The tension regarding the role of mothers in the workplace has long existed. However, the Bible provides some clear principles regarding a proper balance for mothers and their work outside the home.
Should all mothers be stay-at-home moms?
Proverbs 31 regarding the excellent wife (verse 10) includes a woman working outside of the home and caring for her children. While only a description is provided in this account, it is clear that it is possible for at least some mothers to both raise children and pursue additional work.
Proverbs 14:1 speaks of the importance of a woman investing in her family: "The wisest of women builds her house." Outside work can be positive, but must be performed so as not to neglect the important priorities of maintaining a healthy marriage and raising children.
Second Timothy 1 notes the impact a mother (and grandmother) can have in the life of a child through teaching and modeling biblical principles. Paul wrote to Timothy, "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).
Titus 2:4-5 shares that older women are to "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." This passage does not condemn work outside of the home, but clearly highlights the importance of caring for family matters as top priority to Christian mothers.
Ruth serves as a powerful example of a woman who worked hard outside of the home, yet also likely stopped working for a time to later raise her own children. A mother's role is vital and may sometimes require a pause to other career pursuits, especially during the crucial early years of a child's life.
A look at Mary the mother of Jesus reveals the important task of investing in children. She was specifically called to mother Jesus, praised God for the opportunity, and invested her life to raise Jesus in a godly home. She is not mentioned for her work outside of the home, but is celebrated for her investment in raising the greatest child of all—the Son of God.
While it can be a struggle for mothers who must work outside of the home to help meet financial needs, Scripture affirms both the out of home work of a mother and the parenting investment of mothers. Both can serve important roles, with a great priority given to the impact a mother can have on the physical, emotional, and spiritual development of her children.
What should a Christian mother be like according to the Bible?
Should a Christian woman work outside the home?
Is God/the Bible sexist?
What should a Christian father be like according to the Bible?
What are to be our top priorities in our family life?
Truth about Family