Here are some notes from last Sunday's sermon on Proverbs 31. This part of the sermon wasn't so much exposition as it was trying to be as clear as possible about "a woman's place."
We need to be clear on what the Bible teaches about a woman's place in the kingdom.
First is the truth that all of us, men and women, boys and girls, have as our top aim and motive the
. So, rather than saying a woman's place is in the home, it's much more clear and Biblical to say that a wife's mission is serving the kingdom by caring first and foremost for her family. The Bible nowhere says that a woman's only place is in the home (in fact, Proverbs 31 and the book of Ruth and Lydia show the opposite), but it does clearly teach that women, especially married women, are to have their hearts, minds, and energies focused first on the home - not to the exclusion of everything outside the doors of your house, but rather, what you do outside of those doors needs to serve this one mission. kingdomof Jesus Christ
This passage doesn't so much teach this as it assumes it. The frame around this painting is the assumption that the wonderful mission of wives is the constructing and managing of a spiritual and earthly haven. Just as the church, her calling is no less than to build a miniature version of heaven on earth.
There are also times when it's appropriate and vital for women to have ministry outside of their families and homes - in Titus we're given the model of women discipling younger women. Not only is this necessary, but it fits into godly women's main drive, which is serving the
. This not only helps us round out our idea of womanhood and ministry, but will keep the family in perspective of the kingdom, not vice versa. On one side of the evangelical aisle, there's a temptation to dismiss or disrupt the family as much as possible in the name of the church or individual growth. On the other side, there's a temptation to think that the family is the end-all and be-all of the church and society. Neither are correct: not only do we, as individuals, exist for the kingdomof Christ , so do families. kingdomof Christ
A wife's calling is different from husbands' in that, while husbands participate in and are ultimately responsible for the building of a home, their kingdom calling is both outward and homeward. If a wife's main mission is "the kingdom through the home", a husband's two missions are (1) being the federal head of the home and (2) bringing the world into submission to Christ in whatever field he's called to. When women do good and appropriate work outside of the home, they too are engaging in taking dominion. But it's still not their main mission while there are kids to raise. Even after the kids are gone, Scripture would have wives be committed to their husbands and their husband's "dominion-taking" before their own jobs. This is why it's unbiblical for men to seek financial freedom in order to be with their kids all day. We're called to take dominion of this world for Jesus' glory - and the work wives do in managing the home must be seen as a vital, integral part of their husband's outward calling.