Over the last 40 years no other topic has become more of a hot button issue than that of women’s roles. Often times when preachers begin to discuss what the bible says about the role of the women in the church or home he is immediately labeled as a bigot, behind the times, and incapable of understanding how women really feel regarding these things because after all he is a man. Or he is labeled as a liberal and clearly influenced by the women’s liberation movement. As such, it is with great reservation that I share with you what God teaches concerning the mother’s responsibilities in the home.
In Titus 2:4-5 Paul instructed the younger woman how to be godly women. In this list of qualities, Paul mentions two that have to deal with being a mother; to be lovers of their children and keepers of the home. “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
It seems almost out of place to see Paul telling mothers that they need to love their children. However, there is a need for this reminder. In today’s society we are finding children bing considered a nuisance, more than a blessing. These, Paul would say are “without natural affection (Rom. 1:31).” When a mother (or father for that matter) gets to the point that they would rather be as far away from their kids as they can, they need to be reminded that loving their children is a God given responsibility. Usually, when someone feels this way, it is generated by selfishness. They are more interested in their own happiness over the happiness of their children. This lack of love is what motivates a mother to let the TV be the nightly babysitter so that she can surf the web for several hours. (And yes fathers this goes for us as well). It seems that the days when you hear of the great sacrifices mothers made on behalf of their children have gone away. Instead, we find parents (fathers can be guilty of this too) desiring to “get the kids out of the house” so that the parents can find themselves again. To this I say, mothers find a way to love your children. If it is being a stay at home mom, the soccer mom that never misses a game, the mom that turns the TV off to read the bed time story or play a game when your son of daughter asks, or whatever your love for your child moves you to do, do it. Do not let these opportunities pass you by. As the older women can attest to, it won’t be long and they won’t ask anymore.
The second quality Paul admonishes mothers to have is to be keepers of the home. This particular command of Paul draws much criticism. Before we close our minds to the implications this command gives us, let us begin by looking at what it actually says. This phrase is translated from a compound Greek word. The first word is simply home. In the Greek, like in the English, it can refer to both the dwelling place and the people that dwell there. How a person views this can change how one keeps the home. If home refers to the dwelling place the keeping is drastically different than if it refers to the people. (More on this in just a moment). The second word is not actually found in the NT on its own. It literally means to be a guard or keeper (not to be confused with the typical word translated as guard as in a prison). Despite the fact it never appears on its own, the word actually appears in various forms in the NT. I Pet. 1:5 speaks of God keeping us with his power. Christ spoke of a gate keeper in John 10:3. Looking at the use of the words in these places, one will see that it has nothing to do with domestic duties (as it is often made to mean). The gatekeeper (or porter) protected the city from the strangers who try to force their way in. It was the gatekeepers job to protect the inhabitants of the city from harm. If this idea of protection is carried over to the home, then one will see that the mother does have a role in protecting the home. Now, to what do we mean when we say home? I find it hard to believe that Paul wants mothers to take up physical arms to protect a dwelling place. It seems out of context with the rest of the word of God to mean such. (Men went to war in bible times). As such, I believe this is about protecting those within the home and more specifically, I am convinced it is about protecting the spiritual welfare of those in the home. This would mean that she too has a vital role in the spiritual instruction of her children. And it tells us that she has a grave responsibility of protecting the “gates” into her children’s hearts. And in today’s society it can certainly be applied to the negative influences brought on by TV, the internet and the music industry. But, it can also be applied to being mindful of her children’s peers, her teachers (both secular and spiritual), and the list can go on. You see, being a mother is not something you clock in to do and clock out when your shift is over. You are a mother 24-7. I am not going to tell you to not work outside the home. I am not going to tell you that you are justified to work outside the home. What I am telling you is that you will have to stand before God and answer for how well you kept your children. If your conscious tells you…. Not well enough, then some changes are obviously in order. I encourage all mothers to strongly consider what is most important their children’s hearts and souls or the mother’s “me time.” ~WTK
Grinnell church of Christ
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Be the Mother God Called You to Be
Volume 3 Issue 29 June 17, 2012