The modern American culture has swerved so far away from the 7-millennium long traditional family-centered culture to the current career-centered culture that young women are virtually forced by cultural pressure to pursue a career as a higher priority than the family. Some have claimed it is possible to have it both ways. The reality is that more and more women are discovering that by definition there can only be one priority. If the priority is career, the family will suffer now and later.
Many women would genuinely prefer to be a homemaker. But those who are brave enough to face the wolfish cultural pressure may be confronted by another barrier closer to home. Today, many married men presumptively expect their wives to have a money-earning job outside the home.
Traditionally—at least up until a few decades ago—men would be embarrassed if their wives worked outside the home. The men were proud of their ability to provide for the material needs and the security of their home. In just a few short decades, their pride succumbed to radical feminist pressures and transitioned to, “Honey, it’s OK to get a job if you want to; either way is OK with me.” The laisse-faire attitude, which was often interpreted by women as uncaring eventually became today’s, “Honey, you MUST have a job to help pay all of the bills.”
Severe cultural pressures and often poor financial planning create formidable barriers for the would-be homemaker. Here’s the rub! Men, if any of you are pressuring your wife to pursue a career, rather than encouraging her to be a homemaker, God has a very direct and stern warning for you. As you read the quote in three translations, remember, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom:”
- “The women of my people have ye cast out from their pleasant houses; from their children have ye taken away my glory forever. Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction.” [Micah 2:9-10 King James Version]
- “You drive the women of my people from their pleasant homes. You take away my blessing from their children forever. Get up, go away! For this is not your resting place, because it is defiled, it is ruined, beyond all remedy.” [Micah 2:9-10 New International Version]
- “You throw my people’s women out of the homes they love. You deprive their children of my glory forever. Get up and go! You can’t stay here! Because [the land] is now unclean, it will destroy you with a grievous destruction.” [Mikhah 2:9-10 Complete Jewish Bible]
The clarity of the three scripture translations is inescapable. Regardless of today’s cultural pressures, a husband must not encourage his wife to pursue a job outside the home. Whether or not she actually does is another discussion. However, first consider this:
God views the entirety of history as a continuum from Creation through the coming of the Messiah. He sees a holistic master portrait. That portrait includes a seamless parade of generations, each receiving the baton of civilization from the previous generation and passing it on to the next generation. At least that is His intent.
The woman as wife and mother is the link between generations. She learns from the previous generation, primarily from her mother, gives birth to the next generation, and is primarily responsible for nurturing and raising the next generation to become men and women of strong character, capable of carrying the baton of civilization onward to the following generation. She is ultimately responsible for the cohesiveness of the family and the sustainability of the culture.
The passage in Micah 2:9 indicates that when the homemaker is “cast out,” driven out, or thrown out of the home, to pursue material goals, the missing link forms a disconnect in the flow of generations and the preservation of civilization. The disconnect deprives the children of God’s glory for a very long time—the passage says, “forever.”
Visualize the disconnect as a seamless hand-knit sweater. When a single piece of yarn is broken, a slight tug causes the entire sweater to unravel. Similarly, the entire fabric of America unravels and is rapidly unraveling today when the family link in time is broken. Wow! That’s heavy; think about it for a few moments.
The greatest expression of love between a married man and woman is the birth of a child. New parents often cry out, “It’s a miracle from God!” and so it is. The child remains every bit as much a miracle at ages 2, 5, 10, 16 or beyond. The miracle child is on loan from God throughout the growing years. God has assigned the enormous responsibility to the parents, primarily the mother, to care for and raise His created miracle to become an adult of strong character who will continue to honor God and pass along an improved baton to the following generation. How could anything be a higher priority?
God places very high and challenging expectations on the woman. Her husband’s job is to make her job easy. One day, the parents causing or contributing to a disconnect at the expense of the children will be accountable to God. If that is you, what will you say, when God asks, “What did you do with my miracle?”