I have been a stay-at-home mom for 2 years now. And I love being able to stay home with my son and be there for all his special moments. I love being the one he turns to when he’s down, or excited, or just needs extra cuddles.
Becoming a stay-at-home mom had been a calling on my heart for many years, even before I had my son. And I feel extremely blessed to have the opportunity to watch him grow every day. God knew the desire of my heart and He blessed me with what I asked for.
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.~ Psalm 37:4
However, I know not every mom feels that urge to want to be home with her children full-time. Not every mom wants to trade in their career to change diapers and clean dishes full-time.
But the question is: Should they? Are we commanded by scripture to give up our careers to take care of our homes and little ones full-time?
What does the Bible say?
What Does the Bible Say About Motherhood?
I think it’s safe to say it is the responsibility of all Christians to make sure their life choices are in line with God’s Word. If we’re unsure about a decision or choice before us, we should check the guidebook (the Bible) and it will direct us on how we should move forward.
This rule of thumb applies to any aspect of our lives. And that includes motherhood.
Let’s take a look at a few verses below:
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.Proverbs 22:6
As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.Isaiah 66:13
As you can see, it is our job as mothers (fathers too) to teach our children right from wrong. Not only that but to teach them Who the author of right is. We are supposed to set good examples and start laying strong foundations of faith for our children.
As mothers, we comfort and console. We make sure our children are feeling okay, and love on them when they’re not. We have crazy compassion for our children and seeing them suffer in any way is a real struggle. We want to do everything we can to shield them from future pains.
My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching.Proverbs 6:20
I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.2 Timothy 1:5
The Bible tells us not to forsake our mother’s teaching. What does that tell us? Mothers are expected to instruct, teach their children to make wise decisions, and raise them up in the ways of the Lord.
2 Timothy 1:5 highlights the strong faith of two mothers, demonstrating how the strong faith of a mother is influential and powerful. When we wear our faith like a garment and show our children what faith in God looks like, it can have a strong impact on our children.
The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.Proverbs 29:15
Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him.Psalm 127:3
As mothers, we are expected to discipline our children. We do not just sit back and allow our children to raise themselves, be disrespectful, and do whatever they want. That is not our purpose.
And of course, our children should bring us joy! They are a reward, a heritage! A reward is something to be glad over. Parenthood can be challenging, but above all else, it should joyful.
Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.Titus 2:3-5
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.Deuteronomy 6:6-7
Titus 2:3-5 has a lot to say about the role of women. According to these verses, in addition to loving their children, it does say mothers should be working at home. (We will dive deeper into this one later.)
And again, in Deuteronomy 6:6-7, we see the command to teach God’s Word to our children. And teach them diligently!
And lastly, let’s not forget about the Proverbs 31 woman. I encourage you to go read the full chapter. But, she is a super mom! She is hard-working, generous, and financially savvy, and she watches over the affairs of her household.
The above list of verses helps to illustrate what God expects from us as mothers. Through scripture, we see the many attributes that He values in motherhood.
Did the Proverbs 31 Woman Work Outside the Home?
So, let’s dive a little deeper. According to scripture, is the Titus 2 woman a stay-at-home mom? And likewise, did the Proverbs 31 woman work outside the home?
The main verse in scripture that seems to indicate that women should stay home and work is Titus 2:5: “to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.”
But, we need to pay attention to what it actually says.
It states that the older women should teach the younger women to work at home. But, is that a restrictive statement? It does not say to teach the younger women to work only at home.
Now let’s jump down to the Proverbs 31 woman and pull out a few relevant verses:
- “She considers a field and buys it, out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.” (Verse 16. NIV)
- “She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.” (Verse 18, NIV)
- “She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.” (Verse 24, NIV)
Based on these three verses, we have to conclude that she did not only stay home and take care of the home. But that she actually did additional work outside the home to help care for her family. She collected earnings for her work. She made a profit from trading goods and sold the garments that she made.
So in addition to all the hard work that she did at home, she took on extra work that was outside the scope of cleaning, cooking, and tending to babies inside the home.
I think it’s safe to say that she did work outside the home as well as inside the home. And she took on these additional duties to further support her family.
For more stay-at-home mom encouragement and motivation, please visit my new site www.allthingssahm.com
So, Does the Bible Say We Should be Stay-at-Home Moms?
So, based on what we just went over, should mothers work outside the home? What does the Bible say about mothers working outside the home? Does the Bible explicitly (or otherwise) say that women should be stay-at-home moms?
Well, nowhere in the Bible does it explicitly say mothers should be stay-at-home moms.
It’s just not a command in the Bible. The Bible speaks about the importance of our role within the home, but nothing about our freedom to choose meaningful work outside of the home as well.
And if I were to sum it all up, what seems most important to God is that we are present, loving, and teachers of God’s Word to our children.
Now, with that being said…
I’ll tell you honestly, I am a huge advocate for women choosing to be stay-at-home moms, especially in the early years. Me personally, I believe I can best show up for my son and commit to the Biblical duties of motherhood by being available to my son at home full-time. Being home allows me to focus on him in a way that I just don’t think I would be able to if I had a full-time job.
But regardless of our working status, we have been commissioned a very important job by God. And what a huge responsibility we have. And what an honor that God trusts these little souls to us.
God doesn’t expect us to be perfect mothers. We can’t always get it right, whether we’re working moms or stay-at-home moms. That’s what Jesus is for.
So in whichever route we choose, working outside the home or working inside the home (or a combination of both), as long as we are trying to please God in our lives and roles as mothers, we are on the right track.
God is for family. And He wants families to succeed. He wants families to be together, successful and thriving. How are you, as a mother, able to help this mission? How are you, as a mother, able to best serve your family and please God?
Both the working mom and stay-at-home mom lifestyles present their own set of challenges. And God wants to be part of it all. He will help fill in the gaps where we fall short.
Pleasing God, Doing What’s Best for Family, and Maintaining Identity
In case I haven’t said it already, I’m fully aware that not all families have the financial capacity to go down to one income.
And truthfully, we almost did not because I wasn’t sure we could make the shift financially. But being home was so important to me, that we ultimately made some sacrifices and made it happen, prayerfully.
Additionally, I know there are single mothers out there providing for their families on their own. So, deciding to quit work and be a stay-at-home-mom is just not an option for everyone.
So, this post is not to discourage, judge, or cause division.
Full transparency, I’ve worked part-time off and on over the past couple of years to help out with finances. So, I understand that being home full-time is not always a possibility (or even a desire).
But what matters most is that you are speaking with God all along the way, allowing Him to lead you in your decisions as a mother, right? Revisit scripture and see if your motherly decisions are lining up with God’s vision for you and your family.
We have to remember, it’s not a competition. We are all just trying to do what’s best for our families, please God, and make sure we’re not neglecting our own needs for fulfillment and identity. God can help us do all three.
Our identity as women, first and foremost, is in Christ. We are daughters of Christ, individually designed in God’s image to fulfill a purpose. Motherhood is an extension of our identity, a branch to that purpose, but it’s not our sole identity.
Motherhood is a beautiful extension of who we are as women. And I’m sure it pleases God when we embrace and submit to our season of motherhood instead of fighting it. Motherhood was never intended to be something that takes away from us but adds to us.
Should Working Christian Women Become Stay-at-Home Moms?
Whether or not a working Christian woman who has kids should quit her job and become a SAHM is, of course, between her, her husband, and God. And we’ve already discovered through scripture that being a SAHM isn’t necessarily a command from the Bible.
However, if your job outside of the home starts to become a distraction and a hindrance to your ministry at home, then quitting your job might be best. The Bible is very clear that a mother is to work inside the home.
In a nutshell, being a working Christian mom is not a sin. However, if working outside the home is distracting you from your duties to your family, it could be time to reconsider your situation.
God is in support of family. He created family. And God wants families to be happy, thriving, and most importantly, Christ-centered. So whether you work inside or outside the home as a Christian mother comes second to making sure God is at the center of your family unit.
And if God is truly at the center, and you have a relationship with Him, He will lead you on important decisions like whether or not you should be a stay-at-home mom.
You might also like: