my time between job and kids wasn’t SO bad, was it? Even if the kids missed us a little, or ate frozen dinners too often, isn’t the ultimate balance a good one? Lord?’
No. It isn’t. The Bible is clear, a woman’s orientation is toward the home.
Ladies, I know Stay At Home Mom work isn’t glamorous. It’s dirty, boring, and repetitive. Raising kids is hard. It’s background work that seems to reap no public affirmation. Indeed, the public scorns housewifery. Even ‘Christian’ women mock it by claiming that just being a housewife isn’t enough, that a career outside the home is OK too. But staying in our roles God has ordained for us is ultimately for our good and reaps good. It’s our calling. Make it your joyful priority.
[I realize that circumstances mean some families make decisions that have the woman work outside the home. The young wife with no kids temporarily works to put her husband through seminary. The husband is deployed or on medical disability. She’s a widow, and so on. I am not making a general, blanket edict for ALL families.]
But… the Bible states that a woman’s primary goal should be to serve the home by helping her husband and raising the children at home (if the Lord blesses the couple with them). Serving the husband and her church if not.
Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18).
Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. (1 Corinthians 11:9).
Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, 4 so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. (Titus 2:3-5).
There are two issues: understanding the concepts the Bible puts forth on this topic of gender roles, and obeying them. As for the former, the Bible is clear about a wife’s primary orientation. It’s the home. The verses above are easily interpretable. They’re not murky on the subject.
So the issue is not one of interpretation, it’s an issue of obedience. They read, know, and understand the verses, they just choose to reject them in willful rebellion. This is why their stance is so dangerous, and calls for rebukes ranging from gentle to pointed.
Lifestyle disobedience is disobedience. Here is a good resource from Dr. Michael Youssef, “Genuine faith can only be demonstrated by obedient action.” More here, titled Faith that leads to Obedience.
And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh. (Jude 1:22-23).
Barnes’ Notes says on the Jude verse-
Save with fear – That is, by appeals adapted to produce fear. The idea seems to be that the arguments on which they relied were to be drawn from the dangers of the persons referred to, or from the dread of future wrath. It is undoubtedly true, that while there is a class of persons who can be won to embrace religion by mild and gentle persuasion, there is another class who can be aroused only by the terrors of the law. Every method is to be employed, in its proper place, that we “by all means may save some.”
Pulling them out of the fire – As you would snatch persons out of the fire; or as you would seize on a person that was walking into a volcano. Then, a man would not use the mild and gentle language of persuasion, but by word and gesture show that he was deeply in earnest.
The women who don’t have to work outside the home, who split their time between career and husband/kids/home for reasons of personal fulfillment are in disobedience, which means they either are not a Christian, or, they are in Christ and are spiritually conflicted. I know this because rebellion always brings discomfort. The Day will reveal whether it was a false belief or a willful disobedience.
It should be noted that if a woman is actually in Christ, persistent disobedience will bring chastisement and eventual repentance.
In the meantime, though some are warranted a harsh rebuke to instill the fear of God, others are due a gentle warning. Perhaps the rebuke or warning will be the mechanism He uses to bring repentance. I ask God, grant me the wisdom to know when to do which. In other cases, you ladies’ exemplary modeling of the lifestyle to which He has called us may be the mechanism that brings repentance.
Ladies, even though the day-to-day work of being a wife and mom may be a grind, even if you get tired or irritated, in the end do you feel a sense of joy at the humans you’re raising? Satisfaction with how you’re supporting your husband? Do you feel a sense of spiritual fulfillment that your obedience aligns with God’s desires for you? Does your knowledge of scripture for women’s roles give you a sense of purpose for your life? If not, examine yourself to see if you are one that will hear “Well done Good & faithful servant, enter into the joy of your master” or “Depart from me, you worker of iniquity. I never knew you!”
My earnest desire is for women to know and love the scriptures, to be satisfied with their role, and to greet Jesus in love on the side of Light on the Day.