"I wanted to ask my readers' opinions on this statement--not because I don't know what to think about it--but because I am curious about the diversity of opinions that might be out there. What do you think? Is homemaking unsuitable employment for some women? Are there any cases when it is fitting for a women to work outside the home? Or are all women called to stay at home? Was the Women's Liberation Movement a good thing because it gave women "options"? Or should women only have one option--staying home?"
My problem with the "keepers at home" mentality is first one of translation. In Titus 2 that word does NOT mean someone who only ever stays at home or only works out of the home. It just means some who does keep the affairs of the home:
1. the (watch or) keeper of the house
2. keeping at home and taking care of household affairs
3. a domestic
(courtesy of-- http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/nas/oikouros.html)
None of those above definitions of the phrase "keeper/worker at home" in Titus are exclusive of other work outside the home, and when we take a look at another example of Biblical womanhood--the Proverbs 31 woman--she is doing many things that can be and usually are done outside of the home including owning, overseeing, and working land; owning businesses; providing for her family; providing for the poor; and so on.
The difference between her attitude/the attitude Paul gives in Titus and 1 Timothy and the attitude of today's working woman is the focus on the family and not on fulfilling selfishness. Both husband and wife should do what they can to stay close to home and raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. The problem isn't that woman are so focused on working outside the home; it's that both men and women have placed their careers above nurturing a healthy family.
It started with men placing more importance on their careers than their families, but as long as the woman has stayed home everyone thought the family situation was still strong. Now that women are also in the work place and the faults in this paradigm are being revealed, the blame is being placed at women's feet, but that's not enough.
Physically present but emotionally and spiritually absent husbands/fathers are at the base of the situation and only when the entire package is addressed will families be healed. Please notice that the ending verses in the book of Malachi aren't talking about or to mothers but about/to fathers.
This is not to say that I don't think that a wife and mother's primary place is at home. It is to say that I think that that is a father's primary place as well. Both husband and wife should work together to be at home with the family as much as possible.
As to women who aren't married yet, they should be preparing themselves for whatever God has for them, whether that's working or going to school or doing missionary work. They should be perfecting the talents and skills that God has given them and asking God where He would lead them, the same as an unmarried man would be doing at that time in his life.
And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the
children,and the hearts of the children to their
fathers,lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.