Did your mother work outside of the home when you were growing up? Some of us can remember when it was unusual for mothers to maintain outside jobs while their children were young. Today, about 70% of mothers with minor children (under the age of 18) also participate in the paid workforce, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. But that percentage was less than half (47.4) in 1975. Further, at the close of World War II in the late 1940’s, only about 10% of married women with young children worked outside the home. So what has fueled this change, and how has it affected our families and culture?
This is a difficult conversation to have because the issues are so politicized that even the common terminology is loaded and biased. Consider, for example, the usual phrases “working moms” vs. “stay-at-home moms.” These expressions bias the discussion toward the view that mothers who choose to forgo paid jobs are not really “working.” This devalues stay-at-home moms, shaming them into accepting the feminist argument that they are less of a person, less valuable than their counterparts in the paid workforce. The stereotype is especially powerful to younger women, who envision themselves as successful professionals. They are led to believe that raising children is less important than getting a degree and commanding a large salary.
Advancers of the radical feminist agenda, both men and women, have largely succeeded in convincing young people that true success and value for women is primarily achieved by entering the paid workforce, and becoming economically independent (or self supporting). The last thing you want to do is “depend” on a man. Many husbands have contributed to this belief by thinking and speaking of “their” money, “their” career, “their” schedule as somehow more important than their stay-at-home wive’s. They don’t use the bad word “housewife” because in their mind any wife who would make the household her top priority is not very valuable. Any woman who would stay at home, take a pass on a “paying” job and devote herself to raising a family is inferior to them. Feminist husbands who think that way have encouraged many mothers to “go to work.”
Another reason for the drastic upsurge in the number of mothers who work outside the home is the cultural demise of marriage and the family as defined in God’s word. Biblical definitions of marriage and the family are largely ignored in our current culture. Even those who profess a faith in the Bible as God’s word often accommodate other arrangements in the name of tolerance or enlightened open-mindedness. “Live and let live” has become the norm of our day, even if it means embracing and supporting lifestyles plainly condemned in the Bible. After all, they are condemned because the Bible is out of date, out of touch. It has never occurred to them that God may have condemned them because they are actually evil, contrary to human happiness, harmful to mankind.
As modern man has advanced materially, he has digressed spiritually, especially in his respect for the word of God. Secular humanism is on the rise, especially in the last 50 years. This philosophy, (or, more accurately, religion), maintains that man is the measure of all things, and people need not rely upon God or his word for guidance or direction. The Bible has become merely advisory. God’s commands are disposable in the current culture, especially with regard to marriage and the family. The counsel of God, once understood to be lovingly given for our benefit, is now regarded as out-of-date, ill-advised, politically incorrect.
Still, there are those yet who perceive that God is the one who created man, and that he alone knows what is best for him. He knows what will work and what won’t. He knows what makes people genuinely fulfilled and happy. And he is the sole author of loving and trustworthy guidance for our lives. Some believe that the Bible is actually and literally God’s word, and we would do well to follow it scrupulously and exactly. You can put me down as one of those people. So, although it may seem out-of-date and inappropriate, let me quote a long-standing passage from the word of God which served women very well for nearly 2,000 years before the present enlightenment: That they [older women] may train the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sober-minded, chaste, workers at home, kind, being in subjection to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed, (Titus 2:5-6). That’s God’s description of mom’s job.
-by Robert C. Veil, Jr.