Culture, Faith, Family

Proverbs 31 versus American 2010 Part 2 (aka “What’s Titus Got To Do With It?”)

After my last post on the Proverbs 31 woman, I have continued to search Scripture for more verses relating to a woman’s role, stay-at-home mom, working out-of-the-home mom, whatever the case may be (of course, the verses also apply fully to all women, single, married, without children, etc.).  My focus though, of course, is trying to figure out who God would have me be in light of all the recent changes in my life, so forgive me when I primarily write about my thoughts from a stay-at-home mom perspective.

That said, I took my thoughts from studying the Proverbs 31 woman and also began exploring Titus 2, focusing on verses 3-5.

3Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.

As I try to figure out how to balance being a wife and mother with (simply?) being a woman, I find some helpful information, ironically, in a letter written by one man (Paul) to another (Titus).  Granted, Titus was entrusted with reading this to his fellow believers, but still… Anyway, these 3 verses focus on not only how older women should conduct themselves, but also on what they are to teach younger women.  Included in this training is loving their husbands and children, being self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and the S-word…submission.  Now that last word is often considered on par with the other S-word by our society as a whole, including many Christians.  Not many of us like to submit to anyone; we want to do things the way we want, when we want.  Myself included- just ask my husband.

Before I get too off-topic, I just want to point out that submission does not equal doormat, but it does acknowledge that ultimately, our husbands have the final say.  Look at it this way…submission is INCREDIBLY HARD, but in Ephesians, husbands are instructed to love their wives as Christ loves the church.  They have the much more difficult job, I think!

Back to Titus.  What stands out to me currently is the “working at home” part- I’m in the process of trying to discern what this means exactly.  I think it means that whether you stay-at-home or not, your priority should be having the house in order, and that yes, if you are a stay-at-home mom, you are still working, you’ve just relocated.

It also speaks to idleness, as did Proverbs 31.  The mere idea of working immediately cancels out idleness.  That doesn’t mean you can’t take breaks to relax, but it certainly blows the whole cliche of “sitting-at-home-in-pajamas-watching-soap-operas-and-eating-bon-bons” out of the water.  (*Note: I do not engage in either.  I do, however, like to catch up on shows via Hulu occasionally while nursing Asher (since I am limited with other activities at this time anyway) and I may partake of some popcorn or, my personal favorite, Blue Bunny Peanut Butter Panic ice cream every once in awhile, but this is not a regular occurrence.  Especially as I am trying to lose the baby weight.)

Also of note is the title the English Standard Version (or as my husband calls it, “the cool kids translation”) uses for this section of Titus–“Teach Sound Doctrine”.  I find it incredibly awesome that the virtues younger women are to be taught are considered sound doctrine.  Add to that the reason we are to be taught these virtues…”that the Word of God may not be reviled”, and I am struck by what a high calling it is to be a young woman.  We are to engage in being kind, pure, and working at home in order to present the Word of God in such a way that it is not abused (another word for reviled).  This, in turn, is a powerful witness to others.

This certainly gives me some comfort as I look to find meaning in the life I have chosen inside my front door.